What is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a casino game which is played with eight or six decks of cards from a shoe and is one of the most popular table games in casinos worldwide. It is also a favourite of many high-rolling players because of its low house edge and the fact that it allows gamblers to bet large amounts on single hands.

The objective of the game is to guess which hand is closer to nine than the other. This is done by examining the cards in the dealing shoe and comparing their numerical values. All 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings are valued at zero, while the ace is worth 1.

A number of different versions of the game are available in casinos. The three main forms are Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer and Multi-Table Baccarat.

Punto Banco is the most commonly played form of baccarat, as it is faster and easier to play than other forms. This simplified version of baccarat was invented in the 1950s at Capri Casino in Cuba and is now the most widely played form of the game around the world.

In this form of baccarat the player and banker are each given two cards face down. They are allowed to draw additional cards if they feel they have a strong enough hand. This is unlike most other baccarat variants where the player and banker have to wait until their hands are exposed to make draw decisions.

The player’s and banker’s hands are kept hidden until they are dealt their third card. This is to prevent players from cheating by predicting the card count of the dealer. The dealer then reveals the two-card hands after all draw decisions have been made.

When the players or banker have a total of eight or nine, they show their hands. If either hand has the higher value, the player or banker wins, if both have the same value they both lose, and if the hand has a tie, players’ stakes are returned.

A typical game of Baccarat uses between 8 and 6 decks of cards and can be played online or offline. The latter is more common in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

There are three casino dealers in the game: one is called a Caller, positioned in the center of the table and responsible for calling the winning hand. The other two dealers are located next to each other and opposite the Caller. They are responsible for collecting winning and losing bets, and for keeping track of all commissions owed by players on winning Bank Hand bets.

In addition to the main bets, baccarat also offers numerous side bets for the player and the banker. These can be very profitable for the banker, but they are usually less profitable for the player.

Some of the most popular Baccarat side bets include:

Tie Bet – A bet that if both the banker and the player have the same total, then they will tie and all bets will be paid off at 9 for 1. This payoff is often described as a 9 for 1 payout, but it actually means that the player receives 1 chip for every chip wagered on the bet.