The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It can be played in everything from sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden tables of Monaco. And, thanks to online gambling, the game is now even more accessible. But, like any casino game, it is not without its pitfalls. If you don’t understand the rules of baccarat, it is easy to make a costly mistake.

A game of baccarat is played with eight standard decks of cards. The goal is to correctly predict which hand will win or if it will be a tie. The value of a hand is determined by the sum of its cards. A pair of nines, for example, totals nine points, while a ten & six equals seven points. The ace card is worth one point. The other face cards are worth nothing. So a hand of two kings would only total four.

After the cards are dealt, the winning hand is that which is closest to 9. Usually, a commission is paid out of the Banker’s winnings when it wins a hand with a total of six. This is a small tribute to the advantage the banker has in this position.

Once the results are known, players must decide whether to bet on the Banker or Player hands. If you bet on the Banker, it is important to know that a 5% commission will be deducted from your winnings if you win a hand with a total of six or 7. The player must also stand if the banker has a total of 6 and refrain from drawing another card.

There are other betting options that can increase your winnings, such as the Super Six and Pair bets. The Super Six bet is an additional wager placed on the Banker’s first two cards. It pays out if the Banker’s hand has a total of six points, while the Pair bet pays out if the banker and player have a pair of cards.

The rules of baccarat differ from place to place, but the basic rules remain the same. Most casinos require a minimum bet of $20-$25 per round. Some even offer a higher minimum bet for high rollers. In addition to the main bets on Banker, Player, or Tie, there are a number of side bets. These include the Player/Banker Pair, Super Six, & a tie.

In the United States, baccarat is often played with real cash, although some European casinos use high-denomination chips. These are oblong in shape and often feature gold-colored inlays. Baccarat is played in a separate alcove from the rest of the casino floor, which makes it a perfect place for a high-stakes gambler to escape from the crowds.

Baccarat is one of the few games where a player can actually clock the wheel to predict the outcome. This method of edge sorting became a hot topic in 2012 when Phil Ivey won over $10 million from two casinos using it. While the practice is not illegal, it does have a negative effect on players’ bankrolls.