What is Baccarat?
Baccarat, which is pronounced ba:k@ra:t, is one of the most popular casino games. It is played by a group of players against the bank and has three possible outcomes: player win, banker win or tie. It is also known by the names punto banco and baccarat chemin de fer. Baccarat is a card game based on probability and has a high house edge.
The game is played on a large table with 12 seats, six on each side of the dealer. The cards are dealt from a dealing box called a shoe which holds eight decks of cards. The rules are very simple. Cards numbered 2 through 9 count as their face value, while 10’s, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth zero points. If a card totals a two-digit number, the second digit counts as the value of the hand. A winning wager on the bank or player pays out even money, with a 5% commission taken by the casino.
A player places an initial bet on either the Player Hand or the Banker Hand. The croupier then announces the total for each hand and the winner is declared. Winning bets are paid out immediately, with the exception of a winning Banker Hand Super Six Bet which pays out 12x the amount of the original bet.
Both the Player and Banker hands are dealt two cards each. If the total of the Player’s and Banker’s cards is 8 or 9, this is a “Natural win” and no additional cards are drawn. If either the Banker or Player hands totals 6 or less, the croupier will draw a third card. Otherwise, the third card is determined by comparing the total of the Player and Banker’s cards.
If the player wins, no further cards are drawn, if the banker loses, they must draw a third card unless their first card was an 8. Then the game is over and the result is announced. Winning bets are paid out, and the banker may increase their stake at any time during play.
Baccarat is most well-known as the favourite game of James Bond, the fictional British secret agent created by Ian Fleming. It is featured in several of the Bond novels and films, including Dr. No; Thunderball; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; For Your Eyes Only; and GoldenEye. The game is also commonly seen in casinos and other gambling establishments worldwide. A baccarat table is often set up to seat about ten players. Players sit in rotation and wager on the banker, who deals. Observing players may also bet against the current bank, but they cannot directly place bets on the players. If a player does not wish to continue being the banker, they must declare before the croupier calls “no more bets”. The player who is retiring will state how much they are risking, and any other player in order of rotation may assume the position, starting with the same amount. In addition to betting on the bank, players can also make a Tie bet which pays 9-to-1 or 8-to-1 depending on the casino.