The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is one of the world’s most glamorous casino games, a game of high stakes with a serious atmosphere and ritualized rules. It’s tucked away in the high-roller rooms at many casinos, with a table minimum of $25, $50, or $100 per hand. It appears daunting to the average casino-goer, but it’s actually a fairly simple game and has a house edge that’s among the lowest in the casino.

Players place their bets on either the Player’s hand, the Banker’s hand, or a tie. The winning hand is the one that comes closest to nine when all the pips (the dots on playing cards that are clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) are added up. Aces count as one point, and 10s, jacks, queens, and kings count as zero.

After the bets are placed, two cards are dealt to the Player’s and Banker’s hands. A third card may be drawn for one or both hands if the total is above eight. If the score is nine or higher, a natural win occurs and all bets are paid out. If the score is 8 or 9 for the Player’s or Banker’s hand on the first two cards, a second card is not drawn and no bets are placed.

The Player’s and Banker’s hands are compared to each other, and the winner is determined by which hand has the best final total. In most cases, the winning hand is the one that is closer to nine. If the final digit is above nine, the first digit is dropped, so a 7 and a 3 would be scored as 6.

Baccarat is often played with cash instead of chips. In the United States, large bills are used for bets, but European casinos use their own high-denomination chips called “plaques.” There is space for seven to 14 players around a full-size baccarat table (7 on each side). The numbers 13, 14, and 16 do not appear on the table, as these numbers are considered unlucky in some cultures.

A key to success at baccarat is understanding the game’s rules and the odds. It’s also important to stay within your bankroll and play conservatively, as this is not a game where you can expect to win big every time. If you’re ready to try out the game for yourself, be sure to check out the baccarat tables at your favorite online casino. You can even get a taste of the action at WynnBET’s NJ online casino. Just be sure to sign up for an account and keep in mind that you must be 21 or older to play.