Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games worldwide and is a favourite of high rollers and Asian gamblers. The game is a simple guessing game of pure chance and offers some of the best odds in the casino.
The simplest form of the game is played with a shoe that contains eight decks of cards. Players choose whether to bet on the banker’s hand or the player’s hand and sit back as the dealer deals the cards. The winning hand is the one closest to nine. The first digit of the number is dropped if the hand’s value is higher than 9.
In this version of the game, each player has a free choice to draw a third card or stand. They are given information about their two previous cards and the total bets on each side of the table. If the two players have a large bet, the banker may be tempted to draw a third card in an attempt to beat that.
Another version is called Chemin de Fer and is a simplified form of the original game, in which a single table is used. It is a variant of the traditional European style of Baccarat, with rules modified to simplify it for use in casinos.
This version of the game is similar to that of Baccarat a deaux tableaux, but with some key differences. Unlike that version, the bank is not allowed to ‘go banco’ in this version. The banker changes hands more regularly – each time the dealer loses a coup, the role of banker passes to the player on his left.
The first two cards of each player’s hand are dealt face down, with the third card being revealed. Court cards have value 0 and all other cards have face value. The first digit of each card’s value is dropped when the sum exceeds nine, but the values are summed again and the resulting number wins. For example, a pair of sixes has a value of three and a nine has a value of four.
It’s a simple game, but one that requires knowledge to play successfully. The game’s rules are based on basic probability theory, and the casino’s edge in a long-term game is about 12 percent of the money wagered.
Despite this, the popularity of baccarat has risen in the past 30 years because of its unique appeal to Asian gamblers. According to Bill Zender, former Nevada Gaming Control Agent and a consultant in the field of casino management, Asia high rollers have largely made baccarat their game of choice because it is so culturally relevant to their lifestyles.
There are several variants of the game and most can be played online with real money in legal jurisdictions. These include historical Baccarat described by Seymour in 1897, and modern variations of Chemin de Fer and Punto Banco.
The traditional game of baccarat, in which players bet on the banker’s hand and the player’s hand, is usually played on a table that seats up to twelve or more players. The game is often referred to as big-table baccarat or traditional baccarat.