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Baccarat Basics

Baccarat is a table game where players bet on either the Player hand, Banker hand or Tie. All picture cards and tens have the same value of zero points, while numbered 2 through 9 are worth their numerical values.

The object is to get closer to nine than the opposing hand. The dealer deals two cards and the hand that totals closest to nine wins.


Baccarat is an ancient game that has numerous theories surrounding its origins. One theory states that it was invented by an Italian gambler, Felix Falguiere in the 1400s. Although this claim is largely unproven, the game did make its way to America and New Jersey in 1911.

There are also presumptions that Baccarat has its roots in ancient Rome. Vestal virgins threw a dice to determine their fate – a nine roll meant they would become priestesses, while six or seven would mean that they must walk into the sea and die.

Whether or not this is true, the game’s popularity has continued to increase across Europe over centuries. It was the preferred game of nobility and royalty because of its sophisticated rules and reliance on luck.


Baccarat is a fast-paced card game that pits the Player against the Banker. Players place bets on which hand will have a total closest to 9. The value of each hand is determined by the sum of its cards, with only the rightmost digit taken into account.

A baccarat table has from seven to 14 seats for Players and a dealer’s area. A deck of cards is dealt from a shoe. Picture cards and tens have no value, while the cards numbered from 2-9 are worth their face value. Aces have a value of one point. The points of the Player’s and Banker’s hands are compared after each deal to determine a winner. The game is over when either hand totals eight or nine.


Aside from the main bets of Player, Banker, and Tie, players have the option to place side bets. These bets vary from casino to casino and also depend on the version of baccarat being played.

The game is based on the probability that the Banker or Player hand has a score closest to nine. A winning bet is paid out immediately and any losing bets are collected by the casino.

Although the House Edge in baccarat is low, casinos still make money by charging a small taking on all winning bets. This is how they pay for things like new games and staff wages. However, a strategy of betting on the Banker consistently can reduce this advantage. This is because the odds of a Banker win are higher than those of a Tie.


Due to a lack of variety, baccarat can often feel repetitive and boring to play. To help liven things up, casinos facilitate side bets which offer a range of potential payouts and odds.

Each bet has its own odds of winning and house edge, and the banker’s bet offers the best chances of success. Nonetheless, winning banker bets are charged a 5% commission.

This side bet wagers that either the Player or Banker will receive a pair on the deal, paying 11:1 odds for a winning bet. However, the odds of a tie are low enough that seasoned players generally avoid betting on it regularly. As such, this is not the recommended way to maximize your profits. However, it is a fun and exciting way to add an extra dimension to the game.


Depending on the version of baccarat you play, there are slight variations in the types of bets and rules. These differences can affect the game’s house edge and payouts.

The most common version of baccarat is Punto Banco, which is played in most North American casinos. This version uses six or eight decks and follows fixed drawing rules. It has one of the lowest house edges in the industry.

There are several other baccarat variations that have different rules, payouts and side bets. For example, EZ Baccarat pays even money on player and banker bets, and does not charge a commission on winning banker bets. Another variation, Dragon 7, includes an extra side bet that pays when the banker wins with a seven. This increases the house edge but can boost your winnings.

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