Baccarat is a casino game that evokes visions of swanky gambling salons in Continental Europe. If you’ve ever strolled past a baccarat table in a casino, you may have been amazed at the lavish tablescape – gorgeous women sitting around oversized tables, with dealers and players clad in tuxes. If you looked closer, you might have expected to see special agent James Bond himself seated in one of the chairs.
But despite its appearance, the game is actually quite simple to play. A player can bet on either the Banker or the Player hand. The object of the game is to get a total closer to nine than the opposing hand. Aces count as one, and all other cards are valued according to their number. The highest hand wins, and the winnings are awarded to those who made the bet. A tie bet is also available, but it has a much higher house edge of over 14 percent and is not recommended for serious gamblers.
In the US, casinos introduced baccarat in an attempt to class up their establishments and attract more high rollers. At the time, Las Vegas was entangled in a web of bad publicity related to casino operators skimming profits and mob scandals. Baccarat seemed like the perfect way to introduce a swanky game that was popular in Europe and attract a more refined audience.
Today, baccarat is played in casinos throughout the world. The game is especially popular in Macau and Singapore, where casinos make more money from baccarat than anywhere else in the world. In fact, baccarat makes up more than 88 percent of the casinos’ total win in Macau and 18 percent of their overall win on the Strip.
Baccarat is easy to play and requires no complex rules. After placing your bet, the dealer deals two cards to himself and two to the player. The player must decide whether to accept or decline a third card. If the player’s hand is a natural, then no more cards are dealt. The player and banker reveal their hands after the deal, and the hand with the highest value wins. If the player’s hand is ten or higher, the first digit is dropped.
Those who are new to baccarat should try out free baccarat games online before betting real money. These free games offer the same basic rules as those found in land-based casinos, but without the risk of losing real cash. The free baccarat games can also help players practice their strategy and build up their confidence before they start playing for money.
A reputable online casino site offers plenty of baccarat options. These sites feature a variety of different versions of the game and are compatible with desktop and mobile devices. Most baccarat games offer a number of bets, from micro to high roller, and most sites also have a live baccarat table with dealers. In addition to offering a wide selection of games, these sites also provide helpful articles on the best strategies and tactics for baccarat.