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How to Avoid Baccarat Scams


From sticky-floor California card rooms to tuxedo-laden casinos in Monaco, baccarat is one of the most popular games in gambling. But the game’s glitzy trappings and high stakes make it a target for scammers, despite the fact that it requires no skill to play.

In a nutshell, players bet on either the Player or Banker hand. When the game is finished, the hand that’s closest to nine wins. The game is dealt from a six- or eight-card deck. Picture cards and Tens count as zero points, while cards numbered 2-9 are worth their face value, and the Ace counts as one point. When the total is above 9, the first digit is dropped (so a seven and a six would become a three).

The game is played on special tables, often tucked away from the masses and with their own gaming areas. In American casinos, $100 bills are spread around the table, while European casinos use oblong “plaques.” In both cases, the chips used to bet are worth their face value. Unlike blackjack, the game is not played with community cards, and each table has from seven to 14 seats, including the area for the dealer.

Baccarat’s success at the great fairs of the 19th Century brought in customers from far and wide. The company even designed table services for the Russian palace of Dolmbahce and other royal palaces in Europe, Ottoman Turkey, Japan, Portugal, and India.

Despite the popularity of the game, it remains one of the most expensive table games to operate. A 5% commission can add up quickly for operators, especially those that have only a small pool of VIP customers to draw from.

As a result, many casino companies have begun offering reduced or non-existent commissions to boost the attractiveness of the game. That, coupled with increased competition for Asian high rollers, has helped to make the game less risky to a larger segment of the market.

It’s important to decide how much you’re willing to lose before you begin playing baccarat. Set a limit and stick to it, and don’t be afraid to get up when you’re ahead. Also, remember that the house edge is still quite high, so don’t be tempted to try a betting strategy or other tactics.

The best way to reduce the baccarat house edge is to bet on Banker every time. This bet pays out a higher percentage, and will almost always come in a winner. The other two bets are more volatile and offer lower payouts. A good casino management expert will astutely evaluate a client’s financial position, risk tolerance, and culture when choosing the types of bets to offer. This allows them to create a profitable mix of premium and mass business.

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