The Basics of Baccarat
Baccarat is a card game that originated in medieval Italy. It was played by the upper class and aristocrats and it’s now popular in casinos around the world. Baccarat comes in three variants, punto banco, chemmy and baccarat banque. Each version is a little different from the next and has slightly different rules. Baccarat is a table game, with eight decks of cards used. The croupier (dealer) deals the cards to the Banker and Player hands, with the objective of getting a total closest to nine. The game is very simple and unlike blackjack where you can make decisions throughout a hand, in baccarat the decision making is left up to the dealer.
Players place their bets at the beginning of a round on either the Player, Banker or a Tie. The croupier (dealer) then deals two cards to each hand and the winner is the one with a total closest to nine. Cards are ranked from one to nine, with tens and picture cards worth zero, Aces counting as one, and all other cards worth their pip value.
The Banker and the Player hand are dealt in a special dealing box called a shoe. The croupier then burns the top and second cards from the shoe, and deals the third card, if needed. The croupier then announces the result of the hand to the players and the winning bettors are paid accordingly.
A croupier is not required to deal a third card if the Player or Banker hand have a total of 0 or 9, which are known as ‘naturals’. The croupier will also not draw a third card if the player has a total of 4, which is known as a stand. The croupier will however always draw a third card if the banker has a total of 6 or 7.
If you bet on the winning player hand, you will receive a 1:1 payout. A winning banker hand also qualifies for a 1:1 payout but you must pay a 5% commission on the win to the house, which reduces the odds on this bet to 19 to 20. A winning tie bet offers an excellent payout of 8 to 1.
As with any gambling game, it is important to set limits on your losses and wins. A good tip is to play with a fixed amount and then stop when you reach it. This way you can avoid the temptation to try and ride a streak. Baccarat is a fast-paced game and it’s easy to get carried away by your success, but you should be careful not to lose too much. Besides setting a loss limit, you should practice good stake management and set aside a certain amount of money to wager on each hand. A general rule of thumb is that you should stake 10 units on each wager and limit your total stake to 200 units per session, followed by a break. This will keep you out of trouble and will help you enjoy your baccarat experience.