Baccarat is a game of chance where players bet on which hand, the Player’s hand or the Banker’s hand, will have a higher value. Each round of baccarat begins with players placing their chips into boxes marked for either the Player’s or the Banker’s bet. A dealer will then deal two cards to each box. If the Player’s hand total is 8 or 9, this is called a “Natural win.” If not, the cards are examined and the hand is scored. The winning bet is then paid according to the table.
The rules of baccarat are very simple, and the game can be played by people of all ages and experience levels. Players may choose to place a bet on the Player’s hand, the Banker’s hand or a Tie bet. A winning bet on the Player’s or Banker’s hand pays out even money, while a winning bet on a Tie is paid 9-to-1 or 8-to-1, depending on the casino. If a bet is placed on the Banker’s hand, the casino will collect a 5% commission on any money won.
In the US, Baccarat is often played with real cash – $100 bills are spread across the table. In Europe, the game is usually played with high-denomination chips referred to as ‘plaques’. The game is often reserved in a separate room, away from the casino floor and other games. The high-profile nature of the game has helped to make it a favourite of celebrities and royalty.
Before the game starts, a player is selected to act as banker by auctioning. This person then sits opposite the croupier with the discard area between them. Other players are seated on the banker’s side and referred to as punters. A player may “go bank” once per round, and if they do, they wager the amount they are willing to risk. If they lose, their stake is collected and the banker position passes to the next player in rotation.
Once the bets are placed, the croupier deals two cards to each box (Player’s and Banker’s) face down. The hand with the highest total wins the game. If the Player’s and Banker’s hands are equal, it is a tie and no further cards are drawn.
Optional bets can also be made on the outcome of the game, such as a Super Six Bet (which pays out 12x your initial bet amount) and a Pair Bet. These bets are made alongside the initial Player and Banker bets.