The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat is a card game that conjures images of high-rollers and glamorous casinos. It may be viewed as a complex game, but with a little time and patience you can quickly get up to speed.

The basics of baccarat are easy to understand, though the rules can vary slightly by establishment and platform. Regardless, the game is played on a large table with from seven to 14 seats for players and a dealer area. The Player and Banker hands are dealt two cards each, and the goal is to predict which hand will score closest to nine. Picture cards and tens are worth zero points, while numbered cards from 2 to 9 count at their face value and aces are valued at one point. A tie is also an option and pays out 8-to-1.

After each round, the player and banker reveal their cards and the winning bets are paid out. A third card may be drawn in certain situations depending on the game’s rules. If either the Player or Banker hands have a total of eight or nine on the first two cards, they are considered naturals and the round ends immediately. Otherwise, a third card will be drawn and the winner of the hand with the highest total will be determined.

Regardless of which side you bet on, the game begins with players placing their chips in the appropriate betting areas. If you play an RNG version of the game, the Deal button will be pressed once all bets are placed. If you choose to play a live dealer game, the player will need to select the size of the casino chip they wish to start with and then place their bet on the Banker, Player or Tie section of the table.

Once all bets are placed, the game begins with the Banker and Player hands being dealt two cards each. The player and banker then compare their hands to determine who won the round. If either the Player or Banker hands were given a total of eight or nine on their first two cards, they are declared the winners and the bets on them are paid out immediately. Otherwise, a third card will either be drawn for the Player or Banker, or both, and the winning hand is determined by comparing the sum of the values on each digit.

Beyond bets on a player win, banker win or tie, there are a few other interesting side bets available. The most common of these is the Pairs bet, which allows players to wager that the Banker and Player will receive matching cards on the deal. This bet offers 11:1 odds and is typically offered as an optional bet before the game starts. Another popular choice is the Progressive Jackpot side bet, which offers even higher odds of winning.