Baccarat is a casino game played by one or more players. It is not a game of skill but instead a game of chance where the goal is to guess correctly which hand will win – Bank, Player or Tie. It is a popular game in the high stakes sections of European and Nevada casinos and can be played online for real money.

The game originated in the 1400s and was a favorite of French royalty until public gambling became illegal in France. Since then it has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and now is found in the high roller areas of casinos around the world. It is an easy game to play and follows a few simple rules that focus on etiquette and card dealing.

Whether playing at a land-based or online casino, there are a number of different baccarat variants. Most of them differ in terms of betting limits and rules but all feature the same basic gameplay. Baccarat games are played on a large table and feature three dealers. The banker is the person who places a wager for the whole table while the other players are “punters”.

When playing baccarat, it is important to understand the odds of each hand winning. A banker hand has a higher chance of winning than a player hand and the odds of a tie are extremely low at about 9.6%. This is why it’s best to place your wagers on the banker hand if you want to maximize your chances of winning.

Baccarat is usually played with eight (or sometimes six) decks of cards that are dealt from a dealing shoe. Each card has a specific numerical value and the suits have no significance. An ace equals one, tens equal zero and the remaining cards are worth their face value. The game is won when either the banker or the player’s hand totals nine or closer to 9.

Full-size baccarat tables can accommodate up to 14 players and are typically positioned off the main casino floor. Two dealers manage their half of the table, taking bets and keeping track of commissions on banker bets. There is also a caller, who deals the cards from the shoe and announces winners.

Online baccarat tables are generally smaller than their offline counterparts but still offer the same basic gameplay. Unlike offline casinos, players don’t take turns handling the cards and a caller handles the decks in an online game. The dealer/caller also handles the ties and standoffs.

While the basics of baccarat are fairly straightforward, advanced players can use various strategies to boost their winnings. One popular method is the pattern system, which predicts that shoes will zigzag between banker and player wins. This strategy involves watching the winning streaks and betting accordingly. It can reduce a player’s risk and help them stretch their bankroll further. Another technique is the 1-3-2-4 system, which can cut the player’s final bet by two units.