The Basics of Baccarat


If you’ve visited a casino anywhere in the world, from a sticky-floor California card room to tuxedo-clad casinos of Monaco, chances are you’ve seen baccarat played. In fact, the game has become one of Las Vegas’ most popular table games. It has a reputation as a game of sophistication, elegance and James Bond-style gambling action. With its few complexities and high stakes, it is also a very fast game to play.

Unlike blackjack, which has numerous wager options, baccarat has just three bets: Player win, Banker win and Tie. In this article, we will focus on the two main bets and ignore the illogical Tie bet, which has a 14.1 percent edge in favor of the house. This will help you make better decisions on how to place your bets and develop a playing strategy.

Before we get started, it’s important to understand baccarat rules and the basic betting system. First, it’s important to remember that a hand must total 8 or 9 to be a winner. If the Player or Banker hands produce a “natural,” the game is over and all placed bets are paid. If neither hand produces a natural, additional cards are drawn to determine the winner.

When placing your bet, first decide how large you want to bet (taking into account the minimum and maximum bets allowed at a given baccarat table) then move your chips to either the Player box, the Banker box or the Tie box. After all bets are placed, the dealer will deal a single card into the Player box and then another card into the Banker box. Then, if your bet is placed in the correct box, you win.

If your bet is on the Banker, you must then wait to see how your banker’s hand does. If the banker has a total of 6 or higher, they stand; otherwise they draw a third card. If the banker has a total between 2 and 6, they must draw a third card unless the player’s second card is an 8.

The rules of baccarat are relatively simple, but there are some things you should know before sitting down at the table. For starters, you’ll need to relearn some elementary arithmetic. If a player and banker both have a total of 9, for example, you must drop the first digit to determine the true value of the hand (ie, 9 + 6 = 15). If you’re playing at a live baccarat table, score sheets are available for players to use to keep track of their bets. In addition, a special baccarat tally box is used to record the ties and nines in the game. This makes it easy to see how a hand is progressing and which bets are winning or losing. For this reason, baccarat is a very quick and easy game to learn.