Baccarat (/ˈbækəræt/ or /bɑːkəˈrɑː/; French: [bakaʁa]) is a card game played at casinos. There are three popular variants of the game: punto banco (or “North American baccarat”), baccarat chemin de fer (or “chemmy”), and baccarat banque (or “à deux tableaux”). Punto Banco is strictly a game of chance, with no skill or strategy involved; each player’s moves are forced by the cards the player is dealt. In baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque, by contrast, both players can make choices, which allows the skill to play a part. Despite this, the winning odds are in favor of the bank, with a house edge no lower than around 1 percent.
Baccarat is a comparing card game played between two hands, the “player” and the “banker”. Each baccarat coup (round of play) has three possible outcomes: “player” (player has the higher score), “banker”, and “tie”.
The origination of the game is disputed, and some sources claim that it dates to the 19th Century. Other sources state that it was originally named Baccara and that the game was introduced into France from Italy at the end of the 15th-century by soldiers returning from the Franco-Italian War during the reign of Charles VIII. Similar games include Macao, Oicho-Kabu, and Gabo Jaggi.
Valuation of hands
In baccarat, cards have a point value: cards two through nine are worth face value (in points); tens, jacks, queens and kings have no point value (i.e. are worth zero); aces are worth 1 point; jokers are not used. Hands are valued according to the rightmost digit of the sum of their constituent cards. For example, a hand consisting of 2 and 3 is worth 5, but a hand consisting of 6 and 7 is worth 3 (i.e., the 3 being the rightmost digit in the combined points total of 13). The highest possible hand value in baccarat is therefore nine.