The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat evokes images of high-rollers in tuxedos and women in formal evening gowns laying down chips as the dealer distributes cards. But this game of chance is far simpler than it seems, and a little knowledge can help you get the most out of your casino experience. Baccarat is easy to learn and offers a lot of excitement for players of all levels of experience.

The first thing to know is that there is no single baccarat strategy that is guaranteed to win every time. Baccarat is a simple card game that can be played with anywhere from seven to 14 participants at one table. Before the game begins, each participant place their chips based on which side they favor to win the round – player, banker, or tie.

Regardless of the number of players at the table, only two hands are dealt – the Banker’s hand and the Player’s hand. The cards are dealt face up and the goal is to have a hand closer to nine than the other. Unlike most other card games, the suit doesn’t matter and each card has its own value. Picture cards, such as tens and jacks, are worth zero points, while aces count as one point.

After the initial deal, each hand will draw a third card if needed. If the hand totals nine, the winner is determined by adding up the values of the cards. If the total exceeds ten, the first digit is dropped, and the number becomes the actual score of the hand. For example, a 9 and an 8 equals 15, but the first digit is dropped to arrive at the final score of 5.

When it comes to winning baccarat, most players choose to back either the Banker or the Player hand. The odds are similar for both and the house edge is lower when backing the Banker hand, but casinos are wise to this and often charge a 5% commission on winning bets placed on the banker.

The other option is to bet on a tie, but this bet pays out only eight to one and has a much higher house edge of over 14 percent. Unless you’re looking to win big money, you’re best off sticking with the Player or Banker bets. As with all casino gambling, be sure to play within your bankroll and keep your emotions in check if you find yourself losing streaks. You don’t want to run out of money before the end of your night! Remember to play responsibly and always have fun.