Baccarat is the game of choice for high rollers, with a certain mystique that brings to mind images of men in tuxedos and women in opulent dresses laying down chips as the dealer distributes cards. But the game is actually simple and fun to play. And as it becomes more popular, casinos are creating side bets and variations on the game to attract players.

In baccarat, players place bets on either the Player hand, the Banker hand or a Tie. After everyone has placed their bets, the dealer will deal two cards to each hand. The hand closest to 9 wins. Aces count as 1; 10s and face cards count as zero; and all other cards are given their respective values.

The Player and Banker bets pay out based on the total of their bets, with the Tie bet paying a higher return but with much higher odds in favor of the house. Because the house edge on a win on Player or Banker is so strong, intelligent players should never make the Tie bet. Depending on the platform or establishment, players can also choose to bet on a variety of side bets beyond player win, banker win or tie. Check out our article on side bets and Mini Baccarat for more details.