How to Play Baccarat

How to Play Online Baccarat

Baccarat Rules

    • In the Baccarat, the dealer deals two cards to himself and two to each player sitting around the table.
    • The winning hand in Baccarat is the hand whose sum is closest to 9.
    • Card values are figured differently in Baccarat so that the sum can never exceed 9.

Baccarat is a Gentleman’s Game, but this gives you no excuse to be intimidated by this simple Casino Game. While the game does have a large following of gamblers with deep pockets many people love the Game for its feeling of class so feel free! If you’re going to a Casino you may want to consider the addition of a suit jacket to enhance this feeling, but playing Baccarat online is comfortably done in your underwear from the comfort of your own home.

Learning how to play Baccarat is quick and simple as there is no in-depth strategy to work out in order to be a winner. The rules of Baccarat ensure that the Game is based 100% on chance which means that basic knowledge of the classic Game is enough to get you started.

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Basic Baccarat Rules

Knowing the rules of the game is not only important so it can be enjoyed to it’s fullest but more so if you intend to wager, you don’t have to be an expert but knowing the basics of baccarat is a good start.

Below are the key areas for understanding the rules of Baccarat as it is played in casinos throughout the United States:-

    • The Baccarat Table
    • Betting Rules & Hand Values

Lastly, but definitely not least is mini-baccarat, same rules as American Baccarat however the table is somewhat smaller and there is only a single dealer handling the whole game which includes dealing the cards.

In a real Casino, several players are seated around the Baccarat Table together like in Blackjack, but there are never more than two hands of cards dealt in Baccarat. The dealer deals two cards for himself, this hand is known as the banker’s hand, and two cards for a hand for the player. No matter how many people are seated at the Baccarat table, there is only one hand for the player.

The next and most important Baccarat rules are the three different bets you can make based on these two hands. The winning hand in Baccarat is the hand whose sum is closest to 9. However, if the banker’s hand wins, this doesn’t mean that the banker wins the money. It is up to you as the player to bet on the winning hand.

According to all Baccarat rules, you can place your bet on the hand of the banker, the hand of the player, or on a tie. If for example you place a five-dollar bet on the banker’s hand and the banker wins with a total sum of 9, then you will win 5 dollars as this bet pays 1 to 1. Bets on the player’s hand also pay 1 to 1 while a bet on there being a tie pays 8 to 1 or 9 to 1 depending on the version of Baccarat. Another important thing to remember when learning how to play Baccarat is that the casino will take 5% of your winnings as commission. In the example mentioned above, you will actually receive winnings of $4.75.

The Baccarat Table

The information provided below will give you a basic understanding of the rules of baccarat punto banco as it is played in casinos in the United States. We will be adding the rules to the two other baccarat variations Baccarat Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque soon.

Learning To Play Baccarat

Learning the game of Baccarat is fairly simple, unlike some other table games, the layout of the baccarat table is simple to understand and become familiar with.

Baccarat normally played in a separate area of the casino. There are three casino dealers and as many as 12 or 14 players. As the ‘three’ layout positions on the board would indicate there are only three types of bets available to players of the game and they are; banker, player, and tie.

On each side of the table, there are seven numbered positions, 1-7 and 8-15 (excluding the number 13) with three betting areas associated with each number.

Three dealers work the table, in the example graphic above, you’ll note two dealers in positions (1 & 2) and a croupier (caller) position (3) who is located at the opposite end of the table. The two dealers are responsible for taking player bets at their end of the table and the caller directs the play of the game and is responsible for calling the hands.

Betting Rules & Hand Values

As mentioned earlier, there are three betting options on the baccarat table layout, they are; betting on “player”, “banker” or betting on a “tie”. The object of the game is to bet on the hand with the highest total. All casinos will set a table minimum and maximum and you can bet anywhere within that range when betting on the player’s hand. The highest hand value you can have is nine, a two-card total of nine and eight is referred to as a “natural”, the nine cannot be beaten. If both the bank and player have identical hands this is known as a tie and neither the bank nor player wins.

    • If you place your chips in the “P L A Y E R S” area directly in front of you, you are betting on a player hand. If you win the “player” bet, ie: the player hand is greater than the dealers you will be paid even money and not changed any commission.
    • If you place your chips in the “B A N K E R S” area directly in front of you, you are betting on a banker’s hand. If you win the “banker” bet, ie: the banker hand is greater than the player’s you will be paid even money and charged a commission fee of 5% on the winnings.

To bet on a “Tie”, place your chips in the “TIE” area or a number corresponding to your seating position. A “Tie” result pays 8:1 and there are no commission fees. If you win the “tie” bet, ie: the banker and player hands are equal, you will be paid 8:1 without any commission fees. It should be noted however that “tie” bets have a very high house advantage and are known to be the worst possible bet on the baccarat table. In a “tie” situation, “player” and “banker” bets are returned.

The Deal

The cards are dealt firstly to the “Player” and then to the “Banker” one at a time until both have two cards. At this time the rules of play “Tableau” which is a table of play is used to determine whether any further cards are to be drawn. No more than three cards per hand are drawn. The values of both cards in each hand are added together and the caller (croupier) calls the total and announces the winning hand as either “Player” or “Banker”.

    • At the start of the game, the Player and Banker’s hands are each dealt two cards.
    • If the score of either hand totals 8 or 9, the game is over and no further cards are
      dealt to either hand.
    • If neither hand scored 8 or 9, the game proceeds as follows:
    • The Player goes first and must play according to the following rules:
    • The Player hand draws another card if its total is 0-5, otherwise, it does not draw
      another card. Play now proceeds to the banker.
    • If the Banker’s hand totals 7, 8 or 9, the Banker does not get another card.
    • If the Banker’s first two cards total 0,1 or 2, then the Banker draws one card, otherwise, the Banker draws cards according to this table: 

Bank

Player Draw Card

Total

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

9

8

7

6

D

D

5

D

D

D

D

D

4

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

3

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

2

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

1

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

0

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

Card Values

    • Pictures and 10s count as 0. If the initial hand totals 8 or 9 no further cards are drawn.
    • An initial “Player” total of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5, the “Player” draws another card.
    • An initial “Player” total of 6 or 7, the “Player” stands and doesn’t draw any further card.
    • An initial “Player” total of 8 or 9, (a natural) neither the “Player” nor the “Banker” draw any further cards.
    • An initial “Banker” total of 0, 1 or 2, the “Banker” draws another card.
    • An initial “Banker” total of 3, the “Banker” draws another card but only if the “Player’s” third card is not an 8.
    • An initial “Banker” total of 4, the “Banker” draws another card when the “Player’s” third card is a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7.
    • An initial “Banker” total of 5, the “Banker” draws another card when the “Player’s” third card is a 4, 5, 6, or 7.
    • An initial “Banker” total of 6, the “Banker” draws another card when the “Player’s” third card is a 6 or 7. 
    • An initial “Banker” total of 7, the “Banker” stands and doesn’t draw any further cards.
    • An initial “Banker” total of 8 or 9, this is a natural and neither the “Player” nor the “Banker” draw further cards.
    • An initial “Banker” total of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 and the “Player’s” initial total is 6 or 7 and stands, the “Banker” draws another card.

An initial “Banker” total of 6 must stand if the “Player’s” initial total is 6 or 7.

The Finer Points

While these are the basic Baccarat rules that you need to get started, there are a few finer points that will give you a complete understanding of the popular game.

Firstly, card values are figured differently in Baccarat than in other games like Blackjack. Cards 2-9 are counted as they are and the hand can never reach a sum of more than nine. This is achieved in three ways:

    • Aces count as 1.
    • Face cards and 10s count as 0.
    • If the sum of the hand goes over 10, the true value of the hand can be found by removing the number’s first digit.

For example, if a hand contains a 9 and 8 the sum of the hand ought to be 17, right? Wrong.

There is no such thing as a bust in Baccarat and therefore you remove the first digit of 17 bringing the hand total to 7.

Banker’s Baccarat Rules

Learning how to play Baccarat is similar to Blackjack in at least one way. The banker, or dealer, works by a strict set of rules that guarantees fairness.

Each hand is originally dealt with two cards, but each has the possibility of reaching three total cards. The addition of a third card to either of the hands is decided by the rules of Baccarat which the banker is obligated to follow, so don’t ask the dealer to hit you because if he doesn’t, someone else at the table might.

In any case, if one of the hands stands at a total of 8 or 9, this is called a natural and no cards are drawn. If there is no total of 8 or 9 on the first draw then the banker will add a card to the player’s hand only if the hand equals 5 or less.

The banker’s hand, however, adheres to rules that are a bit stricter. The banker will automatically add a third card to his hand if:

    • The banker’s hand equals two or less.
    • The banker’s hand equals three and the player’s third card was anything other than 8.
    • The banker’s hand equals four and the player’s third card was anything other than 0, 1, 8, or 9.
    • The banker’s hand equals five and the player’s third card was 4,5,6, or 7.
    • The banker’s hand equals six and the player’s third card was 6 or 7.

The banker will always stand if his total is 7. If the player doesn’t receive a third card then the banker will also stand on 6. No hand can ever have more than three cards.

As a beginner, you can trust the dealer to remember the complicated math but playing Baccarat online first is a great way to get used to the rules yourself until you feel confident and comfortable playing socially.