Baccarat is often viewed as the most glamorous casino game, even though it requires no skill and relies entirely on chance. Tucked away in high-roller rooms with table minimums of $25, $50, $100 and up, it’s a slow-moving, ritualistic game where players place their money on the Player, Banker or a Tie bet. In a typical game, eight 52-card packs are shuffled together and dealt to the croupier (dealer) from a dealing shoe. Players bet with real cash, or high-denomination chips known as plaques.
The objective is for the players to correctly guess which hand, Player or Banker, will come closest to nine. Two cards are dealt to each hand, and sometimes a third card is drawn. The digits of the final sum when all the numbers on the card are added together determine the score. Tens, jacks, queens and kings count as zero, and the ace counts as one.
A winning banker bet is eligible for a 1 to 1 payout, but the house adds a 5% commission to this figure, which reduces the payout odds to 19 to 20. The player’s hand isn’t eligible for a 1:1 payout, but those who correctly wager on it will win twice their stake if they’re dealt a winning hand that’s closer to nine than the banker’s.
A tie bet pays out 8 to 1, and there are sheets at the table for players to keep track of their score. In the past, baccarat was only played in private gambling salons, but it eventually became a staple of European casinos and gained popularity in Asia as well. The game has featured in a number of films featuring James Bond, including Dr. No; Thunderball; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; For Your Eyes Only; and GoldenEye.