Baccarat Strategy – How to Beat the House Edge at Baccarat

Baccarat is a table game that has long been associated with luxury and elegance. It is played on a large table in the high-roller rooms of Las Vegas casinos and features eight 52-card packs that are shuffled together and dealt by the croupier from a dealing box called a shoe. The cards are dealt one at a time, face down. The table is covered with green felt with numbered areas for players to place their wagers. Each player can bet on either the Banker or the Player, although the rules of the game require that a player call ‘carte’ with a hand total of zero and ‘non’ with a hand total of six or more.

The goal of the game is to predict correctly which of the two hands (Player or Banker) will be closer to nine when all the pips have been added up. The ‘nine’ is the highest number that a hand can score, and only the best hand wins. A hand can be made up of any combination of cards, but must contain a 10 and a 9 in order to score. The other digits in the hand, such as 2 and 3, count for their value only. The Player and Banker hands are dealt two cards each, and the winning hand is whoever has the final digit closest to nine.

There is also a bet on the tie, which pays off eight to one if both the Banker and Player have the same amount of points. However, this bet has a house edge of over 14 percent and most serious players avoid it.

A key strategy for playing baccarat involves keeping track of the past wins and losses of both the Banker and Player. While this does not affect the outcome of a future hand, it helps you develop a pattern and make more educated betting decisions. The past history of a hand is also useful for determining when to call ‘carte’ and ‘non’.

Baccarat is not the easiest game to learn, but if you take your time and study the rules carefully you can be a profitable player in no time. In fact, baccarat is one of the few casino games where high-betting players can put a dent in the house edge and that is why it attracts high rollers.

Many online baccarat sites offer a variety of side bets, but these are not recommended for new players because they usually cost more than the main bets and can significantly increase the house edge. These side bets can also lead to confusion for players who are not familiar with the basic rules of baccarat. Stick to placing bets on the Banker or Player, and avoid making the Tie bet at all costs. This will save you a lot of money in the long run and help you get the most enjoyment out of the game.