The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a casino game that requires some knowledge of rules and strategy. It is a card game played by two hands, the Player and Banker. The rules differ slightly between the punto banco and chemin de fer forms of the game, but in general the object is to bet on which hand will have a total closer to nine when the points are added up. The game is often played on a large table in the high-roller rooms of casinos, but it can also be enjoyed online in the five states that currently offer legal online gambling.

A baccarat shoe contains three inter-shuffled decks of cards. After all players have placed their bets the dealer will deal one card to the Player box and another to the Banker box. If the total of the Player hand is 9 or closer, the player wins and no further cards are drawn. If the Player hand total is 8, a third card is drawn. If the banker’s total is 5 or less, the banker may draw a third card, but they will not do so with a total of 6, 7, or 8. The player can ask for a third card by saying ‘H’. The banker must draw a third card with a player total of 3 or 4, but not with 5, 6 or 7.

While the Player and Banker bets are the main wagers in baccarat, many games also feature a Tie bet. This bet pays out 8 to 1 if the Banker or Player hands result in a tie. However, the house edge on a winning Tie bet is 14 percent. Intelligent players never make this bet, but if you want to play the game safely it is important to understand how it works.

The most important thing to remember when playing baccarat is to always play within your budget. It is easy to get carried away by the excitement of the game, but it is important to be able to walk away with your hard-earned money intact. Set a budget in advance and stick to it, treating your bankroll like the cash you’d spend on a night out.

Some baccarat tables also feature side bets, which can have much higher payouts than the main bets, but they also have higher house edges. These bets are designed to increase the action on the table, but should only be placed with funds that you’re prepared to lose.

In addition to the traditional bets, a player can also place Super Six Bets and Pair Bets. A Super Six Bet pays out 12x the bet amount if the Banker or Player hand hits a six, while a Pair Bet rewards you for betting on either the Banker or Player pair of cards. In order to place a Pair Bet, you must first have placed a Banker or Player bet. The rules of these bets are similar to the rules for the main bets, and should be carefully studied before placing a bet.