Baccarat, a slow-paced game of cards that is known as one of the world’s most glamorous casino games, is simple to understand and play. There are no complicated rules, and whoever’s hand has the final digit closest to nine wins. The game originated in France and then spread to England where author Ian Fleming took a liking to it and immortalised it in his world-famous James Bond character. It is still a popular choice among high rollers, and it’s not uncommon to see the game played in a separate alcove away from the crowds in casinos that have a high-limit area.
The game can be played with either a banker or player, and players make their wagers by placing chips in the appropriate box before the dealer deals two cards to both hands. There is a third betting option, a tie, which pays out 8-to-1 but has a much higher house edge of over 14 percent. Players can also choose to wager on both the banker and player hands, although the house’s 1.2 percent advantage on winning bets on player or banker means that most serious players tend to stick with the Player or Banker bets.
After all the bets are placed, the dealer will deal cards to both the banker and the player, and the winning hand is whichever has the final digit closest to 9. The game also includes a ‘double digit’ rule which means that when the total goes above 9 the first number is dropped. The highest number is nine, while the lowest is eight. Cards numbered between 1 and 10 count as their face value, while the ace counts as one point.
Once the cards are dealt, players can either stand or hit their bets. If the player wins, they receive a payout of 1:1 if they placed a bet on the winner, while those who wagered on the banker will get their stake back plus a 5% commission on the winnings. A tie win pays out 8-to-1, and score sheets are available at the table for players to keep track of their score.
Players can reduce the house edge in baccarat by following a pattern strategy. There are a couple of different ways to do this, but most of them work on the premise that shoes will zigzag between banker and player wins. Players can then adjust their betting systems accordingly, with flat bets on player win streaks earning them more money than they would by switching to a system that relied on changing their bets. While this approach does not guarantee any big wins, it can help to extend a player’s bankroll and keep them playing longer.