Baccarat is a casino card game that may look intimidating to those unfamiliar with it. However, baccarat is one of the easiest casino games to play and maintains a low house edge, which makes it an attractive option for players. It also boasts a number of perks and promotions at both live casinos and online.
Those who correctly wager on a winning bank hand qualify for a payout of 95% of their stake. Those who bet on the player hand must drop the first digit when calculating their total (for example, 9 + 6 = 15, but the actual value is 5). A winning tie bet qualifies for an 8-to-1 payout, and score sheets are available at live baccarat tables to help players keep track of their scores.
Baccarat rules vary slightly from place to place, but most of the differences revolve around side bets and the number of decks in play. These variations are minor enough that a single game of baccarat at two different casinos could have different edge odds, though this is unlikely to be significant for most players.
While many implausible rumours about the origins of baccarat exist, there is no contemporary evidence for its existence before the 19th century and the first recorded references to the game come from France. Its etymology is probably rooted in the Italian word baccara, which means zero, but it was adopted into French as baccarat en banque and later shortened to baccarat when it became popular in America.