Baccarat, pronounced “bah-c-arh,” is the casino game featured in numerous James Bond movies. While baccarat may look like an intimidating game for the average person, it is actually a simple game to play and one of the most lucrative games in the casino. According to Bill Zender, a former Nevada Gaming Control Agent and casino dealer, baccarat is the game of choice for Asian high rollers. Baccarat is played with large sums of money and the table is usually set in a separate area away from the general casino action.
The game is based on a simple idea. Players place bets on the Banker, the Player, or a Tie. After all bets are placed, two cards are dealt to each hand. If either of the hands has a total closer to nine than the other, that hand is declared the winner. The game is played with a six or eight deck shoe and the cards are dealt from a special dealing box called a shoe. The croupier, who is also known as the dealer, shuffles the cards and deals them to the Player and Banker boxes.
Unlike blackjack, where players can decide to take another card or stand, baccarat has no betting options other than placing the bet. Once a bet is placed, the dealer does all the work, dealing the cards to the Player and Banker hands until one has a total closest to nine. When calculating the score, the final digit is determined by adding up the values of all the pips on a card. All 10s and face cards count as zero points, while numbers from 1 to 9 have their face value and aces count as one point.
The Banker bet has the lowest house edge of any bet in baccarat, and it is best for players looking to minimize their risk while playing. However, players who make a Banker bet must pay a 5% commission on any cash won. This can be a bit of a drawback for some players, but it is worth remembering that a bet on the Banker will give you your initial stake back plus 95% of your winnings.
In addition to the Banker and Player bets, players can also place a bet on the Tie and Super Six bets. These bets have higher payouts but they come with more risk as well. Players should always check the payouts and house edges before making a side bet.
Regardless of which bet you choose, you can expect to have a good time playing baccarat! This is a great casino game for newcomers to try, as it requires no skill and is entirely dependent on luck. Just be sure to avoid the shady betting strategies of some online casinos and stick with reputable, licensed sites. They should offer fair payouts and fair odds. Also, be aware of the minimum bets that are required at each casino. This way, you will know if the baccarat table is worth your attention.