Baccarat is one of the simplest and most exciting casino games. It is played with a standard 52-card deck shuffled together, and every card has a numerical value. A 2 is worth two points, a 7 is worth seven points, and so on. Aces are worth one point, while face cards and 10-pip cards are worth zero points.

The Game

Before the players start playing, the dealer deals the cards from a dealing shoe. A baccarat shoe consists of six or eight decks and can be found in offline casinos as well as online.

Unlike blackjack, where you have to memorize a bunch of rules to know when to stand or hit, Baccarat is played blindly by players, meaning they place their bets without looking at the cards. The dealer then takes a turn to deal the cards for each player on a table.

The Bank Hand and the Player Hand are dealt two cards each. The Banker may draw a third card depending on the total of their hand. If the total is a number of 5 or less, they draw a third card; however, if the total is a number of 6 or 7 they stand.

If the total is a number of 8 or 9, they are called ‘naturals’ and do not draw a third card. The player’s hand is then examined by the dealer to see if the player has a total of 10 or more.

Choosing Your Bets

Before the cards are dealt, players place their wagers on the Player or Banker hands. The Banker bet is the highest-paying bet and the Player bet is the lowest-paying bet. If the banker wins, the payout is 95% of your stake; if the player wins, the payout is a fraction of your original bet.

Betting runs

If you have a good strategy, you can make a profit by betting a run of the Banker hand. This means betting Banker on the first bet of each pair and Player on the second bet. This is a very simple strategy that can lead to big profits.

It is important to remember that if you bet on the banker, you are gambling against the house. While the house edge is a small 1.36 percent, it’s important to practice good stake management.

Always try to follow bank streaks, but be careful not to break them. If you do, the game can quickly become unpredictable.

In addition to the main bets, many offline and online casinos offer a variety of side bets that are not part of the core game. These bets can add significantly to your total stake and are not advised.

Baccarat is a classic casino game that offers high returns for players who learn how to play it correctly. It is also very popular among high-rollers.

The popularity of baccarat has increased worldwide in recent years. It is the most popular game in Macau, where it has a monopoly on gaming, and Singapore and Las Vegas also have thriving baccarat casinos.