How to Play Baccarat Like an Old Pro

A game of high stakes and James Bond-style glamour, baccarat is a simple casino table that offers players the chance to sit back and watch as their bankroll grows. It’s one of the few table games that requires little strategy beyond choosing whether to bet on Player, Banker or Tie, and the dealer will do most of the work for them. The aim of the game is to get closer to nine than the opposing hand, with totals higher than nine reduced by the value of the first digit (a seven and a six equals 13; a nine and two equals 15). Unlike other card games, tens, picture or face cards equal zero points, and all other cards count as their face values (aces equal one point).

With the right knowledge, anyone can learn how to play baccarat like an old pro. But the best way to start is by deciding which bets are right for you and your budget, and stick with them. It’s also worth setting a win limit and cashing out when you reach it. This will prevent you from spending more than you can afford to lose and make it easier for you to manage your money.

In addition to a Player Win, Banker Win and Tie bet, players can also place Side Bets on either the Banker or the Player pair of cards. These wagers are placed before the cards are dealt, and their odds vary by establishment and platform. For example, the Super Six bet pays out at 11:1 odds on a Banker Hand of 6 or better, while the Pair Bet pays out at the same rate for a Player pair.

The main advantage of a baccarat side bet is that it can significantly increase your winnings, particularly with the Super Six and Pair Bet. But there are some pitfalls to avoid when placing these bets. For starters, it is important to understand that these side bets will not cover your losses should you lose. This is because they are based on the probability of a particular outcome, which cannot be known beforehand.

As the global gaming market evolves, casinos are having to adapt their offerings to meet changing patron needs. This has been a challenge for many, but it’s one that baccarat has successfully managed to navigate. As a result, the game remains popular among high rollers in both the US and Asia, with Asian casinos almost universally making it their table of choice.

Baccarat’s popularity has been boosted by the elimination of commissions and the introduction of mini-baccarat with lower table minimums, which opened the game up to mass-market players. But it is the house edge of about 1.2 percent on both the Player and Banker bets that has made the game so popular with high-rollers, who largely ignore the Tie bet, which has a much higher house edge at over 14 percent.