Baccarat Basics

Baccarat is a casino game shrouded in mystery and glamour. Traditionally a high stakes table game found only in special VIP areas of casinos, it’s now more accessible than ever thanks to online gambling sites and the rise of live dealer games. It’s also one of the best games to play for money, with a low house edge that gives you more playing time per bet than most other casino games.

The game is played on a large table that seats up to 14 players, often in casino high-limit rooms. Eight 52-card decks are shuffled and dealt to the players by the croupier, who acts as the banker for the round. The croupier is sometimes assisted by a palette, used at particularly large tables to allow the croupier to move the cards around with ease.

Once the cards are dealt, each player bets on either the Player or Banker hand. A winner is determined based on which hand has the total value closest to nine. Aces count as 1, while 9s and face cards are worth 0. The croupier will then determine whether the Player or Banker should stand. Typically, a hand that has a natural score of 8 or 9 will stand; however, this is not always the case.

A winning Player bet qualifies for a payout of 1 to 1. Those who correctly predict the winning Banker hand will receive an even higher pay-out, though there is a 5% commission that lowers the odds to 19 to 20. A winning Tie bet pays out at 8 to 1.

In addition to the basic game, some Baccarat variations have additional betting options that can increase your chances of a win. For example, a Player can place a Super Six bet, which is an additional wager that wins if the Banker’s first two cards are 6, 7 or 8. The maximum payout on this bet is 12x your initial bet amount.

Although Baccarat generates a significant portion of Nevada’s table-gaming revenue, it doesn’t provide the intellectual stimulation of poker or the opportunity to win a veritable fortune on a modest bet, as with horse racing’s Pick Six. For this reason, many casino-goers consider baccarat to be an elementary pastime.

The game’s popularity in Asia has exploded recently, making it popular in casinos across the globe. It’s also become increasingly popular in the United States, largely because it can be played on a smaller budget than other table games. With a lower house edge than roulette or blackjack, it’s the game that will give you the most bang for your buck and cost you less in the long run.