Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a casino table game that is famous for being one of James Bond’s favourite games. It is also a popular choice for high rollers and can be played online in all five US states that allow legal online gambling. Baccarat is a game of chance, but there are some simple rules that can be followed to increase the chances of winning.

The most common version of Baccarat is called Punto Banco and this is the game you can play in all the legal regulated casinos online. There is a more complex original version of the game that can be found in some traditional brick and mortar casinos, but this is not widely available.

There are from seven to 14 seats at a Baccarat table and players and the dealer each get their own betting area. Two hands of cards are dealt: the Player hand and the Banker hand. The aim is to score as close to nine as possible without going over. The value of the cards is based on their number, with picture cards worth zero points and the ace being worth one point. A total of nine is a win. If the total is a double digit, only the second digit counts.

Players can place wagers on either the Player hand, the Banker hand or a tie. The House Edge for backing the Player is 1.36 percent, while it is 1.17 percent for betting on the Banker. When you back the Banker, the casino charges a commission of around 5% of the winnings, so the House edge for this bet is actually slightly higher than for the Player bet. Fortunately, intelligent players tend to ignore the Tie bet and only bet on the Player or Banker.

While Baccarat is a slow and elegant casino game, it can be very addictive, so it’s important to exercise caution when playing. Setting a win and loss limit before you start playing can help keep your gambling within healthy limits. It’s also a good idea to stop playing once you’ve reached your limit, rather than trying to recoup your losses.

In addition to the three main wagers, Baccarat allows you to make several side bets. These bets depend on the establishment and platform, but they include a player pair (which pays 11:1), a banker pair (which pays 5:1) and a tie (which pays 1:1).

Baccarat is a unique table game that has stood the test of time. As long as the rules are followed and there is a good balance between mass and premium business, it can remain a viable option for operators. However, it is vital that companies astutely evaluate their financial situation, tolerance for risk and strategic goals when deciding which customers to target with high-limit baccarat. The success of this strategy will hinge on the ability of a casino to offer its premium audience a consistent experience. This will require a flexible product mix that includes both high- and low-limit baccarat.