The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a casino card game of simple rules that has been popularized by Hollywood. The game is featured in movies like Rush Hour 3, where James Carter plays baccarat with Genevieve while trying to cover up his absence from the bank. It also appeared in the 1956 French heist film Bob le Flambeur. The game is played by large betters who will often stay at the table for hours, letting lots of money change hands.

Before a hand is dealt, players must place their chips on one of three possible outcomes: A Player bet, a Banker bet, or a Tie bet. Once the bets are placed, the dealer will deal two cards to the player and two to the banker. The hand with the highest total wins. A winning player or banker hand pays out 9-to-1, while a winning tie bet pays 8-to-1. The player’s and banker’s hands are compared right away. If either hand has a value of eight or nine on the first two cards, it is known as a “natural” and no third card will be drawn.

If a hand has a value between seven and nine, the player must draw another card. In the case of a four or five, a third card will be drawn only if the player’s total is 6 or 7 from the first two cards. The banker’s third card will be drawn only if the banker’s total is 3 or 4. In any other situation, the hand stands.

Unlike most casino card games, aces and face cards have little to no value in baccarat. They are worth only one point each, while tens and jacks are worth zero points. The best baccarat players will use this information to help them choose the correct bet amount for each round.

There are no known ways to beat baccarat in the long run, but there are certain strategies that can be used to increase your chances of winning. One strategy is to employ a flat betting strategy and look for patterns in the results of each round. When a pattern emerges, you can make alternate bets on the player and banker hands until it loses its streak.

Keeping your bets small is also important in baccarat. In blackjack, it is common to see a shuffle tracker being used by some players, but this isn’t the case with baccarat. Moreover, a shuffle tracker isn’t necessary for the game, as a manual shuffling procedure is sufficient. This keeps the shoe intact, avoids the need for a multi-pass shuffle, and reduces the number of decisions per hour. This is especially beneficial for superstitious customers who don’t want to have their cards exposed.