The game of baccarat can be intimidating for first-time players, but the rules are actually quite simple. It is one of the easiest casino games to learn, maintains a low house edge, and is featured in many old-school James Bond films.
Two cards are dealt to the Player and Banker, and the hand that totals closest to 9 wins. Bets can be placed on the Player, Banker, or Tie. There are several variations on the game, and these can have small differences in payouts. The most common betting limit in the United States is $20, although this can vary from casino to casino.
Unlike blackjack and poker, where the card suits have some influence on the value of a hand, baccarat takes only the number of the digit in the sum of the cards into consideration. This means that a hand consisting of a 7 and a 5 only counts as a total of 14 (because the second digit is 5, not 10).
Baccarat is believed to have originated in medieval Italy, but it became wildly popular in neighboring France during the reign of King Louis XIV and was regarded as a game for noblemen and royalty. It remained popular even after public gambling was made illegal in France, and baccarat continued to thrive in the casinos that opened on the Riviera.
The popularity of baccarat has generated numerous variations on the game, including side bets and Mini Baccarat, which is played with just three cards and one dealer. It also has become a favorite of players at online casinos, where the game is available in multiple languages and can be played with live dealers.