Baccarat, or chemin de fer as it’s known in Europe, is making a comeback in casinos around the world. Once the preserve of Asian high rollers, the game has been embraced by casino managers and players alike. It’s even starred in some of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, most notably in the 1953 first novel, Casino Royale.
While the game may seem daunting to novices, it’s actually fairly simple. Here’s how it works:
The game begins with the dealer placing an initial bet in one of the boxes. All other players then go in counterclockwise order to place their bets against the banker’s amount. They can add to their bets at any time, but they can’t exceed the banker’s total.
Once all the bets are placed, the dealer will deal two cards to both the banker and player. The hand with the total closest to nine (without going over) wins the round. If the total is above nine, you must drop the first digit to get the true value. Score sheets are available at the table to help keep track of the totals.
Besides the player, banker, and tie bets, there are also several side bets to choose from in baccarat. These bets are placed before the round starts and their odds vary by establishment and platform. Bets that wager that either the player or the banker will receive a pair of identical cards on the deal pay 11:1 odds.