Baccarat is often tucked away in high-limit gaming areas, but it’s an easy game to learn and play. You simply place your bet on the Player, Banker or a Tie and the dealer does the rest. The objective is to get the hand that is closest to nine points. Cards numbered 2 to 10 count at their face value, and the ace counts as one point. A winning Banker or Player hand gets no more than two additional cards. A winning Tie bet pays 8-to-1. There are a number of other side bets as well, including the Super Six and Pair Bets.
The game’s popularity has brought about several variations and betting options, such as Mini Baccarat and the Macau-style variation where players may handle the cards. It’s also spawned a host of casinos and other gaming sites that offer the game, and a number of high-roller casinos in Asia feature a baccarat table. Baccarat’s trappings have a lot to do with its appeal. It’s played for high stakes and often involves large amounts of cash – in American casinos, $100 bills are spread all around the table, while European casinos use oblong chips. The game is played on a special table, usually blocked off from the rest of the casino floor. Baccarat players are often dressed in tuxedos and other finery, and it’s common to see them standing when they win.
While Baccarat is often associated with high-rollers and opulent casinos, its popularity has grown throughout the world as it’s become increasingly accessible to more players. A former Nevada Gaming Control Agent, casino dealer, executive and current consultant who literally wrote the book on managing casino games, Bill Zender, says that he’s seen the popularity of the game grow considerably over his 40+ year career. In fact, he says that Asian high rollers have almost universally made baccarat their game of choice.
It’s important to remember that Baccarat is a game of chance, so you should decide in advance how much you want to spend and stick to it. You don’t want to walk away feeling you’ve lost more money than you intended. Also, be sure to use only cash – not credit or debit – and keep your bankroll in sight so you don’t end up gambling more than you can afford to lose.
Baccarat was founded in 1764 in the town of Baccarat, France. The company produced a variety of glassware, including opulent vases that closely resembled porcelain and milky opaline glass pieces that were popular among Victorian collectors. The company was also known for the monumental lighting fixtures it crafted for exhibitions and royalty across the globe, such as the 17.5 foot (5 metres) tall candelabra that astonished audiences at Paris’ Exposition Universelle in 1855.
Today, baccarat is a global phenomenon and can be found in many different settings. From sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, it’s an elegant and exciting game that requires little skill and offers high returns for winning bettors.