# Baccarat Basics

Baccarat is a game of cards that involves two hands. Each hand is worth a point value based on the second digit of its total. Picture cards and tens are worth zero points, while the rest of the cards have specific values.

Many first-time Westerners pooh-pooh the idea of luck and fate in Asian culture, but anyone who has stood in a baccarat pit knows it’s true.

## Game rules

Baccarat is a simple game, but you need to understand the rules before you play. There are three main bets in the game: Player, Banker and Tie. Two cards are dealt to the player and the banker, and whichever hand has a total closest to nine wins. If the hands tie, your stake is returned.

The Labouchere system is a negative progression betting strategy that can help you win at baccarat. It works by incorporating the Fibonacci numerical sequence into your betting pattern. It starts with a single unit (bet size) and adds that amount to the sum of the preceding numbers each time you lose.

Set a budget before you begin playing and stick to it. This will help you avoid huge losses.

## Bets

Baccarat offers a variety of betting options. Players can choose between bets on the Player, Banker, or Tie. These bets are labelled and appear on the table before each coup. While betting on the Player is the most common bet, it does not pay out as much as the Banker bet. Moreover, it is not as favorable in terms of odds and the casino takes a 5% commission on winning bets.

New players can get carried away with the excitement of the game and make large bets without realizing that they will eventually lose. To avoid this, it is important to set a budget and stick to it. This will prevent you from losing a lot of money. You should also know when to quit while you’re ahead.

## Payouts

There are a variety of payouts available for baccarat. The game’s objective is to get a hand that has a score closest to nine without going over. The final digit of the hand is determined by counting the number of pips on the cards, with face cards worth zero and aces counted as one.

Winning wagers are paid out immediately before the next round begins. If the Banker and Player hands have a similar value, the game ends in a tie.

In the event of a tie, additional cards are dealt to determine the winner. A winning Player/Banker Pair bet pays 1:1, and a Perfect Pair has a high payout of 25:1. A 5% commission is charged on Banker bets. This brings the house edge to 19:20.

## Edge sorting

Edge sorting is an advantage gambling technique that relies on the imperfections of card patterns to gain an unfair advantage. It involves exploiting tiny printed deviations on the cards to figure out which ones will be dealt first in a baccarat shoe or deck. However, this strategy is not foolproof and requires a great deal of skill, deception, and casinos that bend over backwards to your specific requests.

Phil Ivey was a famous example of this, as he and his partner won millions of dollars at Borgata and London’s Crockfords casinos using the method. However, he was eventually busted and had to forfeit the winnings. This incident was a watershed moment for edge sorting, which was popularized by Ivey’s scandalous baccarat win. It has since become one of the most feared advantage play techniques for casinos.

## Variations

Although they share a common set of rules, baccarat variations differ slightly in the types of bets that can be placed. Some of them also have slight differences in odds and payouts. There are even some versions that do not require the player or banker to take a third card. These include Prestige Baccarat and Grand Baccarat No Commission.

Baccarat is played at a table with up to 14 seats and a dealer area. Each player places their chips on a betting box. The dealer then deals two cards to the player and banker boxes. A nine-point hand is considered the best, but players can bet on other outcomes such as a tie. These bets pay 1:1 minus a house commission. The game’s popularity has prompted several variations to emerge.