The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a casino table game played by two players, the banker and the player. It is a fun and exciting game, with few rules and very few complexities. It is a good game for beginners and it is also very popular with high rollers, and is played in most casinos.

The game originated in mid 19th Century France and is a comparing game between the banker and the player. The player bets on one of the two hands, the banker bets on the other. The hand with the highest value wins, unless it is tied or the banker has a higher total than the player.

Most casinos today offer a range of different Baccarat games, the most common being Punto Banco. This is a house backed version of the game and is a very popular choice with Asian gamblers.

Traditionally, Baccarat was played with both the Player’s and Banker’s hands concealed. These two-card hands were only exposed when they had been called for by the Player or when the banker was to draw a third card. This was the way the game had originally been played and, although decision tables have since become standard in all Baccarat variants, the earlier versions still provided some degree of freedom for the players.

A number of implausible legends about the game’s origin circulate. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that it was ever played before the 19th Century and the earliest references to it come from France.

The game is a simple one and a player should be able to make the correct bet in most cases. However, some players use systems and strategies such as Martingale that increase the size of their bets when they lose. These systems are risky and should be avoided if you wish to play Baccarat.

When the dealer is ready to deal, they first look at their own two cards and then the player’s. The player may then ask for a third card. The banker may or may not draw a third card, depending on their total. With a total of five or less, the player must call for a third card and with a total of six or seven they must not.

If the player calls a third card, both of their hands are exposed and the higher valued hand wins. If the total is a tie, the players’ bets are returned.

Some casinos also offer the Tie bet, a wager that both the Player and Banker’s hands will have the same value. This bet is very tempting but is rarely profitable in practice. The odds are usually around 8 to 1 against a tie.

The most commonly used strategy in the game is to bet on the banker. This is because the chances of winning are slightly better than betting on the player. The player’s winnings are normally multiplied by a commission which the casino will charge, so you should only bet if you feel you have a strong reason to do so.