Baccarat is one of the most popular card games in casinos and online. The game has a low house edge and is simple to play. New players can practice for free before putting down any money and experienced players can use a few strategies to maximize their profits.

In baccarat, the object of the game is to place bets on which hand, player or banker, has a total closer to nine. Each hand is dealt two cards by the dealer and the winning hand is that one that has a final digit closest to 9. If both hands have a score of six, it’s a tie. The rules of baccarat vary from the punto banco form played in casino casinos to the chemin de fer and baccarat banque forms of the game.

Eight 52-card packs are shuffled together and dealt by the croupier from a dealing box, called a shoe. The game table is covered with green felt and the numbers 1 to 12 are marked on it. A numbered area on the right side of the table is where players place their bets. Players can wager on either the Player, Banker or Tie.

A simple baccarat strategy is to start with flat betting and watch the pattern trends. Typically shoes will zigzag between banker and player wins, with double win streaks appearing for both sides. When a player notices that one pattern is dominating, they can choose to bet on the opposite hand or stick with their original strategy.