Baccarat is one of those games that exudes refinement, evoking images of men in tuxedos and women in posh evening dresses laying down their chips at an opulent casino table. But don’t let its mystique fool you—baccarat is a fun, fast-paced game that is easy to learn. In this article, we’ll take you through the rules of baccarat, and then give you some tips on playing the game successfully.

The game of baccarat is played on a large, green felt table with numbered areas for players to place their chips. Eight 52-card packs are shuffled together and dealt by a croupier from a box called a shoe, which holds the cards as they’re distributed. The dealer then hands out two cards to each of the three gaming spots—the banker’s, player’s, and tie bets. Depending on the outcome, a third card may be drawn to either hand. The hand that scores closest to nine wins the round.

When placing your bet, it’s important to understand the game’s rules and payout structure. The first step is to determine your bankroll, or how much you’re willing to risk on each game. Once you’ve set your limits, stick to them—never bet more than you can afford to lose. And never bet both the player and banker at the same time; only one side can win per round.

After the two cards are dealt, the croupier announces the winner of the round and pays out winning bettors. Banker bets pay even money (1:1) and come with a lower house edge than the player’s bet, so you’ll win more often when betting on the banker. However, all winning banker bets will come with a standard 5% commission, which will reduce your total return.

If you bet on the Player’s hand, you will receive a 1:1 payout for all your bet money, but the house edge is higher at 1.24%. This makes the player bet a good choice for people who don’t want to risk losing their money. But it’s also worth noting that winning a Player bet is rare.

Tie bets pay 9-to-1, but they’re not as common as either the Banker or Player bets. So while they offer a high payout, you should only bet on the Tie if you know that you’re going to be able to reliably predict the outcome of each round. The simplest way to do this is by looking at patterns and trends in past rounds. For example, if the player or banker is streaking, try to predict their next move by examining the past results of their previous hand.

The Basics of Baccarat