Baccarat, also known as Punto Banco and pronounced ba-kah-raht is one of the oldest and most lavishly played casino card games. It is a house-backed game that is widely popular with Asian cultures. This card game is similar to blackjack in that it’s a table game where you wager on the outcome of two hands, but there are several differences.
The main goal in baccarat is to have the hand you bet on, either Player or Banker win. Each of the player and the banker receives two cards. The winning hand is the one with a total that is closest to 9. When all of the pips (the dots on the cards that represent clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades) are added together, the final digit must be closest to nine. Note that aces count as one, and all face cards are worth zero.
After the players and the dealer have both placed their bets, the dealer deals the cards. The player may choose to bet on the Player, the Banker or the Tie. The ’Tie’ bet is strongly discouraged, as it carries the lowest house edge of all bets and has the worst odds of winning.
Baccarat became a staple at land casinos in the 1960s and 1970s. It was a way for operators to spruce up their image and bring in higher rollers, as Las Vegas was tangled in bad publicity involving casino owners skimming profits and mafia involvement.