If you’ve ever wandered past a casino floor, you’ve likely seen a baccarat pit. Whether it’s land-based or online, baccarat is known for its opulent setting and lavishness that draws on European gaming culture. With gorgeous women seated around an oversized table and players and dealers clad in tuxedos, it’s a sight to behold. Baccarat is also one of the easiest casino games to play while maintaining a low house edge, which makes it an ideal option for both high-rollers and those looking for an easy game with a little more sophistication than the standard slot machines and poker tables.
A baccarat game has two major bets: the Banker’s Bet and the Player’s Bet. The Player side pays out even money, while the Banker’s bet pays a commission (usually 5%) when the bank wins. The Tie bet, on the other hand, has a 14.1 percent edge in favor of the casino. If you’re going to play baccarat, it’s best to ignore the Tie bet and focus on these two main bets instead.
Before we get into the betting, it’s important to understand the rules of baccarat. The game is played with eight or more standard cards, and the goal is to predict which hand will win and if there will be a tie. A hand’s value is determined by the sum of its cards, but only the rightmost digit counts. For example, a hand consisting of a 2 and 7 is worth only six points. If the hand totals nine, it’s a winner. If it is ten or less, a third card is drawn.
After players and the banker place their bets, the dealer deals the cards. The player’s and banker’s hands are compared right away to see which one has the higher value. If the banker’s hand is worth 8 or 9 points, it’s a winner. Otherwise, the banker must draw a third card to determine the winner.
In the old days, players used to take turns dealing the cards. Today, casinos are more interested in eliminating opportunities for cheating, so the dealer or a caller usually handles the cards. In a live baccarat game, the cards are presented to players on a wooden paddle or pallet. In an online baccarat game, the cards are shown on screen and players click on the chip value they want to stake.
Baccarat is a big business, and it’s the most popular game in Macau. It’s also one of the biggest revenue generators for casinos in Singapore and on the Las Vegas Strip, where it accounts for about 18 percent of total casino win. If you’re a high-roller, you can try out baccarat for yourself at many great casino sites. Make sure to check out the different limits available, and always remember to gamble responsibly and apply basic bankroll management tips. Good luck!