Baccarat (pronounced ba:k@ra:t) is an elegant casino card game that looks like blackjack, but is much simpler. It has several variations, including punto banco, chemin de fer, and baccarat banque (also known as chemmy or baccara). In the basic game there are two hands, the player’s hand and the banker’s hand. The object is to get a total closer to nine than the other hand. If the two cards add up to more than nine, the first digit is removed.
When a baccarat game starts, the dealer announces if the player wants to “go bank,” and then each player decides whether they want to place a bet on the Player’s hand, the Banker’s hand or a Tie bet. Then they place their bets in counterclockwise order around the table. The Banker’s hand is dealt with eight decks of cards, while the Player’s hand is dealt three cards. A winning Player’s hand pays even money, while a winning Banker bet pays 0.5 to 1. A Tie bet wins 8 to 1. The casino takes a 5% commission on the Banker’s hand only.
The ties in baccarat are rare, but when they happen, it’s a major win for the house. The reason is because the Banker’s and Player’s hands must both have a 9 to be a winner, but one or both of these hands will occasionally need an additional card. So the dealer must draw another card to determine a winner. This is a fixed rule that you cannot change.
Baccarat is a slow-moving and ritualistic game that is both fun and relaxing. It is also easy to learn, and the rules are simple. It is not as complex as blackjack or roulette, and you don’t need to memorize any betting strategy.
The game originated in France and spread to England, where author Ian Fleming took a liking to it and immortalized it as the James Bond casino game. Today, it’s played in the high-roller rooms of casinos for large minimum bets, but it has also become a popular casino game online. You can play it on a single table with tuxedo-clad dealers or in a more casual environment with regular casino tables and lower minimum bets. Online casinos also offer baccarat in a variety of styles, from the standard game to exotic variants like Lightning Baccarat, which is similar to regular baccarat except it features random multipliers on winning bets. It’s a great choice when you don’t have time to study a complex strategy but still want to enjoy the thrill of playing a live dealer. You can also find mini-baccarat games, which are played on smaller tables and are easier to understand. There are also online baccarat apps, which are convenient and fast to play. However, these can be less exciting than the live version.