Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a popular casino game played in many locations around the world. Traditionally it is played on special tables in a confined area called the Baccarat pit and is known to attract a lot of high rollers.

The game is played with several standard 52-card decks shuffled together. The cards are ranked from 2 through 9 with the Ace being worth 1 and all other cards having a value of their pip denomination.

Each hand is dealt two cards, and a third may be optionally added to the deck. The values are summed and the hand with the nearest total to nine wins. Court cards have a value of zero, while pictures and tens are worth their face value.

Three dealers direct the game. One dealer is positioned in the middle of the table (the Caller), and the other two are located opposite. The Caller’s job is to call the winning hand and pay out any bets. The other two dealers collect losing bets and keep track of any commissions that players owe on winning Bank Hand bets.

Before any cards are dealt, the banker puts up a stake and all of the other players place their bets against the banker. In each coup (round of play) the total bets of all the players must be less than or equal to the banker’s stake.

The players act in turns and begin with the closest player to the croupier’s right. They continue in a counter-clockwise circle until the total of all bets is less than or equal to the total size of the bank. If there is still money left in the bank, spectators can also bet.

Unlike blackjack, where each player has some freedom of choice in what to do with their first two cards, baccarat is played with the hands concealed from the other player. This allows the croupier to determine which cards are most likely to have higher points. This results in a house edge of at least 1%.

There are a number of different types of baccarat games. The most common is punto banco, but there are also baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque.

A mini-baccarat game is a low-stakes version of the full-sized baccarat game and is located in the main casino next to the blackjack tables. The table can accommodate up to 6-7 players and is much faster than the big baccarat version.

Mini-Baccarat is often found in casinos where the minimum bets are $5 to $15 and players do not handle the cards. This type of Baccarat can be very exciting and is a good game for beginners to learn the game.

Another variation of the game is baccarat a deux tableaux, where the players have some freedom of choice in which to stand or take a third card. In these games, the player’s first two cards are not revealed to the banker, but they can see their opponent’s third card.

The third card is compared with the first two and the player’s bets are paid out, collected or returned according to the results of the comparison. The game can be won by the banker or the player, and it is also possible to win a tie bet.