Baccarat (Game Guide 2021)

How To Play Baccarat

There is a number of Baccarat versions available. The most common version is the Punto Banca, and due to its reputation, it is usually referred to as just Baccarat. The game is generally played with eight packs of cards (this may vary by location). A unique scoring system is used for each of the cards and Face Cards are equivalent to zero points; ten cards are also equivalent to zero points, 2 to 9 cards are equal to the face value of the cards, and the Ace is equal to one point. To start the round, players make Baccarat bets or a wager, either banker, player or a tie. Once the bets have been made, both the player and the dealer receive two cards apiece and to win, they have to achieve a higher score than their opponent. The two cards in the player’s hands are added up to determine their points or score. Next, the figure on the right of the total determines the hand worth of the player’s cards. For example, if the two cards total up to 12, then the score would be 2. The score always ranges from 0 – 9.

Once the player and the bank or dealer have received two cards each, their totals are added up, and if either has a sum of 8 or 9, then both parties stand, and the winner is determined there and then. If the player has a total of 5 or less in hand, then they have to draw or receive another card. When the player stands, the dealer must hit only if the total is 5 or less than 5. Once the player hits, things start getting a bit complicated, and a Baccarat chart has to be looked at to see whether the dealer hits or stands. This is taken care of automatically during Baccarat online sessions since the software in the game has control over the bank during gameplay. The final Baccarat scores are then compared, and the higher score takes the day.

The payouts in a game of Baccarat vary with the bets. Players can expect the following payouts when we use Bovada, for example. Tie bets pay 8:1 and in a case of a tie, player and dealer bets push. Successful bets on the players during player bets pay 1:1. On the other hand, during dealer bets, you can expect them to pay 19:20. This will amount to even money, and a 5% commission is subtracted. This particular wager has the lowest house edge, and for this reason, casinos have put in place the 5% commission to make sure that they get a part of the gameplay and winning action.

  • 8 decks are usually used when playing Baccarat. This may vary with location, however.
  • The score is determined by adding two of the cards in hand and then picking the right digit of the sum.
  • Winners can be determined immediately when the total of either the dealer of the player is 8 or 9.
  • Tie bets pay 8 to 1, players bets pay 1 to 1 and bankers bets pay 19 to 20 with a 5% commission

Baccarat Rules

When it comes to Baccarat rules, the value or score of a hand has to be determined first. As explained above, this is the right digit of the sum of the two cards in hand. On the same note, 10 and face cards all have a score of 0. The hand with the higher score or value wins, and if they have the same score or value, then this results in a tie. For the player hand in Baccarat, the rules state that if the first two cards of the player add up to 6 or more, then the player has to stand and cannot draw a card. If they add up to 5 or less, then the player has to draw an additional card. When it comes to the Banker’s hand when the first draw totals 7 or more, the dealer will have to stand without drawing an extra card. If they add up to 0, 1 or 2, the dealer will have to draw an additional card. If the first two cards add up to 3, 4, 5 or 6, whether the dealer draws or not is determined by whether the player drew or not. Here is when the chart is referenced to determine the next play. In the case of online Baccarat games, this is done automatically. Baccarat rules may seem complicated at first, but after two or three games, you will get the hang of it.

Different Types of Baccarat

As time passes by, various types or variations of this game have come up based, in most cases, on the countries they are played in. In most cases, the general rules are very similar, and the main contrasts come about with the drawing standards and player interplays. The most common variant is the Punto Banco or American Baccarat. It is mostly played in casinos in the United States, Australia and Canada. The game follows standard rules, and the casino acts as the bank. The Chemin De Fer version is common in Europe and the main variation from the American version is that the players make all the dealings. Baccarat en Banque is another French or European variation and is typically played with three decks of cards. The role of the banker in this version is auctioned to the player who is willing to make the biggest risk. The Super Pan 9 version is also limited to the United States, and it uses decks of 36 cards. This means that only face cards are used, for the Ace to six. Three cards are dealt to both the player and dealer and they are given the option of drawing an additional card. The main aim here is to get as close to 9 as possible.1

Tips and Tricks for Baccarat Beginners

At first glance, Baccarat may seem like an extremely difficult game, especially due to its sophisticated reputation. The first and most important tip for beginners is to understand the rules. Understand how the cards are dealt, how they are scored and generally how hits work for both players and dealers. The next tip is to learn how to make smart bets. In short, how to make and use a strategy. This will definitely help you make the most out of the game and walk away with a win while you’re at it. These two tips will help you in the long run, especially if you are a beginner in the game.

Glossary Terms:

  • Baccarat – A hand with a total of zero
  • Croupier – The dealer at the Baccarat table
  • Face Cards – The Jack, Queen or King are referred to as a face card in Baccarat
  • Tie Bet – A bet that both the player’s and dealer’s hands will have the same total
  • Punto Banco – Translates to Player Banker and is the most common form Baccarat mostly played in the United States, Canada and Australia

When we talk about games that exude an atmosphere of class and finesse, Baccarat games are definitely at the top of the list. It is a game of chance and has a rather simple gameplay. The game involves very little skill regarding the players. It earned its fame as James Bond’s game of choice in the film adaptations of Ian Flemming’s books. Traditionally, the Baccarat table has 14 seats around it, labelled 1 to 15. The number 13 is excluded to avoid bad luck during gameplay. Each table has three dealers. Two of them deal with payouts, and the remaining one, who is known as the croupier or caller makes calls on each hand as they are being dealt.

Baccarat Strategies

Different Baccarat players have their own ways to win or strategies that they apply to win the game. When it comes to a smart Baccarat strategy, the best way to go is mathematical. Baccarat games have three bets available at the table; each has their house edges. The Player bet has a house edge of 1.37%, the Banker bet has a house edge of 1.17%, and the tie has a house edge of 14.12%. From the percentages listed, you can quickly realise that the best bet to go with is the Banker bet. It is advisable to avoid the tie bet due to its high house edge unless you feel like you are about to hear Lady Luck’s knock on your door.

A very popular Baccarat strategy is the progression betting system. This means that players double their bets every time they lose until they get a win. Be careful, however, as this strategy may spiral out of control making you reach the table limit quickly. Even if players manage to make gains after a losing streak, they will only make their money back and maybe a small profit. This creates the risk of losing at the table bigger, and this is obviously never good at a casino table. Since the game is a card game, the idea of counting cards may come up. It is possible to keep count and players may get an advantage from using this strategy.

  • The best strategy is betting on the banker since it has the lowest house edge
  • Counting cards is an option, but the advantage is rather minimal
  • You can use the progression betting system but it is not the best strategy, so to speak

Frequently Asked Questions

How many variations of Baccarat are out there?

There are at least five variations of the game that are played all around the world. The games depend on the country in which they are being played. They include Punto Banco, which is the most common variation and is mostly played in the United States, Chemin de Fer, Baccarat en Banque, which are both widely played in Europe, Super Pan 9 and last but not least, the Three Card version.

What hand values are needed to win?

To win in Baccarat, the hand value has to be closest to 9. This is the highest hand value in the game and is calculated by adding up the two card values and the right digit of the sum is taken as the hand value. The game may get a bit complicated once the value is 5 or less for the player and the player is required to hit. You can read more about this in the rules section.

Can I use a strategy in Baccarat?

Yes. Players are known to come up with their own Baccarat strategies. You may, however, choose to use the more conventional strategies which is the mathematical approach, which is betting on the hand that has the lowest house edge or the progression betting method where you double your bets every time you lose until you make a win.