Baccarat is an elegant game, the sort of casino table that appears in James Bond films and attracts high rollers. But there’s more to the game than a pair of sunglasses and a suave spy: The house edge is one of the lowest in the casino; and playing with a strategy can improve your chances of winning big.
The rules of baccarat are very simple, and players can choose to bet on either the Banker hand, the Player hand, or a tie. Two cards are dealt to each of the hands, and whichever hand is closest to nine wins the bet. All cards count as their face value, with a 10 equaling zero, an Ace equaling one, and a King, Queen, or Jack equaling 10.
A croupier handles the game, which is played on a large table with green felt, marked with numbered areas where players place their bets. The croupier deals the cards from a shoe, which holds eight standard 52-card decks.
If you’re betting on the Player or Banker hand, there is about a 50/50 chance of winning, with a slightly better edge for the Banker due to the rules that determine when the croupier must draw a third card. Because of this, many serious players only bet on the Banker hand and avoid the more risky bet on a tie, which pays out nine to one but has a much higher house edge (over 14 percent).
Some players use betting systems for baccarat, such as the Martingale system or the Labouchere method, which can increase your bankroll over time. However, these baccarat strategies are handicapped by the fact that the Banker bet is subject to a 5% commission when it wins. This can eat into your profits, so it’s best to play the Player bet instead.
Baccarat has been around for centuries, and is still popular in casinos across Asia. It is considered a high-class game, and it’s not uncommon for the croupier to wear a white silk scarf or hat while dealing the cards. The game also has a regal appearance, with the table usually set in a separate alcove from the main gambling action.
Despite its posh looks, baccarat is a simple game to learn and can be found in most casinos. It’s even available online, so you can experience the excitement of a real casino from your own home. The next step is to visit a site that offers baccarat, and start playing! Good luck!