If someone came knocking on your office door and proclaimed they could triple the action on your Baccarat tables, you would be forgiven for thinking them a little eccentric – but that’s exactly what those clever people at Racing Card Derby have come up with, a selection of side bets for Baccarat which could increase a casino’s bottom line on that table by a significant number. Tony Brown, company director, spoke to CI about the side bets.
Casino International: Tony, tell us about Knock Out Baccarat…
Tony Brown: In Knock Out Baccarat the primary bet we have is called Up The Ante, which involves an ante and wager bet added to both the player and banker box. If a player wants to enter the Up The Ante bet, before the game starts they bet on Ante for the player, or Ante for the banker.
In Baccarat the first card of the player’s hand is now revealed. At this stage, all bets on the table are frozen, but people who have bet on the interactive part are offered the opportunity to play or fold. If they want to continue to play, they must double the amount of the bet in the wager box, so five dollars on the player ante would allow you to have $10 on the wager.
The game now continues as regular Baccarat, and the outcome of player, banker or tie is determined. If you’ve bet on the correct player or banker and it wins, your Ante will always win even money. The wager bet is where it becomes interesting, because you have an option to win up to 2-1, which is unheard of in Baccarat. The way your win is determined is based on the hand that you have beaten; if you’ve beaten a 3 or less, you’re paid 1-2; a 4 or 5 pays even money; if you’ve beaten a 6, 7 or 8, you’d be paid 2-1.
There are also some additional bets we can add to the Baccarat table that people in the casino can select from the Knock Out Baccarat range of side bets; the first is a bet on the winning total. Will the winning total be 9, 8, 7 and we pay odds on that; will it be 6 or 5, we pay on that; will it be a field of 4, 3, 2 or 1, any one of those we pay as a field bet and that wins too. The odds are up to 15-1.
We also have a second bet, which is basically betting on the winning total, but with the option of betting player or banker to win with that total; this pays up to 25-1. Within those winning total bets, we also have bets that are about the winning result – we have Red or Black, for example: will there be more red or black cards in the winning result? Another is a ‘natural’ win for the player or the bank.
CI: What’s the benefit to the casino?
TB: For the casino the benefit of adding these – in particular Ante Wager – is that it could triple the amount of action you play. If someone’s normally betting five dollars, with Ante Wager you’re betting five with a 10-dollar wager, tripling the action. The player, instead of an even money shot, is looking at a possible 2-1. It’s a very exciting trade-off. From what we’ve seen, it’s not unusual for a player to bet on both player and banker Ante bet then deciding which to play or fold when the first card is revealed, which can actually quadruple the house action.
CI: Is this aimed toward the Asian market, with Macau in mind?
TB: Baccarat recently became the biggest money maker in Las Vegas, and elsewhere – Philippines, Singapore, lots of places. And the casino’s percentage is so low, which is why casinos drive the action. In this case using Knock Out Baccarat to triple the amount people play and take the house percentage from 1.5-ish to around 2.4-ish, it’s not a big jump to the player but the house will notice it. It’s an enormous jump for the house, and it creates real excitement for the player along the way. So it really is an international product that most casinos would benefit from.
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