Baccarat is one of the world’s most popular casino games, perhaps thanks in part to a memorable scene in the James Bond film “Casino Royal.” This card game is known for its simplicity and high payouts, generating almost 80% of all casinos’ profits. But if you want to leave your friends in awe of your Baccarat prowess, you need to understand the game’s rules and strategy.
In Baccarat, players bet on which hand they think will win—the player hand, the banker hand or a tie. Two cards are dealt to each hand, and the winning hand is the one that has a value closest to nine (without going over). The value of a hand is calculated by adding up all the pips in a pair of cards—clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades—and then subtracting the tens digit.
When you’re playing online Baccarat, it’s important to know how many decks of cards are used. Different casinos use different decks of cards, and this can affect the odds of winning and losing. The more decks of cards there are, the lower the house edge will be.
If you’re unsure how many decks of cards are in a particular Baccarat variant, play a few rounds to get a feel for it. Then you’ll have a better idea of how much the house edge is and how to minimize it.
Once the two hands are dealt, they’re tallied up by the dealer. The winning hand is the one with a value closer to 9, and ties are rare, but when they do occur, the bet on the winning side will pay out at 8:1 (though the amount you receive may vary depending on the casino and version of Baccarat you’re playing).
The banker hand will win 45.8% of the time, and the player hand will win 44.6% of the time. Ties happen 9.6% of the time. The banker bet has a lower house edge than the player bet, and smart players will avoid betting on ties and focus instead on the two main bets.
A long, flat wooden tool used by the dealer in Baccarat to move cards around the table. It’s usually about three inches wide and has a pointed end that’s used to push cards against the table.
Baccarat is a very easy game to learn, but it’s also very addictive. Before you start placing bets, figure out how much you’re willing to lose, and stick with it. The more you practice, the better you’ll become at predicting the outcome of each round. And remember—as with any gambling game, luck has a big role in the outcome of each hand. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.