Baccarat is one of the most popular and profitable games in casinos worldwide. Macau’s 40 casinos made 88 percent of their $33.2 billion last year from the game, and Singapore’s casinos also generate significant revenue from it.
It is played with eight 52-card packs, shuffled together and dealt by the croupier (dealer) from a dealing shoe. Each card has a numerical value: 2s through 9s are worth face value; tens and jacks are counted as zero. Aces are worth one, and queens and kings are valued at their face value.
The croupier stands behind the Baccarat table, which is covered in green felt and has a layout that marks areas where players place their bets. Each player’s bet is marked with a number, and the dealer banks each wager.
While baccarat is not as glamorous or elegant as blackjack, it does provide the opportunity to win big, and its low house edge makes it a popular choice for high-rolling gamblers. Increasingly, baccarat is offered on the casino floor and has become a staple of high-limit tables in American casinos.
Although baccarat originated in Europe, it has recently exploded in popularity in Asian countries like China and Taiwan. It is especially popular with Asian high rollers who can afford the high table minimums in the high-limit rooms, says Bill Zender, a former Nevada Gaming Control Agent and consultant.
In recent years, baccarat has evolved into a more simple and accessible game. Many casinos now offer mini-baccarat with lower minimums, allowing more players to get in on the action. In addition, the game’s commission-free structure has streamlined the experience.
Strategy in Baccarat
Since there are only three possible outcomes per hand, baccarat has a very low house edge and is therefore a very attractive game to play. However, like any other table game, a few rules are important to follow in order to maximize your odds of winning.
1. Avoid placing a bet on the Banker when you have a favourable Player hand.
Unlike blackjack, where you can count cards, in baccarat there is no way to know which hand will draw a third card, so never bet on the Banker when you have the most favorable Player hand.
2. Make a conscious decision before you start betting on the game that you will stop as soon as your bank streak hits $1000.
3. Practice good stake management:
Despite its low house edge, baccarat is a coin flip, so it’s best to practice smart stake management by limiting your outlay and following a bank streak.
4. Payouts in baccarat are very high, so it’s important to know how much you can expect to win.
If you’re unsure of what to bet on, it is always a good idea to consult a baccarat expert. They will be able to point you in the right direction and help you decide whether it’s worth your time to play the game.
5. The first step to baccarat strategy is knowing how to read the cards and their numbers.