Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a card game that is played on a special table in a private area away from other casino players. Eight 52-card packs are shuffled together and then dealt by the dealer from a dealing box, called a shoe. Players place their chips on either the Player or Banker bets, with a maximum bet of nine times the table minimum. The croupier then announces the winner. The winning side pays out 1-to-1 even money on the Player Bet, and 19-to-20 on the Banker’s bet (with a 5% commission to the house on wins).

The rules of baccarat differ slightly between punto banco, baccarat chemin de fer, and baccarat banque, but all three games have the same aim of predicting which hand will score highest. Each round of baccarat is referred to as a coup, and the winning side is announced after each one. A third bet, on a tie, is also available and pays out 9-to-1.

Players must place their bets before the croupier calls “no more bets”. The Player and Banker bets may be placed in any order, although some players prefer to bet on both sides of the game to maximize their chances of winning.

Once all bets are placed, the croupier deals four cards face down. The banker then looks at their own two cards and the player’s two. If either the banker or player has a total of eight or nine in their first two cards, this is known as a natural win. If not, the tableau is consulted, starting with the player’s rules. The banker then draws a third card on hands with a total of 5 or less, and stands with 6 or 7.

If the banker wins the coup, the excess wagers are collected by the croupier and removed from the table in reverse play order. If the banker loses, the croupier may choose to increase the amount of the bank, or it may be passed to the next player in reverse play order.

Baccarat is traditionally a high-stakes game, with $100 bills or higher denomination oblong chips being used for bets. The table is covered with green felt, and the number 1 to 12 are marked on it, indicating the numbered areas where players keep their bets. A single baccarat table can hold up to 12 players, with six on each side of the croupier.

The game is featured in several filmed adaptations of James Bond films, including the 1954 television series Casino Royale, in which Bond defeats Le Chiffre; the 1967 film Thunderball; and the 2007 film GoldenEye. It is also a popular choice for high-rollers at Las Vegas casinos. The game has been the subject of many novels and plays as well. In the 1956 French heist film Bob le Flambeur, main character James Carter meets his future wife Genevieve while playing baccarat in a casino. He is initially unable to afford the game, but she covers for him.