The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is an easy casino table game that doesn’t require a lot of strategic thinking. Players place a bet on the Banker, the Player, or a Tie before the cards are dealt. Then the dealer takes care of the rest, dealing two cards to each hand and seeing which one is closest to nine. This is all done from a six- or eight-deck shoe. Unlike blackjack, where each player gets to make decisions about when to hit or stand, in baccarat these decision-making powers are all covered by the rules of the game.

In baccarat, the goal is to get as close to 9 as possible without going over. The winning hand is the one that has a total where the final digit of all the pips (the dots on a playing card that are clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) add up to nine. All face cards count as zero, and aces count as one. If the final digit of the hand is higher than nine, then the first number must be subtracted from the total. For example, an 8 and a 7 would have a score of 15, but the first digit of 15 is dropped to give the final score of five.

Besides the Banker and Player bets, there are also side bets in baccarat that offer different payouts and odds. Some of these bets have high payouts, but they also come with a high house edge. Players should always check the payouts and odds of each bet before placing it.

The game of baccarat is played in a special betting area separate from the main gaming pit. Typically, there are seven to fourteen player positions at a baccarat table, and the Player and Banker hands are dealt two cards each. Depending on the type of baccarat, a third card may be drawn when either the Player or Banker hand is low or has an eight or nine.

During the game, players can bet on either the Banker or the Player to win. If either bet wins, the player will receive a 1:1 payout. If the bet on the Banker wins, the player must pay a 5% commission to the casino.

If the Banker and Player both have the same total, the game ends in a tie. Bets on the Banker and the Player will be returned, but the bets on the Tie are paid out at a rate of 8:1.

Some casinos have unique side bets for baccarat. These bets can have large payouts, but they also have low odds of landing and a high house edge. Players should always be careful to read the rules of these wagers before they play, and only make them if their budget allows it. If not, they should stick to the banker bet. This bet is the best for new players, and it offers the best odds. It is also the most popular bet at many of the online casinos.