Baccarat (pronounced: bak-ahra) is one of the easiest casino games to play. It is played with eight decks of cards and is dealt from a shoe. The game has three possible outcomes: player wins, banker wins, or a tie. The goal of each hand is to get the closest number to 9. The game has become a favorite of Asian high rollers.

While the game is mainly a game of chance, there is some skill involved in placing bets. A number of players have developed baccarat strategies that help them place better bets. These include the use of a system of progressively adjusting bets based on the results of previous hands. This is known as the Martingale System and works in almost any casino game. It has even been used in forex trading and securities investments to improve long-term profit expectancy.

When a round begins, the dealer puts four cards into the shoe face down. The first two cards form the Player hand, while the last two are for the Banker hand. The point count for each hand is calculated by adding the values of all the cards in the hand. Aces are valued at one (1), while 9s and 8s are valued at zero (0). Then the dealer reveals the cards and announces the outcome of the hand.

In a typical game, the Banker wins about 75% of the time. The Banker’s winning bet is paid out at a ratio of 1:1 to the bettors. The player bets pay out at a higher rate, but the return on a tie bet is much lower.