Baccarat is a card game that has long been one of the most popular games in casino gambling. It can be found in a variety of settings, from sticky floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, and it has even been spotted on the set of James Bond films. Unlike many other casino games, Baccarat requires very little skill and offers high payouts for a simple bet. It’s easy to understand why it has become so popular.
The rules of baccarat vary slightly depending on whether you’re playing the “punto banco,” “chemin de fer,” or “EZ Baccarat” version of the game, but the overall goal is to correctly predict which hand will win the round (Player, Banker, or Tie) and place your bets accordingly. Eight standard 52-card packs are shuffled together and dealt by the croupier from a dealing box known as a shoe. The cards are placed in a numbered layout on the table, and players can bet on either the Player or the Banker.
When the croupier deals two cards to the banker and player, they compare their totals to determine the winner. If a player or banker hand has a total of 8 or 9 from the first two cards, that’s called a natural win and all bets are paid out. If the totals aren’t 8, a third card is drawn. This is done by comparing the second and third card to determine which hand has a higher value.
In a tie, the croupier decides which hand wins based on the number of points the hand has and its digits. 9 is the highest number that can be scored, while 10 and picture or face cards are worth their face value. Aces are worth 1 point.
After the croupier deals all of the cards, a player may choose to add more bets. They can also opt to “go bank,” in which case they play against the initial banker bet amount. Once everyone has decided if they want to go bank, the croupier will announce the total and pay out the bets.
In the past, baccarat was a game reserved for high rollers and the most exclusive areas of land-based casinos. However, the advent of online gaming has made this classic game much more accessible, and its popularity continues to rise. In fact, baccarat is now the most commonly played casino game in North America. It is also the game of choice for Asian high rollers. Bill Zender, who wrote the book on managing casino games, has seen this change over his career and believes that baccarat is here to stay. He has seen it grow exponentially in the past thirty years and predicts that it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.