Baccarat, or Punto Banco as it’s known in the US, is a casino game where the object is to correctly guess which hand will be closest to 9. It is often played for high stakes and can be found in the big money sections of most European and Nevada casinos. Although there are several different versions of the game, a basic baccarat strategy can help players to win more often.
The game is easy to learn and offers three possible outcomes; a player win, banker win or tie. The rules are simple; the dealer deals the cards, and the Player’s and Banker’s hands are determined by their points total (the sum of all the cards in a hand). The goal is to get as close to nine as possible without going over. Picture cards and Tens are worth zero, while all other cards have their face value and the Ace is worth one point.
During the game, the croupier, or dealer, will deal eight 52-card packs from an enclosed box called a shoe. The decks are shuffled together, and the player’s and banker’s betting areas are marked on the table. The croupier will then deal two cards to the Player’s and Banker’s boxes. The Player’s and Banker’s hands will then be analyzed to determine their points total.
If the Player’s and Banker’s totals are equal, they are said to have a ‘stand-off’. This means neither the Player nor the Banker will draw a third card. However, if the Player’s total is 6 or more, they must stand.
After the initial analysis of the Player’s and Banker’s hand, the croupier will make a decision whether to draw a third card for either of the hands. This decision is based on the available information, which includes the fact that the banker knows whether the Player asked for a third card and how much has been staked on each of the Player hands.
Other than the Banker and Player bets, there are also a number of side bets to choose from. These bets offer a chance to win extra cash when the Banker or Player wins by placing a wager on a particular result, such as a Super Six or a Pair. These bets tend to be more expensive than the other main bets, and most players should avoid them. Generally, these bets will pay out up to 12x the amount of the original bet amount. However, players should check the rules of the game before placing these bets as they can vary from place to place. This is particularly true in online casinos, where the number of side bets may be smaller than in land-based casinos.