The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is an elegant and mysterious game – it even appears in James Bond movies. And while it may look serious and intimidating, the rules are actually quite simple. The objective is to bet on a hand, Player or Banker, that has the closest value to nine points after two cards are dealt. If either of the hands has a total of 8 or 9, it is a “natural” and the bets placed are paid out. If neither hand has a natural, further cards are drawn according to a set of rules.

The rules of baccarat are not complicated, but there are several key elements to consider before you play. First, it is important to understand the game’s rules and the difference between the Player and Banker bets. You can read more about the rules here:

There are also five types of bets in Baccarat, and while you don’t have to place a bet on any of these, they can increase your payouts if you win. The Players Bet and the Banker’s Bet pay out 9-to-1, while the Tie bet pays out 8-to-1. The Super Six and Pair bets are additional bets that can boost your bankroll if you hit the right combination.

One of the main reasons why baccarat attracts high rollers is its low house edge. According to Bill Zender, a former Nevada Gaming Control Agent, casino dealer, executive, and consultant, the house advantage is just 1.2 percent on both the banker and player bets. The third bet, a tie, has a higher house edge of over 14 percent. Because of this, most serious players avoid the Tie bet and stick with player or banker.

While the rules of baccarat are fairly simple, the game can be a bit confusing at times – especially when it comes to the drawing of a third card. Fortunately, these decisions are covered by the game rules and are handled by the dealer. However, it’s still a good idea to know what happens so you can be prepared if the situation arises.

There are seven to 14 seats in a Baccarat table, and each seat has a betting area. After the bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards to each player and the Banker. The Player’s and the Banker’s hands are then compared to determine who has won the hand. If either the player or Banker hand has a total of 8, it is a “natural” and no further cards are drawn. If the hand totals 6 or 7, it is a “stand” and no further cards are drawn.

If the Player and Banker hands have equal points, it is a tie and bets on the player or banker are returned (no one wins). Otherwise, the hand with the highest point total is declared the winner. The points are scored by adding the values of each hand: picture and Ten cards are worth 0 points, cards numbered from 2-9 have their face value, and the ace is worth one point.