If you've ever been to a land based casino, you might notice that the minimum bet for a baccarat game is high, perhaps $25 -$50 or more. Also, you'll probably not find many real baccarat tables, because they're tucked away in the high rollers' salon or away from the general gaming floor.
There's a reason for high minimum bets and hidden tables: baccarat is a game which has a very low house edge. As a result, players who knowledgable about the game can generally make some fast cash. Don't forget, however, that like blackjack, there is an element of luck in Baccarat in terms of the cards that are dealt from the shoe, but after that part of the game is done, players can improve their odds by betting wisely.
There are 3 types of bets in Baccarat:
Banker Bet: The house always plays last in Baccarat, which means it has the advantage. The good part of this rule is that players are allowed to bet on the house's hand. There is only one catch: if the house wins, players must pay a commission on their winning bet. Typically, this is 5% of your initial stake. So, if you bet $100 on the banker, and the banker wins, you'll get paid out $95.
Player Bet: In this scenario, the player bets on his/her own hand, or, if someone else is dealing, their hand. Unlike the banker bet, a winning player bet pays 1:1. There is no commission. Remember, that baccarat is like blackjack in that the player must play first before the house. This means the odds of winning a player bet are less than those of winning a banker bet.
Tie Bet: During some hands of Baccarat, both the player and banker hands will end up equal in value. The result is called a "Tie", and all player and banker bets lose, except for those that bet on the "Tie" bet area of the Baccarat table. The Tie bet pays 8:1. Even though this sounds like a potentially profitable bet, remember that the chances of a tie between the player and banker are low. As a result, many regard the "Tie" bet in Baccarat to be a sucker's bet, much like taking insurance in blackjack against an Ace, or betting on a side pot for a 21 made of 7-7-7 of same suit.
When first time gamblers first see a baccarat game, they might get the impression that it is a very complicated game, meant only for high rollers. It's true that many high rollers play Baccarat, and this is the reason why table minimum bets are more expensive. The game itself, however, is really not that complicated. The object is get 9 by drawing two cards from the shoe for the player hand and the banker hand. If either hand totals 0 in value, the player or banker can draw one additional card. That's it: all you have to do is bet on the player or banker, and then collect your winnings.
Card Point Values in Baccarat:
Ace = 1
10, J, Q, K = 0
2 - 9 = Their respective number value.
Example Baccarat Hands:
Player: 4,5 = 9; Banker: Ace,6 = 7. Player Wins. All player bets are paid 1:1.
Player: 2,J = 2; Banker: 8, Q = 8. Banker Wins. All banker bets are paid 1:1 less a 5% commission.