What is Baccarat?


Baccarat is a card game that has its origins in medieval Italy. It is still popular today and can be found in many casinos around the world. It can be played in a number of different variants, including punto banco, chemin de fer and baccarat banque.

The game is based on a standard 52-card deck which has numerical values. Cards numbered two through nine have their face value and the Ace counts 1. Tens and picture cards have no value.

A total of 8 or 9 is required to win, and if one or both of the players have this hand they show it. If there is a tie then the players’ stakes are returned.

There are different versions of baccarat, each with its own rules and house edge. The most common variant is punto banco, which can be played in casinos worldwide.

In this version, all players on each side of the table act in turn. The first player to the right of the banker claims to “go bank”; the next player on his left does the same, and so on in regular order.

The player and the banker take their cards and try to guess which hand is closest to nine. If the total of both hands is less than nine, the winner is determined by drawing a third card.

Alternatively, if the total of the hands is greater than nine, the first digit of the total is dropped or the player is given a chance to draw another card (called a second card). If the hand is equal to 9 then it is a stand-off and no money is exchanged.

Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games and is particularly popular in Asia, where it has become a high-roller favourite. It is a fast-paced game that requires little skill but a good knowledge of strategy.

The game is dealt from a dealing shoe, which has a number of standard 52-card decks. The first two cards are dealt to the Player and Bank Hands, and a third card is sometimes dealt to either or both of them.

Each hand is then examined in turn, and if any of the hands has a total of eight or nine then they are shown. The banker then settles up with the players, paying out if the players’ hand is higher than his, collecting if the player’s hand is lower, and returning the players’ stakes if there is a tie.

A third card is dealt to each hand if it is needed and each hand has to be shown before the next round of play can begin. Each player is then given a chance to draw a third card starting with the player on their right, and continuing in a counter-clockwise fashion.

The game is usually played with eight decks of cards shuffled together and is typically dealt from a six- or eight-deck shoe. However, it can also be played with only six decks.