How to Win at Baccarat


Baccarat is a casino card game that can be very lucrative if played correctly. It is a simple game to learn and requires little in the way of strategy. Players bet on the Banker, Player or Tie and the winner is the hand closest to nine points. The game is usually dealt from a six or eight-deck shoe. Tens, jacks, queens and kings equal zero points while Aces are worth one point. Other cards have their face value.

Unlike blackjack, where each player has two hands to play against the dealer’s, baccarat only has a player and a banker hand. Initially, both hands have only two cards in them. If either of these hands totals 8 or 9, they are considered “naturals” and automatically win the round, except when both the player and the banker produce naturals at the same time, which is called a tie. In this case, the bets on both sides are returned and the bets on the Tie are paid out.

To make a bet, players place chips on the table to select their preferred side – the Banker, the Player or the Tie. A 5% commission is charged when a player bets on the Banker hand, which reduces the payout odds to 19 to 20. When a player correctly bets on the winning player hand, they are eligible for a 1 to 1 payout.

In addition to the three basic bets, players can also place a variety of other side bets. These bets often pay out significantly higher payouts than the main bets, but they come with a greater risk and are therefore best avoided.

Some baccarat players have questioned whether it is possible to get an edge in the game by counting cards, as is done in blackjack. It is theoretically possible to count cards in baccarat, but the amount of information a player can gain about the deck’s distribution would be too small to have any practical effect on the game’s outcome.

There is one strategy that can give players an advantage in baccarat, and that is by edge sorting. This involves looking for imperfections in the cards’ edges that can tell them which ones are high and low. However, this is a form of cheating and the casinos can void your winnings if they discover that you’re using this technique.

Betting runs are a common strategy in baccarat. If the Player or Banker bets are both in a run, it’s recommended to stick with the same bet until the pattern changes. If you bet on the Player and it wins, don’t suddenly switch to the Banker, as this will disrupt your momentum. Instead, try to remain consistent and adapt to the flow of the game. This will help you maximise your profits. For example, if you bet on the Player and it loses five times in a row, then it may be time to switch to the Banker. However, if the Player wins five times in a row, then you should stay on the Player for another round.