The Basics of Baccarat
If you’re looking for a game that’s low on complexities but is still loaded with James Bond-style gambling fun, look no further than baccarat. This simple table game offers players three possible outcomes – a Banker win, a Player win, or a Tie. You make just one decision before the cards are dealt – which bet to place – and then the dealer does the rest of the work.
The game is played on a large table covered in green felt with numbered areas for player and banker bets. Eight 52-card decks are shuffled together and placed in a dealing box called a shoe, which is used to deal cards one at a time. The shoes are then flipped over and the croupier (dealer) burns a card to determine whether or not the Player or Banker will draw a third card. The croupier is also aware of how much money has been placed on each hand.
If the player’s total is between 0 and 5 or equals 10, it is called a “stand” and no third card will be drawn. Similarly, if the banker’s hand has a total of 8 or 9, it is called a ‘natural’ and no third card will be drawn. If either the player or banker has a total of 6 or 7, it is a tie and no third card is drawn.
There are several baccarat variants, although Punto Banco is by far the most popular at casinos. Other popular versions include Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque, but all of them are based on the same game rules.
The main objective of the game is to predict which hand will come closest to nine. Two cards are dealt to the Banker and Player hands, and a third if necessary, with the winner being the hand with a total closer to 9. The scores are calculated by adding up the pips (the dots on a playing card that represent clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) and dividing them by ten. All aces count as zero and all face cards are worth their face value.
Some players try to influence the outcome of a hand by betting on a particular player or banker, but this is impossible. Past wins or losses have no bearing on the outcome of a new hand, so bet consistently and don’t get too excited about a winning streak. It’s also a good idea to avoid betting on a tie as it has the highest house edge of all bets. You should also stay away from the countless side bets that are available as they tend to cost more than the main bets and will drain your bankroll.