The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat may be seen as a game reserved for the high rollers and suave patrons like James Bond, but it’s actually a very simple game. In fact, it has one of the lowest house edges in the casino, which means you’re more likely to see a profit playing baccarat than other games such as blackjack or roulette.

This card game is incredibly easy to learn and has only three possible outcomes: the Bank hand winning, the Player hand winning, or a tie. The cards are dealt from a six- or eight-deck shoe and the objective is to guess which hand will be closest to nine. The player and Bank hands are dealt two cards each, and sometimes a third card is dealt to either of the hands. Whenever a Bank or Player hand totals nine, the player wins the bet and is paid out at 1:1. If the Bank hand wins, a 5% commission is charged to the players’ winning bets.

The earliest records of the game date back to the medieval period, and it was popular with the nobility in Italy, France, and Spain. It moved to the UK in the 19th Century and became an established fixture in casinos across Europe, where it was also played at many royal occasions. It won many awards and medals at the major fairs of the time, including a gold medal at the 1867 Paris Exhibition for its glass ’Temple of Mercury’ and a large glass baccarat table.

In a traditional baccarat game, the players sit in two groups of chairs on opposite sides of a table. The players on the left of the table place their bets against the banker, while those on the right of the table play against each other. The dealer deals the cards and plays the game, but a second dealer handles the bets, which can result in different outcomes depending on how much the players wager.

There are a few rules to consider when betting on baccarat. For instance, a total above nine must be dropped in order to determine its true value. In addition, the Banker must stand if their total is 8 or 9. There are also several side bets in baccarat which can be placed at live casinos around the world. These bets tend to cost more than the basic bets and are not recommended for beginner players.

The game is typically played with a fixed number of decks, although this can vary from place to place. A higher number of decks in play increases the Banker’s edge, while a lower number of decks decreases the House edge for both the Player and Tie bets. Some online baccarat games allow you to select the number of decks in play, which can help you decide whether this variation is right for your style of play. However, this choice is not always available in live casinos, and you should check the house rules before making your selection.