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Casino card game that resembles a simpler version of blackjack. In basic baccarat the house is the bank. In chemin de fer (a more advanced baccarat) the bank passes from player to player. In punto banco, it appears to pass from player to player but is actually held by the house. Casino play involves three or six 52-card decks shuffled together and dealt from a shoe (a box designed to hold several decks of playing cards). Counting spot-cards at face value and face-cards and 10s as 0, the bettor's aim is to receive cards that are closer to totaling 9 than those of the banker. For the purpose of totaling these cards, 10 or more counts only as its last digit (for instance, 17 is counted as 7). The banker deals two cards to the bettor and to himself.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on baccarat, visit Britannica.com.