Baccarat is an easy-to-play casino game in which players bet on either the Banker, Player, or Tie. The goal is to have the hand you bet on — either the Banker or the Player – come closest to nine points when all of the cards have been dealt. The game is played with eight standard 52-card decks, which are shuffled together and then dealt by the croupier (dealer) from a box called a shoe. The shoes are arranged on the table so that all players can see them, and they’re typically set up to allow 14 players. All cards count as their face value, except for aces, which equal one.

When all the cards are dealt, whoever has the hand that comes closest to nine wins the round. In case neither the Banker nor the Player wins, the bets on either are returned to their players; in this case, the bets on the Tie are paid out as well. The Banker Hand is usually the favorite to win, because it has the lowest house edge in the game and tends to win more often than the Player Hand.

Historically, baccarat has been played only in the exclusive VIP areas of casinos and other high-end establishments. But the rise of online gambling has opened the doors to baccarat for anyone with an Internet connection. And the development of commission-free baccarat games has streamlined the game and made it even easier for dealers to manage, giving baccarat mass appeal.

Another factor that has helped baccarat’s growth is the introduction of electronic display screens that show the results and trends of each game, eliminating the need for paper or bead plates. These electronic displays are connected to automatic card-reading shoes, so they’re updated instantly and require no effort from dealers or managers. They also allow players to see the results of previous rounds and the current winning and losing streaks.

If you’re new to baccarat, it’s wise to start out with small stakes and gradually increase your bet size until you hit a win. You can also use a betting system like the Martingale, where you double your bet each time you lose, then return to your initial bet amount after a win. However, it’s important to remember that the Martingale strategy is risky and may lead to big losses in the long run.

It’s also a good idea to play short sessions, as the house edge will catch up with you over time. It’s also a good idea to set a loss limit and to stop playing when you hit it. And finally, it’s a great idea to practice in free games before you try out the real thing. Having a plan for your Baccarat gaming will make the experience more enjoyable and help you keep control of your bankroll. So sit down, make a plan, and stick to it. You’ll be glad you did!

What Is Baccarat?