The Basics of Baccarat


Baccarat is a card game played with six, seven or eight standard decks of 52 cards. It has a simple rules set and only three wagers. Players place bets on whether the Banker hand will win, the Player hand will win or if there will be a tie. The objective is to get a hand totaling nine. Unlike Blackjack or Roulette, where players can make many different bets, the only wagering options in baccarat are bets on either the Banker hand, the Player hand or a tie.

Baccarat was first introduced in 19th century France as Chemin de Fer, and it has since become a popular game for high-stakes play in casinos across Europe and the United States. It was brought to Las Vegas in the 1950s by Francis Tommy Renzoni, and it is now a staple at high-limit gaming areas of casino resorts around the world.

Players bet on the hand they believe will come closest to nine, and the winner is the hand that has a higher total than the other. A tie is rare, and a 9 is the best possible score. The game is played with a live dealer, and it can be watched by other players at the table, though etiquette dictates that players should not sit in while a session is in progress.

Traditionally, a baccarat game was played with the Player and Banker hands concealed. Only the third card drawn if asked for is exposed, and the banker can only make decisions with this limited information. The Decision tables below show the best basic strategies for the Player and Banker with this information.

In modern baccarat, the banker is dealt two cards to start the round. The banker must decide whether to stand or draw a third card in order to beat the Player hand. In addition to the third card, the banker also knows how much has been staked on each of the player hands. This makes it a much more risky game for the player, as the banker can choose to stand on any number and can only hope that his or her decision will be correct.

Despite the simplicity of the game, there are many variations to the way the game is played and different ways that the odds can be calculated. One variation is known as the derived roads, and it is used by some advanced baccarat players to increase their chances of winning. The derived road system works by tracking the winning streaks of both the banker and the player. These streaks appear on the bead plate, and a good understanding of how they work is crucial to understanding this method. The key thing to remember is that the red and blue symbols on the derived road do not indicate banker or player – they are simply markings to show if there is a pattern or not. This is something that can take a while to understand, but it is well worth the effort.