Baccarat is an exotic casino game that is played with real cash in special high-roller rooms. The game has a glamorous image and requires no skill, so it’s easy to see why players are drawn to it. But if you want to play the game with success, you need to understand its rules and strategies.
First, a little history about the game: It originated in Italy in the early 14th Century and later moved to neighboring France where it became a favorite with the French aristocracy. The name “baccarat” is thought to come from a legend of an Etruscan virgin who had to throw a die to determine her fate. If she threw an 8, she would become a priestess. If she threw a 6, she could live, but she would never take part in religious or community events. If she threw a lower number, she would be cast into the sea to drown. This scenario is believed to have inspired the initial rules of baccarat.
Today, the game is played with one dealer and bets are made against the house. The payouts are based on whether you win the Player hand, the Banker hand or a Tie bet. The winning wager earns double or even money if the Player or Banker hand total is closer to 9 than the other. The Tie bet, however, pays out only nine times the amount wagered.
In the past, baccarat was played with the Player’s and Banker’s hands concealed from view. Only the third card, if called for, was shown to the banker. The banker’s decisions were based on this limited information. The decisions tables below represent the best basic strategy for both the Player and Banker with this limitation.
As late as 1860, Baccarat pieces did not even have any kind of trademark, just a paper label attached to the product. After this date, Baccarat began to engrave its mark on the glass. Today, you’ll find Baccarat pieces in museums and private collections around the world.
In addition to the main betting options, Baccarat offers a variety of side bets that are similar to other casino games. These bets are often offered as a way to add excitement and extra money to your game, but they usually don’t pay out very well. It’s always best to avoid these bets and stick with the main betting options if you want to maximize your wins. Unlike the main bets, side bets can have a very high house edge and are not recommended for serious gamblers. This is especially true for the tie bet, which has a 14.1 percent house edge and is almost impossible to win. In general, intelligent players never make this bet. Instead, they place bets on the Banker or the Player, which have a much lower house edge.