Baccarat is one of the most popular casino table games in the world. It is played for high stakes and can be found in the big money sections of European casinos as well as in Las Vegas. It requires no technical skill to play and is purely a game of chance. Its simplicity and glamour have made it a favorite among high rollers and Asian gamblers.
There are from seven to 14 seats at the baccarat table and a dealer’s area. Players place their bets on the Player hand, Banker hand or a Tie. After all bets are placed, the cards are dealt. Two cards are dealt to the Banker hand and two to the Player hand. The winner is the hand that comes closest to nine points. In a tie, both hands are equal and the bets are returned. The cards are drawn from a shoe that contains eight or more decks of cards. The ace is worth one point, the 10s are zero and the face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are equal to their face value.
The rules of baccarat are simple and the table layout is usually easy to understand. The table is usually placed in a special alcove that is blocked off from the rest of the casino. The table is covered in green felt and has a special marker to designate the Player, Banker or Tie bets. There are also sheets for each table that keep track of the results.
Once the cards are dealt, the Player and Banker hands will be played out until there is a winner. If the Player hand wins, the bet is paid out at 1:1. If the Banker wins, a 5% commission is charged on all winning bets. If the Banker bet loses, the money is collected and the 5% commission is tracked in a commission box.
In addition to the Banker and Player bets, most Baccarat tables offer a side bet called a Tie bet. This bet pays out 8 to 1 against a Banker or Player win and offers the best odds in the game for winning bettors. This bet is typically offered by high limit Baccarat tables and the odds may vary between different places. Side bets are not always available and the ones that are tend to cost more than the main bets. Baccarat has become so popular that it has spawned several variations and additional ways to bet including Mini baccarat and side bets. However, these bets usually come with a high House Edge so they are not recommended for casual players.