What is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a table game that requires players to correctly predict which hand will win the round. Each hand’s value is determined by the sum of its cards, with only the rightmost digit counting.

Baccarat has long been popular in Europe and Asia, but it is only recently gaining popularity in America. The game is surprisingly simple and requires no special equipment or knowledge of strategy.


In the past, baccarat was a game for high stakes. It is believed that the game grew out of an ancient Etruscan ritual where nine gods stood on their tip toes waiting for a young blond virgin to throw a nine sided die which would determine her fate. If she rolled an eight or nine she would be a priestess, a six or seven meant that her vestal virgin status was revoked and she would have to drown herself in the sea.

When the European version of baccarat made its debut in casinos, it was called Chemin de Fer (French for railroad game) and it was very different to the modern game. It also required a large number of dealers and complicated rules. It was not a very popular game as it could not compete with blackjack or roulette and other table games found on the casino floor.


Baccarat is a popular game in Asian casinos and is now becoming more common in American casinos. Its popularity is due to its low house edge and high-rollers’ interest in the game. It is also easy to learn and play, so it is suitable for players of all skill levels.

Casinos use anywhere from six to eight decks of cards at baccarat tables, which are usually kept in a box called a shoe. The dealer deals two cards to the player and banker, with a third card dealt depending on the score. If the total goes over nine, players must subtract ten from their score.

The dealer will then announce the winner. Despite its mystique, baccarat is one of the most exciting games in any casino. The key to winning is to stick to a strategy and practice money management.


Baccarat is an easy casino game to learn, but it does have some complicated rules. The game begins when players place their bets on either the player or banker hands. The dealer then deals two cards to each hand. If the first two cards total 8 or 9, that hand wins automatically. However, if neither hand has a natural, further cards will be drawn to determine the winner.

There are also a number of side bets available, such as the Player Pair and Banker Pair, which pay out on pairs of matching cards. These bets have a lower payout than the Banker or Player bets, but they still offer significant payout odds of up to 8:1. Baccarat’s Tie bet is less likely to win, but it offers high payout odds.


Depending on the outcome of a round, baccarat payouts can vary. A winning Banker’s bet pays 1:1, while a Player’s win gets 9:9. Winning side bets can pay 11:1 or more. This includes the ‘Pair’ bet which wagers that the Banker and the Player will receive matching cards on the deal. This is a risky side bet that offers a very high payout.

Another popular bet is the ‘Super Six’, which bets that either the Banker or Player hand will win with a total of six cards. This bet pays out 12:1 on winning, and is available at some online casinos. However, it is important to note that the house has a 5% commission on all winnings on this bet. This is a significant amount of money that can reduce your profits.


There are many different variations of baccarat, with slight changes in rules and available bets. This makes the game a highlight of casinos and can be highly rewarding both financially and as an exercise in strategy.

Punto Banco is the most popular form of baccarat and the one most often found in casinos. It involves up to 14 players sitting at a table and betting on whether the Player or Banker hand will have a total value closest to nine. Picture cards and tens are worth zero points, while the ace is worth one point.

Some baccarat variants offer unique payout structures for specific outcomes, such as a three-card six. These variations may not make a huge difference to the overall outcome, but they can add an element of excitement and variety.