Baccarat is one of the world’s most popular casino games and is easy to understand. The game is played with cards that are dealt by a croupier from a dealing box called a “shoe.” The object of the hand is to win by betting on either the Banker or Player hand that comes closest to nine. The game is simple enough that any novice can pick it up and play it in minutes.
Traditionally, eight 52-card decks are shuffled and then dealt in the shoe. The croupier deals two cards each to the Banker and Player hands, and occasionally a third card is dealt to a hand depending on what rules are in place. A ten-value card equals nine, and any other cards equal their face value. The dealer also uses a set of rules known as the baccarat drawing rules to determine when a third card should be dealt and to which hand.
A baccarat table is covered in green felt and has numbered areas for players to stand at. Usually there is room for 14 players around the table (7 on each side). Number 13 is not printed on the table because it is considered bad luck by many. There are also special baccarat rules when it comes to placing bets. Usually players bet on the Banker or Player and may also place bets on a tie.
When you sit down at a baccarat table, first decide how large your bet will be. Then move your bet to the appropriate section of the table. You can choose to bet on the Player hand winning, the Banker hand winning, or a tie. If you bet on the Player or Banker hand and win, you will receive a 1:1 payout. However, if you win on the Banker hand, you will have to pay a 5% commission to the house. This reduces the Banker side’s edge by 1%, but it still has an advantage over the player side.
After the cards are dealt, the croupier counts each of the hands according to the baccarat drawing rules. The winner is the hand that has a final point total closest to nine. When a final point total is reached, the second digit is counted. For example, a seven and five combination would have a score of 15. Cards that add up to more than 10 (ex: a seven and queen) count as the number on the card with a zero in front of them. Aces always count as one. Once the points are counted, a third card is drawn if necessary based on the baccarat drawing rules. Usually a third card is drawn only when either the Player or Banker hands have a score of 8 or 9. When this happens, it is known as a natural and bets are paid out.