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The Basics of Bacarrat

Baccarat is one of the most prestigious card games in the casino. It exudes refinement and sophistication, evoking images of men in tuxedos and women in formal dresses playing in opulent casinos. It’s also an easy game to learn and a fun way to spend time at the tables.

In the classic game of baccarat, players place wagers on whether the Banker hand will win, the Player hand will win, or a tie will occur. While the traditional bets are simple, baccarat offers an array of side bets that can increase players’ chances of winning big.

The game is played with between six and eight decks of cards that are shuffled and dealt in a box called a shoe. Players should never touch the cards or ask to see them. If the baccarat dealer allows players to touch the cards, this is a sign that the shuffle has not been done properly.

Points are scored on a baccarat hand by adding up the values of each card in the player’s and banker’s hands. The highest value is nine, while the lowest is zero. Face cards and tens count as zero, while aces and other numbered cards count as their respective values. When the total points of the two hands are equal to 8 or 9 on the first two cards, they are considered a “natural” and the game is over. When the total is greater than 9, the game may be continued with a third card if the rules of the particular venue allow it.