Baccarat has been around since the late 1400s and is a popular card game played at casinos. There are three popular forms of baccarat—punto banco, baccarat chemin de fer, and baccarat banque. The variation most found at casinos is punto banco baccarat, which is solely a game of chance. The other two forms rely on some skill, which makes the odds more favourable for the player, especially compared to slots or bingo. Newcomers to the game may recognize it from the earlier James Bond films, as he was shown playing it in Dr. No and the 1967 version of Casino Royale. This is a great game to play, especially if you’re new at gambling, as the rules are very simple.

How to Play

This game is played between two people—the player and the “banker” (or dealer). The object of the game is to correctly guess whose hand, the player’s or the banker’s, will be the closest to the sum of 9. To determine the points, cards 2-9 are worth the value on the card; Ace is worth 1 point; 10 and face cards are worth 0. Simply add the points of each card together to determine what your sum is.

To start out, you place your wager on the player, banker or “tie” (if you think that the player and the banker will have the same point total—the odds aren’t very high here, but the payout is much better if you are correct). The cards are dealt—two each for the player and the banker. If either the player or the banker has a point total of 8 or 9, no more cards are dealt and the game is over. If the player has a point total of 5 or less, he can take one more card. If the player has a total of 6 or 7, he stands. The banker will take another if his point total is 2 or less and he stands if his total is a total of 7. There are other times the banker will not take another card, depending on what the player has, including: the banker has a point total of 3 and the player’s third card is an 8 and the banker’s point total is 4 and the player’s third card is a 0, 1, 8 or 9. After all cards are dealt, the banker will determine whose hand is the winner and will pay out if you wagered on the winning hand.

The fun thing about baccarat is that the player doesn’t even have to bet on his own hand to win—if he thinks that the banker or dealer is most likely to have a hand equalling 9 points, he can bet on the house instead of himself. So, if the player has a losing hand, he still wins if he bet on the banker.

If you bet on your hand and, your winnings are double your bet. If you bet on a tie and win, you are paid eight times your initial wager. Also, if the game ends in a tie, your original wager is returned, even if you didn’t bet on a tie, which is another cool thing about baccarat as compared to other card games or games of chance.

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