The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat (pronounced bah-kah-rah) is one of the most popular casino games in Las Vegas. While the game may look intimidating to casual players, it is actually as simple to play as betting on a coin flip and offers one of the lowest house edges in any casino. In fact, it’s often referred to as “the game of the royals” because it was so popular among French royalty during the reign of King Louis XIV.

To start, players make a bet on either the Player Hand, the Banker Hand or a Tie. Once all wagers have been made, the cards are dealt. The Player and Banker hands receive two cards each and the goal is to get a total closest to 9. Aces count as 1, and all other cards count as their face value. If the player or banker hands have a total of 8 or 9, they win; however, if either hand does not have a total of 8, 9, or 10, a third card is drawn to determine the winner.

When playing baccarat, it’s important to know the rules of the game so you can be an informed gambler. First, you’ll need to locate the baccarat table on the casino floor. Typically, these tables are located in separate areas from the other casino games and separated by velvet ropes to distinguish them as high roller games. Secondly, it’s important to understand the payouts for each bet. Generally, the highest payout for a winning player hand is nine. The second highest payout is eight. If you place a bet on the banker hand and it wins, you’ll receive 95% of your stake. If you’ve placed a bet on a tie, you’ll be paid out at odds of 8 to 1. Score sheets are usually available at live baccarat tables to keep track of your score.

After all the bets have been placed, the dealer will tot up the totals of the two hands and declare a winner. If the player or banker hand has a total closer to nine than the other, they’ll win. Otherwise, the game ends in a tie, and all wagers are returned to the players.

The most important rule of baccarat is to follow the banker’s lead and not try to out-guess him. This is important because if you go against the banker’s lead, you’ll likely lose your money. However, if you can learn how to recognize the banker’s leads, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master of this game. Lastly, remember to practice good stake management. Although baccarat has a low house edge, it is still important to monitor your outlay and avoid going on long streaks of losing bets. A good rule of thumb is to stake 10 units for each wager and limit yourself to 200 units per session followed by a break. This will prevent you from burning out and ruining your gambling experience.