Whether in sticky-floor California card rooms or the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, baccarat is one of the most elegant and glamorous of casino games. Its glamour stems from its low house edge and high payout potential. Baccarat is also easy to play. You simply place your bet on the Player, Banker or Tie at the beginning of a hand and let the dealer do the rest. But if you want to win at baccarat, you need to relearn some basic arithmetic and understand a few betting strategies.
A winning hand is the one that comes closest to nine. Counting the cards is simple: Picture cards (clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) and tens are worth zero points; cards numbered from two through nine are worth their face value; aces are worth one point. The goal of the game is to have your hand come closer to nine than the opposing hand, which you can wager on by placing bets on either the player or banker.
When all the bets are placed, a single card is dealt to the Player box and then the Banker box. If the winning bet is on the player or banker, you receive your pay out. If a tie is the result, all bets are paid out at eight to one. Score sheets are available at baccarat tables to help you keep track of your wagers.
If a player or banker hand has a total of 8 or 9, the game is over and no third card is drawn. If a total is 9 or 10, a third card may be drawn under certain rules.