Baccarat is one of the oldest and most elegant of all casino games. Its rules are simple: whoever’s hand is closest to nine wins. While the game is often perceived as being very difficult to win, it actually offers a low house edge and can be quite enjoyable if you follow some basic tips.
In a standard baccarat table there are between seven and 14 seats for players along with the dealer’s area. Two hands of cards are dealt – the Banker’s and the Player’s. The player and banker each have their own betting boxes. After all the bets have been placed, the dealer deals a card to each box. If the Banker’s total is 8 or 9, the hand is considered a ‘natural’ and no further cards are drawn. If the Banker’s total is 2 or less, a third card is drawn.
A Player’s hand that is a natural wins by a margin of 9.5 points. If the hand is a 7, then it wins by a margin of 7.5 points. If the hand is a 6, then it wins by a margin of 6.5 points. If the hand is a 5 or 4, then it wins by a margin of 5.5 points. If the hand is a 3 or 2, then it wins by a margin of 2.5 points.
Those who correctly bet on a winning Player hand qualify for a 1 to 1 payout. However, those who bet on a winning Banker hand must pay a 5% commission, which reduces the payout odds to 19 to 20. Similarly, those who bet on a winning Tie hand receive a payout of eight to one.
This simple game is known for its elegance and has been featured in many films. It is especially famous for being the game of choice in a number of James Bond films, starting with Sean Connery’s debut in Dr. No. Other films featuring the game include Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only and GoldenEye.
The game has also been featured in several novels by Ian Fleming, including the 1954 TV adaptation of Casino Royal and the 1967 film version of the same name, which is perhaps the most detailed treatment of a baccarat game in any of the Bond films. Baccarat is played at various venues around the world, from sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco. The game is played differently in each setting but the rules are mostly the same. Regardless of where you play, the following six baccarat tips can help you improve your game and increase your chances of winning.