What is ‘Baccarat?’
Baccarat is an old and still popular casino game of chance played with six or eight decks of cards. Three main variants exist, although ‘Punto Banco‘ is by far the most popular variant played around the world today. This variant is a simple game of chance, where players bet on either the player or dealer. The player and banker both draw cards to try and obtain a score of eight or nine first. Since cards are drawn according to a predetermined, fixed set of rules, there is essentially no skill involved.
Firstly, players may wager on one of three outcomes, either the player, the banker, or a tie. Two cards are then dealt from six or eight decks of cards to the player and the banker. The cards are scored only in single digits – the last digit in the number is the only one that counts. For example, a three and a six are worth nine, but a three and a nine are worth two. The goal is to get to a score of eight or nine first. If either player is dealt a starting hand valued at either eight or nine, they win immediately. If both players are dealt starting hands valued at either eight or nine, the game is tied.
If neither player reaches a score of eight or nine, the player and banker may or may not draw another card. After this, the final values of each hand are compared and winning bets are paid out. This is entirely determined by a fixed drawing system, rather than the decision of the players, making Baccarat ultimately a game of pure chance rather than skill. However, in other versions of Baccarat, such as Chemin de fer and Baccarat Banque, player decisions are involved to make it more of a game of skill.