If you’re looking for a low-edge casino game with James Bond-style glamour, baccarat is the way to go. It’s easy to learn, and offers the player a very low house edge. But, there are a few things to know about the game before you start betting your chips.
Whether you’re playing online or at a real live table in a Las Vegas casino, baccarat is a simple game with three possible outcomes: a Player Win, a Banker Win and a Tie. In each case, the dealer pretty much does all the work.
The game is played on a large circular table with anywhere from seven to 14 seats and a designated area for the dealer. Once you’ve made your bet, the cards are dealt. The Player and Banker each receive two cards and the hand with a total closest to nine wins. Picture cards and Tens are worth zero points, while cards numbered 2-9 have their face value and the ace is worth one point. If the total of your two cards is greater than 9, you must drop the first digit (for example, 9 + 6 = 15).
After the deal, both hands are analyzed by the dealer to see which needs a third card. When the Player’s hand has a score of 8 or 9, the hand is declared a “natural,” and no further cards are drawn. If the Banker’s hand is higher, the dealer will draw a third card.
A 5% commission is taken by the dealer on winning Banker bets. This is the only source of income for the game, and is tracked in a special commission box on the Baccarat table. The dealer will pay out the winning bets and collect the losing ones.
There are also additional side bets in baccarat, including Super Six and Pair Bets. These bets can be placed alongside the Player or Banker bet and will payout if the winning hand has a specific combination of cards.
Baccarat is a popular casino game, but there are a few things to remember before you place your bets. The most important is to realize that the game is simple, and that you’re not in control of what happens at any given moment. The Dealer is in control, and the Banker and Player have a low-edge house advantage that fluctuates throughout the hand. This is why intelligent players don’t make the Tie bet.