Baccarat is a card game played in casinos, both land-based and online. The game has a reputation for being complicated and high-roller, but it is actually one of the easiest casino games to learn. It is also among the safer ones, as long as you avoid betting on the Tie bet, which has a 14.1 percent house edge. In addition, you should always bet on the banker hand, as this bet offers a better payout.

Players place their bets on either the Player, Banker or Tie before a deal begins. The croupier (casino staff that collects and pays bets) then deals two cards to the Player and Banker hands, with the side whose hand totals closest to nine winning. The croupier announces the results, and winning bets are paid out in even money. Losing bets are collected.

The simplest way to understand the rules of baccarat is that the final number in the total of the Player or Banker hand should be closest to 9. To determine this, the value of all the pips (the dots on each playing card that indicate clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades) must be added up. Aces count as 1, all 10’s, Jacks and Queens are worth zero, while the rest of the cards have their face value. A winning Player or Banker hand will then be the one with a score that is closest to nine, and the highest total wins.

In a typical round of baccarat, the Banker hand will win around 45.8% of the time, while the Player hand will win 44.6%. Ties occur in 9.6% of rounds. If a tie happens, the bets on the Banker and Player will be returned to the bettors, while those on the Tie are paid out.

Those who correctly predict a winning Player or Banker hand qualify for a 1:1 payout. However, a 5% commission on winning Banker bets is deducted from the payout, which reduces the payback odds to 8:1. Those who make the correct prediction on a winning tie hand will receive a 9:1 payout.

Despite the fact that baccarat has an easy-to-understand structure, it can be quite difficult to play consistently. This is because a lot of the game’s result depends on luck. However, if you are willing to put in some effort and try out some of the strategies mentioned above, you can improve your results in the long run. It is also important to practice good stake management, as staking more than your bankroll allows you to lose money quickly. A good strategy would be to stake ten units for every wager and limit yourself to 200 units per session, followed by a break. In this way, you will be able to maximize your profits and minimize your losses.