The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a popular casino game, especially among Asian high rollers. It’s a misconception that the game is complicated, but the truth is that it’s one of the most accessible table games in the world for players of all levels of experience. It’s also one of the only casino games where you have a 50/50 chance of winning by backing either the player or the banker. The exception to this is backing a tie, which pays 8-to-1 and can be an excellent choice for high-rollers.

A Baccarat hand is a nine-pointer, or a hand that is closest to a total of 9. The winning hand will be paid out according to the rules set out by the house and are listed below. The house edge is a little higher for the Banker bet than for the Player and Tie bets, but this can be offset by finding a casino that offers a lower commission rate.

Unlike many other casino table games, Baccarat is played with the dealer’s and player’s hands concealed from one another. Only the third card if called for will be revealed and this is taken into account by the banker when making decisions on his or her hands. The game was formerly played with the player’s and banker’s hands exposed, but this led to collusion between players and enabled a form of cheating that was not possible with the less-disclosed game.

In the 19th Century, Baccarat’s exhibitions at great shows like the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle and the later 1878 London Exposition d’Or were very successful, gaining the company many customers from far afield. It would go on to furnish many of the palaces and residences of Europe, Asia and elsewhere, including a pair of Baccarat candelabra for Tsar Nicholas II which never made it to Russia due to World War I and the Russian Revolution that followed.

The popularity of Baccarat has generated several variants on the game and additional ways to play, such as side bets and Mini Baccarat. These can be fun to try but are not the best way to increase your chances of winning at Baccarat. For the best results, stick to your basic strategy and avoid making too many additional bets.

It’s also important to set a loss limit before you start playing Baccarat and to stop when your limit is reached. The game can be very addictive and it’s easy to lose more than you intended. Using a limit helps you stay in control and make the most of your time at the casino. Similarly, setting a win limit will help you walk away with your money when you are satisfied that you have won enough. This is particularly important for high rollers who often have large sums at risk and are attracted to the game’s reputation as an elite gambling game.