The card game baccarat is a big deal in casinos around the world. Casinos in Macau (which recently dethroned Las Vegas as the world’s largest gambling destination) make almost 88 percent of their total casino win from this game, and even on the crowded Vegas Strip, it accounts for 18 percent of all casino wins. Its popularity is due to several factors, including its simple rules, low house edge, and association with elegance and luxury.
Players can choose to bet on either the Player or the Banker hand, and bets are placed on a special baccarat table with numbered areas that indicate where the various bets may be made. A croupier deals the cards from a box, called a shoe, which releases one card at a time. A deck of standard 52-cards is used in most games, although some games may use a different number of cards.
Once all bets are in place, the croupier deals two cards to the Player and to the Banker. The winning hand is whichever one totals closest to nine. A tie is sometimes allowed, but this is not always the case, as the game can become quite complicated if the ties are too close.
Baccarat is a fairly easy game to play, and it is also one of the least volatile casino games. If you are a novice, it is a good idea to start out with small bets and work your way up. The minimum bets vary by casino, but $20-$25 seems to be the most popular in the United States.