How to Play Baccarat at Las Vegas Casinos

Baccarat is a simple game of chance that can yield huge wins for players who know the rules. The card game can be played with just one or two cards, and has three possible outcomes: player win, banker win, and tie. A player can choose whether to place their bet on the banker hand or on the player hand, and can even bet on both hands simultaneously. Once the bets are placed, a dealer deals the cards and the winning bet is paid out.

The game of baccarat first appeared in 1500s Rome, Italy, and is believed to have been created by Felix Falguiere. It quickly spread around Europe and became popular in casinos across France, where it was adapted to the modern game of baccarat we see today. Since then, the game has been adopted by countless cultures and remains popular with many people worldwide.

When it comes to gambling at Las Vegas casinos, baccarat is an elegant European-style table game with very few complications and plenty of James Bond-style fun. Unlike blackjack, where the decks are shuffled before each round, in baccarat each hand is dealt from an unshuffled deck. It’s easy to learn, with only three outcomes—player win, banker win, and tie—and the dealer does most of the work for you.

In a baccarat coup (round of play), the banker and the player receive two cards each, with only the rightmost digit counting in value. The player’s and banker’s values are summed and the hand with a value closest to nine wins. Adding the value of each card to get the total is easy; just remember that tens are worth 0, and all other cards have face value.

If either the player or banker’s total is 8 or 9, this is a “natural” and all bets are paid. However, if neither hand has a value of 8 or 9 on the first two cards, a third card may be drawn. If the banker draws a third card, the player must stand.

The best bet to make in baccarat is on the banker side, as it has the lowest house edge and payouts are generally even money. When betting on the banker, a 5% commission is charged by the casino. Ties occur 9.6% of the time, so it’s best to avoid placing a bet on the tie and focus on playing the banker hand.