Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is one of the most popular casino table games in the world. Its simple rules and low house edge make it easy for players to pick up. The object of the game is to bet on which hand will come closer to nine points. Two cards are dealt to the Player and Banker hands, and a third card may be drawn in some cases. The hand that is closest to nine wins the round. Aces count as one, 10s equal zero, and all other cards equal their face value. The game is usually dealt from a six- or eight-deck shoe.

The game is played on large tables in the high-roller areas of casinos and has a slow pace. It can also be a bit intimidating for first-time players. However, once you understand the basic rules it’s quite simple to play and has a lot of James Bond-style glamour.

In addition to betting on a Player or Banker win, the game can be bet on a Tie. The house edge on the Tie bet is higher than for the other bets, but smart Baccarat players ignore it and only consider the Banker or Player bet.

If you’re playing a real money game, it’s important to set a budget in advance and stick to it. This will help you avoid getting carried away and spending more than you can afford to lose. If you want to maximize your chances of winning, it’s also a good idea to learn the game’s rules and strategy.

Baccarat’s popularity has generated a number of variations on the game and additional ways to bet and play. Some of these are based on a series of tables called the “roads” (also known as the ‘bead plate road’, the ‘cube road’, and the ‘marker road’). Understanding these roads can be difficult, and it usually takes some time before the penny drops.

In general, the roads are a collection of information that tells the dealer how to play the Banker hand. They include the Player’s and Banker’s cards, the player’s standing order (whether they stood or asked for a third card), the total of the player’s two cards, and the overall trend of the game. The banks also know how much was staked on the Player’s hand and on each of the two player’s hands.

The derived roads are used to determine how to play the Banker hand and when to draw a third card. This information is available on the electronic display attached to the baccarat table and can be used instantly without any effort from the dealer or the players.