# Baccarat is Easy to Understand and Fun to Play

When it comes to high-roller casino table games, Baccarat is the one with the most mystique. It evokes images of men in tuxedos and women in upscale evening gowns, laying down chips as the dealer distributes cards. Despite the game’s reputation for being a high-stakes affair, it is actually easy to understand and fun to play.

The main goal of the game is to have your hand, either player or banker, come closest to nine. This is done by calculating the final digit when all the pips (the dots on a card representing clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades) are added up. Face cards count as zero, while aces and all the other cards are worth their number value. If the total is over nine, players can subtract ten or drop the first digit to get their new score.

In the past, many players swore by certain betting strategies and looked for patterns in the shoes to increase their odds of winning. However, a little bit of math suggests that these methods are nothing more than superstition. The house edge in baccarat is ever so slightly in favor of the banker, every single round. The fact is, that no amount of watching or betting can change that.

A croupier or dealer deals the game from an 8-deck shoe. Participants place their bets on Player, Banker or Tie. They sit in numbered areas around the Baccarat table, which is covered with green felt and marked with a number 1 to 12. The croupier then passes out two cards to each of the corresponding gaming spots. The croupier is not a participant in the game, but simply hands out the cards from the dealing box.

After the two hands are dealt, the winning hand is whoever has the best total. The simplest way to calculate the score is by counting the number of points the hand has in it, ignoring any ties. Usually, the winner is the hand with an eight or nine. If the hand has a seven, it is worth three points, while a six is worth two.

Baccarat has a number of side bets, based on the odds offered by the establishment or platform. Some of them pay even odds, while others offer higher odds, depending on the bettor’s choice.

Baccarat players can also bet on the fact that the bettor and the banker will receive a pair on the deal, which pays at 11:1 odds. Another popular side bet is that the bettor will win a ten or nine. In this case, the bettor must beat a nine or 10, and he or she will be paid accordingly.