Baccarat is a casino card game that was glamorized by James Bond films. Casino Royale and Thunderball have significant casino scenes where baccarat is played. The version of baccarat in these films is Chemin de Fer, an elitist game that requires large bankrolls. The more common form of baccarat is called punto banco, which is also the basis for online baccarat. The key feature of Baccarat is that there is a specific player and a specific banker and the deck of cards is played between the two. The regular players bet on who wins, the player or the banker.
The punto banco version of baccarat has a very simple strategy. The only decision a player makes is whether to bet on the player, the banker, or the tie bet. Although the Tie bet offers the highest payout of 8 to 1, it is the worst bet as it has the highest house edge of 14.36% which is really absurd. Some casinos offer a better payout of 9 to 1. This reduces the house edge to 4.84% but does not make the bet attractive.
The tendency among the novice baccarat players is wagered on the player due to the 5% commission charged on winnings in the banker bet. However, this is not the right strategy. Despite the commission, the banker bet has a lower house edge. The house edge of the banker bet is 1.06%, while the house edge of the player bet is 1.24%. Hence, the simple but correct strategy is to always bet on the banker.
Baccarat is generally played with eight decks and the house edges above are based on that. Some land casinos offer six deck games and some online casinos offer baccarat with even fewer decks. It should be noted that the house edge of the banker bet decreases as the number of decks decreases. To the extent that available players are betting on the most optimal banker bet, games with fewer decks should be selected. Some online baccarat games have higher minimum stakes for single deck games.
Since the reduced house edge is minimal, this factor cannot be ignored. On the other hand, the house edge for the player bet and the tie bet increases as the number of decks decreases. To complete the picture, the house edges for single-deck baccarat are as follows: banker bet 1.01%, player bet 1.29% and tie bet with 8 to 1 payout 15.75%