Baccarat is a table game played by wagering on which hand will have a higher total. It is a very simple game to learn and the objective is to pick a winning hand – either the Player Hand or the Banker Hand. The Player Hand will win if the total is closest to nine and the Banker Hand will win if the sum is higher than 9 and not 9.

The game is played with 8 decks of cards contained in a shoe on the table and boxes for placing chips. Before the dealer deals the cards, players must place bets. Each wager is placed on the Banker or Player Hand and will be paid out based on how close to 9 the hand is.

When a player places a bet, the dealer will then deal two cards to the Player and the Banker. A point count is then determined by adding the value of the two cards. If the total of the two cards is 8 or 9, it is called a ‘Natural’ and no additional cards are dealt.

If the total of the two cards is less than 8, the Banker will draw a third card unless the Player’s third card was a 7 or an 8. If the Banker draws a third card, the player must decide whether to continue betting on the player or Banker hand and if so, on which one they wish to bet.

Like a lot of casino games, baccarat is traditionally played in an exclusive area away from the masses of the rest of the gambling floor. This gives it a feel of class and prestige and has helped it to attract some high-stakes gamblers. Unlike some of the more flashy casino games, such as blackjack, roulette & keno, baccarat requires no skill and is considered to be one of the most pure forms of luck.

As such, it is a popular choice for high rollers who want to bet large sums of money on a simple game that doesn’t require any skill to play. It is also a very important game for casinos, with some taking significant percentages of their income from the game.

While the rules of baccarat are relatively straightforward, they can get complicated as the game progresses. One of the most common mistakes made by players is that they forget that the values of the cards are not what you would expect from a standard poker deck. In baccarat, the cards are valued as follows: tens, jacks & queens are worth zero points, kings are worth one point and all other face cards are worth their normal value. In addition, when a number goes over 10, it is reduced by removing the first digit. For example, the hand of a queen and six will be worth seven.

As a result of its glamour and prestige, the game has featured in many films and TV shows. The most notable appearance was in the 2007 film Rush Hour 3, where the character James Carter plays baccarat. The game is also featured in the 1956 French heist film Bob le Flambeur and the 2007 movie High Stakes, where the actor Andrew Robl played a high-stakes baccarat match against a notorious casino bully.