The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat is a card game with a reputation for being difficult to play, but it is actually one of the easiest casino games to learn and maintains a low house edge. It is the preferred game of many high rollers, and it has even been featured in James Bond movies. Baccarat is played by two or more players at a table, and the game starts when each player makes a bet. Players can bet on either the Banker, the Player or a Tie. Once the bets are placed, cards are dealt and the winner is determined based on the sum of the total value of each hand.

The goal of baccarat is to get the hand you’re betting on, either the Player or Banker, as close to 9 as possible. The final digit of the total will count, and numbers are worth their face value while picture cards, such as Queens and Kings, equal zero points. Aces count as one point. The number of cards dealt in a hand will determine the value of the hand. For example, a three and four would have a score of 14, while an 8 and 9 would have a score of 15.

When a hand is won, the winning bets are paid out by the dealer to the players. However, a winning Banker hand must pay out a 5% commission on the amount won to the dealer. This is how casinos make money on this game. The commission is kept in a special commission box, tracked and collected for each winning Banker bet.

In addition to the main bets, baccarat also features side bets that can be made by placing chips on the table. Some of these bets offer large payouts, and they can be a great way to increase the overall profit of a game session. However, if you’re new to the game, it’s best to stick with the main bets until you have a better grasp of the rules and strategies.

A common side bet is the Banker’s draw. This bet pays out 8:1 if the Banker’s first two cards are an 8, 9 or 10. A third card is drawn only when the initial player and banker total is 2, 3, 4 or 7.

The earliest recorded use of baccarat was in Europe, where it was known as the game of nine. It is believed that it was brought over to Europe from Asia, where similar card games were popular. Baccarat has become so popular that it now accounts for a significant portion of the casino profits in Macau, Singapore and on the Las Vegas Strip. Its popularity has even given rise to variations on the game and other ways to place bets, including Mini Baccarat.