What is Baccarat?


Baccarat is a casino table game with a reputation for elegance and exclusivity. It is often tucked away in high-limit gaming areas and has been featured in several James Bond films. It is a relatively simple game to play and offers three possible outcomes: a Player win, a Banker win or a tie. In addition to the main betting options, many casinos also offer side bets on the game.

The Game

A deck of 52 cards is used in Baccarat. Each card has a rank and is valued according to its pip value, with 10 and picture cards carrying 0 points, cards numbered 1 through 9 having their face value, and aces scoring one point. Typically, a minimum bet is $20-$25. Some casinos require that all positions are filled before the game can begin.

The game is played on a large circular table with 8 or more spots for players. Two groups of players sit around the table, one on the left and the other on the right of the banker. Each player plays against the banker, not against each other. A winning hand is determined by whichever hand comes closest to nine. When a total goes over nine, the first digit is dropped. A seven and a six would result in a 13 total, which is dropped to a 3.

After the player and banker have each dealt two cards, a third card may be drawn in a few cases. The decision depends on the hand total and whether or not the player asks for a third card. If the player asks for a third card and the banker has a total of 2 or less, the banker will always draw. However, if the banker has a total of 3, 4 or 5, they will not draw unless the player does.

If the banker has a total of 6 or 7 and the player did not ask for a third card, the banker will not draw. However, if the banker had a total of 8, they will draw. A player can also call ‘carte’ if their hand total is zero and ‘non’ if their hand is 7.

Unlike other table games, the banker does not keep track of wins and losses and does not return losing bets. The dealer only collects and pays winning bets, keeping a commission box to track wins. The dealer will take a 5% commission on winning Banker bets, which is how the casino makes money on Baccarat.

Baccarat is a simple and exciting game to play, but be sure you know your limit in advance. Decide on a maximum amount you are willing to spend before sitting down, and use cash instead of your credit card. This way you will avoid getting carried away by the excitement of the game and can stop yourself if you feel you are spending too much. A good rule of thumb is to treat the money you are spending like a night out, and not as an investment.