Baccarat (pronounced bah-cah-rah) is one of the most popular casino games online. The game began in the salons of France and Italy and over time, different versions of the game have emerged. Before the game became popular in Asia in the 1990s, casinos tried to get people interested in the game by making it glamorous, with dealers in tuxedos, and attractive women in evening gowns standing around, as it has been portrayed in James Bond movies. Most variations relate to drawing rules and player interactions. It can be fun to play different versions of the game to keep it interesting since this is a game that relies entirely on luck, which is what has made it so popular in Asia.
Baccarat has been enjoyed at brick-and-mortar casinos as a social night out with friends. For those unable to travel to a land-based casino, it is possible to enjoy live baccarat online which allows players to interact with the dealer and other players. The benefits of online casinos are that they offer players the chance to play just a few games from the comfort of their own home or wherever they are with a mobile device and to do so anonymously.
Rules of the game
In standard baccarat, either the player or banker wins, or a tie is declared. A winning hand is one where the cards total nine, or closest to nine. The cards hold their face value two through to nine, with the 10 and picture cards valued at zero and an ace worth one. Two cards are dealt face up to the player and banker by the dealer. A player hand win leads to winnings of double the original bet. If the banker hand wins, the win is 95 per cent of the wager. When the cards dealt a total of more than nine the first digit is dropped to leave a single figure.
A game of pure luck
It is not just the low table limit that makes the game the most popular at a casino. Since the cards are shuffled and placed in a dealing shoe and the game follows pre-determined rules, the game cannot be influenced by the player or dealer once the game has begun. This means there can be no interference to the luck of the player, which is important to Asian players who leave the table if they believe their luck has been ruined by interference of any sort.
A game for high-rollers
What makes baccarat exciting for a lot of high rollers is that they can win serious sums of money at the casino’s expense. When large sums of money are bet on a narrow house edge of around one to two per cent, players could cost the casino millions, which adds a thrill to the game. Betting USD10,000 a hand could see a winner take home USD1 million.
Baccarat has dethroned Las Vegas
Macau dethroned Las Vegas as the world’s biggest casino centre in 2006, making more money from casinos than any other city in the world. In terms of baccarat, Macau’s 40 casinos made more than 88 per cent of their USD33.2 billion income from this game.