Baccarat is one of those games that has an air of refinement, evoking images of men in tuxedos and women in posh evening dresses laying down chips as the dealer distributes cards. But don’t let the game’s mystique scare you away-it’s easy to play and a lot of fun!
Traditionally, baccarat has been reserved for high-rollers and VIP players. But the game is now available on the casino floor with a much more accessible minimum bet of $20-$25. The lowered minimum has opened up the game to a whole new audience, especially among Asian gamblers who prefer the simple rules and low house edge of baccarat.
In baccarat, you wager on the outcome of the game’s two possible propositions: Banker, Player, or Tie. Each hand is dealt from a six or eight-card deck. The object is to get a total closer to nine than the opposition’s. Tens, jacks, queens, and kings count as zero; aces count as one.
Before the game begins, each participant places their chips based on who they favor to win that round. The Player and Banker bets both pay 1:1 odds, but the Banker bet has a lower house edge than the Player bet (a 1.06% advantage). You can also place side bets that allow you to wager that either the Banker or the Player will receive a pair on the deal. The odds for these bets vary by establishment and platform.
Regardless of the bet you place, you will want to track your wins and losses over time so that you can adjust your betting strategy accordingly. Keep in mind, however, that past results have no bearing on the future outcome of a hand.
The table minimums for baccarat vary by casino, but a $20-$25 bet is standard in the United States. If you are unsure about the minimum bet, consult with the casino’s customer service department to learn more.
Baccarat is the biggest moneymaker on the casino floor, generating more revenue than any other table game. In Macau alone, casinos make 88 percent of their $33.2 billion in annual revenue from the game. And on the Las Vegas Strip, baccarat generates 18 percent of the top line.
While the game’s popularity in Asia has driven its evolution from a James Bond-style game with tuxedoed dealers and double tables, it still retains its elegance in high-limit areas. But it is now also available on the main floor, often with much lower table minimums and a look that is more like blackjack than the original European version of the game.
The best baccarat strategy starts with figuring out how many units you are willing to stake per game. You will then assign a value to each unit, which is the amount of money you are willing to risk on the game. You can then divide your total stake by the number of units to find out how much you are betting per hand. If you have a large bankroll, you can bet more on each hand and still have enough left over for other bets.