# The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat is a game that’s popular with high rollers. It’s even featured in a scene in the 2006 film Rush Hour 3.

The traditional version of the game holds 14 players and three tuxedo-clad dealers. It involves a large roped-off area and a shoe that holds eight decks of cards. It also requires a significant amount of money to play.

## Game rules

Baccarat is a card game with up to 14 seats for players and a separate area for the dealer. The object of the game is to place bets on either the Player, Banker or a Tie. Players are dealt two cards each, and the winner is determined based on whose hand totals closest to nine. The value of each hand is calculated by adding up the point values of each card. Picture cards and tens count as zero points, while aces count as one point.

If the total reaches more than nine, then the first digit is dropped. For example, a seven and six would make 13, which is dropped to three. The banker must draw when the total is 0-5 and stand when it is 6 or 7. A third card may be drawn to a hand with a score of eight or 9. The game also has special rules regarding third-card draws.

## Bets

There are several different ways to place a bet in baccarat. One option is to follow a flat progressive strategy, whereby you increase your bet each time you lose. This can be effective in reducing the number of losses you experience.

Another way to reduce your house edge is to play a game that uses fewer decks. This will lower the variability in the game and decrease your expected loss from the banker and player bets.

It is also important to set a win limit and to quit while you are ahead. This will prevent you from getting carried away by your wins and losing too much money. You should also try to stick to your budget and avoid betting systems that rely on minor gains accumulated over a long period of time.

## Payouts

While the odds of winning a baccarat wager are largely based on the player’s and banker’s hand, it’s important to know how the game’s payout structure works. The payoffs for player, banker, and tie bets are based on the poker values of the first two cards. Some side bets also have different payouts.

Most baccarat strategies would recommend betting on the banker, as it has a much higher probability of winning than the player’s hand. However, you must take into account the vigorish, or commission, charged on winning banker bets, which can add up quickly.

One way to avoid this is by using a flat betting system, which increases your wager after each loss but removes one chip from your bet after every win. This reduces the amount you can lose but won’t help you win huge amounts of money.

## Etiquette

When playing baccarat in a casino, there are certain rules of etiquette to follow. For example, you should never barge in while a game is underway. This is a sign of bad manners and shows that you are not respectful of the other players.

You may also wish to refrain from drinking and smoking while playing baccarat. While these things might be okay at the Blackjack tables, they are not appropriate at a baccarat table.

It is acceptable to talk to other players as long as your conversations do not distract from play. However, you should always be polite and avoid using vulgar language or talking about gambling strategies. This will help you avoid being ejected from the table.

## Variations

Baccarat is available in a variety of variants that offer slight differences in rules and types of bets. Players should check these variations carefully to find the best one for them.

Punto Banco is the most common version of baccarat and can be found in casinos across the US and Europe. The game is played using six standard decks of cards and can have a maximum of twelve players per table. Bettors can place wagers on either the player, banker or tie.

EZ Baccarat is another variation that removes the banker’s commission but keeps the same objective of reaching nine. This variant also offers two side bets, Dragon 7 and Panda 8. EZ Baccarat is a fast-paced version of the classic casino game that’s available in many online casinos.