Playing the Table Games: Baccarat
Every casino floor is bursting at the seams with blackjack, poker variants, and roulette. Nestled within these games is an often overlooked game: Baccarat. Perhaps most famous in pop culture for its appearance in James Bond novels, Baccarat is a fun, easy alternative for poker players looking to enjoy a simple game with a low house edge.
How does Baccarat work?
In Baccarat, there are usually only three bets you can make:
This keeps things nice and simple. The dealer doles out two cards each to the Player side and the Banker side. It’s worth noting here that the “Player” doesn’t mean you individually. It’s just one of two sides competing in the game. You can bet on the Player or the Banker. You won’t get any cards of your own.
To win, you want the side you bet on to get a total of 8 or 9.
Cards are worth their face value, while 10s and face cards are worth 0. Aces are worth 1. A total of over 10 takes only the second digit into account. For example, an initial hand with a 6 and a 7 would be worth 3 points (13, drop the first digit).
If either side hits an 8 or 9 with the first two cards, that’s called a natural win and that game ends. If this doesn’t happen, a third card is dealt according to the Player’s total.
After the third card is dealt, the game is over and bets are settled based on which side has the higher total.
Baccarat quick tips
Bet the banker. The odds are slightly better, but most casinos take a commission on banker bets.
Avoid the tie bet; it’s incredibly unlikely, though the 8-to-1 payout is enticing.
Mix things up. The Player bet has decent odds too, but there’s no commission.