The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat has a Bond-dipped mystique, but it’s actually one of the simplest Las Vegas casino table games to play. It involves betting on either the player hand, banker hand, or tie. Whichever hand totals closest to nine wins. Picture cards and tens count as zero points, while aces are worth one point.

Game rules

Baccarat is a game of chance that involves betting on either the banker or player hand. A winning bet pays off 1 to 1, but a 5% commission is deducted from the winnings. The game can be played with 6, 7, or 8 standard decks of cards. Picture cards and tens count as zero points, while numbers from 2 to 9 are worth their face value. The ace counts as one point. The player and banker hands are dealt according to a set of fixed rules, known as the tableau.

There are several baccarat betting systems that players can use to maximize their profits. These systems typically involve positive progression, which means that bettors increase their wager size after a win and decrease it after a loss. The most common strategy is the Martingale, which is similar to the Labouchere system but has a more aggressive approach. Another popular strategy is the 1-3-6-4, which reduces the final bet by two units after each loss.


Depending on the baccarat version and table, there are a variety of side bets. Some side bets pay out if the banker or player makes a pair on their first two cards, while others are based on poker-inspired odds.

Baccarat tables usually seat seven to 14 players and have numbered playing spots, a crew of four dealers (three on the table and one on break), a shuffle machine, and a tip box in countries that allow tips. Each table also has a number of betting areas and sheets for players to write their wagers on.

Once all bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards to the Player and Banker hands. The aim is to get a hand that totals closest to nine. The winning wager is then paid out, and the losing bets are collected. In the case of a Tie, all bets are returned to the player. The game is played with standard decks of cards, with picture cards worth zero points and the numbers 2-9 worth their face value.


The payouts in baccarat vary depending on the type of bet you place and the house edge. For example, a winning Player bet pays 1:1 and a winning Banker bet earns a 5% commission. The 5% commission helps to offset the casino’s advantage over the player, but it does not completely eliminate it. The Tie bet offers higher payouts, but it is also a riskier bet. This is why most seasoned players choose to play only the Banker and Player bets.

There are also a number of side bets in baccarat that can boost your payouts. These side bets include Small Tiger, Royal 9, and Side Totals. These bets are poker-inspired and pay based on the poker value of the first two cards dealt to the banker or player. The simplest of these side bets, Either Pair, is offered in many online casinos and pays 5:1. In addition to this bet, you can also place a bet on a specific tie.


There are a number of exciting variations of baccarat that are available to players. The rules of these games vary, but most have the same objective – to make a hand with a point total closest to 9. The varying side bets offer different payouts and odds, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before placing your wager.

One popular variation is EZ Baccarat, which changes the rules slightly by paying out winning banker bets without a commission (compared to the standard 5% in classical baccarat). Another variation, called Dragon 7, allows players to push a banker win with three cards. This version of baccarat also features side bets with higher payouts than traditional ones. In Chemin de Fer, which is more interactive than Punto Banco, each player acts as the banker for a round and has two hands to play. In this game, suits are irrelevant and aces and tens count as zero points.

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