The Basics of Baccarat
Baccarat (pronounced bah-kah-rah) is a casino card game that appears to be very serious and elegant but, despite its appearance, requires little actual strategy to play. It is one of the easiest games to learn and has a house edge that is lower than most other casino table games. Baccarat is often played for high stakes and is a staple in the posh rooms of European and Nevada casinos.
In a Baccarat game the player can bet on either the Banker hand, the Player hand or the Tie. The objective of the game is to predict which hand will be closest to nine. The Banker bet is generally the most lucrative bet in a Baccarat game, but there are several rules that must be followed to ensure a fair and correct outcome.
A common misconception about baccarat is that the player has a choice in how the game is played, but this could not be further from the truth. Baccarat is an entirely table game and the decisions made by the dealer are based solely on the information available to them. Baccarat is actually a shortened name for Baccarat a deux tableaux or baccarat banque, which means two tables baccarat or railway baccarat as it was often played in trains on the railway system.
Traditionally the cards were dealt from a shoe, but with the introduction of newer electronic card shuffling machines this method has been abandoned in favour of dealing cards directly from the decks. The decks of cards are shuffled after each hand and there is no need to replenish them. There are different rules for the cards in baccarat depending on the version of the game, but most online Baccarat games will use eight decks of cards. Aces are worth only a single point, tens and face cards are worth zero, and the remaining cards have a value equal to their pip value.
The dealer will then deal the cards out to both the Player and the Banker, who will each receive two cards. The dealer will then sum up the scores and declare a winner. If the total of a hand is in double digits the second digit is dropped and a nine wins.
There are a number of side bets in baccarat that can be placed in addition to the bet on the Player, Banker or Tie. These bets can make the game more exciting, but they usually cost more than the main bets and should be avoided if possible. Online Baccarat games will usually offer a variety of these side bets, but you should always read the rules and terms and conditions before making any of them. Some of these bets are also offered in land-based casinos, but they are usually not as popular.