The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games around and it is a simple game to learn. It is a table game with from seven to 14 seats and a dealer area. Players place bets on either the Player, Banker or a Tie. The winning hand is the one which totals closest to nine. Picture cards and Tens count as zero points, whereas cards numbered from 2-9 are worth their face value, and Ace counts as one point. If the total of the card exceeds a double digit, it adds the second digit instead. For example, a 7 and an 8 would make a total of 15 so it would be valued as five.

After the players have made their bets, two cards are dealt to each hand. A third card may be dealt to either hand if necessary. The objective is for the player or Banker to get a total closer to 9. If the hand that is a ‘natural’ (a score of 8 or 9) then no third card is drawn and the bets on the Banker or Player are paid out. The other hand must draw a third card when the total is 5 or less and stand with a total of 6 or 7. This is because a third card is added to any hand that is lower than a natural.

The game is fixed by a set of rules which are acted out by the dealer. The dealer collects the lost bets, pays the winning ones and keeps a commission box to track the winnings of each banker bet. The Banker’s commission is a percentage of the winning Banker bet and it is collected every time the game is won by the banker.

It is a slow-paced game but has gained tremendous popularity as high rollers are attracted to it for the reasons that Zender describes. It also has a low house edge of 1.2 percent on both the Banker and Player bets. There is a third bet, the tie, which pays eight to one but has a much larger house edge of over 14 percent.

Free baccarat games online provide an excellent opportunity for new players to practice the game without the pressure of playing with real money. This makes it an ideal way to develop your strategy and build up your confidence before you play baccarat for real.

The game of baccarat has become so popular that casinos in Macau now make more money than those on the Las Vegas Strip, and baccarat accounts for 18 percent of their overall casino win. The game is so widespread that it has given rise to variations, including Mini Baccarat and side bets. It is a game that will likely continue to grow in popularity as the world’s gambling markets expand and mature. The game has a rich history that is rooted in Italy and France, but it’s the game of choice in many Asian casinos as well.