From sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, you’ve probably seen the game baccarat played at some point in your life. While many people associate this casino classic with swanky, high-roller atmospheres, it’s actually one of the easiest games to play and offers a very low house edge. Plus, it’s one of the few table games that doesn’t require much strategy at all.
In fact, baccarat is such a popular casino game that it’s even been featured in several Hollywood movies and television shows. Most notably, in the 1956 French heist film Bob le Flambeur, in which main character James Carter plays baccarat to win money for his girlfriend Genevieve after she covers for him while he’s attempting a bank robbery.
Whether you’re playing “punto banco” (where the dealer is pre-determined) or the more traditional version of baccarat, referred to as chemin de fer, this game is played by groups of players sitting around an oval-shaped table and betting on which hand will have the higher score at the end of the round. Usually, players place bets in counterclockwise order, with the first player to announce “go bank” setting the initial banker bet. Afterwards, other players can add to the banker bet, but the total must not exceed the banker’s initial bet amount.
The two hands are dealt two cards each and a third card may be drawn depending on the values of the initial two. If either the Player or Banker hands have a value of 8 or 9, this is considered a “natural” and the game ends right there, with all placed bets paid out. However, if neither hand has a natural, a third card is then dealt according to a set of rules that vary slightly between the two versions of the game.
A good way to determine which hand you should bet on is to follow the game’s rules regarding ties. A tying bet pays 9 points to the player and 8 points to the banker, which is why most players choose to bet on the banker’s side. This bet also has the added benefit of avoiding the 5% commission that you’d pay on a winning Player bet.
Another thing to remember when betting on baccarat is that there’s no such thing as guaranteed winning strategies. While there are a number of tips and tricks that can help you improve your chances of winning, any game of chance is based on luck and will eventually result in some losses and wins. However, if you’re prepared to be patient and learn the game’s rules, it can be an exciting and rewarding experience! To start, we recommend that you check out our online baccarat guide. Once you have a firm grasp of the rules, you’ll be able to place more confident bets on this casino classic. And, you can even earn casino bonuses while you’re at it! The best part is that you can experience the thrills of a Vegas casino floor from your own home!