How to Play Baccarat


Baccarat is one of those enigmatic casino games that exudes sophistication, conjuring images of men in tuxedos and women in posh evening gowns laying down chips as they watch the dealer distribute cards. But don’t let the game’s mystique fool you, Baccarat is an easy and fun card game to play and can be mastered with just a little bit of time and practice.

While many casinos feature Baccarat on their gaming floors, it’s also available to play at online gambling sites and mobile apps in Michigan and New Jersey where regulated internet gambling is legal. Whether you’re playing in-person or online, the basic rules of the game are identical. The goal of Baccarat is to bet on which hand will win, namely the Player’s or Banker’s hands. The dealer deals out two cards for each of these hands and the hand that is closest to nine wins.

The game is played with a standard deck of 52-cards shuffled together. The cards have a point count based on their rank, with 2 through 9 having values equal to their pip denomination and Aces carrying the value of 1. The dealer passes out the cards to the player’s and banker’s spots at the table, face up. The first two cards form the Player’s hand and are marked as “Player” on the table, while the second two cards form the Banker’s hand and are marked as “Banker” on the table.

Unlike other casino banked card games, players don’t touch the cards in traditional Baccarat or its modern derivatives like Punto Banco and Mini Baccarat. Instead, each participant gets a betting space on the table that is marked with the game’s betting options. In peel baccarat (the Macau style of the game) participants may handle the cards themselves, while in the classic or modern versions of the game, they are passed out to the player by the dealer.

In the original game, the Player and Banker’s hands were kept secret from each other. Only the third cards for each of these hands are exposed during draw decisions, which is why the Banker’s hand always wins. In modern baccarat, however, the Player and Banker’s hands are revealed to the players.

The players at the table wager on which hand will win. The Banker’s hand has a lower house edge than the Player’s hand, which is why it’s often preferred by intelligent players. The player’s bets are subject to a 5% commission from the casino, which increases the house edge slightly.

As with any casino game, it’s important to have a plan before you start playing Baccarat. Set a loss limit and stick to it. Once you reach your loser limit, walk away from the table. In addition, set a win limit as well. Once you hit your winning limit, stop gambling and return another day. These simple strategies will keep your bankroll intact while you enjoy the thrills of a unique and rewarding game of chance.