If you’ve been anywhere from a sticky-floor California card room to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, then you’ve probably seen baccarat played in one form or another. This classic casino game, which first appeared in European royal circles in the 1400s, is known for its slow, ritualistic pace and is often seen as a mark of elegance. But despite its sophistication, it’s not only the domain of high rollers. You can play baccarat for real cash in any number of online casinos.
The rules of baccarat are relatively simple, but there are some important things to remember before you start playing. First, there are two hands dealt, a player hand and a banker hand, and players can bet on which hand will win. Each hand is ranked according to its total value. Eight and nine are the highest, while tens, jacks, and queens count as zero. Then, the cards are compared to decide which hand wins. The winning hand is the one with a total closest to 9.
After the initial hands are dealt, the dealer announces their results. If the Player hand is a “natural” (a hand that totals 8 or 9), the game ends right there and there’s no need for the Banker to get a third card. If the Player hand is a “non-natural,” then the Banker gets a third card and the hands are compared again to determine which hand wins.
A third possibility is that the hands will end in a tie, in which case both the Player and Banker get their bets back. A tie is also a possible outcome of an online baccarat game, though some casinos pay out only 9 chips for a winning bet on the Tie instead of the original 1 chip wagered.
In the early 1970s, when baccarat first arrived in Las Vegas, casino operators were trying to class up the city’s reputation as a seedy gambling destination. The first baccarat pits were established to cater to the high-roller crowd and introduce them to a more elegant gaming experience.
The game of baccarat has several bet options, and each type has its own house edge. The most common bet is on the Banker, and it offers a lower house edge than the Player bet. However, the tie bet has a higher house edge and is usually avoided by intelligent players.
Regardless of which bet you place, the key is to set a budget for your baccarat session and stick to it. It’s also a good idea to establish some win goals and stop playing when you reach them. You should also avoid chasing losses.
Aside from being a great way to relax, baccarat is a very easy game to learn and is perfect for newbies to the casino scene. Unlike poker, which has become the focus of many television shows and movies, baccarat is not a complicated game and you don’t need any special knowledge or skills to get started.