Baccarat, also known as Punto Banco or bakarat, is one of the world’s most glamorous casino games. Its opulent trappings and lavish surroundings are what set it apart from other table games such as blackjack, roulette or craps. The game is played in a special alcove, away from the noise and hustle of the rest of the casino floor. Unlike other casino card games, baccarat has no skill involved; players must simply place bets on which hand will win.
A croupier deals the cards from an eight-deck shoe, which is placed on the table and shuffled before each round. Players may bet on the Player’s hand, the Banker’s hand or on a Tie. Each bet pays out according to its odds.
The croupier announces the total of each hand, and the side that wins is declared. The winning hand is the one closest to nine. If the hand’s total is 8, 9 or 10, no further cards are drawn. A ten counts as zero, while any face card or ace counts as 1. The croupier then collects all losing bets and pays all winning ones.
If the Player’s and Banker’s hands have the same total, no further cards are drawn. This is called a “Natural.” If the Banker’s hand has a total of 8 or 9, no further cards are drawn either. This is called a “Natural Stand.” The croupier will then collect all the bets and pay out the winners, paying 1-to-1 even money on player bets and 19-to-20 (even money with a 5% commission to the house on banker bets) on tie bets.
The rules of baccarat vary slightly from casino to casino. Some casinos use real cash for bets, while others use high-denomination chips that look like $100 bills. Baccarat has a reputation for being a game of the upper class, and it is often played for large amounts in private rooms. It is a popular game in many Asian countries.
Baccarat is featured in a number of James Bond films, including the 1954 television adaptation of Casino Royale; Dr. No, where Bond is first introduced; Thunderball, the 1967 film; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service; and For Your Eyes Only. It is also the subject of a number of books.
The game is played on a circular table, typically with eight seats for players and two more for the croupier, who banks the game. A green felt table cloth covers the entire surface, and the numbered areas 1 to 12 are marked on it. Each seat is assigned a different amount of money, and the bets are placed in these sections. The croupier will then deal a single card to each box. After the Player and Banker boxes receive their cards, the croupier will reveal them to all the players. If a player wants to bet more than the current bank, he or she must say “No more bets.” Then the next person in play order can take over as banker.