If you want to sit down at a Las Vegas casino table game with little complexity and a lot of James Bond-style gambling fun, baccarat is your go-to option. Players simply walk up to the table and place their wagers on one of three possible outcomes: a player win, a banker win, or a tie. The dealer then does the rest. If you bet on the player winning, you receive a payout of 1:1 (with the house having a 1.24% edge). If you bet on the banker winning, you will have to pay a 5% commission on all your wins.
The rules of baccarat are very simple and can be learned in a matter of minutes. The cards are dealt from a six or eight-deck shoe and rank according to their value: 9 equals the highest, 10 equals zero, and the remaining numbers (from 2-9 with the exception of the Ace) are worth their number values. Adding up the total points of your hand is also easy: If your cards add up to more than nine, you subtract ten or drop the first numeral. This is a standard rule for all games of chance and allows you to get as close as possible to 9.
After players place their bets, the dealer hands out two cards to both the Player and Banker hands. The winner is the hand that is closest to nine. If the hand is a nine, the winner is paid out 1:1. If the hand is a ten or higher, you will have to pay a 1% commission on all your wins. This can add up quickly and eat into any profits you may have made on the hand.
While the game is simple, many people are tempted to look for strategies that can help them beat the house edge and maximize their potential winnings. While some players swear by betting systems such as the Martingale strategy, others try to analyze past results in an attempt to predict what will happen on the next hand. However, it is important to remember that baccarat is a game of pure chance and past results have no bearing on what will happen in the future.
The fact that baccarat has become increasingly popular in Asia is a good reason for American casinos to consider adding the game to their tables, especially since it is one of the few casino games where high-betting players can put a serious dent in the house advantage. However, no matter how much you bet, we recommend avoiding the dreaded tie bets as they are more likely to drain your wallet than to increase your winnings. For this reason, we highly recommend that you read up on the different baccarat betting options and choose your bets wisely. Good luck!