What is Baccarat?


Baccarat is a casino game that requires no special equipment and can be played in just about any setting. The rules are simple: Players bet on either the player hand, the banker hand, or a tie. The object is to have the hand you’re betting on (the player or the banker) get a total closer to nine than the opponent’s hand. Cards 2 through 9 hold their face value, while aces count as one. If the player or banker hand have a total that is higher than nine, the first digit of the number is dropped – so a seven and an eight would result in a score of three.

According to Bill Zender, a former Nevada Gaming Control agent and longtime casino executive who literally wrote the book on managing casino games, Asian high rollers have made baccarat their game of choice because it is uniquely suited to their cultural preferences. In addition, he notes that the game offers some of the lowest house edges in the casino, with only 1.2 percent for both player and banker bets. Compared to the 1.4 percent edge for a bet on a tie, it’s no wonder that serious gamblers stick with either player or banker.

Baccarat is a fast-paced game, so it’s important to know your odds before you place a bet. For example, if you bet on the Player and win, the payout is 8:1. If you bet on the Banker and win, the payout is 9:1. The Tie bet pays 8:1 as well, but you have so few chances to hit this bet that only the most degenerate of gamblers will pick it.