Baccarat Basics

Baccarat is one of the most glamorous casino games. It is a simple game of guessing which hand will have the highest value and comes with a number of betting options and payouts. A player can bet on the Banker hand, the Player hand, or a Tie. Each bet has its own unique payout.

The game is played on a table with eight decks of cards and boxes for players to place their bets. The croupier will collect and pay bets, as well as announce the winning side of each hand at the end of each round. Baccarat is traditionally played with real cash – $100 bills are typically spread all over the gaming table. European casinos tend to use high-denomination chips instead.

In baccarat, a hand is considered a winner when it has a total closer to nine than the banker’s hand. A banker’s hand is drawn on all totals of 3 or less and stands on those of 8 or 9. A player’s hand will draw a third card on totals of 0-1-2-3-4 and 5 and stand with 6-7-8-9.

While baccarat’s popularity waned in the United States after the early 20th century, it remains popular throughout continental Europe, where it is also known as bab-ba-koh or ba-koh. The game was introduced to the West by sailors returning from Asia, where it had been played since the 17th century under various names.

The ancestor of baccarat was Macao, a game similar to Chemin de Fer. Unlike chemin-de-fer, which has fixed drawing rules, Macao allowed the banker to increase their stake after each win. The game was popular at Watier’s, the private gentleman’s club in London that led to the ruin of Beau Brummell.

Today, baccarat is almost exclusively played in modern punto banco form. Punto banco differs from older forms of the game in that the casino bankes both hands at all times and commits to playing them out according to set rules for drawing choices. In a punto banco game, the player and banker are simply designations for two hands that the bettor can back.

Players begin the game by placing bets on either the Player Hand or the Banker Hand, using their chips. After the initial bets are placed, the dealer will deal two cards to the Player and Banker. The first player to wager on a Player or Banker pair wins. In addition to the main bets, players may place Super Six or Pair Bets. A Super Six bet pays out 12x the original bet amount, while a Pair bet pays out 11x the initial bet. Lastly, a Tie bet pays 9-to-1.