A Step Forward Towards Baccarat Evolution: Lucky Draw

luckydrawbaccaratCasino games are still evolving as we speak. Even classics like baccarat are being improved – although fans of the game might think it does not need improvements at all. This continuous search for improving the games, making them more attractive – and possibly more lucrative – has led to the development of Lucky Draw Baccarat, a proprietary version of the classic game devised by Stephen Au-Yeung, the person responsible for Caribbean Hold’em. The game is only available at land-based casinos in the UK and Australia for the time being, but it will surely make it to online outlets in a short time. Better be prepared and know the rules.

Lucky Draw Baccarat is very much like to the original game, but it has some elements similar to blackjack. First of all, it is played against the house – in the original Baccarat game players could take turns to be the banker. Besides, there have been changes in the way the players bet, and bonus payouts have been included.

Let’s take a look at how a game of Lucky Draw Baccarat is played:

To participate in the game, the player is required to make an Enter bet. At the same time the player also has the possibility to place a Block Bonus side bet, which pays out based on the player’s and dealer’s hands – more on this later. After the bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards facing up for each participating player, followed by two cards for the house – one facing up, and one facing down. The hand value is calculated just like in a normal game of baccarat – face cards and tens are worth zero points, aces are worth one point, and the rest of the cards are calculated at pip value. The player may stand with the current hand, or draw one additional card by placing a Draw bet, equal to the Enter bet. When all players have acted, the dealer reveal the second card for the house. If the dealer’s hand has a value of 4 or below, the dealer can draw an additional card. If the dealer has five points or more in hand, the house must stand.

As in the original game of Baccarat, the goal of the game is to have a hand with a value as close to 9 as possible. When all players are done, and the dealer has also finished, the hands are compared. The possible outcomes are:

  • if the dealer’s total is higher than the player’s total, the player loses the Enter bet and the Draw bet (if any)
  • if the two hands are equal in value, both the Enter bet and the Draw bet are push
  • if the player’s total is higher than the dealer’s total, the Enter bet pays 1 to 1, and the Draw bet pays out by the applicable pay table (there are two versions, with payouts depending on the table rules)

The Block Bonus side bet pays out in certain situations only, as follows:

  • Ultimate Block – Two cards of the same rank, higher and both the same suit as the dealer’s first card (35 to 1)
  • Pair Block – Two cards the same rank, higher and one is the same suit as the dealer’s first card (10 to 1)
  • Flush Block – Two cards the same suit and one/both cards are higher and in the same suit as the dealer’s first card (5 to 1)
  • Normal Block – One card higher and in the same suit as the dealer’s first card. (2 to 1)

As I said above, the game is still only available in selected land-based casinos in the UK and Australia, but it will likely find its way to online casinos as well. Keep an eye out for it – it sounds like an exciting twist on the classic baccarat.

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