What Is Baccarat? And How Do You Play It?


Baccarat is one of the most exotic and least understood of all casino games. If you’ve strolled past a Baccarat pit in a land-based casino, you might have imagined James Bond-like characters seated around an oversized table and clad in formal wear as players place enormous bets to determine the outcome of a game that requires no real skill. But what exactly is baccarat? And how do you play it? In this article, we’ll explore the rules of this elegant European game and help you find the best online baccarat casinos with limits to fit your budget.

Baccarat is a card game in which players bet on either the “Player” hand, the “Banker” hand, or a tie. Two cards are dealt to each hand from a shoe, and the winner is determined by whose total is closest to nine. Aces count as one, and all other cards are worth their face value. If the two hands are equal in total, a third card is dealt to either hand. If the third card is a nine, the win is confirmed. If the third card is a seven or six, it is dropped. Then, the banker or player bets are paid out according to fixed house rules.

Most online baccarat games feature eight 52-card decks, which are shuffled together and dealt by the croupier from a box called a “shoe.” The dealer deals each hand based on a set of predetermined rules, which means that players don’t have any influence over the dealing of the cards or the outcome of the game. In addition, a special palette is often used at large baccarat tables to allow the croupier to move the cards easily around the table without having to leave his or her seat.

While the game’s luxurious trappings – such as beautiful women seated around the table and players and dealers dressed in tuxedos – make it seem like a high-end affair, Baccarat is actually an easy game to learn. In fact, it’s one of the easiest casino games to play, with just three betting options – Player, Banker, and Tie.

If neither the Player nor the Banker has a total of nine points, the game ends in a Tie. In this case, the bets on the Banker and the Player are returned (no one wins or loses), while the bets on Tie are paid.

In addition to the standard Banker and Player bets, baccarat also offers a number of side bets, which can pay out big payouts with relatively low odds of winning. These side bets, however, should always be weighed carefully against the overall house edge and payouts before making a decision. In general, it’s best to avoid the more risky side bets, and only play them when your bankroll can comfortably afford it. This is especially true if you’re new to the game. In this case, the safer option is to stick with the traditional Banker and Player bets.