Baccarat is a glamorous and sexy casino game with a reputation that often exceeds its actual winning potential. The game appears sophisticated and prestigious (and intimidating to average players), but the truth is that it’s as simple to play as betting on the flip of a coin. In fact, it has one of the lowest house edges in all of casino gaming.
There are seven to 14 seats for players and a dealer area in a live Baccarat game. Each player places a bet on either the Banker Hand, the Player Hand, or a Tie. The cards are then dealt from a shoe and the winning bet is determined by whose hand comes closest to a total of nine. Unlike blackjack, there is no strategy involved in Baccarat and the only decision the player must make before the cards are dealt is to bet on either the Banker or the Player Hand.
Once the bets are placed the game is played according to a set of rules that must be followed by the dealer. If the Player Hand totals 8 or 9, it is known as a “natural” and no third card is drawn. If the Player Hand is less than 8, it must draw a third card. If the Banker Hand totals 6 or 7, it is a stand-off and no third card is drawn. If the Banker hand totals 0 or 5, it must draw a third card.
The game is played with eight decks of cards that are dealt from a dealing shoe. The game’s rule is that every card has a numerical value, with 2s through 9s counting at face value and Aces counted as one point. The suit of the card has no effect on the value of a hand. If the Player Hand totals above nine, the player must drop the first digit in order to get its true value. For example, a total of 15 must be dropped to a nine-to-1 payout.
Winning bets on the Player or Banker Hand pay out at a rate of 1 to 1, and a winning Tie bet pays at 8-to-1. Score sheets are often provided at Baccarat tables to help players keep track of the results of each hand.
Baccarat has a long and rich history and was popular among European royalty before public gambling was banned in France in the 19th century. In its new incarnation, it has found a new following in Asia and is now making its way into American casinos as well. While the game may look intimidating, it’s actually one of the easiest and most enjoyable games to play. With its simple wager options and low house edge, baccarat is sure to be a favorite at both brick-and-mortar and online casinos. With a little practice, you can be a baccarat winner in no time! To get started, check out the following six baccarat tips.