Baccarat is one of those glamorous casino games that conjures up images of men in tuxedos and women in evening dresses laying down their chips as the dealer distributes cards. But don’t let its mystique intimidate you-this exciting game of chance is actually easy to learn and a lot of fun to play.

The objective of baccarat is simple: Both the banker and player sides compete to have a hand that comes closest to nine points. During each round, the dealer will deal two cards to each side. The player’s and banker’s total is determined by adding up the values of each card-an ace and king add up to 1 point, while a seven and six equals 9 points.

Whether the Banker or Player side wins, players’ wagers are paid out depending on their bet type. A Banker bet pays even money (1:1), while a Player bet has higher odds but lower payouts (see below). Tie bets have the highest payouts but also have the lowest return.

To maximize your profits, it’s important to keep track of past results, and if you can, try to follow the trends of the Banker or Player sides. Keeping notes on the results of previous hands will help you determine whether the current player or Banker has the better chance of winning. It’s also worth experimenting with different game variants, such as EZ Baccarat or Dragon 7, which pays out on both Banker and Player bets with no commission but has a slightly higher house edge.