Baccarat is a table game played between two hands, called the Player and Banker. It is often compared to other casino card games like blackjack, but with the difference that while the Banker has an edge, the player does not. Baccarat is also known by several other names, including Punto Banco, baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque.
The rules of baccarat are very similar to other casino games, such as real money roulette, and players can employ a variety of betting strategies to improve their chances of winning. However, baccarat is one of the few casino games that can be won by playing smarter, rather than harder, as the house has a low advantage on both the Banker and the Player side of the game, which means that intelligent players should avoid the Tie bet.
A round of baccarat begins with the dealer dealing two cards to the Player and Banker hands, sometimes a third card is dealt to either hand as well. If the Player or Banker hand total is closest to nine, that hand wins the round. If neither hand totals nine, a tie is declared. The game is usually dealt from a six or eight-deck shoe. Cards are ranked as follows: 9 equals one, 10 equals zero, Ace equals one, and all other cards equal their face value.
Baccarat has become a major money maker for casinos around the world, especially in Macau, where last year the casinos made more than 88 percent of their revenue from the game. But in the United States, where it has only recently been introduced to American gamblers, baccarat remains relatively unknown.
As a result, many US casinos don’t have tables and those that do have only a handful of them. But as Baccarat continues to grow in popularity around the globe, and especially in Asia, we should expect to see more American casinos adding tables to their offerings.
In addition to the standard player and banker bets, baccarat offers three other wagering options: the Super Six Bet, the Pair Bet and the Match Bet. Each of these bets can be placed alongside the initial player and banker bet and pays out if the outcome is the correct one.
As with other table games, the game’s popularity has increased due to its low house edge on both the Player and Banker bets. The Super Six Bet, in particular, has a payout of 12x the bet amount, making it an attractive option for those who want to increase their chances of winning. A player can also place a side bet on the Banker or Player pair of cards, which has a payout of 11x their original bet amount.