How to Win at Baccarat


Baccarat is a high-stakes game that has always attracted big bettors. The table is usually set in an alcove, away from the casino floor. In the US, players typically bet with real cash – $100 bills or oblong ‘plaques’ – although some European casinos use chips.

The game rules are simple: the winning hand is the one that totals closest to nine. There is a third bet, the tie, which pays off eight to one but comes with an enormous house edge of more than 14 percent. This means that most serious baccarat players stick to either player or banker bets.

In the United States, minimum bets vary between casinos but usually are around $20-$25 per hand. Dealers follow a fixed set of rules that determine whether or not a third card is drawn, so the only decision for players to make is which hand to place their bet on and how much to wager.

A seasoned baccarat player can easily double his or her initial wager, but they also can lose more than that amount in the same time period. That’s why it’s crucial to set a budget before starting to play. A smart way to do that is to limit your wins and losses to a certain percentage of your original stake.

To avoid a bad situation, it is best to never bet on a tie. The house edge of this bet is more than 14% and the odds are very low that you’ll win. This bet isn’t for everyone and if you can’t afford to risk losing your money, it might be best to stay away from this bet altogether.

The simplest way to increase your chances of winning at baccarat is to bet on the banker. It’s not the most profitable bet, but it’s a good way to lower the house edge and improve your chances of winning. Another thing that you can do is to make sure to always bet on the correct digits. For example, if you’re betting on a nine, you should drop the first digit in order to get its true value.

A baccarat score sheet can help you keep track of your winnings and losses. It is available at live baccarat tables and features numbered areas where each customer position is marked, along with a box to place a banker bet and another for player bets. In addition, the number of bets placed on each hand is recorded. When a bet wins, the marker is moved to the appropriate area and the player’s winnings are paid out. The score sheet can also help you keep track of the commission that you’ll pay if you bet on the winning banker hand.