Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in Asia, where players wager on which hand will win based on the result of a single round of play. The game is played on a large table with green felt that has the numbers 1 to 12 marked on it. Eight packs are shuffled and a dealing box, also called a shoe, is used to distribute the cards as they’re drawn. The object of the game is for the player to correctly predict whether the Banker or Player hand will come closest to nine. A winning Banker bet will receive a 1:1 payout, while a winning tie bet is paid 8-to-1.
Unlike most other casino card games, in baccarat face cards have little-to-no value; only tens, jacks, queens, and kings are worth zero points, while Aces are valued at one point. The croupier deals two cards to the Banker and Player hands, then deals a third to either hand if the players bet for a tie. Whichever hand comes closest to nine wins the round. The game is often referred to as “Petit Dame,” as it’s often accompanied by a high-quality, exotic table cloth and tuxedoed dealers.
The game’s popularity has grown in recent years as casino operators look for ways to attract high rollers. Bill Zender, a former Nevada Gaming Control agent and casino dealer who wrote the book on managing casino games, says that Asian high rollers have almost universally made baccarat their game of choice. While baccarat is traditionally considered a high-limit game with steep minimums, it’s now being offered on the floor at many casinos and even in a few standalone boutique establishments.
Aside from a few special rules that may vary from place to place, the basics of the game remain the same everywhere. Baccarat is typically dealt from a six- or eight-deck shoe. A 5% commission is added to the payout on a winning Banker bet, which reduces the odds slightly in favor of the banker. Those betting on the player hand can expect a payout of 1 to 1.
Most baccarat tables feature score sheets that allow players to keep track of their results. Players can use these to practice a strategy before playing for real money, and can find free online baccarat games to help them get comfortable with the game’s rules and betting options. Using these tools can be particularly useful for newcomers who want to learn the game without risking their own money. These tools can also help experienced players to test out different strategies for the game and determine which bets have the best payouts. They can then adjust their stakes accordingly. These tools are available for both desktop and mobile users, making it easy for anyone to try out this classic casino game.