The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat has a reputation as being one of the most glamorous casino games around. The game is often played in a high-stakes alcove away from the crowds and the noise of the rest of the casino floor, and it’s often played with real money – $100 bills scattered everywhere! But beneath the trappings, baccarat is just another card game that relies on luck to win.

The game is relatively easy to understand, but you must remember that it’s a game of chance. In a typical hand of baccarat, two cards are dealt to the Player and Banker hands. The goal is to have a hand that totals closer to nine than the other. The values of the cards are as follows: tens and picture cards are worth zero points; numbers from 2-9 are worth their face value; and the ace is worth one point. If either the player or the banker hand totals 8 or 9, this is a “natural” and all bets placed on the winning hand are paid out. If the first two cards do not total eight or nine, a third card is drawn according to a set of rules known as the drawing rules.

During the course of a game, bettors can choose to place their bets on either the Player hand, the Banker hand, or a Tie. When the bets are placed, the dealer will deal the cards according to a predetermined system, and the players have no influence over how the cards are dealt. This is one of the reasons that baccarat has a lower house edge than some other casino games.

Aside from the Banker and Player bets, a number of poker-inspired side bets can also be placed on a baccarat table. The most common of these is the Pair bet, which wins if the Player or Banker have a pair on their first two cards. There is a slight drawback to this bet, however, as the probability of a pair is quite low, and the payouts for this bet aren’t very large.

Aside from the Pair bet, bettors can also place their money on a number of other side bets, including the Progressive Bet, which pays out if the Player or Banker win a third consecutive hand. Another popular side bet is the Come Bet, which wins if the Player or Banker hit a ninth. Baccarat is also available to play online, and many online casinos offer a variety of side bets that can help increase your chances of winning. However, it is important to note that in the long run the house will always win. This is why it’s best to stick with the bets that have a lower house advantage, and to avoid the risky Tie bets at all costs.