What is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a casino game which combines skill and chance to create an exciting and enjoyable game for all players. It is portrayed as formal and elegant in the movies (it is James Bond’s favourite) but it’s actually easy, slow-paced and great for new players. It also offers some of the best odds in a casino.

It is a simple guessing game where you bet on which of the two hands that are dealt – the Player hand and the Banker’s hand – will win. The winning hand must have the highest value – currently set at 9 points. A player can also bet on a Super Six Bet or a Pair Bet which are additional bets placed alongside the original bet and pay out if a player wins either of these.

Unlike other card games that use standard 52-card decks, Baccarat uses a number of specially shuffled cards with unique values for each card rank. The values for the 2 through to 9 pip cards are determined by their ranking, while face cards and aces are valued at zero. Each player starts the game with a fixed amount of chips and chooses either to bet on the Player hand, the Banker’s hand or to place a bet on a tie.

Once all bets have been placed the dealer deals one card to the Player box and another to the Banker box. The cards are then compared and whichever hand has the higher value wins. If the hands are equal, it is a tie and all bets are returned to the players. A third card may sometimes be drawn to the Player and Banker hands but this is rare and largely dependent on the dealer.

Most casinos offer a Tie bet, which pays off eight to one if the Banker and Player hands both result in the same number. However, it comes with a much higher house edge than the Banker and Player bets. As a result, most serious players stick to betting on the Player or Banker hand.

The game is played with either a six or eight-deck shoe and the cards are shuffled before each round. A banker, who is normally a player in the game, remains in that position until they wish to withdraw or they run out of money to stake.

Once the cards are dealt, the active player looks at the players’ two cards and if the total is 8 or 9 places them face up by saying ‘la petite’ for 8 and ‘la grande’ for 9. The banker then turns over the two cards in his hand and compares them with the players’ hands. The higher hand wins the coup, or if the hands are equal it is a tie and all bets returned to the players.