Baccarat is a casino game with an Asian influence that is gaining in popularity throughout Europe and the United States. It is played for high stakes and requires little technical skill to play. It is a great alternative to blackjack and other card games.
The goal is to bet on which hand will get closest to nine. Aces are worth one point, 10s are zero points, and all other cards are valued at their face value. The Banker’s hand wins if it is closer to 9 than the Player’s hand. If both hands are equal to 9, then a third card is drawn. The game is dealt from a six or eight-deck shoe. Typically, the shoe is managed by an automatic dealer, but in some casinos, a croupier deals the cards from a traditional table.
There are three types of bets that can be made in baccarat: Player Hand Bets, Banker Hand Bets, and Tie Bets. Player and Banker hand bets are the most common. A winning player hand or banker hand bet pays out twice the amount of the initial wager. A tie bet pays out eight times the amount of the original wager. Players can also place a Super Six Bet or a Pair Bet. A Super Six Bet pays out 12x the initial bet amount if the first two cards deal a total of 6. A Pair bet pays out 11x the bet amount if the first two cards are a Banker or a Player pair.
A key to baccarat strategy is understanding the house advantage, which can vary depending on the type of bet placed. Banker and player bets have low house edges, around 1.2 percent, while the tie bet has a much higher house edge at over 14 percent. It is for this reason that most serious players stick to player or banker bets and avoid the tie bet.
During a game of baccarat, the dealer will first ask all players to make their bets. Once all bets have been placed, the dealer will then deal one card to each box. The Player box will receive a card first, followed by the Banker box. The Player and Banker hands are then compared to determine who has the hand with the highest total.
If neither the player nor banker has a total of 8 or 9 in their first two cards (a known as a natural), then no additional cards will be drawn. If either the player or the banker have a total of 6 in their first two cards, then the banker will draw a third card.
If the player and banker both have a total of 8 or 9, then the game ends. If the player has a total of 6 or 7, then they must stand. Otherwise, the banker must draw a third card if they have a total of 5 or less and they must stand if they have a total of 6 or higher.