Baccarat Basics

Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in both land based and online casinos. This simple card game requires no technical skill and is easy to learn. It is played in a specialised baccarat pit with specialized tables and is a favorite of high rollers. It is also a game that has been featured in movies such as James Bond.

Baccarat is a banked game where players bet on either the Player hand or the Banker hand. The objective is to form a hand that is closest in value to nine. There is also a Dragon Bonus side bet that pays up to 30 to 1. Unlike other casino banked games the baccarat pit is often kept private and is only open for high rollers and VIP players.

During the course of a round two cards are dealt to the Player hand and the Banker hand. Depending on the outcome of these two hands a third card may be drawn. The Player and Banker hands are then compared to determine which has the highest value. In order to win a game of baccarat players must correctly guess which hand will be closer to 9 points.

Before a game of baccarat begins, players should be aware of the rules and how the hand is scored. There are three possible outcomes in a baccarat hand: the Player wins, the Banker wins, or the game is tied. Knowing how the game works will make it easier for you to decide which bets are best for your bankroll.

A baccarat table is set up with anywhere from seven to 14 seats for players and a separate area for the dealer. The dealer’s area is covered with a large black cloth to prevent cheating. The Players’ and the Banker’s areas are marked with a grid. The Player’s and the Banker’s hands are not dealt to individual players; they are both dealt to a specialized area of the table.

Once the cards are dealt a point count is made for each hand. Picture cards and tens are worth zero points while 2 through 9 pip cards have their face value. Aces are worth one point. When a total reaches a double digit, the first digit is dropped. A hand of 7-5-9, for example, has a point count of 3.

After the initial score is determined, the banker and the player will decide which bet to place. If the Banker bet is placed, a 5% commission must be paid to the house. The 5% commission is why the banker bet has the lowest house edge in baccarat.

Players can place a Super Six Bet on the Banker’s hand, which pays out 12x the bet amount if the Banker wins with a 6 or higher. They can also place a Pair Bet on either the Banker or Player’s pair of cards, which pays out 11x the bet amount if the Player’s or Banker’s pairs of cards are equal in value.