Baccarat (pronounced bah-kah-rah) is one of the most popular casino games in the world, from sticky floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco. The game is a simple and elegant affair, played by players who place wagers on the hand that will come closest to nine points. The rules of baccarat are easy to understand and the payouts are attractive. If you play baccarat correctly, you can win as much as 95% of your initial bet!
The game is dealt from a standard six- or eight-deck shoe. All cards count as their face value. A ten equals nine, a jack equals two, and a queen equals five. Aces, on the other hand, equal one. The goal of the game is to determine which of the Banker hand, Player hand or Tie will come closest to nine points. Once all cards have been dealt, the winning hand is determined by adding up the totals of the Banker and Player hands. A third card may be drawn in some cases, but only if the first two cards equal 8 or 9. In case of a tie, the bets to the Banker and Player hands are returned, and a commission is paid on the win if betting on the Banker.
Before the cards are dealt, players must place their bets. The table has two spaces, the Player’s space and the Banker’s space. The Player’s and Banker’s bets are made by placing chips on the appropriate area of the table.
Once all bets are placed, the dealer deals out two cards to each hand. In a regular game of baccarat, the Player’s and Banker’s hands are both assessed for their totals by the dealer. The winning hand is the one that comes closer to nine points. The Banker’s hand will draw on a 0-4 score, and stay on a 5, 6, 7, or 8. A third card is drawn only when the total of either hand falls below 7.
In some instances, neither the Player nor the Banker will have a winning hand. In this event, the bets to the Banker or Player are returned, and a bet on the Tie is paid. Depending on the casino, a commission of upwards of 5% is charged for wins on the Banker.
To minimize the risk of losing too much, set a limit on how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Know when to quit, and don’t chase your losses. Ideally, you should also play for fun with free online baccarat games before wagering real money. This way, you can practice your strategy and learn the game without the pressure of losing real money. As with any gaming venture, you should always start with a small amount and work your way up. This way, you can have a lot of fun and walk away with a big smile! Good luck and enjoy playing baccarat!