Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a simple game of chance that has been popular with players for more than 500 years. Unlike other casino games, players do not play against the dealer, but rather against each other. The objective is to get a hand closer to nine than the opposing one. If the cards total more than nine, the first digit must be dropped to determine the true value of the hand. For example, a seven and six would result in a total of 15 so the first digit is dropped, leaving a three. The game is played with up to 14 players, and minimum bets are usually $20-$25.

Players will sit at a table that has specific numbers around it and an area to place Player, Banker, and Tie bets. The game is dealt by a professional dealer and a table host. If you’re new to the game, ask the table host to show you how to place your chips. Once you have the hang of it, follow the betting patterns that appear to be present on the table and make bets accordingly.

After the players and the banker are dealt two cards each, they must determine their best bet according to a set of rules. The highest scoring hand wins. If either the player or banker has a natural (a total of 8 or 9 in their first two cards), all bets on that hand will pay out. If neither the player nor the banker has a natural, the game results in a tie and all bets on the Banker and Player will push.

If neither the player nor banker has a natural, a third card is dealt according to the following drawing rules:

The resulting total must be closest to 9. Picture cards and Tens are worth zero points, while all cards numbered from 2-9 have their face value and the Ace is worth one point. If the sum reaches a double digit, the second digit becomes the value of the hand. In baccarat, nine is the highest possible score. Although the banker has a slightly higher house edge, the game is so simple that a player can easily control the outcome of a hand with a well-chosen bet.