How to Play Baccarat


Baccarat is a casino game often associated with high rollers and suave patrons like James Bond, but it’s a simple game anyone can learn to play. In fact, it’s one of the best-respected games in the casino because of its low house edge – meaning players are more likely to make a profit than with other table games such as roulette or slots.

The rules are straightforward: Place a bet on either the Player or Banker hand that you think will get closest to nine points. The winning hand is whichever hand has the highest total after all the cards are dealt. Occasionally, neither the Player nor the Banker will have a natural, in which case further cards are drawn to determine a winner.

When a game ends, the bets to the Banker and the Player are paid out according to their values. If the first two cards produce a hand of 8 or 9, that’s a “natural,” and the bets on the Player or Banker are paid accordingly. If the first two cards do not produce a natural, the hands are evaluated to see which has the lower total. The winning bet is the hand with the lower number.

The cards used in baccarat are eight (or sometimes six) 52-card packs that are shuffled together and then dealt by the croupier from a dealing shoe. A standard baccarat table has from seven to 14 seats for players and a banker area. The table is covered with green felt, and numbered areas indicate where bets can be placed on Player, Banker, or Tie.

Each card has a numerical value, with picture cards worth zero and numbers from 2-9 valued at their face value. The ace has a value of one point. The croupier will announce the total of each hand. The Player hand will be declared the winner if its total is 8 or 9. If it has a higher total, it wins; if not, further cards are drawn.

A banker bet is more profitable than a player bet, as the house edge is lower. However, it’s important to note that when you win a Banker bet, you only receive your original stake back, not 100%. You also need to drop the first digit of a total above 9 to get its true value.

Baccarat has a few unique side bets with high payouts, but they tend to come with poor odds and high house edges. Before placing any of these bets, make sure you know what they’re about and how much you’re willing to risk. If you do decide to take a side bet, keep track of your score with a score sheet and be sure to follow the recommended stake management strategies. This will help you avoid losing your hard-earned money! And remember: a good strategy is the key to success in Baccarat. Good luck!