Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a game of chance played at casinos worldwide. It’s one of the most popular card games and is a great way to spend an evening in a casino.

A croupier (dealer) deals cards face down from a shoe, which can be six or eight decks long. The game is played by 12 players, six on each side of the croupier. The table is covered with green felt, and the cards are shuffled into eight 52-card packs before being dealt to each player.

The cards have numbers ranging from zero to nine, with the ace equaling one. The hand that has the highest number, regardless of its value, is the winner.

There are three main variants of the game: Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer and Baccarat a Deux Tableaux. The latter, also called chemin de fer or railway baccarat, is a simplified version that has become the most widely played.

In Baccarat a Deux Tableaux, players still have some choice about whether to take a third card or not. The decision process is based on the first two cards of each hand, which are concealed from the opponent.

If a player asks for a third card, the banker draws a third card, depending on their total. If the total is 5 or less, they draw a third card, but not with 6 or 7.

A banker’s total is a number between 0 and 9; if the player’s total is higher than 9, the banker doesn’t draw a third card.

The player can bet on any of the three possible hands: Banker, Player or Tie. If the player wins, they receive the amount of their bet as a winning payout.

Alternatively, the player can bet on the Banker’s hand and lose their entire wager. The house charges a 5% commission on the Banker bet and this ensures that there is a House Advantage, even when the player wins the bet.

In the earlier game, Chemin de fer and Baccarat a Deux Tableaux, the first two cards of each hand are kept secret from the opponent. This makes the game more exciting, but can also make the game more difficult to master.

It is also common for the dealer to give each of the players a special card that they can use as a guide to their decisions. These are called a “decision table”.

A decision table in baccarat is an essential tool for learning how to play the game. It shows the rules of the game and helps you to calculate the best bets.

If you’re unsure about how to play baccarat, there are many different resources available online that can help you. These include free tutorials and guides on how to play baccarat.

You can even find videos of real croupiers playing the game at casino tables for you to watch, to get an idea of how it is played. This can be a great way to learn the game, but remember that if you’re planning on playing for real money at a casino, you’ll need to consult with a professional.