The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a slow-paced, easy to learn game of pure chance that has the reputation for being formal and elegant. It’s portrayed as such in movies, including James Bond’s famous match-up with Sylvia Trench on the green baize (although they were actually playing Chemin de Fer, another baccarat variation). Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games worldwide, and it’s also one of the highest grossing table games for casinos. In fact, Macau casinos alone made more from baccarat last year than all of Las Vegas’s 40 casinos combined. The game’s popularity may be attributed to the fact that it’s one of the few games where high rollers can win large sums of money without risking their entire bankroll.

Baccarat rules vary depending on the variant being played, but they generally involve two hands of cards being dealt to a player and a banker. The winner of the hand is whoever has a total closer to nine than the other, with the final digit being determined by adding up the pips of all the cards dealt. Picture cards and tens count as zero; jacks, queens, and kings equal their face value; and aces equal one. The game can be played with anywhere from seven to 14 players, although there are only two hands of cards dealt in each round.

In offline baccarat, the game is typically dealt from 8 decks of cards while online baccarat is usually played with 6 or 8 decks of cards shuffled together. The number of decks of cards used is important because it can significantly reduce the house edge for both the Banker and Player bets in Baccarat. It’s important to note that the game of baccarat has evolved over time and there are many different variations of the game. Some of these variations, like Punto Banco, are more widely known than others, such as the Asian game of Baccarat.

Once the player and banker have both placed their bets, they are dealt two cards each. If the banker’s total is higher than the player’s, they will not draw a third card. If the banker’s total is less than 9, they will draw a third card if the player’s first two cards are an 8 or 9. If not, they will simply take the first number that appears after all the pips have been added up.

The player and banker bets in baccarat have the lowest house edges in the casino, at 1.2 percent and 0.99 percent respectively. A third bet on a tie, which pays eight to one if both the player and banker have equal totals, has a much higher house edge of over 14 percent. For this reason, most serious players stick to the banker or player bets in baccarat.