Baccarat is one of the world’s most popular casino games. It’s a slow-paced game that is full of glamour and the trappings of high stakes gambling. In America, baccarat is played with real cash – $100 bills are spread all around the table – while European casinos use high-denomination chips in oblong “plaques.” The glamour of baccarat and its reputation for being a game of pure chance have made it a favorite among celebrities and aristocrats.
In baccarat, bets are placed on either the Player Hand, the Banker Hand or a tie. The game is played with six to eight decks of cards and is a comparing game, with two hands – the player and the banker – against a third hand, called the “third king.” A winning bet is whichever one’s hand is closest to nine points. If both the Player and Banker hands have a total of 9, this is a natural, and no further cards are drawn.
Baccarat is often played for high stakes and is found in private rooms of top casinos, usually blocked off from the public and the masses. It was also the favorite game of aristocracy and royalty and is a mainstay at some of the most prestigious international casinos. It became very popular in France and gained a following in England where author Ian Fleming took a liking to the game, immortalizing it as the preferred gambling game of his fictional character James Bond.