Baccarat is a popular game at high-end casinos and is often played in private areas away from the main floor. However, the game has also made its way onto many mainstream casino floors and is often a popular choice with Asian players. The game is a simple and easy-to-play game where players bet on either the Player or Banker hand. The object of the game is to get a hand total closer to nine than the opposing one. Two cards are dealt to each hand, and a third card is then drawn if necessary. The final result is determined by the sum of all the pips (the dots on a card that represent clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) added together. Tens, jacks, and queens count as zero while aces are worth one.
The history of the game is a bit murky and has been subject to numerous legends and myths. It is sometimes claimed that the game originated in 15th century Italy, although there is no contemporary evidence of it before the 19th century. It is more likely that the game evolved from a card game of unknown origins in France, and that it was later brought to Asia where it became incredibly popular.
Baccarat is generally played with 8 standard 52-card decks shuffled together. A third card is dealt if the first two are an eight or a nine. The Player and Banker hands are then compared. The winner is the hand that is closest to 9 in value. If the first two hands are tied, a tie bet wins.
There are several types of side bets offered in baccarat, though most of these cost much more than the Player and Banker bets. These side bets can add significantly to the house edge and should be avoided.
Once the bets have been placed, the dealer deals the cards. The Player and the Banker each receive two cards. If the banker’s total is 8 or 9, they stand. Otherwise, they draw a third card if the player has a seven or an eight. The Banker must also draw a third card if the player’s first two cards are four or five.
Baccarat has been featured in a number of movies and television shows, including the 1956 French heist film Bob le Flambeur, which features James Carter and Genevieve playing the game in a Paris casino. More recently, the movie Rush Hour 3 included a scene in which the main characters are seen playing baccarat. While baccarat is usually tucked away in high-limit gaming areas, it can be found on the regular casino floor, usually with lower minimum wagers than other games. In addition, it is widely available at online casinos. In fact, Zender points out that the popularity of baccarat has grown so great that it is now the leading table game in many European countries. This is a remarkable turnaround for a game that barely saw the light of day in the United States in the 1970s.