Baccarat is the card game that evokes images of high-rollers playing in opulent casinos. Despite its James Bond-style mystique, it’s easy to learn and fun to play. In fact, baccarat is one of the most popular table games in Las Vegas, and it’s an exciting way to spend an evening in the company of friends or colleagues. But like any gambling venture, it’s important to enter with a plan. Determine your losses and wins before you start, set a loss limit and know when to quit.
Baccarat was first played in Italy and France, and is sometimes called Punto Banco or Chemin de Fer (road to victory). It spread to North America, where it became wildly popular among high-rollers and is now the third most common game in casinos after blackjack and roulette. Baccarat is a simple game with just three possible outcomes: a player win, a banker win and a tie.
In the game, two cards are dealt to the ‘Banker’ hand and a single card to the ‘Player’ hand. A winner is determined by whose hand is closest to nine. The value of the picture cards is added to the total hand and then compared to 9. The tens, kings and queens count as zero; all other cards count their face value.
As the game gained popularity, it became a staple in Europe’s grand hotels and casino palaces. It won prestigious medals at the 1867 and 1878 Expositions Universelle in Paris, where it displayed a spectacular glass ’Temple of Mercury.’ Baccarat’s strong showing at the Great Exhibitions helped it gain new admirers in the Ottoman Empire, Portugal and other parts of Europe.
The game’s popularity also grew in Asia. Baccarat is a popular choice of game in the region because it is relatively easy to understand and has attractive odds. It is played with a specialized deck of cards and is a variation of the original version of the game.
Until recently, the game was only found in offline or land-based casinos. But now, thanks to advances in gaming software, baccarat is available online for players on desktops and mobile devices. In addition, a few online casinos offer live baccarat that lets players interact with dealers in real time.
When you gamble at a reputable online casino, there are several betting options to choose from. You can place a bet on the Banker, Player or Tie. You can also make a side bet that wagers that either the Banker or the Player will receive a pair on the deal, which pays 11:1 odds. Depending on the establishment or platform, some sites offer other intriguing side bets as well. Nevertheless, all of these bets are subject to the house edge, which is typically around 1.06% for the Banker and 1.2% for the Player.