The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat is a casino card game that’s becoming more and more popular among US players. While the game might seem a little complicated at first glance, it’s actually quite simple. You place a bet on either the Player hand, Banker hand, or Tie bet, and then wait to see if your bet is correct. The goal of the game is to correctly predict which hand will come closest to a value of nine. The game is usually played with six, seven, or eight standard decks of cards that are shuffled together. Each card has a value in the game, with 9 being the highest, 10 being the lowest, and face cards and picture cards both carrying a value of zero.

During the deal phase of the game, the dealer deals two cards to each of the Player’s and Banker’s hands. Then the dealer tots up the values of the two hands. The hand with the total closer to 9 wins. In the case of a tie, the bettors’ stake is returned to them.

In some cases, the player and banker may both have a hand total of eight or nine. In this case, the dealer will usually stand on a seven or nine. If the hand totals more than ten, the first number is dropped. For example, a hand of seven and three will be valued at four points because 7 drops to 3. Then the dealer will compare the two hands to determine the winner.

While the game is fairly straightforward, some players might be intimidated by the number of rules and betting options. This is why it’s important for them to understand how the game works before they play. It’s also a good idea for them to set a spending limit before they start playing – that way, they won’t get carried away and end up losing more money than they intended to.

Baccarat side bets are another area of the game where many players find themselves confused. Depending on the online casino or gambling establishment, these side bets can pay out different odds and payouts. Generally, these bets are placed before the round begins and will be paid out if either the Player or Banker wins. The most popular side bet is the Player Pair, which wagers that both the player and banker will receive a pair on the deal. This bet will typically pay at 11:1 odds. Another popular option is the Tie bet, which pays 8:1 but varies by online casino and gambling establishment.