The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat is the glamorous table game of choice in high-roller casinos. It exudes a sense of refinement and sophistication, with men in tuxedos and women in posh evening gowns laying down their chips as the dealer distributes cards. It may seem intimidating, but don’t let the prestigious aura fool you—baccarat is an exciting and easy-to-learn game that even a novice can play with slight experience.

The simplest way to describe the rules of baccarat is that the player and banker hand compete against each other to get closest to 9. Cards are dealt from a six or eight deck shoe, with all 10-symbol cards equaling nine and all Jacks, Queens, and Kings equalling one. The dealer passes two cards to the first gaming space at a baccarat table, known as the ‘banker’ spot. Then, he or she will deal two more cards to the ‘player’ spot. The hand with the highest point count wins the round.

A runner then announces the results of the hands to all players and spectators. A winning hand must be either the player’s, banker’s, or tie. Players wager on which of these three hands they think will win by choosing a chip value that corresponds to their desired bet size. The player hand is usually the favored outcome, with the banker hand having the second best odds.

After the two initial cards are dealt, the runner then declares whether or not a third card will be drawn for either the player or banker hand. A third card will only be drawn if the two initial cards add up to less than 9 or if the player’s hand is a natural. If a player or banker hand hits on the third card, that is a win and the winning hand is declared.

In the event that a hand doesn’t hit, the runner will call for a ‘natural’ or draw. A natural is a hand that consists of an ace, a king, or a seven. In this case, the winner is determined by who has a higher total score—9 or more—and no other cards are dealt.

Baccarat’s success at the great fairs of the 19th century fueled its expansion outside France. The company began making glass for other European countries and, later, Ottoman Turkey. Baccarat’s reputation would continue to grow as it won medals at the 1867 and the 1878 Paris World’s Fairs.

Currently, the game can be played in online casinos and in land-based casino games. To begin the game, you’ll need playing chips which can be purchased for cash at a casino’s cashier. Players can then place their bets by selecting a chip value and dragging-and-dropping it onto the table. Baccarat offers three main types of wagers: the player bet, the banker bet, and the tie bet. The player and banker bets pay out based on the bet type, while the tie bet has much lower returns (though charming odds if you win). Players can make multiple bets at a time, with each subsequent bet being the same amount as the previous bet.