Baccarat is a simple game of chance. Players place bets on either the Player hand, Banker hand or a Tie. The object is to have a hand which totals closest to nine. Cards are ranked in a particular way, with 9 being the best and ten the worst. The number is determined by adding up the pips (the dots on the cards that represent clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades). Face cards are worth zero points while aces count as one point. After a bet is placed two cards are dealt to the Player and the Banker. The Player and the Banker then decide whether to draw a third card or stand. The decisions are guided by decision tables that give the most optimal play based on the original hand and the player and banker bets.
Traditionally, the player’s and banker’s hands were kept concealed until the draw decisions were made. This was to avoid the possibility of bettors being influenced by the outcome of previous rounds. However, this led to some confusion and a lack of consistency in the way in which the banker was instructed to play the game. This resulted in some unsatisfactory results for players who were unable to take advantage of the house edge of betting on the Banker hand. To eliminate this confusion the game was modified to allow the banker to see both the Player and Banker’s two cards after the first draw. This change reduced the house edge but it also changed the way in which the banker should make draw decisions.
In the modern era of casino games, Baccarat has been popularised by a combination of factors. High-end casinos, particularly in Asia, have a very strong presence for the game and it generates more revenue than almost any other table game. As a result, it can be found in many VIP rooms and is often featured in movies and TV shows as the game of choice for James Bond, who has a reputation for playing the game with exceptional luck.
A slew of different variants of the game have been developed to cater for different market segments and preferences. Commission-free baccarat streamlined the game, freeing dealers from having to pause the action and “make change like a paperboy.” Mini-baccarat at lower stakes opened it up to mass players.
Baccarat can be played with a variety of bet types, including a Pair and Super Six bets. The payout on a winning Super Six bet is 12x the initial bet amount. While Pair bets are a bit more complicated, they can be quite lucrative. These bets are based on the fact that the first two cards dealt to the player and banker are a pair. The higher the value of these pairs, the more money you will win. Having an understanding of the rules and strategies associated with these bets can be a great way to maximise your profits. However, it is important to remember that they should be viewed as an adjunct to your overall strategy and not a standalone betting system.