What is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a table game that is one of the world’s most popular and easy to learn. It is a low-paced game that is a lot of fun and a great addition to any casino night. It is a game of chance that has a long history and was first played in Italy before it made its way to France where it became popular among elite gamblers known as ‘Chemin de Fer’. Later, the game spread to England where the very famous author Ian Fleming took a liking for it and immortalised it in his iconic fictional character James Bond.

Baccarat, also known as Punto Banco and Bénédictine, is a simple card game with only three possible outcomes: a player win, a banker win or a tie. Two cards are dealt to the Bank hand and to the Player hand and the one closest to nine wins. The game is played with eight or six packs of 52-cards shuffled together and then dealt by the croupier from a dealing shoe. The decks are shuffled again at the end of each round. The baccarat table is covered with green felt and has numbered areas where players place their bets. A croupier handles the game and does not play with the players.

Once the players have placed their bets, the dealer will deal a single card to the ‘Player box’ and then a card to the ‘Banker box’. The cards are revealing and the highest value is the winner. A tie is a result of two equal cards and pays 9 to 1 while a player win or banker win gives the player or banker the total amount wagered. Score sheets are available to help players keep track of the winning hands.

Unlike blackjack where a third card is drawn depending on the dealer’s and player’s hands, in baccarat a third card is never drawn unless the initial total is 8 or 9. This is known as the’stand’ and it is the most common result. A ‘natural’ is also an exception and does not require a third card.

There are a few key differences between the ‘Bénédictine’ and ‘Chemin de Fer’ versions of the game, mainly in the way that the banker takes on more risk. Nevertheless, both games are a lot of fun and you can find a great selection of baccarat tables online to enjoy this classic casino game.