One of the most glamorous and elusive casino games, baccarat is known for its high stakes and exclusive atmosphere. Players place their bets in a private alcove away from the noise and the rest of the table action. In American casinos, baccarat is played with real cash while European operators use oblong chips.
A game of baccarat begins when the dealer and player both receive two cards. Each hand will then be compared to a nine-point total and the winner is determined by which hand comes closest. Players can bet on the banker hand, player hand or a tie. A winning banker bet is paid out 9:1 while a tie bet pays 8:1. The player and banker hands each get a special bonus when they win with a natural (a hand that totals eight or nine points).
Once the cards are dealt, there are a few things that a player needs to know about the rules of baccarat. In particular, it is important to understand the concept of the cutting of cards. This is done by a dealer or other member of the staff who separates the deck into two sets after it has been shuffled and mixed. This is a process called edge sorting and it was made famous in 2012 when professional poker player Phil Ivey won around $10 million in two separate rounds of baccarat at the Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City.
A player must always remember to play within their bankroll and to set a loss limit before the game begins. This will help them keep their losses in check and not get carried away with the excitement of winning.