The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games. It is an easy game to learn and the rules are simple. Players place bets on either the Player, Banker or Tie hand. After the bets are placed, two cards are dealt to each hand. The goal is to get a total as close to nine as possible without going over. If the first two cards produce a “natural” (as in 8 or 9), the hand is won. Otherwise, additional cards are drawn to determine the winner. If the two hands are equal, it is a tie and no bets are lost.

Baccarat was first played in the 1400s and it became very popular during the reign of Louis XIV in France. The game has also been popular with Asian high rollers. According to Bill Zender, a former Nevada Gaming Control Agent and casino executive who literally wrote the book on managing casino games, Asian high rollers choose baccarat because it is culturally suited to their needs. Unlike most other casino games, which require a high level of skill, baccarat is a game of chance.

The table for baccarat is set in a separate alcove, away from the noise and action of the main casino floor. It is usually covered with a red carpet and the dealer wears a tuxedo. The game is played with real cash, either $100 bills or the more common oblong chips. American casinos often use paper bills and European casinos typically use their own version of chips, known as plaques.

Players must sit in a specific area of the table and should not touch their bets once they have been placed. If a player is new to the game, it is best to sit and watch a few rounds of play before betting. The etiquette for watching a game of baccarat is to wait until the session is over.

A baccarat rule that may seem confusing to beginners is whether or not a third card will be drawn. This decision is based on the value of the player’s hand and the rules of a particular game. Some baccarat games will draw a third card when the total is 7 or 8, but not when the total is 0 or 6. The rules of a particular game are usually displayed on the table, and the dealer will explain them when they start the game.

While a third card is not drawn in baccarat, the game does have some interesting rules concerning other types of totals. If a player’s total is 0 to 5 or equals 10, the hand is referred to as a “stand” and no third card is drawn. When a player’s total is 6 or 7, it is called a “natural” and no third card is drawn. When the player’s total is 8, it is a “win” and no third card is drawn. When it comes to a tie, the rules are even more complicated.