Baccarat, pronounced bah-cah-rah, may look serious and intimidating to average casino goers, but it is actually very simple and easy to play. This game has become one of the most popular casino card games worldwide, and its popularity continues to grow. It is a card game in which the player and banker wager on which hand will get closest to nine points. Each hand is dealt two cards from a six or eight-deck shoe, and a third card might be drawn depending on the value of the player or banker hand.
Players place their bets before the cards are dealt. They can bet on the Player hand, the Banker hand or a Tie. A winning Player or Banker bet pays out 95% of the bet amount, and a winning Tie bet pays 8-to-1. Score sheets are available at live baccarat tables to keep track of the totals for each hand. If the Player or Banker hands have a total closer to nine, they are declared winners and no further cards are dealt.
The only exception to this rule is when neither the Player or Banker hand has a “natural” (9). If either of these hands produce a natural, no further cards are drawn and all bets on the Player or Banker are paid out. Then the Banker and Player bets are reset for the next round.
High rollers are drawn to baccarat for several reasons. First, as Zender points out, it is the only game that has a house edge lower than 1.2 percent on banker and player bets. Second, it is a social game that can be played in groups and offers a level of sophistication that discerning gamblers appreciate. And finally, as the game has grown in popularity throughout Asia, high rollers there have made it their game of choice.
There are other factors that contribute to the game’s growing reputation as well, including its relative ease of play and speed of betting. For example, it is much faster than roulette or blackjack because the betting process takes only a few seconds. It’s also a relatively simple game to learn, and its rules are logical and predictable.
While Baccarat is a great casino card game, it’s important to be a responsible player and make wise decisions. It’s a good idea to decide how much you want to spend before entering the casino, and to treat this money as you would any other money spent on a night out. This will help you avoid getting carried away and spending more than you can afford to lose. To further minimize your risk, only use cash to make your bets. Also, be sure to sign up for a casino that offers the games you like and provides excellent customer service.