A casino game with a long and storied history, baccarat has been a staple of the Las Vegas gaming floor since the 1930s. Though it’s sometimes regarded as an exclusive game for the high rollers, with its opulent trappings and James Bond-style gambling action, baccarat is actually one of the easiest table games to play. The complexities of card counting and betting strategies are left to the pros, and players can just sit back and watch the dealer do the work.
Whether you’re betting on Player or Banker, the goal of baccarat is to win a hand where the final digit when all the pips (the dots on a playing card that represent clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades) are added up comes closest to nine. In this regard, baccarat is a bit like roulette, with only three possible outcomes: Player wins, Banker wins or tie. The simplest way to add up the total of your baccarat hand is to use a scoring chart. This chart shows the numerical values assigned to each of the numbered cards in the deck. All cards with numbers from 2-9 are worth their pip value, while picture cards (Qs, Js and Ks) are worth zero points, and aces are worth one point.
As with most games of chance, the house edge in baccarat is relatively low. It would be even lower if it weren’t for the commission that is charged on winning Banker bets. This 5% commission adds up over thousands of rounds and effectively increases the house edge by 1.36 percent in favor of the banker. Nonetheless, the Banker bet still offers the best return on investment of any bet in the game, so it should be your default wager.
The other bets in baccarat are the Player and Tie bets, with the payout odds on each varying slightly depending on which hand you choose to bet on. Those who correctly forecast a winning Player or Banker hand qualify for a 1 to 1 payout, while those who bet on the winning tie pay an 8-to-1 reward.
There are many baccarat strategies that can be used to enhance your chances of success, including the famous Martingale strategy, which is the most popular amongst gamblers. However, it is important to remember that no system guarantees total success, so a little research into the game’s rules and strategy will go a long way in helping you make competent gambling decisions. Ultimately, the most important thing is to play responsibly, setting limits and sticking to them. For more information on how to play baccarat, be sure to check out the online baccarat page at William Hill.