The Basics of Baccarat

From sticky-floor California card rooms to tuxedo-laden casinos in Monaco, baccarat has attracted high rollers since it appeared in Europe at the end of the 17th century. In its early days, the game was popular with all classes, including royalty. Its glitz and glamour even earned it a spot in Watier’s, an exclusive gentlemen’s club in London that caused the ruin of Beau Brummell.

Baccarat is played with six, seven, or eight standard decks of 52 cards. The goal is to correctly predict which hand will win the round, or if it will be a tie. The value of each hand is the sum of its cards, with only the rightmost digit taken into account. A winning player hand pays out a 1:1 payout, while a winning banker hand pays out 8:1. However, the payout odds on a winning tie bet are reduced to 19:20 because of the 5% commission paid to the casino on this wager.

There are a few rules of baccarat that can be difficult for new players to understand. One is that the maximum value a hand can have is nine. If the total of a hand exceeds nine, players must subtract ten or drop the first numeral to determine its true value. For example, a hand with two sevens and an eight would be worth 15 points.

Another rule is that a third card is only drawn when the banker’s total is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7. The dealer must draw if the banker has a 0-4 score and stand if the banker has a 5-6 or 7 score.

A third option is the Tie bet, which pays out nine to one if either of the two hands is closest to 9 points. The house edge on this bet is higher than for the Banker or Player bet, but it is a good choice for players who are not comfortable with placing large bets in the presence of other players.

Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced gambler, it’s important to decide in advance how much you want to spend on a baccarat session. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to get carried away on a buzz, and you may lose more money than you expected. To avoid this, make a plan in advance of how much you’d like to spend on the night and bring cash with you. This way, you can walk away knowing that you’ve spent only what you intended to. You can also try out free online baccarat games to practice without the pressure of real money. This will help you build confidence until you’re ready to play for real. You can find a great selection of baccarat games at our top online casinos.