From sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in the world. And it’s easy to see why – it’s fast, fun and, in the right hands, incredibly rewarding.
The game itself is fairly simple, and players place their chips on either the player, banker or tie bet before a hand is dealt. A winning player or banker hand pays out 1 to 1, while those who correctly predict a win on the tie bet will get a payout of 8-to-1. A 5% commission is paid out of the winnings on banker bets, which reduces these odds slightly.
Knowing the rules of baccarat is key to making wise bets and playing the game successfully. For example, ace cards count as 1 in blackjack but only as 0 in baccarat. Likewise, 10s and face cards count as 10 in blackjack but as 0 in baccarat.
In a round of baccarat, the dealer deals two cards to both the banker and the bettors’ side. Then the hand with the highest total wins. The winning hand must be closest to 9. This hand is calculated by subtracting ten from the total, or dropping the first number if it’s over 10.
In addition to a player win, a banker win or a tie, players can also place a variety of side bets. These bets are available at different establishments and online, and their odds vary. The most popular is the player pair, which wagers that both sides will receive identical cards on the deal and pays 1:1 odds.