The game of Baccarat is a thrilling guessing game with close to even odds. The most conventional version of Baccarat is known as “punto banco” and has developed a following amongst gambling high rollers. That said, land based and online casinos have begun to offer great Baccarat games with lower minimums to increase accessibility.
Baccarat is played at a large oval shaped table that may seat up to fourteen players. In front of each player will be a position number and a designated area to place a bet on the Player hand or the Dealer hand. Additionally there will be a spot for the casino dealer who is responsible for announcing hand values and distributing player winnings. The game begins once each player has placed their individual wager on the table in either the Player or Banker area (usually marked by a ‘P’ and a ‘B’). Next the casino dealer, or the player with the card shoe, will begin dealing. Whether the shoe is passed around the table will depend on the venue’s rules, but each player always has the option of passing when the shoe comes to them. The shoe will be filled with six or eight decks of cards – making card counting a fruitless endeavour – and each card is destroyed after one use.
The object of the game is to guess whether the Player hand or the Bank hand will finish with a point total closest to nine; given a scale of zero to nine. A winning Player bet will pay one-to-one while a winning Bank bet will pay one-to-one minus a five percent commission to the house. Due to the rules for drawing subsequent cards after the deal, the house has a marginal advantage and therefore the commission is a means for the casino level the payout odds. There is also the option to bet on a tie which if successful with pay either eight-to-one or nine-to-one depending on the casino rules. If the outcome is a tie, all Player and Bank bets are left on the table until the next round.