Baccarat is a simple card game where players bet on either the player or banker hands. The aim is to win by guessing which hand will have a total closer to nine than the other. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but the game does have some rules that players should be aware of before they sit down at a table.
Baccarat is a popular casino game, and one that has been popularised by the James Bond movies. It’s easy to see why – the game is simple to play, offers low house edge and requires very little skill from the player. But there are some important things to remember before you start playing the game, which we’ve listed here:
The most important thing to know about Baccarat is that there’s no actual strategy involved in winning the game. The objective is to predict whether the player or banker will get a hand closest to nine, and there’s no control over the cards being dealt to either side. This is different from Blackjack, where players can draw extra cards and alter the outcome of a hand.
Once a bet has been placed on either the banker or player, two cards will be dealt to each hand. A third card may also be drawn, but this decision is covered by the game rules and not a matter of player choice. A hand with a total of 8 or 9 is a ‘natural’ and will not need a third card, while a total of 6 will result in the player standing and no third card being drawn.
The game is usually played with eight decks of standard 52-cards shuffled together, but online versions can use six decks of cards. The cards are ranked from 2 to 9, and the value of each is determined by its pip denomination. For example, a jack will equal 9, a queen will be worth 10, and an ace will equal 1.
In the US, the game is often referred to as Punto Banco, but there are other variations such as Chemin de Fer, which can be found in the casinos of Europe. In addition to the different titles, there are some slight differences between the rules of each variant.
There are some specialised strategies that can be used to improve the odds of a win in Baccarat, but the best approach is to simply choose which side you want to bet on and follow this through. This will give you the best chance of predicting which hand will come closest to 9, and will make it more likely that you’ll be able to win. If you are not sure which option to go for, betting on the banker is usually a safe bet as it pays out 1:1 and has a lower house edge than the player hand. But remember that you will have to pay a 5% commission on a winning banker bet, which can reduce the payout odds.