Baccarat is the card game of choice for high-rollers and evokes images of men in tuxedos in a glamorous casino. The mystique of the game can intimidate new players but it’s actually one of the easiest casino games to learn and maintains a low house edge. Baccarat also offers a wide array of side bets that can add to the excitement and potential for winning real money.

The objective of the game is simple: The player and banker sides work against each other to have a hand total closest to 9 without going over. At the end of a round, the dealer will tally up the results of the player and banker hands. The hand that comes closest to 9 wins the round. If the hand is a tie, your stake is returned to you.

A third card may be drawn if the initial total of the Player or Banker’s hand is 8 or 9. This is known as a “natural” and all placed bets are paid out. A third card is also drawn if the initial total of the Player’s or Banker’s hand is lower than 9. In this case, the hand is “drawn” and the bets are not paid out.

The Player and Banker bets win around 45.8% and 44.6% of the time respectively, while ties occur around 9.6% of the time. This makes baccarat one of the few casino games where betting on the banker side is usually recommended given its higher odds of winning.