Baccarat remains one of the most popular, if not the leading, card game among casino players. It has retained that popularity since the days of physical casinos and even in this era of online casinos. This popularity can be attributed to several factors, such as ease of play and a low house edge.
Players of any skill level can place any of three bets on Baccarat games. There is the banker hand, the player hand, and a tie. This article explores each of these bets individually. It looks at what placing each wager means for both the player and the house.
In this bet, the player calls for a tie of both the player hand and the banker hand when both are dealt the first two cards. It means that the sum of the two cards will be the same. That is not to say, however, that the two cards dealt must be identical.
Since the last digit in a total exceeding nine is considered, these cards can be different. If one hand has a seven and a six (total 13) and another hand has an eight and a five (total 13), the value of both hands is three, meaning a tie bet wins.
A tie bet pays 8:1 or 9:1 depending on the particular casino. At first glance, these are very lucrative odds. However, looking at the house edge will reveal why most players avoid it. A tie bet comes with a whopping 14.4% house edge, meaning it is highly unlikely to occur.
Most players choose to avoid this risky bet, and it is easy to see why. However, there are those who feel lucky and take this leap of faith. In such instances, it is better to stake low since the chances of losing are very high.
This bet predicts that the player hand will achieve a total of nine or eight before the banker hand does. It, along with the banker bet, is much more popular than the tie bet. Players wagering on this outcome play with a 1.36% house edge, which is reasonably fair for a casino game.
The bet pays out 1 to 1, meaning a player whose player hand bet wins will receive the same amount of winnings as what they had staked. That is a player will withdraw twice the amount that they had staked. Player bets are the second most popular baccarat bets.
The banker bet is the most popular in baccarat. It is loved by many players because of a low house edge (1.06%), which is more favorable than both the player and tie bet. However, the house deducts 5% of the player's winnings in this bet.
Baccarat players can also make the game more exciting by placing side bets. These vary depending on the particular house one is playing in. Popular side bets include Big and Small, Panda 8, Dragon Bonus, and Dragon 7. Playing side bets, however, requires players to have a good understanding of the odds.