Baccarat has long been the casino game of choice for high rollers and the aristocracy but it is now widely available online to players from all over the world. The simple rules of the game and its very low house edge make it a very appealing option to many players who prefer to avoid the complexity and risk associated with other games such as blackjack or roulette.
The basic premise of the game is that you wager on which hand, Banker or Player, will come closest to nine in order to win. Each hand is dealt two cards and sometimes a third card. Typically the Banker bet wins but it is important to note that you pay a 5% commission on your winning bets. This makes the game a little more costly than some other casino games.
Depending on the type of baccarat you play it can be a relatively fast game and there are only three decisions that you need to make before the cards are dealt. These are to bet on the Banker, Player or Tie. Once you have made your bet the dealer does all of the work dealing the cards and determining which hand is closest to nine.
The game is usually dealt from a set of 8 or 9 decks of standard playing cards shuffled together. Each card rank carries a specific value depending on the number and suit. The 2 through 9 pip cards equal their face value, the ace cards equal one and the 10s equal ten. The game is often referred to as ‘the game of nines’ and this gives the game its mystique and appeal.
Baccarat is played with a fixed table and two players. Depending on the game it is known by different names such as Punto Banco, baccarat banque or chemmy.
While the game has been around for over 500 years it didn’t really take off in the USA until the early 20th Century when a version called Baccarat a deux tables was popular. This version was a little more complicated than the modern version but still allowed the players to bet on either Banker or Player.
In the modern version of Baccarat which is most commonly found at online casinos the 5% Banker commission has reduced the house edge to a fraction of what it was in the early 20th Century but it remains strong. This is why betting on Banker is recommended and this strategy is also suggested in the free baccarat strategy guide at BetAmerica Casino. While there are other strategies that some people swear by, they cannot alter the overall house edge of the game and a simple bet on Banker can be your best way to beat the odds of this casino favourite.