Baccarat is an ancient game that has been revived in popularity throughout Asia and now has a home in many American casinos. Known for its high profitability and reputation among high rollers, it is now one of the world’s top casino games.

Unlike RNG casino games, live baccarat tables feature an actual dealer and decks of cards. The dealer deals two cards to both the Player and Banker hands, after which a third card may be drawn. If the total points of either the Banker or Player hand is 8 or 9, this is called a natural win and your bets are paid out immediately. If a third card is drawn, there are a set of rules that determine whether it is given to the player or the banker.

While there are numerous rules and variations of baccarat, the game is fairly simple. The first step is to understand the game’s three basic bets. A bet on ‘Banker’ predicts that the banker’s hand will have a value closer to 9. A bet on ‘Player’, on the other hand, predicts that the player’s hand will have a higher value. A bet on ‘Tie’, which is the least risky, predicts that neither the Banker nor the Player will have a higher value than 9 and thus will tie.

The next step is to select the amount you want to bet. The minimum bet is usually $20, although some casinos may allow players to bet lower. In addition to the bet selections, players can also place a side wager. This is similar to placing a bet on a horse race or a sports event, except that the outcome of the baccarat game will have a greater impact on the player’s winnings.

After the player and banker bets are placed, the dealer will deal two cards to both sides of the table. Each card has a value, which is determined by the number of pips it contains. A ten-pip card is the highest value, while an eight-pip is the lowest. The value of the cards is summed and the side with the highest value wins.

While baccarat isn’t the most popular game in the United States, it does have a loyal following among the country’s wealthiest residents and tourists. In recent years, it’s become more common for baccarat to be featured in casinos with high-roller pits. The game gained fame in 2012 when Phil Ivey won around $10 million from two Atlantic City casinos using a strategy called edge sorting. While this strategy isn’t illegal, it has been banned in some jurisdictions. Nonetheless, many players still use it to increase their odds of winning.