Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games. It’s not just famous for its appearance in the movie “Casino Royale”—the game attracts hordes of players to both land-based and online casinos. Its roots can be traced back to gambling salons in Italy and France, but over the past 30 years it’s gained immense popularity across Asia and the United States. It’s a simple card game with an easy-to-understand ruleset.

To play baccarat, players place bets on the banker’s hand, the player’s hand, or a tie. They then choose which hand they think will have a higher total point count—and win accordingly. While the game is largely based on luck, knowing about betting strategies and odds increases your potential for success.

After all, a tie bet wins only about 51% of the time in a standard eight-deck game. But it pays eight to one, so it’s a great choice for players who want high payouts.

After players place their bets, the dealer deals two cards to each box and reveals them in turn. If the Player and Banker hands are equal in value, a third card is drawn according to certain standardized rules. If the third-card rule results in a ‘9’ being dealt to either the player or banker, a winner is declared and all bets pay out. Some baccarat variations, such as EZ Baccarat, do not follow the standard third-card rule and only pay out banker bets on a ‘9’.