The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in the world, and for good reason. It is easy to play, offers high payouts and has a low house edge. But there is a lot more to this game than meets the eye, and if you want to win more often, it’s important to understand the rules of baccarat.

The game is played with a specialized table and eight or nine-sided dice. Players place wagers on either the Player hand, the Banker hand or a tie. Before the game begins, the banker is determined via auctioning, i.e., the person who puts down the largest wager wins the right to hold the first bank. Once the banker is decided, they sit opposite the croupier with the discard area between them. On their sides are the punters (traditionally ten such constituting a full table). The punters may not sit directly opposite the banker but must be spaced out by at least five seats. The banker deals four cards, two to themselves and two held in common with the non-banker players. Once the cards are dealt, the winner is the hand that totals closest to 9. Cards numbered 1 through 10 count as their face value, and Aces count as 1. If the card total is a two-digit number, the second digit becomes the point value. Thus, a total of 13 becomes 3, while a seven counts as 7.

During the course of a hand, the punters are allowed to make additional bets. These include the Super Six Bet and the Pair Bet, both of which pay out at 9-1 if the hand is won. The Player and Banker hands are compared and if either has an 8 or a 9, this is a “natural” and no further cards are drawn.

If neither the player nor banker has a natural, then the tableau is consulted, first for the player’s rules and then for the banker’s. If the banker has a total of 5 or less, they draw a third card; if their hand is 6 or 7, they stand.

A player may retire as banker, assuming that they have the funds to do so; but if they wish to return at a later date and continue their role in the same way that they did when they retired, they may do so, subject to the same terms as before. Otherwise, the position of banker moves to the next player in rotation.