The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It is a simple game of chance, and whoever has the hand closest to 9 wins. There is no skill involved, so many players like to play it for high stakes in a private alcove away from the masses of casino floor action. Its glamorous trappings make it a favorite of the elite, and the game can be seen in numerous films featuring James Bond.

The rules of baccarat are slightly different depending on whether you’re playing big baccarat in the high roller rooms at Las Vegas casinos or mini-baccarat, but the basic principles are similar. Players place their bets on either the Player, Banker or Tie before the cards are dealt. Once everyone’s bets have been placed, the dealer will deal two cards to each box on the table. A third card may be drawn to either hand if necessary. If the Player or Banker hands have a “natural” (a total of 8 or 9) the round ends there and no more cards are drawn. If neither hand has a natural, then further cards are drawn to determine the winner.

A croupier or dealer deals the cards from a dealing shoe, a special device that holds eight or more decks of cards and releases them one at a time. The cards are shuffled together, and then dealt to the Player and Banker boxes on the baccarat table. Each box has numbered areas to indicate where Player and Banker bets are placed. A banker charges a commission for winning a bet and an additional fee is charged to the Player for drawing a third card.

Each hand is scored based on its total. The Player’s and Banker’s hands are compared to each other to determine which hand has the highest value. A score of nine equals a win; eight equals a tie; and six equals a loss. In the case of a tie, a third card is dealt and the winner is decided by the highest number.

In addition to the main bets on the Player and Banker, players can also place a Super Six bet or a Pair bet on a banker and a player pair of cards. The Super Six bet pays out 12x your initial bet if the Banker has a total of 6 and is a winner. The Pair bet pays out 11x if the Banker and Player have a pair of matching cards.

The game of baccarat is a simple one and can be played by anyone who knows the rules. It’s a slow-moving game, but is stacked with fun and glamour. It’s no wonder it has found its way into the countless 007 movies. So the next time you find yourself in a sticky-floor California card room or a tuxedo-laden casino in Monaco, try your hand at baccarat and see why it’s the favorite of James Bond. It’s easy to learn, simple to play and provides some of the best odds around.