The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat is an ancient game, but one that has never been more popular. The game’s high-limit tables can draw in players betting $100,000 a hand or more. The game is the preferred choice for many Asian high rollers and generates more casino revenue than any other table game. Macau casinos alone made more than 88 percent of their $33.2 billion in total casino winnings last year from baccarat. This makes the game a major source of income for many casinos around the world, including those on the Las Vegas Strip.

The game is relatively simple and involves two hands being dealt to the player and banker. The object of the game is to get a hand closer to nine than the opposing hand. The score of a baccarat hand is determined by adding up the values of the cards. Picture cards and tens count zero points, while all other cards are worth their face value. The ace is worth one point. If the total is above nine, the first digit is dropped. For example, a seven and six would make a 15, so the score is 6.

When the player and banker have similar scores, the result is a tie. This happens quite frequently and often catches the uninitiated by surprise. When this occurs, all bets on the player and banker are returned to players and no one wins or loses. The banker, however, has an edge over the player in terms of total winnings.

Aside from the player and banker bets, a number of side bets are available on the baccarat table. Depending on the establishment or platform, these side bets may pay out different odds. The most common is the Player Pair bet, which wagers that a player and banker will receive matching cards on the deal. This bet pays out at a rate of 1:1.

Another popular option is the Banker Pair bet, which wagers that he banker will receive a pair on the deal. This bet pays out a rate of 8:1.

Occasionally, neither the player nor the banker will win the game. When this happens, the bets on the Banker and Player will be returned to players (no one wins or loses) and the bets on a Tie are paid out.

Baccarat can be a fun and relaxing game for all types of players. The key to playing baccarat well is to have a clear plan. Start by deciding how much you’re willing to lose at the table and stick to it. Once you’ve reached your loss limit, stop playing and come back another day.