Lucky Draw Baccarat
Lucky Draw Baccarat is a variation of the popular casino card game baccarat. Playing Lucky Draw Baccarat is simple. It combines elements of two popular casino games, blackjack and baccarat. The scoring system from baccarat is used to determine the winning hand, but players take on the dealer in a process of standing or drawing to improve two card hands like in blackjack.
This page is an introduction to Lucky Draw Baccarat. We begin with a detailed guide describing the game’s rules and how to play, along with the payouts. We discuss the links between Lucky Draw Baccarat and the traditional forms of blackjack and baccarat. Players will find a guide to locating the game at brick and mortar casinos, seeing as how the game has not yet made it into online casinos. Learn about the Lucky Draw Baccarat strategy that players can use to reduce the house edge and improve their odds of winning. You can also learn who invented this baccarat game variation with a brief history.
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Before diving into an in-depth discussion of rules and gameplay for Lucky Draw Baccarat, any readers who don’t have at least a basic understanding of the base games (baccarat and blackjack) should probably brush up on the basics first.
You can learn all about the mechanics of a blackjack hand at our online blackjack page, which is important. A hand of Lucky Draw Baccarat follows the same two card hand and player action structure. The unique scoring system found in baccarat, used to value each card in the deck, has been transferred to Lucky Draw Baccarat. You can check out our online baccarat page to learn more about the scoring system.
Once you’ve gained an introductory knowledge of those games, you’ll be much better suited to learn the ins and outs of Lucky Draw Baccarat.
The standard 52 card deck of playing cards is used in this game, but like in many forms of blackjack and baccarat, the dealer will draw cards from a shoe containing eight decks in total.
Rather than the traditional poker based card values, or the system used in blackjack, Lucky Draw Baccarat relies on baccarat’s scoring system to rank each card. This means that all 10s and face cards (Js, Qs, and Ks) hold a value of 0 points, all aces hold a value of 1 point, and the 2s through 9s each hold a point value equal to their numerical rank.
The objective of Lucky Draw Baccarat is to form either a two card or three card hand which holds a higher point value than the dealer’s hand.
The same point scoring system used in baccarat also rules this game, so whenever a point total reaches double digits, the left most digit will always be dropped to produce the final point total. As an example, if you held an 8 and a 9, these two cards add up to 17 points. However, in baccarat games, you always drop the left most digit in two digit totals, so by removing the “1” we are left with a 7 total.
Playing Lucky Draw Baccarat
Place the Enter Bet
To begin a hand, each player must place a mandatory ante bet, which is known as the Enter bet in Lucky Draw Baccarat. The Enter bet must equal or exceed the posted table minimum, which in most cases will begin at $5.
Optional Side Bet
At this point, players may also choose to put up an optional side wager known as the Block Bonus bet.
Throughout the rest of this section, we’ll use a running example hand to help illustrate certain gameplay concepts. So for the sake of the running example hand, let’s imagine that we’ve put up the standard $5 chip on the Enter bet, and a $1 chip on the Block Bonus bet.
Dealer Hands Out Two Cards
When all players have placed their initial wagers, the dealer will then distribute two cards face down to each player, along with two cards to themselves. In the dealer’s case, one card will be turned face up (the “up” card), while the other will remain face down (the “hole” card).
Returning to our running example hand, we’ve been dealt the 4h and the 8c, while the dealer’s up card shows a 6c. At this point, using the baccarat scoring system, our 4 point card and 8 point card combine to produce a total of just 2 points (4 + 8 = 12; remove left most digit = 2).
Stand or Draw
Obviously, players can examine their own cards, but any sharing of information between players will be prohibited by the dealer.
After taking a peek at your own hole cards, the game’s first player decision point has arrived: Stand or Draw.
- STAND: you simply stay pat with what you have, much like you would when holding a 20 point total in blackjack.
- DRAW: you must make an additional wager known as the Draw bet, which must be exactly equal to your original Enter bet.
Should you decide to draw, the dealer will then slide you a single additional card to complete your hand.
Back to our running example hand, with only a 2 point total to work with, and 9 points being the maximum total that can be held, the proper play here would be to Draw.
We’ll do so, putting up an additional $5 chip to match our Enter bet, before taking a look at a sight for sore eyes in the 6s. This gives us a strong 8 point total to play against the dealer’s hand.
Dealer Reveals Their Hand
Once all players have either stood or drew an additional card, the dealer will then expose their hole card.
For the running example hand, let’s give our brave dealer the 7h for a hole card. Along with their 6c, they hold a 3 point total at this time (7 + 6 = 13, remove left most digit = 3).
Dealer Draws Another Card (If Needed)
For the dealer’s hand, whenever they hold a point total of 4 or fewer, they must always draw a third card.
Thus, in the running example hand, our dealer would take another card, and for our sake, we’re happy to see that they’ve drawn a lowly 2c.
At this point, the dealer will compare their own hand to each player hand, with the highest total declared the winner.
Back to the running example hand once again, our 8 point total has handily defeated the dealer’s 5 point total, so we’ve won this hand.
In the game of Lucky Draw Baccarat, whenever you produce a superior total relative to the dealer’s total, you’ll earn an even money payout on your Enter bet.
As for the Draw bet, winning hands are paid out based on the strength of the player’s total, according to the pay table.
When the dealer has settled all wagers, they will collect all cards and add them to the discard pile, before beginning a new hand. Once the eight deck shoe is nearing completion, the dealer will reshuffle all eight decks together, before asking a player to cut the deck, and reinsert the shuffled decks back into the shoe.
Lucky Draw Baccarat Payouts
Below players can find the most common payouts and explanations for Lucky Draw Baccarat.
Draw Bet Payouts
|9||3 to 1|
|8||2 to 1|
|7||3 to 2|
|1-6||1 to 1|
We can see how these payouts work by taking a look at the results of our running example hand. In that case, we hold an 8 point total to beat the dealer’s 3 point total, and we’ve put up both the Enter bet and the Draw bet. There would be four possible outcomes:
- For the Enter bet, we win even money on our $5 wager for a $5 profit.
- For the Draw bet, our 8 point total entitles us to a 2 to 1 payout on the $5 wager, good for a $10 profit.
- In the event that both the player and dealer produce identical totals, the tie results in both the Enter and Draw bets being returned as a push.
- And of course, should the dealer table a higher total than you, both your Enter and Draw bets will be lost to the house.
But what about that $1 chip we tossed on the Block Bonus bet to begin the hand?
Block Bonus Side Bet
In this game, the optional bonus side bet is a rather convoluted affair, so here’s how it works: the bet is based on the combination of your first two hole cards and the dealer’s up card.
For the Block Bonus bet, the following hands can be made:
As you can see, this “Block” system is quite complex (perhaps overly so), which is why we’ll return to the running example hand one final time to see how it all works.
Our two hole cards are the 4h and 8c, while the dealer’s up card is the 6c. In this case, only one of the four Blocks described above has been formed: the Normal Block. We hold a single hole card higher than the dealer’s up card (8c vs. 6c), while that hole card also matches the same suit (clubs).
We’d earn a payout on our Block Bonus bet based on the pay table:
|Block Bonus Payouts|
|Ultimate Block||35 to 1|
|Pair Block||10 to 1|
|Flush Block||5 to 1|
|Block Bonus Payouts|
|Normal Block||2 to 1|
It’s not clear from the game’s official rules description how a push could be earned on the Block Bonus side bet. However, with our Block Bonus, we’d earn a 2 to 1 payout on our $1 wager, good for a $2 profit.
Best Places to Play Lucky Draw Baccarat
According to NewTableGames.com, Lucky Draw Baccarat can be played in both the U.K. and Australia.
TCS John Huxley offers no further clues on current installations or prior placements.
At one point, as recently as 2015, the game could be played at the Treasury Casino & Hotel in Brisbane, Australia. Searches on that casino venue’s website turn up nothing relevant, however, suggesting that Lucky Draw Baccarat’s initial placement was allowed to lapse.
When it comes to the U.K., a trial license linking the casino chain known as Grosvenor Casino Limited to Lucky Draw Poker can be dug up. On the other hand, once again, searches on the websites maintained by various Grosvenor Casinos throughout the region turn up no current results.
Thus, it appears to be highly likely that Lucky Draw Baccarat has faded into obscurity following its debut runs in both the U.K. and Australia.
Call Around to Your Local Casinos
If you live in either region, though, it can’t hurt to place a few phone calls to your local casinos and ask for the table games manager. Chances are good that you’ll find someone in the know who has at least heard of the game, and they may be able to point you in the right direction.
Lucky Draw Baccarat doesn’t seem to have secured any installations beyond the U.K. and Australia, so Americans and Europeans are probably out of luck altogether.
Lucky Draw Baccarat Strategy
For such a seemingly complex game, Lucky Draw Baccarat really boils down to a single decision: Stand or Draw.
You can never fold in this game so immediate losses aren’t possible, and instead, you’ll be either maintaining the size of your original Enter bet or doubling it with the Draw bet.
With a binary decision process such as this, casino game theorists like Michael Shackleford – better known as the Wizard of Odds online – have been able to calculate the optimal strategy for deciding between the stand and the draw.
Basic Strategy Chart Essentials
You can find Shackleford’s handy strategy chart for Lucky Draw Baccarat here on his main page for the game. Simply scroll down about halfway through the page and look for the grid like chart colored in either yellow or red boxes.
The chart contains essential knowledge on how to play the game’s closest decisions, but it can also be boiled down into a few simple rules:
- When you hold a total of 0, 1, or 2 points, you should always elect to draw no matter what the dealer’s total happens to be
- When you hold a total of 3 or 4 points, you should elect to draw against all dealer totals except for 9 points
- When you hold a total of 5 points, you should elect to draw against all dealer totals except for 8 or 9 points
- When you hold a total of 6, 7, 8, or 9 points, you should elect to stand against all dealer totals
By employing this simple and straightforward strategic advice, players can create game conditions in which Luck Draw Baccarat offers a house edge of 3.34 percent.
Comparing the House Edge
Lucky Draw Baccarat simply doesn’t stack up when it is compared to the base table games:
Blackjack House Edge
- 0.50 percent when using basic strategy.
Baccarat House Edge
- 1.06 percent on banker bet.
- 1.24 percent on a player bet.
From a strategic standpoint alone, savvy players will simply stick to either blackjack or baccarat, rather than risk their money on the more volatile combination of the two.
Block Bonus Bet House Edge
Finally, the house edge on the Block Bonus bet stands at 4.96 percent, which again, is pretty reasonable within the world of table game side bets.
However, considering how unnecessarily complicated the Block Bonus bet is to judge, players regularly playing this side bet will often see the pace of play slow down, as the dealer takes their time to compare hole card totals and suits.
Strategically, the best play would be to avoid this time wasting side bet and stick to the main game only.
Creating Lucky Draw Baccarat
A trademark application to protect a casino game concept known as Lucky Draw Baccarat was filed in Australia by Chi Fat “Stephen” Au Yeung in 2011, and registered to that country’s Intellectual Property office in the same year.
Casino game enthusiasts may recognize Au Yeung’s name, as he is the prolific inventor more popularly known as Mr. Casino Games. While running his own casino game design firm, NewTableGames.com, Au Yeung broke through in a big way back in 2000.
That year, Au Yeung created Casino Hold’em, one of the first hybrid table games to take the nation by storm, spreading throughout the gambling meccas of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, along with virtually every local casino and tribal gaming establishment across the U.S. Today, Casino Hold’em is one of the most widely played table games in all of the world.
Au Yeung is credited with inventing several other table games since then, including Roulette 18, Top Draw Blackjack, and Casino Omaha Poker.
Trying to Expand
At some point, Au Yeung secured a licensing deal with casino equipment company TCS John Huxley, which now distributes Lucky Draw Baccarat in a handful of casinos across the United Kingdom and Australia.
Although the success of Lucky Draw Baccarat hasn’t lived up to that of Casino Hold’em, Au Yeung still managed to create an interesting twist on two table game standards. And through his partnership with TCS John Huxley, a major distributor of casino games around the world, Lucky Draw Baccarat just may begin to develop a firmer foothold within the wider industry.