The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a game of chance that doesn’t require much technical skill to play. It is popular among high rollers and can be found in the big money sections of casinos worldwide. The objective of the game is to place a bet on either the player or banker hand that will have a total closest to nine. There is a third bet called the tie, which pays eight to one if both hands equal the same score, but most serious players stick with the player or banker wagers which have a house edge of less than two percent.

Baccarat traces its roots back to the mid-19th century France. It is often considered to be the immediate predecessor of Macao, a Chinese card game that was brought to Europe by sailors returning from Asia where similar games like San zhang and Gabo japgi have been played since the early 17th century. Baccarat became even more popular in the mid 19th century, particularly in England and Continental Europe, where it became known as “punto banco.”

Unlike many casino games that require considerable concentration to play and understand, baccarat is a very simple game. The only real decisions that the player needs to make are whether to bet on the Player or the Banker and how much to wager. The dealer then does the rest. There are a few variations in the rules depending on where you’re playing but the basic game is the same: Bet on the hand that has a total closer to nine than the other hand. Aces count as zero, face cards as one, and tens, jimmies, and swans count as 10.

Once the players have made their bets, the dealer will deal out two cards to the Player and to the Banker. The Player and Banker must then decide whether to draw a third card. If they don’t, the winner is decided by whichever hand has the higher total when all of the pips (clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) are added together.

Baccarat is also famous for its engraved glassware, which is a labor-intensive process that involves covering the object in bitumen, a tough tar-like substance, and then cutting into it with copper grindstones. The result is a pattern that shows up on the surface of the glass. It is quite common to find Baccarat glassware that is engraved with royal designs, as a mark of quality and distinction.