Understanding Baccarat Bets

For years, average people stayed away from baccarat tables due to the stigma that surrounds them. Since baccarat is now available in varying table limits that make it accessible to everyone, players should understand the bets before getting started.

Playing Baccarat

Baccarat is similar to blackjack in that players are required to build a hand of a certain point value without going over. In this case, the highest value is nine. To win, players must first decide who they believe will come out ahead: the player or the banker. In very rare situations, the game will result in a tie. Only the players who wagered on this outcome will win a payout, however. The three available bets are discussed in detail below.

Banker and Player Bets

The two most common bets in baccarat are the banker and player bets. The banker bet has the best odds for the player with a house edge of only 1%. Keep in mind that the casino takes a commission of between 3% and 5% on all winning banker bets. To avoid this, many players choose to bet on the player; this bet has a house edge that is only slightly higher at 1.24% and there is no commission on winning wagers.

Tie Bets

Tie bets have the best payout in the game and this will vary depending upon the venue. The standard payout on a tie bet is eight to one, but the bet carries a staggering house edge of over 14%. This is sometimes referred to as a sucker bet, though it can certainly make the game more exciting when player and banker bets become mundane. Only one in 20 hands or so will result in a tie and it is virtually impossible for players to predict these.

The three bets in baccarat make the game simple to play. Since actual gameplay requires no strategy, choosing a bet is the only decision many players will ever need to make.