Baccarat is one of the easiest table games to play. You simply need to decide whether to bet on “bank”, “player” or “tie”. (Betting “tie” is not recommended, the house edge is high). Except for the tie bet, Baccarat has a very low house edge – 1.36 % if you bet on Player and 1.17% for bets on Banker.
Two hands are dealt, one for the “player” and one for the “banker”. You can bet on one or the other. If the hand you bet on wins, you receive a 1 to 1 (even money) payoff. You can also bet that the hands will tie but is not recommended. You receive an 8 to1 payoff, but ties occur less than once out of every ten hands, making the tie bet a poor choice.
To begin , each hand receives two cards. When necessary, additional cards are drawn according to the rules. The hand closest to 9 wins. Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings count 0. The Ace counts 1 and cards 2 through 9 are at face value. The hand that comes closest to a count of 9 wins. Hands don’t bust like in Blackjack, because the first digit of a two-digit number is always dropped. For example, if 5 and 7 are drawn for a total of 12, the count is 2. When there is a tie, nobody loses.
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If the first two cards total 8 or 9, the hand is called a “natural” and wins automatically, unless both hands have equal value “naturals”, in which case it’s a tie. If neither hand has a natural additional cards are drawn to determine a winner.
Banker and player bets pay even money when you win. However, winning banker bets are subject to a 5% house commission. Even after paying a 5% commission on winning banker bets, betting on “banker” is still a slightly (0.19%) better proposition than betting on “player”.
All bets are made before the cards are dealt.