If you’re looking for a table game with minimal complexity and plenty of James Bond-style gambling action, Baccarat is a good choice. Unlike blackjack and roulette, which have many complicated rules and betting options, this elegant casino game is easy to understand and plays out quickly.
There are from seven to 14 seats for players at a baccarat table, along with a Banker’s area and a Dealing Area. When a hand is dealt, each player places a bet on either the Player Hand, the Banker’s Hand or a Tie. Each of these bets has a different payout. The Banker’s and Player Hands are dealt two cards each, and the winner is the one with a total closest to nine.
The game is played with a standard deck of cards, which are usually dealt from a dealing shoe. Unlike poker, card suits have no significance in Baccarat, and the value of each number is determined by its numerical rank. For example, a 7 has a value of 7, an 8 has a value of 8, and a 9 has a value of 9. If a hand’s total reaches a double digit, the first digit is dropped (so 10 becomes 0).
After all the bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards each to the Player and Banker. Generally, the Banker’s hand will win more often than the Player’s, but this is not always the case. In some cases, a third card may be drawn for the Banker’s hand. This happens when the first two cards are equal in value, but the Banker’s total is too low.
Aside from the Player and Banker bets, a third bet is available on the “Tie.” If both hands have the same score, the bet pays eight to one. However, the Tie bet has a high house edge (over 14 percent), so most serious gamblers stick to the Player and Banker bets.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of a baccarat table, the game can be very addictive, and players should always be in control of their spending. Before entering a casino, decide in advance how much money you want to spend. Then, play only with cash that you’re prepared to lose. Otherwise, you could end up losing more than you’re winning and leave empty-handed.