The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a card game that has been played since the 1400s. It is a popular game in many casinos worldwide, especially in Macau and Singapore. It is also a favorite of high rollers and is a staple in the world’s most luxurious casinos.

The rules of baccarat are very simple and require little or no skill. The goal is to place a bet on which hand you think will win. You can bet on the player, banker, or tie.

Players are dealt two cards face down, and the banker receives one card. If the banker receives a count of eight or nine, the hand is called a “natural,” and it is worth the full amount you bet.

Depending on the rules, the player can choose to stand or draw a third card. The dealer, on the other hand, must follow a set of rules.

When a player stands, the banker draws another card, or both players draw a third card if they are dealt a hand that is equal to or higher than the initial count. A player may also draw a third card if the banker holds a total of 5 or lower, or if there is no card that adds up to 9.

Baccarat is played with eight decks of cards (and sometimes six decks). The dealer and the table banker each control a pair of shoes filled with cards.

It is important to understand that the cards are valued numerically, and the value of the face cards and Aces are low. All other cards are worth their pips.

You should never bet more than you can afford to lose. You should also play baccarat only when you know the game well and you have a reasonable win target.

The New York Times once obituarized John Fairfax of Henderson, Nevada, a longtime baccarat enthusiast. Fairfax favored the game because it was “equal parts luck and skill.” He attributed his success to a combination of gut feeling and good strategy.

Today, the game of baccarat is a major cash earner for casino establishments worldwide. It accounts for 18 percent of all casino wins. In fact, the only other game that produces more winnings for a casino is slots.

Most high rollers are attracted to baccarat because it is a culturally distinct game that appeals to their Asian culture, according to Bill Zender, a former Nevada Gaming Control Agent and current consultant. He also points out that baccarat has one of the lowest house edges in the casino, which makes it attractive to high rollers.

Although you can play baccarat with chips, most European casinos use real money – $100-bills, which are distributed all around the table. This makes the game look as exciting as a roulette wheel.

It is also a very fast paced game, so it is important to bet an amount that you can afford to lose and stick to it. This way, you can win a lot of money in a short period of time.