The Basics of Baccarat

If you’re looking for a game with less complexities than blackjack or craps, baccarat might be just what you’re after. This classic casino table game has a long history and is often associated with James Bond-style gambling.

The winning hand is the one that totals closest to nine. When a player and banker have the same total, it’s a tie.

Game rules

There are from seven to 14 seats for players in a baccarat table, and two hands of cards are dealt. Picture cards and Tens are worth zero points, while numbers from 2-9 are worth their value. Aces are worth one point. There are also side bets that pay out if the Banker or Player hand has a pair of matching values. These wagers can be very lucrative, but seasoned baccarat players recommend against regularly placing a Tie bet.

The game’s rules dictate how a winner is determined. A player must win if their Player Bet is greater than the Banker’s hand, or if the hands tie. The croupier will pay out if either of these outcomes occurs. If neither, a push occurs and the bets carry over to the next round.


From sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, baccarat is a favorite casino game for both casual players and high rollers. It is recommended to set a fixed budget before playing, and stick to it. It can be easy to get carried away with the excitement of winning, but it is best to quit while you’re ahead.

In addition to the player and banker bets, baccarat also has side bets. These bets can offer bonuses or payouts depending on the results of a hand. These include the Big Tiger, Small Tiger, and Tiger Pair bets, which pay based on the poker value of the first two cards of the Banker and Player. They are available in some online baccarat games.


Baccarat is a simple game, but for some players it can feel stale or repetitive. To add more variety, the game offers side bets that can yield varying payouts and bonuses. These side bets can be placed before the game begins and vary by establishment and platform.

The Double-suited 3-card 8 and Suited 3-card 8 side bets wager that the player or banker will receive matching initial two cards, with a payout of 200:1. This bet is also available at live casinos online.

Players should always set a budget before playing baccarat and stick to it. Otherwise, they may become too reliant on winning streaks and end up losing more money in the long run. This can occur if you use the Martingale system, which involves increasing your bet size after every loss.

Edge sorting

Edge sorting is a gambling technique that exploits imperfections on the back of cards. It allows players to identify certain cards before they are dealt, and gives them an advantage over the casino. This method is not illegal, but casinos frown upon it and will not pay out winnings if caught.

Phil Ivey’s multimillion-dollar baccarat wins at London’s Crockfords and Atlantic City’s Borgata put edge sorting in the spotlight. Although this is not cheating because it doesn’t involve using third-party software or devices, some people argue that it still undermines the integrity of the game.

However, the fact that edge sorting only works with a flawed deck and shuffling machine shows that the technique is not as effective as card counting. It should therefore be avoided at all costs.


Baccarat is a casino game with an extensive history, but the exact origins are murky. It is believed that it originated in Italy in the 15th century, and made its way to France where it became a favorite among nobility who favored games that relied on chance. King Charles VIII is credited with spreading the craze, and it eventually became a top choice for high-stakes gamblers.

The game migrated to the US in the 19th century, and is now a staple of many casinos. The game has been adapted into numerous variations, including the popular Punto Banco. The most modern version is less reliant on skill, making it more accessible to players. This version is also what Ian Fleming chose to feature in his 1953 debut novel, Casino Royal.