Baccarat is a game of chance, with one of the highest payouts of all casino games. It is not considered a skill-based game, however, it has gained a reputation for being a “sexy” and “expensive” casino game, due to the fact that high stakes are involved in its play. Baccarat is often played in private rooms, away from the masses of other casino players and wagers are placed with either cash or high-denomination chips, called oblong “plaques.”
In the modern game of baccarat, each player places a bet on one of two hands; the Player Hand, the Banker Hand, or a tie. Once the bets are placed, a card is dealt to each hand and a total is determined. The highest total wins the hand, with 9 being the best number. Cards numbered 2 through 10 and the Picture or Face Cards count as zero points, and the Ace counts as 1 point. The croupier then announces the result of the hand, and winning bets are paid. Winning bets are always paid even money.
When the Banker Hand wins, the croupier will draw a third card if the first two cards were a 4 or 5, and stand with a 6 or 7. If the banker has a natural (either a 9 or 8 on the first two cards) the game ends and no additional cards are drawn.
The game of baccarat has gained popularity in recent years, and is now found in many casinos throughout the world. It has also been featured in several films, including the James Bond series of films; Dr. No, where the character, James Bond, plays baccarat against Le Chiffre; Thunderball; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; For Your Eyes Only; and GoldenEye.
A baccarat table is usually set up with three inter-shuffled decks of cards. The position of the banker is usually determined via auctioning; it is given to the player who wishes to risk the largest amount. Once the banker is established, players can make their wagers in order; each wager must be equal to or greater than the current total of the bank. Observing bystanders, known as punters, may also place wagers up to the amount of the bank.
A maximum of ten players may play at the same time. Once the wagers have been placed, the croupier will deal the cards. The game is played out according to the rules of the tableau, and in the case of a tie, the decision is made by the croupier. The banker is not forced to continue dealing in the same game, and can retire if they wish. The game is then continued with a new banker. In this way, the baccarat table rotates. In the United States, baccarat is typically played in a Punto Banco configuration, while in Europe and Macau it is often played as Chemin de Fer or a deux tableaux.