What Is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a game of chance that isn’t very complicated, but it can seem intimidating to a new player. It’s often played in high-limit areas of casino floors and was once a favorite game of millionaires such as Akio Kashiwagi, who once challenged an Atlantic City casino to a $12 million freeze-out bet. Baccarat’s popularity is growing as more American casinos add the game to their pits. The minimum bet is $20, but players can place bets of up to $2 million in a single hand.

Baccarat resembles a simple version of poker with the addition of a third card and different rules for winning. The objective is to get a total close to nine. The dealer deals two cards to each of the player’s and banker’s hands, and the winner is the hand closest to 9. The first digit of the total value counts as the number; for example, a seven and a six would result in 13 points but would be dropped down to three when calculated.

In ordinary play, there are a maximum of seven or 14 seats for players and a banker’s area. The dealer passes out two cards for each hand and a third to the player if needed. The player and banker bet on which hand will win, and the bettors are charged a five percent commission on winning banker bets.

There are several side bets available for players who don’t want to back the player or banker. These bets are placed before the game begins and their odds vary by establishment and platform. Some of the most popular side bets include a player pair, a banker pair, and a tie.

While Baccarat has been around for centuries, the company’s most famous piece was created in 1878 for its display at the third Paris world’s fair. This piece was the Temple of Mercury, which measured 16 feet high and 17 feet wide. The structure enclosed a bronze statue of the god Mercury. It is still in Baccarat’s showroom, along with a number of other large chandeliers and candelabras.

Baccarat also features in a number of movies and TV shows. In 2007’s Rush Hour 3, main characters James Carter and Genevieve meet for the first time in a Parisian casino while playing the game. Carter can’t afford to gamble, but he wins with the help of a female friend who covers for him. The 1956 French heist film Bob le Flambeur includes a memorable scene in which the protagonist plays baccarat and wins big money. He later uses this fortune to fund his heist and becomes rich. But it’s important to set a spending limit before you enter the casino. Treat the money you bring with you like it’s money for a night out, not a windfall, and you won’t be as tempted to play with it. This will keep you from losing control of your bankroll and leaving with nothing to show for it.