The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a casino game with few complexities and plenty of James Bond-style gambling fun. It has exploded in popularity worldwide, earning more money for casinos than almost any other game, including blackjack and roulette.

When playing baccarat, the object is to make a hand that totals closest to nine. The final digit is determined by adding up the pips of each card dealt.

Game rules

Baccarat is a simple game that requires only basic math skills and a clear understanding of the rules. It is played with a standard deck of cards and two hands are dealt to each player and the banker. The winning hand is the one that comes closest to nine points. In the case of a tie, bets on both hands are returned.

All face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) and tens are worth zero points in a baccarat game, while aces count as one point. A pair of eights is worth six points because of the dropping of the first digit.

Players who correctly bet on a winning player hand qualify for a 1 to 1 payout, but those who wager on the banker will be subjected to a 5% commission. The banker must draw on a hand of 5 or less and stand on hands of 6 or 7. When both the Player and Banker hands are equal, the game results in a tie and bets on the Tie are not paid.


The betting rules for baccarat can be quite complex, but they can significantly affect the payouts. For instance, a winning player hand pays 9:1 while a banker hand only pays 8:1. The game is also played with different rules in Europe than in North America. In addition, there are different side bets, and players should check the house edge and payouts before making a wager.

Another important aspect of baccarat is the number of decks used. A standard game of baccarat uses three to six decks that are shuffled and placed in a shoe. This allows the dealer to deal quickly and efficiently.

While the game’s popularity in the United States waned in the early 20th century, it continues to have a following in continental Europe. For example, it featured in Arthur Schnitzler’s 1926 novella, Night Games (Spiel im Morgengrauen). The game was later adapted into the James Bond novels and films: Casino Royal; Dr. No; Thunderball; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; For Your Eyes Only; and GoldenEye.


Baccarat payouts depend on whether you bet on the player hand, banker, or tie. A winning wager on the player or banker hand will pay out a number that is closest to nine and will also cover any ties. However, you will still need to pay the 5% house commission on winning banker bets.

The croupier (or dealer) will deal out the cards and collect and pay off players’ bets. The croupier will also draw and announce the winning hands. The player and banker will then compare their hands. The hand that is closer to a value of 9 wins, and the ties are pushes.

If you’re playing a full-scale game, the betting limits will be posted on a plastic placard on the table. You can also find some tables that offer mini baccarat, which has lower betting limits and is played at a slower speed. This version of the game is a great option for people on tight schedules.


There are several variations in the game that can affect the payouts. These include EZ Baccarat, which offers a smaller house edge than the standard 5% and doesn’t charge a commission for winning banker bets. This variation also eliminates the ’Tie’ bet, but doesn’t alter the odds of the ’Dragon’ or ’Panda 8’ side bets.

Another variation is baccarat plus, which includes an optional bonus payout in the case of the banker winning a hand. This bonus payout may be increased in accordance with a preset schedule or rate or randomly based upon the total number count of at least two consecutive hands of the banker’s hand. This variant is particularly popular with players in the US.