Baccarat is a casino card game in which the players compete against each other for the highest hand. The game is based on the Italian card game baccara and is also known as Punto Banco or chemin de fer (railway baccarat).
This game is essentially a comparing card game in which two hands, the “player” and the “banker”, compete against each other. The player hand is considered to have a higher score and the banker hand is considered to have a lower one. There are three possible outcomes in each baccarat coup, or round of play: the player wins, the banker wins, or the game is a tie and the players’ stakes are returned.
Generally, the game is played using standard 52-card decks shuffled together and dealt from a shoe. Every card rank, including the 2 through 9 pip cards, is given a numerical value and the Ace counts 1.
The game is normally played on a full-size table in the high-roller section of casinos. A maximum of 14 players can play at the table and the bets are very high.
In Baccarat, the player and the banker receive two cards each, sometimes with a third card dealt to either or both of their hands. The total of the player and banker hands is then shown to all bettors on each side, if any are made, and the winning bets are paid out accordingly.
A number of house rules may be applied to determine whether the players and banker need a third card, such as dropping the first digit or subtracting 10 from the total. In addition, there are a variety of rules that govern the decisions of the player and banker on whether or not to draw or stand.
Most versions of Baccarat are played with six or eight decks of cards, but the simplest version is played with five. The game is dealt by a croupier, who uses a shoe to deal the cards and directs the dealers to handle the banker and player hand bets.
Before the cards are dealt, each player is required to put up a stake, which is equivalent to the amount of money that they intend to place on the Player Hand or the Bank Hand. The dealer then places a dealing shoe on the table, and each player receives two hands of cards from it, under the croupier’s instruction. The first hand is the banker’s, and the second hand is the player’s.
The banker must put up the initial stake and the players take turns putting down their own bets until the total of the bets on each side of the table equals the banker’s. If the banker loses, their stake is forfeited and they lose their right to be banker.
There are two different types of Baccarat, punto banco and baccarat chemin de fer. The former is a more automated version where decisions are not left up to the players and is favoured by high rollers. The latter is a more complicated version in which the banker has to make a free choice based on information available to them and is therefore more susceptible to cheating.