The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a casino game that’s most often found in the high-limit gaming sections of European & Nevada casinos. It’s a simple game to play, and requires no technical skill to win; just place a bet on the hand you think will be closest to nine. Players bet on either the player hand or the banker hand, and the goal is to predict which one will be closer to 9.

The rules of baccarat are relatively straightforward, but they get a bit more complicated as you go along. First of all, there’s a card ranking system. Cards numbered 2 through 9 are worth their face value, while aces and picture or “face” cards are worth 0 points. Adding up the total point values of two-digit numbers also gets a little tricky, since any number that goes above 9 will drop the first digit (so a seven & six becomes three).

Before a deal begins, customers place their bets on either the player hand or the banker’s hand. Once the bets are placed, the bettor holding the shoe slides the first player card onto the table and passes it to the dealer, who then gives the card to the customer with the largest player bet. After the bettor deals the first player hand, the banker hands are dealt and the dealer announces the result of each hand. The winning hand is the one that’s closest to 9.

In addition to a player and banker bet, baccarat allows for a number of interesting side bets, which vary by establishment and platform. These include the Super Six Bet, a tie bet, and a pair bet. The Super Six Bet offers the best odds of winning a round, at around 1:1. The Tie bet offers a lower return, at about 8:1. The Pair bet pays out depending on whether the player or banker has a pair.

While baccarat is an easy game to learn, it’s not without its risks, and you should always enter into any gambling venture with a solid plan. Know how much you’re willing to lose, and stop playing once your losses exceed that amount. It’s better to walk away empty-handed than lose your shirt, so don’t overextend yourself at the table. Baccarat is also a great option for those who can’t afford to spend all of their money at once. In fact, it’s the only casino game featured in all of James Bond’s films (Dr. No; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; Thunderball; and GoldenEye).