Baccarat is a casino game that has long been associated with high rollers, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a simple game with only three wagering options – Player, Banker or Tie – and it has the highest table limits of any other casino game in the world. While there’s no skill involved in the game, you can learn some strategies to increase your chances of winning.
The game is a simplified version of the card game chemin de fer, which has a similar history but is more complicated and involves more players. The rules of baccarat vary slightly depending on whether you’re playing the Punto Banco form or the more complex Chemin de Fer, but the basic principle is the same: bet on whichever hand, the Player or the Banker, has a total closest to nine. Nine is the most ideal score because it can’t be beaten. Despite being the game of choice for high rollers, baccarat is one of the most accessible casino games.
Its popularity has exploded in recent years, fueled by the rise of casinos in Asia. Bill Zender, a Nevada Gaming Control Agent and former casino dealer who literally wrote the book on managing casino games, says that Asian high rollers almost universally make baccarat their game of choice.
He adds that the game is a great option for high-rollers looking to avoid distraction and focus on their money. In fact, some of the biggest bets in baccarat are made by Asian high rollers, with some making as much as $100,000 per hand.
To play baccarat, you place your bet before the cards are dealt and then wait for the results. The dealr will give two cards to the Player and the Banker, then all of the players in the circle bet on which hand will have the higher total. Generally, the goal is to have the hand you’re betting on — either the player or the banker — get as close to nine as possible. If the final digit of the two cards is over nine, then the first digit is dropped. Tens, jacks and queens count as zero; aces count as one.
Baccarat is so popular that there are now dozens of versions of the game on the market, from the classic full-scale game with a roped-off pit for 14 players to a simpler mini-baccarat suitable for mass play. The game’s popularity has also given rise to online baccarat, which offers the same basic gameplay without the need for a live dealer. This has streamlined the game and freed dealers from having to pause in the middle of the round to “make change like a paperboy,” as Snow puts it. The resulting streamlined game has helped baccarat generate more revenue than any other casino game in the world.