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Baccarat is known as being a classic casino card game. Unlike blackjack, however, baccarat is much easier to learn how to play because there are a limited number of betting options. This game has a similar house advantage as the best blackjack games if you know how to pick the right bets, and this simple fact has made baccarat very popular with players.
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An Overview of the Casino Game Baccarat
Baccarat is a game that appears to be similar to blackjack at first glance, but it's actually completely different. No matter how many players there are at the table, there is a single player hand and a single banker hand dealt of two cards each. Before the deal, players can bet on the player hand, the banker hand or a tie as a result. In this game, Aces are worth one and Twos through Nines are worth their face value. Tens through Kings are all worth zero. The winner of the hand is the one who gets the card total the closest to nine, inclusive.
If a hand is dealt a total of eight or nine, the hand stands no matter what. If the player hand is a total of five or less, then that hand hits one time. Note that neither hand can hit more than once. If the player hand stands, the banker hand will hit only if it has a total of five or less. However, if the player hand hits, then the banker hand will hit based on the value of the player's third card and the banker's score up to that point in the hand.
If the player's third card is a zero card, an Ace or a Nine, then the banker hand hits with a total of three or less. When the player's third card is a Two or Three, the banker hits with four or less. On a third player's card of Four or Five, the banker hand has to hit for all totals of five or less. If the player's third card is a Six or Seven, this is extended to the banker hand hitting on totals of six and less. Finally, if the player's third card is an Eight, then the banker only has to hit on totals of two and less.
Winning bets on the player hand are paid out at a rate of 1:1. However, winning bets on the banker's hand are paid out at 1:1 minus a five percent commission. All bets on a tie are paid out at 8:1. The bet with the lowest house advantage is the bet on the banker's hand, and it has a house advantage of about one percent.