Baccarat is a glamorous casino game played in the high-limit gaming areas of the world’s most luxurious casinos. It’s a simple game in which players bet on either the Player hand, the Banker hand or a Tie. The goal is to get a total closer to nine than the other hand. A nine is considered the best hand, while a seven is second best and a six is third best. The game is so popular that Macau casinos, since they dethroned Las Vegas as the world’s largest casino-industry powerhouse, now account for nearly 88 percent of all worldwide casino revenue. Even on the glitzy Las Vegas Strip, baccarat accounts for 18 percent of total casino win.
The game is a simple one to learn and can be a lot of fun to play. After making a bet on either the Player, the Banker or a tie, two cards are dealt to each player. The Player and the Banker hands are evaluated by a dealer to determine which has a higher total. If the player or banker hand has a total of 8 or 9, it is considered a “natural” and placed bets are paid. Otherwise, the cards are re-examined and a third card is drawn if necessary. If a player or banker hand has a total that is lower than 8, the third card is not drawn.
Using a pattern trend strategy can help players reduce the house edge in this casino classic. The basic strategy is to start with flat betting and then look for zigzag patterns or double-win streaks in the results of the shoe. Once a player sees a pattern, they can then switch to bet on the banker or the player depending on which side is showing up more often.
Baccarat has an advantage over other casino games in that it requires no skill, only a certain amount of luck and a good memory. It’s also a very social game and can be enjoyed by groups of people. This is why it’s found in a variety of casinos, from sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden Monaco gambling halls of James Bond movies.
The first baccarat pieces were produced in the 19th Century and were showcased at numerous Great Exhibitions. Visitors to the shows were dazzled by the huge glass structures, fountains and lighting fixtures on display – whether Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace or F. & C. Osler’s monumental chandeliers.
Baccarat has a long tradition of elegance, which explains why it’s featured in several filmed adaptations of the popular spy novel, including the 1954 TV series Casino Royal (starring Sean Connery as Bond), the 1964 film Dr. No and the 1967 film Thunderball, among many others. Baccarat’s popularity continues today with casinos around the world, from glitzy Macau to tiny Singapore, pulling in billions of dollars. It’s no wonder that even high-end hotel spas have dedicated baccarat tables for their customers. This is a casino game that can make you feel like royalty, all without having to spend a fortune.