The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat, the card game made famous by James Bond in Casino Royal, is one of the most popular games in casinos around the world. It is played for high stakes and is usually tucked away in an alcove, away from the masses and the rest of the action. While the game has a certain cachet, it is also a simple game to play and requires no special skills to master.

A player simply places a bet on either the Player’s hand, the Banker’s hand or a tie bet, and the dealer does the rest. There are a few key points to remember about Baccarat, though:

Cards and Scores

A Baccarat table consists of from seven to 14 seats for players and a dealer’s area. After all bets are placed, a dealer deals two cards to each hand (Player’s and Banker’s) with the goal of getting as close to nine as possible. The point value of a hand is determined by adding the value of the tens and the ones. Picture cards and tens are worth zero points, while cards numbered from 2-9 have their face value and aces count as one point. Once the total of the cards in a hand crosses or enters a double-digit, the first digit is dropped and the final number is used as the score.

In a typical round, the dealer reveals the two cards and pays out the winning bets based on their outcome. If the Player’s hand has a total of 8 or 9, the bet is a “natural” and the game is over; otherwise, the dealer may draw an additional card on one or both hands.

The rules of Baccarat are straightforward, but players often misunderstand the game’s third card rule. A third card is drawn when the Player’s or Banker’s hand has a total less than 9. The goal of the game is to get as close as possible to 9 without going over, and the second digit of the combined score of the player and the banker’s hands is the winner.

While the game is simple, it is important to know your limits and stick with them. Baccarat is an exciting game and can be easy to lose track of how much you’re spending, especially if you’re on a roll. Set a limit before you sit down to play and always stick to it. You should also only gamble with cash, not credit or debit cards, as this will keep you from spending more than you can afford to lose. By following these six baccarat tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful night at the tables.