If one has to pick a fun, exciting, and beginner-friendly casino game, our experts suggest online Baccarat. A typical James Bond movie game full of suspense, Baccarat is simple yet keeps one hooked for a long time. Because of its fast-paced and uncomplicated gameplay, it is among the popular table games in Las Vegas casinos. Online Baccarat is often considered the game of high rollers and VIPs.

The objective of the game is simple; guess which hand will win. Now, what decides the winning? Let’s understand this next in our ‘How to play Baccarat’ guide.

There are two main betting sides to this game. You could be on the player side or the banker side, and the third is betting on a tie. Regardless of the number of players on the table, only two cards per hand are dealt, and the players and the dealer can get individual cards in ‘special’ situations only, which we will discuss shortly.

The Baccarat cards will have a face value between 2 to 9. All the picture cards and ten cards are worth zero points, while card numbers from 2 to 9 are worth their face value. Ace has 1 point. Now, either party tries to get a hand as close to 9 as possible. The one who manages to pull this off wins the game.

Let us now go a little deeper into the game rules and know the details of ‘what is Baccarat’.

Baccarat Rules

For a gratifying experience, knowing Baccarat rules is essential so you don’t make mistakes and lose a winning chance.

You put your bets on the winner- the player, the dealer, or the hand ending up in a tie. It is done before the cards are dealt. The game has three possible outcomes, winning of player hand, banker hand wins, or it’s a tie.

Per Baccarat’s standard rules, each hand gets two cards to get started. The dealing of the third card depends on the outcome of the first two cards.

Once both parties receive their cards, a showdown happens to find out the total hand value. You’re not allowed to make any card changes before the total hand value of the first round is determined.

The face value of cards is totalled to determine the total hand value. Cards from 2 to 9 are worth their face value, while all the 10s, Jack, Queen, and King cards are counted for a zero. Aces add one point each to your total.

The hand with a total closest to 9 in the first round wins, which is the natural win. If the total is more than 9, then the first digit of the total is dropped to determine the hand value. For instance, if the total is 12, the hand value is 2, as the first digit, 1, will be dropped. Or you could deduct 10 from the total to arrive at the same value of 2.

Now in the ‘special case’, when the player’s total hand is 5 or less, they can choose to ‘hit’ or get one more card. If a player’s hand value is 6 or 7, he would ‘stand’ or opt not to have more cards since they are more likely to exceed the value of 9.

Dealing with a third card for the banker’s hand depends on multiple situations. For instance, they will always draw a third card if the score is 2 or less. In case of 3 as total, the banker hand will draw a third card unless the player’s third card was an 8, and so on.

This continues until the game has a winner, the hand with a total value of 9 or nearest to 9.

At times, people who are not at the table can suggest a bet on the player’s section of the table. That is back betting, and it’s allowed in Baccarat. Some baccarat variants also offer egalites or special bets, such as betting on a tie with a specific number.

How To Play Baccarat?

Baccarat may seem easy to crack, too many, and it certainly is up to a great extent. But it’s not simple; you must know the basics to ensure you do not lose money. Here is a crisp step-by-step guide on ‘How to play Baccarat’.

Step #1- Decide the environment you want to play in. Baccarat is available in both live and online casinos. If you’re playing online, you must visit a trusted casino site offering online Baccarat.

Open the account, complete the verification process, deposit, and join a Baccarat game room. Various Baccarat varieties like Punto Banco, the traditional version; Mini Baccarat, a simplified version of Punto Banco; and many more are offered. Pick a version according to your taste and gaming skills.

In a live casino, you must present age proof to get started. Buy the chips for betting and join the table of respective Baccarat games.

Also, have a game plan in mind. Have a set budget and stick to it. You need to decide on a winning limit as well. Decide at which amount you should walk away.

Step #2- Decide the bet you want to present or play with. You have three options, player hand, banker hand, and tie hand. It has to be picked before cards are dealt.

If you choose a banker’s hand, the payouts are generally 0.95:1. The 0.05% is the casino commission.

The payout for a player’s hand bet is typically 1:1. You win an amount equal to your original bet.

The tie bet has the highest payout. Generally, it pays 8:1. A tie bet wins when both the hands, player and banker, have the same total value. However, the odds of winning this bet are the least.

Step #3- The dealer will start dealing with the cards using the standard deck of 52 cards. The deck is shuffled, and two face-up cards are dealt to the banker and the player.

Depending upon the outcome of the cards, the dealer will decide if a third card should be drawn.

Step #4- If 8 or 9 is drawn in the first round by any of the hands, it wins, and no third card is drawn. It is known as a natural win.

However, if any player hands score anything below 5, a third card is drawn to have a winner. The game continues until the hand goes nearer to 9.

Those were basic steps for playing baccarat. However, it’s important to note that there may be variations in the rules depending on the specific version of the game being played.

Next, we present a rundown of proven winning tips for the Baccarat game that our experts have created just for you.

  1. Get familiar with the rules before getting started.
  2. We recommend focusing on the banker bet as it has the lowest house edge and its veteran’s pick. It is observed that the banker’s hand will win 45.8% of the time, which is higher than the player’s hand, which has a 44.6% winning probability.
  3. Even though a tie bet has the highest payout, it’s generally not recommended because it has a low probability, only 9.6%. So, placing your bet on a tie is generally not recommended unless you are a risk lover.
  4. Take breaks, and don’t let the excitement of the game carry you away. Playing at a stretch can make you lose focus which won’t work in your favour.
  5. Practice using free Baccarat online games before playing with real money. This way, you can get familiar with the rules, study the gameplay, and improve your chances of winning in a real money Baccarat game.

Player Hand

The player’s hand will have only two cards, and the aim is to make its total close to 9. The player plays his hand first before the banker. Baccarat can be played actively or passively, which means you can be the player yourself or be on the table and bet on other players’ or bankers’ hands.

Now, if the player already has a total of 8 or 9 or natural, no third card will be drawn. The player hand is complete, and now the banker hand deal is awaited to decide the result.

A third card is drawn if the player gets a total of 0 to 5 when your bet is on the player’s hand.

If you have a total of 6 or 7 and betting on the player’s hand, you will ‘stand’ and retain your cards in the hope that the dealer does not cross your total, and no other card will be drawn.

There is one more thing to know about the player’s hand, and it’s the house edge, which is the mathematical advantage that the casino has over the player. The house advantage for the player’s hand bet is higher than the house edge on the banker’s hand. It means that winning on the player’s hand bet will likely yield a lesser payout than winning a banker’s hand.

The rules for dealing with the third card differ for both hands. For the player’s hand, the house edge is 1.24%, and the casino is expected to make 1.24% profit from bets made, while the banker’s hand win has a house edge of 1.06%. But overall, the house edge in Baccarat bets is low compared to other card games.

Banker Hand

The other betting side of the Baccarat game is the banker’s hand, and playing from the banker’s hand is a little more detailed than the player’s. The basic rule for drawing the third card in the case of a banker is different from the player’s hand.

If the banker has a total of 0, 1, or 2, they can get a third card unless the player has a natural 8 or 9, in which case the player wins.

If the total of the first two cards of the banker is 3, then the banker’s hand gets an additional card if the player has a total of 0 to 9, except 8. The banker ‘stands’ in case of a 3 when the player has 8.
In the case of a total of 4, the banker can draw the third card if the player has a total from 2 to 7. While the banker stands on 4, if the player has 0, 1, 8, 9.

For a total of 5, the banker can draw if the player has a total of 4, 5, 6, or 7. Otherwise, the banker stands if the player’s hand sums 0, 1, 2, 3, 8, or 9.

The banker draws when he has a 6, and the player’s hand is either 6 or 7. Else, they would stand when the player’s hand is 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, or 9.

Best Baccarat Strategies

We hope you have learnt enough about ‘how does Baccarat work’. Before we wrap up this guide on ‘how do you play Baccarat like a pro’, you might want to learn about a few Baccarat strategies. These strategies are nothing that would impart you a sure-shot way to win, but they will help in planning your bets based on the outcome of the previous round.

You have a flat betting system and positive and negative progression strategies. Paroli, Reverse d’Alembert, 1326, and 1324 are positive progression strategies where you would increase your bet on a win and decrease it when you lose. The negative progression strategies include Oscar’s Grind, Labouchere or Split Martingale, Fibonacci, d’Alembert, and Martingale betting strategy. Using these, you will increase your bets with a loss and decrease them when you win the game.

You can follow this link to learn more about how these strategies work. You should check this link to have a better chance of winning in baccarat.

Final Say

When played with the idea of fun, Baccarat is a fabulous and interesting card game. With not-so-complex rules, it’s best for beginners. Refer to this guide, understand the rules, and you can master baccarat in no time.


Posted by: Catalina Kirby
Chief Editor

With 4 years of experience in writing about online gambling, Catalina has decided to gather all her knowledge and share it with others on one platform. Her main goal is to provide detailed information so that players could gamble in a more safe way.