How to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is a casino card game. But not just any game.  It is considered a prestigious game, and yet a game of high stakes and risk.  Some would even call it the gentleman’s game.

In Baccarat, cards are given point values such as Aces are worth 1 point, cards 2-9 are worth face value, and 10s and face cards are worth zero points.  Players tally their score by taking the sum of their cards modulo 10, which means that the value of the cards are added and the tens digit is dropped. 

For example, a hand that consists of 3 and 4 is worth 7, while a hand consisting of 5 and 7 is worth 2 (5 + 7 = 12 modulo 10 = 2), because the first digit is dropped because the total is higher than a value of 9. 

Scores will always vary from 0 to 9.  A hand is worth 0 if the volume of cards is a multiple of 10 (0, 10, 20…).  The highest possible score is 9 (from a 4 + 5, or a 10 + 9, etc). Here is a quick view of the areas of a standard Baccarat table.  

1 – Dealer  2 – Discard Trays 3 – Dealer  4 – DropBox 5 – Caller (Dealer)  6 – Tips box

Baccarat Table Layout

Play begins by players betting on either the Player or the Banker.  After all, bets are down, the dealer gives two cards each to the Player and the Banker.  Both cards in each hand are turned over and summed. 

The table of action (or tableau) is then used to determine if additional cards will be drawn.  Depending on the two starting hands, both the Player and Banker can either stand or draw a third card on their hand.

If either the Player or the Banker achieves a total of 8 or 9 on the initial deal, no further cards are drawn and the game is immediately evaluated.  If nobody has an 8 or 9 the play continues according to the following rules:

1) If the Player has an initial sum of 0-5, he draws a third card.

2) If the Player has an initial sum of 6 or 7, he stands.

3) If the Player stood (i.e. has only two cards), the Banker follows the same rule as the Player.  That is, the Banker draws a third card if he has 0-5 and stands if he has 6 or 8.

If the Player drew a third card, the Banker follows more complex rules:

1) If the Player drew a 2 or 3, the Banker draws if he has 0-4, and stands if he has 5-7.

2) If the Player drew a 4 or 5, the Banker draws if he has 0-5, and stands if he has 6-7.

3) If the Player drew a 6 or 7, the Banker draws if he has 0-6, and stands if he has 7.

4) If the player drew an 8, the Banker draws if he has 0-2, and stands if he has 3-7.

5)  If the Player drew an ace, 9, 10 or face card, the Banker draws if he has 0-3, and stands if he has 4-7.

After the third card is drawn, the final hand with the higher total wins.  It is an easy game, with easy to remember rules—and yet, incredibly addicting as well.

Baccarat Rule Regarding Player and Banker

A third card may be drawn only if the hand meets certain criteria.

Player’s Third Card Rules: If the Players value is six or seven, they do not draw any more cards. If their value is five or less, then a third card is drawn.

Banker’s Third Card Rule: The Bankers rules are a bit more complicated as it is based on the Players cards. Here are the third card rules for the Banker:

Value of First 2 Cards:Will draw if Player third card is the following value:Will stand if Players third card is the following value:
0, 1, 2Draws
31 thru 7, 9 or 108
42 thru 71, 8, 9 or 10
54 thru 71, 2, 3, 8, 9 or 10
66 or 71thru 5, 8, 9 or 10
7, 8, or 9Stands

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Baccarat Tips

Need some tips to improve your game-play in Baccarat?  Good news:  Your strategy guide is available. Read on for some helpful tips.

  1.  Keep in mind that even though the Bank is always favoured to win, you will not have an edge just by always betting on the Bank. That is because the casino will receive a 5% commission on all bets on the Bank.  Still, the Bank theory is the first one, with odds against the player at only 1.2%.
  1. In most cases, stay away from tie bets.  Many people are tempted to bet on the tie since it pays at 8 to 1 odds.  This would mean a windfall if you got it right.  The problem is that you almost certainly will miss.  A tie occurs only about one in every nine hands. This gives the Bank more than a 14% edge.
  1. Many players like to use a progressive betting system.  This is a system in which they slightly increase their bet each time they win.  If you want to try this, make sure you have a minimum of 50 times the table’s minimum bet.  So if you are at a $5 Baccarat table, before you consider the progressive betting system, make sure you have at least $250.  Or $500 for a $10 table, and so on.
  1. It’s possible to reduce the House’s edge against you if you sign up for a player’s club card. Hand this to the dealer prior to wagering and the casino will then follow your play.  It allows you to kindly receive free show tickets, meals, or even a free room after playing for a few hours.
  1. When you begin a game, get a scorecard.  Then note all decisions using symbols P for players and symbols B for the Bank.
  1. Most players do better when they bet single units on the first 20 or 30 hands of the shoe.
  1. Also within those first 20 or 30 hands, keep an eye out for obvious trends.
  1. It’s always to your advantage, when the commission is less than 5%, to bet with the House.
  1. On the other hand, when the commission is more than 5%, you should bet on the player taking the hand.
  1. It’s almost never a smart idea to bet against either a steak of Banco or Punto.  Following a streak of three Punto or three Banco in a row, don’t bet until the streak ends—or optionally, bet with the streak.
  1. If you find yourself in a streaky shoe, with Banco and Punto both participating on a short streak, play the streaks continuing with a paroli of three.  That simply means that you parley your wager twice, looking for a win of three hands in a row.
  1. If you find yourself in a choppy shoe, you should bet that the team which won the last hand will and not win three hands in a row.

These twelve tips will make you appear to know more about what you’re doing in any Baccarat game—and better yet, it should increase the amount of money that you pull in.

Some Popular Baccarat Variations

Baccarat Winning Hand

Because Baccarat is one of the world’s oldest casino card games, it makes sense that there would be some variations of it. 

As is often the case, when a game makes it to American, the rules get “Americanized,” and those rules tend to become the norm around the world.  Sometimes that’s good—other times, not so much. 

Regardless, here are a few of the more common variations to those rules.

•        Chemin de Fer (French for “railroad) is a popular Baccarat version in French casinos, and in many other European casinos. France is where Baccarat was first popularized, so it makes sense that the most loved alternative form of the game would spring up there.  In Chemin de Fer, the game is not funded by the casino.  Rather, a player serves as the bank, and players bet among themselves.  The bank’s role rotates from one player to next, moving counter-clockwise.  If he wants, any player can pass the bank role to the player immediately to his right.  The “Railroad” version has flexible rules regarding drawing a third card, for both the bank and the player.  This version of Baccarat is quite common in online casino versions.

•          European Baccarat obviously rose to popularity in Europe, although you will find it in casinos scattered across the world.  The casino funds the bank in European Baccarat, with the bet limit set by the banker.  After the bet limit has been reached, players are no longer allowed to bet. This version also allows the option of either drawing or standing if the hand’s value is five. Still, the rules regarding drawing the third card are similar to traditional Baccarat.

•          Mini Baccarat has a growing number of fans around the world.  Its rules closely match standard American Baccarat, but it is played at a table the size of a typical Blackjack table.  Mini-Baccarat, unlike the standard game, is not played in a place in the casino separate from the main area.  Instead, it is played alongside the other casino games.  The minimum bet is also much lower, which means more ordinary people are allowed into the games.  The whole point of Mini-Baccarat is to make the game more accessible to more people.

                       Cash Chute           Commission Boxes

Mini-Baccarat Table Layout

                                        Bets can be placed on Player/Banker/Tie area

•          Super Pan Nine is a slim-line Baccarat version. By that, we mean that the decks are “slimmed” by removing all sevens, eights, nines and tens.  Also, three cards are dealt instead of two, with the option to draw a fourth card.  In Super Pan Nine, a hand of 3 or 4 results in the banker taking a fourth card.

•          Private Baccarat is a significant variation of the game.  In it, the banker has the option of dealing either one or two hands.  If he chooses to deal two, the player then chooses either to play both or to select one of them to play.  If he picks a card to play, the game proceeds in typical Baccarat fashion. However, if he opts to play both hands, then he must win both cards to beat the dealer.  If he wins one and loses the other, this is declared a tie.

There are other Baccarat variations, but these are the ones you will most likely encounter, either at physical or trusted online casinos.  You should be able to find one or two that will appeal to you.

House Edge in Baccarat Bets

Baccarat 9 Hand

Baccarat is a relatively simple online casino game, and its low house edge of fewer than 2%; when placing the correct bet, can bring players all the excitement they desire when playing on the virtual felt. The best thing about baccarat and the strategies to play the game is the simplicity. The game itself requires little thinking or skill, and can be quite profitable if played the right way.

This online gambling review is going to point out the house edge, which all baccarat players should know before playing, and it will help point you in the right direction when choosing to play this classic casino game online.

Which 3 Bets in Baccarat is the Correct One to Bet On?

There are three possible bets in the game of baccarat, and once the house edges are calculated, the best bet is revealed. It’s been said by many players and experts that the banker bet is the most popular bet placed at the table, and players are very firm in their belief that the profit from the game comes from this bet more than the other two; Player or Tie. Here are details about the possible bets in Baccarat, and you can decide for yourself.

The Tie: The Tie bet will payout more than the other two with odds of 8:1. This bet is won when both the player and the bankers hands tie in value. This bet may payout much more than the others, but the house edge for this bet is substantially higher. The house edge on a tie bet, according to many online gaming portals is somewhere between 13 and 14%, that alone may be enough for players to stay away from placing all their chips on this bet.

The Player: The Player bet will payout much lower odds at 1:1 or even money. This bet is safe, and the house bet is around 1.2%, which is far below the tie bet. This betting option is far less risky for the player, and therefore should be considered a safe bet when playing baccarat.

The Banker: The Banker bet is the final betting option at the table. The Banker betting option is the most popular among the players, as in many cases, the Banker will win the hand. This bet also pays out even money or 1:1 odds, and the house edge is around 1.06%. This means that every dollar wagered at the table will have a return of about $0.9894 on average.

Baccarat is a relatively simple online casino game, and its low house edge of fewer than 2%; when placing the correct bet, can bring players all the excitement they desire when playing on the virtual felt. The best thing about baccarat and the strategies to play the game is simplicity. Baccarat is a casino game that is fairly simple and requires little skills and can be quite profitable if betting the right way.