Baccarat is a simple card game in which you wager on which of two hands – the Banker’s or the Player’s – will win. The objective is to correctly predict which hand will score the most points based on the total of their cards (the final digit when all the pips – the dots on the cards that represent clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades – are added up). The winning hand has the one closest to nine. It’s a slow-paced, straightforward game that’s perfect for new players and features in some of James Bond’s early movies.

The game is played with a set number of standard 52-card decks that have been shuffled together. Each card has a rank that determines its value when added up with the other cards in the player’s or Banker’s hand. Aces have a value of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9. Each hand is scored according to the sum of its digits, with only the rightmost digit taken into account.

Until recently, the decision process of the game was not formalised and the player’s and Banker’s hands were initially concealed from each other. The Decision Tables provided here represent the best basic strategy for both the Player and the Banker with this limited information.

Once the decision process was streamlined to become Punto Banco, where the Player’s and Banker’s hands are exposed at the same time, it became possible for cheating to be committed by players signalling their card count. The earlier versions of the game, Chemin de Fer and Baccarat a Deux Tableaux, where the players’ cards were not revealed until all draw decisions had been made, no longer allow for this freedom of choice.