If you’re seeking a Las Vegas casino table game with minimal complexities and James Bond-style glamour, Baccarat is the one. This elegant, high-roller game has just three outcomes – a Player win, a Banker win or a Tie – and the dealer does most of the work for you.
Players make their choice before the cards are dealt and bet on whether they think the Player hand or the Banker hand will come closest to a total of nine points. Once all the bets are placed, the cards are dealt and a winning hand is determined. The game can be slow-moving and ritualistic and is often played in an isolated area away from the main casino action.
The rules of Baccarat are simple: After all the bets are made, the dealer deals two cards each to the Player and Banker. A third card is drawn if either the Player or Banker have a total of 8 or 9. The winner is the hand that comes closest to 9 points. The Player and Banker bets pay out 1:1, and the Tie bet pays out 8:1 (although some places offer slightly better odds of 9:1).
Unlike other games of chance, there is no skill element to Baccarat. You can’t decide to take another card or stand based on the current state of the game and you certainly can’t make decisions on how to place your bets in order to influence what happens next. Instead, you bet on either the Player or Banker, and the dealer does everything else for you.
There are some specialised betting strategies that claim to reduce the house edge in Baccarat, but these are generally not very effective. Some players try to find patterns in the outcome of previous rounds, thinking that this will help them predict the results of future hands. This can be quite fun, but is unlikely to change the overall odds of the game significantly.
If you’re planning a night out at a casino, it’s advisable to set a limit ahead of time so you don’t spend more than you intend. This is especially important for casino games where the atmosphere can be so intense that you could easily lose track of your spending. You’ll also want to avoid the temptation to play additional side bets that can add up quickly and add significantly to your losses. These side bets typically cost much more than the main bets and are best avoided. This is the case both in real casinos and online. However, if you’re planning to play online Baccarat and have some extra cash on your hands, there are some good Baccarat side bets available to you that will not add too much to your losses. These are the most popular and include the Player/Banker Bonus, the Player/Banker Pairs, the Tie and the Mini Baccarat side bets. The latter are particularly popular amongst players because they offer a lower minimum bet and have more attractive payout ratios than the other options.