Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a casino table game that is known for its elegance and is often found in high-limit sections of European and Las Vegas casinos. The game is simple to play and requires no technical skill. Players simply place their bets on whether they think the Player, Banker, or Tie will win the hand. Cards are dealt in pairs and the objective is to get a total as close to nine as possible. Aces are worth one point, tens and face cards are worth zero, and other cards are valued at their pip value.

While the game was originally a very formal affair, it has since evolved. While it is still played on large tables in the high-roller rooms with tuxedoed dealers and double tables, it can now also be played on regular casino floors with lower table minimums. Baccarat has even become more casual in recent years as casinos have opted to use single-dealer tables, which look much like blackjack tables. This change has allowed the game to attract a younger audience as well as reduce the house edge.

Aside from the three main bets, there are a variety of side bets that can be placed. These bets can be very lucrative, but they are also extremely risky. Those who want to minimize their risk should stay away from these bets and focus on the two most important bets: Player and Banker.

Once all the bets are made, the dealer will deal out two cards to the Player and Banker hands. The aim is to have a total closer to 9 than the opponent’s hand. If the total of the hand is above 9, the first digit must be dropped. For example, a seven and a six would result in a 14 score, which must be dropped to a 3.

The Banker bet has a low house edge of 1.24% and pays out 1:1. However, players must pay a 5% commission on all winnings from the banker bet. This makes it a less appealing option than the Player bet, which has a slightly higher house edge of 1.24% but a standard payout of 1:1.

The third bet, the Tie, has a house edge of 14.1 percent and is best avoided by smart gamblers. In fact, the wisest way to play baccarat is to bet on either the Player or Banker and ignore the Tie bet altogether. In the long run, you will save money and have more chances of winning by playing this way. Trying to beat the game by counting cards or using other strategies will only cause you to lose your money. Therefore, it is important to bet consistently and not make hasty decisions. Lastly, remember to set a goal for how much you are happy to win and stick with it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in the hole before you know it!