There is plenty of speculation regarding the origins of Baccarat. Some people believe that it is partially based on the game of Pai Gow, bought back to Europe by Marco Polo after his expedition to China during the 1290s, and others say it can be traced back to the 1490s when the Italian game of baccarat was introduced to France and became a favourite of nobles during the reign of King Charles VIII.
Baccarat made its way to America in the early 1900s and was first introduced to Las Vegas in 1959. There are three variations of the game, punto banco or American baccarat, baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque.
What you need to know about Baccarat
Baccarat is a comparing card game played between two hands, the Banker’s hand and the player’s hand. Two cards are dealt with both the Banker and the Player. The player always receives the first card and one card is placed face-up on the table in the Player’s box and the next one is placed in the Banker’s box. The house then deals another card to the Player and a second card to the Banker.
The aim of the game is simple, the cards need to add up to a total of nine or as close to it as possible without going over that number. If either the Player or the Banker’s cards add up to nine, they win, if both have nine, it’s a tie. If both have less than nine, a third card is drawn.
Betting in Baccarat
Baccarat is a single play game, meaning that players only get one move per hand and there are not a lot of betting strategies. Players can bet on either of the two hands before the cards are dealt and betting is simple, you can bet on the banker winning, the player winning or a tie between the two.
Why Baccarat is an odds-on favourite for serious gamblers
Even though players can’t influence the outcome of a hand of baccarat, it offers the lowest house edge of any casino game. When betting on the Banker the odds of winning are slightly more than 45% and the house edge is 1%.
Betting on the player has odds of winning that are only slightly lower than 45% with a house edge of 1.24% and the odds of winning when betting on a tie is 9.5% and the house edge is just over 14%. With odds like that it is not surprising that Baccarat has long been a favourite of casino whales and high rollers.