The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It is a game of chance that requires no skill and is easy to learn. It is also one of the most profitable casino games, with a house edge that is among the lowest in the world.

The Game

In a baccarat game, the player and banker each receive two cards. The goal is to make a hand with the closest possible value to nine. If both the player and banker have a hand that is closer to nine than any other hand, the game is won by the player or banker who has the highest value.

The Dealer

A dealer (croupier) deals the cards for the game of baccarat from a shoe, which contains eight 52-card packs that are shuffled together before each deal. The shoe holds the first and third cards for the Player hand, and the second and fourth cards for the Banker hand. The dealer begins the play by drawing four cards from the shoe, face down. The cards are placed beneath PLAYER and BANKER as indicated on the table.

The Rules

In baccarat, each of the two hands has its own set of rules. The player can stand or hit, and the banker can either draw a card or not. The banker is allowed to draw a third card only when the Player or Banker have a hand that is closer to 9 than any other hand.

The Player or Banker may also choose to place a bet on the Dragon Bonus, which is an optional side bet that pays out up to 30 to 1. Players who predict the winning banker hand or a tie get a payout of 8-to-1.

Baccarat has many variations, with three of the most popular being punto banco, baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque. Each variation has different betting options and rules.

Punto banco, which is most commonly played in casinos, is the most straightforward baccarat game. It has a house edge of only 1 percent and is very simple to play.

Chemin de fer, on the other hand, is more complicated and has a house edge of 1.6 percent. It also allows the player to draw a third card, which makes it more difficult to win.

The Banque, which is similar to chemin de fer, has a lower house edge and has the advantage of a more permanent banker position. The table has green felt that covers the entire surface and numbered areas where the bets are made.

The game is played by twelve players on a large table, divided into a pair of rows, each with six seats. Each seat is surrounded by green felt, with the numbers 1 to 12 marked on it. The player places his money or chips in the designated area.