Baccarat, also known as Punto Banco, is a table game played with one or more players and a dealer. The object of the game is to win by getting a hand closer to nine than the opponent. The game is very simple and the rules are fairly straightforward. Players can bet on either the player’s hand, the banker’s hand or a tie. The house edge on banker and player bets is about 1.2%, and the tie has a much higher house edge at over 14 percent. While some high rollers choose to bet on the tie, most serious players stick with player or banker bets.

The player and banker hands are dealt two cards each, and the goal is to get closer to nine than the opponent. The cards are valued according to their suits: tens and face cards are worth zero points, while aces are worth one point. If the player’s and banker’s hands total more than nine, only the first digit is counted. For example, an 8 and a 6 would equal 15 but be dropped to three. The only exception to this rule is if the player’s and banker’s cards produce a “natural” (a nine or eight).

Unlike blackjack, which has three different bets, baccarat has only two betting options: player and banker. Depending on which bet you place, you can receive a payout of 1:1 or 8:1. If you bet on the banker’s hand winning and win, you will pay a commission of 5% to the house.

Many gamblers use pencils and scorecards to track which bet is winning more often, whether it’s the player’s or the banker’s hand. This can help you decide if you want to ride a streak or quit while you’re ahead.

Before you play baccarat, set a limit for how much money you’re willing to lose. This way, you won’t be tempted to make bad decisions in order to increase your chances of winning. You can also practice on free baccarat games to get a feel for the game.

While baccarat is a fast-paced game, the basic strategy for winning is the same as in other casino table games. In addition to calculating your maximum bet amount, you should also know the game’s rules and strategies. If you’re new to the game, try following the 1-3-2-6 system. This will ensure that you don’t bet more than two units from your bankroll. This will help you stretch your gambling experience and avoid a big loss. Moreover, you can always check the RTP of baccarat games before playing them.