While baccarat is often depicted as a game of elegance and sophistication in the movies – it’s James Bond’s favorite casino game – it’s actually an easy, slow-paced table game that’s perfect for beginners. With no strategy or skill needed, the game is simple to learn, and offers some of the best odds in the casino.
The premise of the game is that you wager on which hand – the player’s, the banker’s or a tie – will win a round by being closest to nine points. Cards are dealt from a six or eight-deck shoe. All cards equal their face value unless they’re an Ace, which is worth one point. Totals over 9 are dropped. The winning hand is the one that has the final digit closest to 9.
Players must make their bets before the cards are dealt. They can place a bet on the Player, Banker or Tie. Once the bets are placed, two cards are dealt to each of these hands. Depending on the outcome of these two hands, a third card may be drawn.
If a bet on the Player or Banker wins, the payout is 1:1. However, if you bet on the Banker’s hand and it wins, you must pay a 5% commission which reduces the payout to 1:9. Alternatively, if you bet on a winning tie, you qualify for an 8-to-1 payout. During live games, score sheets are available to help you keep track of your bets.
Baccarat was founded in France in the mid-19th Century. Its strong showings at the Great Exhibitions of 1855, 1867 and 1878 drew admirers from across Europe, as well as further afield in Portugal, Japan and India.
The company grew to be one of the world’s leading producers of glassware and other luxury goods. Today, some of the firm’s most elaborate designs – for exhibition and otherwise – remain prized collectors’ items.
One of the most famous pieces was a pair of candelabra designed for Tsar Nicholas II. The originals, which never made it to Russia owing to the outbreak of World War I and the Russian Revolution that followed, are now on display in the Baccarat Museum.
The game of baccarat is played at most casino tables and can also be enjoyed from home with the help of an online baccarat website. You can find a number of these sites which offer a variety of features that include an extensive library of rules, a chat room where you can ask questions and a tutorial that walks you through the basics. Some of these websites also offer a free practice mode so you can get the hang of the game before playing for real money. Besides this, some of these websites allow you to play baccarat with no commission. This variation of the game offers lower payouts than the standard banker bet, but it still gives you a much higher chance of winning than other casino games.