Baccarat is a classic table game that is played by many players around the world and in land-based casinos. In fact, even though it is one of the oldest casino games, baccarat still draws large crowds of people to the tables. This is because it’s a very simple game and is easy to learn for any novice player with slight experience. Baccarat has also been featured in several prestigious films, including the James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ and is one of the most popular casino games on offer.
The essential objective of the game is to hit (or get close to) nine with two cards. The game starts with each player and banker receiving a hand of cards, and the bettors place their wagers on whether the player or dealer will win or lose. Baccarat rules are simple at first glance but become a bit more complicated as the game progresses.
Initially, the cards are dealt with the players sitting in two separate areas of the table – one to the left and one to the right of the dealer’s area. Each of the hands consists of three cards: the player’s, banker’s and the dealer’s. Picture cards and tens count as zero points, while the other cards are worth their face value. Aces are worth one point. When the hand’s total reaches a double digit, the second digit is used to determine its value. A queen and six, for example, equals seven, while a king and two aces equals 0.
If either the Player or Banker hand has an 8 or 9 on the first two cards then that is considered a natural win and placed bets are paid out. If neither of the hands has an 8, then a third card is drawn.
When a third card is drawn it is very important to note that both the player and banker cannot be given more than three cards in total. When the third card is drawn, whichever hand has the lowest number is declared the winner.
In addition to the main game, baccarat offers a wide variety of side bets. However, most of these bets have a high house edge and should be avoided. If you do choose to play them, the best option is to make Player and Tie bets. The Banker bet is a little more expensive, but it has better odds of winning. The dealer takes a 5% commission on all winning bets on the Banker’s hand. This is tracked in a commission box and collected by the dealer after each hand.