Baccarat is one of the most popular card games in casinos. It has a reputation for being complicated and high stakes but it’s actually quite simple to play. Baccarat is a game of chance and luck where the objective is to correctly predict which hand, Player or Banker, will win. The winning hand is the one whose final digit (the total of all the pips, the dots on a standard playing card that represent the suits – clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades) is closest to nine.
Bacarrat is traditionally played with eight decks of cards shuffled together and dealt from a dealing shoe. The game was first recorded in France in the early 19th century where it appeared alongside the more streamlined version known as Punto Banco. The name may be derived from the fact that the game was a favourite of King Louis XIV, who loved the game, or perhaps it refers to the way that the deal shoe travels around the table like a train, although there is no contemporary evidence of the game being played before the mid-19th century in Italy and France.
The game process is highly regulated and players don’t have many betting options as is the case with blackjack. However, this does not mean that baccarat has no strategy and it’s possible to beat the house edge by using betting systems based on even money payouts. This is how Phil Ivey won $10 million in two separate casinos and despite the controversy surrounding his ‘edge sorting’ techniques, it is legal to do so in the US.