Baccarat Guide

Get ready to be shocked. There is absolutely zero skill involved in Baccarat. None! You can play for the first time in your life and do as well or better than someone who has been playing for a lifetime.

An Easy Game to Play

GameBaccarat is actually one of the easiest games in the entire casino to learn. That’s right, thinking Baccarat is hard to understand is just a long-lost myth. We are here today to solve that theory in just a few sections of material.

We are going to cover everything you want to know about Baccarat. There are multiple versions of the game with loads of side bets. Buckle up for this journey through the rules and strategies of Baccarat. We, of course, must tell you which online casino sites are the best to play at.

Keep in mind the sites above are recommended with great consideration taken into account. These sites didn’t pay a fee to be placed on our page. We listed these online casinos because they checked the boxes in multiple categories.

We rank sites based on a variety of aspects. Their trustworthiness, how reliable their software is, and how easy it is to deposit and withdraw funds are three of the main components we look at. Be comfortable knowing when you play on any of the sites above, you will have a satisfying gambling experience. Winning a bunch of money- now that’s up to you!

If you already know everything there is to know about the game, lucky you! Jump right to the online casino sites we recommend, sign up for your free account, and start crushing the tables. If not, read along as you will find a lot of fruitful information about the game.

We know playing casino games can be a bundle of fun. They are even better when we have a legitimate chance to win some money. A great way to start winning money online or at the casinos is to select which games you play carefully.

Why Play Baccarat?

Don’t you want to try and win some money when you are gambling? By choosing to play, you are already ahead of most of the other customers on the casino floor. Let’s talk about why.

Smaller House Edge

Everyone, this is a really big deal.. Gambling is about entertainment and having a good time, no doubt. But we want to have an opportunity to win some money while we’re playing. We want to play games that have the lowest house edge, not the ones that patrons just dump cash away to the casino operators.

Enter Baccarat. The house edge is around 1%. Compared to many other offerings on online sites and land-based casinos, this is a very low number. This means we won’t lose as much money playing Baccarat over the long-run.

Beginners are Welcome

We must repeat: there is absolutely zero skill involved in Baccarat. This is merely a guessing game. There is no special knowledge or skills required to play and exceed at the game.

We don’t make any decisions on whether or not to draw another card. We don’t have to try and read our opponents and figure out their tells. We just guess on who will win, that’s it!

Very Little Thinking Involved

This is a good thing! Another reason Baccarat is a fantastic option to play is how little the player actually has to do. This is not a game with a bunch of in-depth strategies. Heck, we don’t have to do anything at all other than deciding on which bet to wager.

Many Variations

It’s difficult to get bored with Baccarat. With so many iterations of the game out there, you will always have a type of Baccarat game to turn to. We will dive into some of the most popular forms of Baccarat in our variations of the game section further down on this page.

Let’s start with the most widespread and common form of Baccarat, Punto Banco.

Rules

Don’t be overwhelmed by this section folks. Yes, it’s going to seem long with lots of text and tables. But rest assured that we are including all the details just so you have a reference page to resort back to any time you are unsure of something.

The dealer, also known as the banker, will handle dealing the cards and manage the chip transactions. He or she will even make the decisions about the hand for you. It’s true, Baccarat is much more of a “mindless” game than it appears from the outside.

All the cards and chips flying across the table tend to confuse people when in reality the game is pretty simple. Let’s break the rules down.

Punto Banco is the name of the game. Punto, stands for players, while Banco represents the banker. The game is generally played with four to six decks of cards, and up to 14 players can play.

Pay close attention, as now comes the only decision we have to make. It takes place before any of the cards are dealt.

We have the option to place our bets on either:

  • The Player
  • The Banker
  • Tie

Let’s go over what those mean.

Betting on the Player

We are betting that the player will win the hand. This results in a payout of 1:1. The house edge on the player bet is 1.24%.

Betting on the Banker

We are betting that the banker will win the hand. This results in a payout of 1:1. The house edge on the player bet is 1.06%.

The casino will keep 5% of your winning bet as for commission if you bet on the banker and win. This is simply because the odds of the banker winning are slightly ahead of the odds that the player wins.

Betting on Tie

We are betting that the player’s hand and banker’s hand will result in a tie. This results in a payout of either 8:1 or 9:1. The house edge on the player bet is 14.36%.

Which odds you receive will depend on the casino or online site you are playing at. Is this a good bet? Find out in our strategies section near the bottom of this page. However, seeing that bloated percentage, we are guessing you already know the answer!

Now you are probably wondering what the heck it takes to win. In other words, what is the objective of the game?

Objective of the Game

The purpose of the game is just to pick who will win – the player or the banker?

So far, we know we have the choice to bet on the player, the banker, or on a tie before the game starts. The dealer and player are dealt two cards. Sometimes a third card is needed.

The hand that is closest to nine wins.

The hand that is closest to nine wins.

The value of each card is:

Card Value
Ace 1
2 2
3 3
4 4
5 5
6 6
7 7
8 8
9 9
10 0
Jack 0
Queen 0
King 0

Notice that the value of each card from 2-9 is purely the number on that card. An Ace is worth 1, while a 10 and all face cards are valued at 0.

Now that we have gone over the betting and the card values, we must address the third card. Please, don’t be overcome with the following rules. In fact, you don’t have to know any of them.

Third card rules

The third card rule comes into effect on most hands. The instance where a third card is not needed is if the player or dealer is dealt a “natural” (eight or nine).

Third card rules are automatically applied by dealers. There is no need for players to learn them. There are no decisions to be made on whether or not we should draw a third card. This choice is not up to the player.

The need for a third card to be drawn is completely left up to the surrounding rules. Drawing a third card will be completely dependent on the value of the first two cards.

Player’s Hand Value Third Card Rules
0-5 Draw
6 or 7 Stand
8 or 9 Natural” Both Hands Stand

After the player draws a third card, the banker will draw a third card depending on the following rules.

Banker’s Hand Third Card Rules
0-2 Draw
3-6 Draw or Stand (Depends on Player’s Third Card)
7 Stand
8 or 9 “Natural” Both Hands Stand

Don’t be alarmed by the confusion on whether or not the banker draws a third card when the value of the first two cards is between three and six. This set of rules remains unchanged and will always be available to you when you are playing.

Value of the Banker’s First Two Cards Banker Draws When Player’s Third Card Is Banker Stands Player’s Third Card Is
3 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-9-10 8
4 2-3-4-5-6-7 1-8-9-10
5 4-5-6-7 1-2-3-8-9-10
6 6 or 7 1-2-3-4-5-8-9-10

Remember, there is no need to know these rules. Because the rules of the game predicate whether a third card is needed, the player is not responsible for knowing any of these guidelines.

Now that you know the rules of the game, we wanted to include a couple examples of how a hand will play out.

Example

You bet $10 on the banker.

The player gets dealt Q-4, for a hand value of 4.

The banker gets dealt J-3, for a hand value of 3.

A third card is drawn for the player because the hand value is between 0-5.

The player draws an ace. Now the hand is Q-4-A, for a hand value of 5.

The banker now draws and receives a 3. Now the hand is J-3-3, for a hand value of 6.

The banker’s hand wins.

You get paid at 1:1 with the casino keeping 5% commission. You win $9.50. Your $10 bet is also returned.

Here’s Another Example

You bet $10 on the player.

The player gets dealt K-9, for a hand value of 9.

The banker gets dealt A-7, for a hand value of 8.

The player’s hand wins.

You get paid at 1:1. You win $10. Your $10 bet is also returned.

One Final Example

You bet $10 on TIE

The player gets dealt 6-2, for a hand value of 8.

The banker gets dealt 4-4, for a hand value of 8.

You win the tie bet and are paid at either 9:1 or 8:1. You win $80 (8:1) or $90 (9:1). Your $10 bet is also returned.

You must be itching to get some hands up. Feel free to skip right to the part when you sign up, deposit, and start playing. (Check out our casino reviews.)

If you are eager to continue learning, read on about the different variations of Baccarat.

Variations

We discussed Punto Banco in the sections above. Punto Banco is the most commonly played version of Baccarat and offered nearly everywhere gaming is legal. There are, however, other forms of the game that are offered amongst the physical and online casinos.

Mini Baccarat

Up to 8 players can play Mini Baccarat. Everything stays the same, except the fact that the players are not permitted to touch the cards like they can in Punto Banco. Mini Baccarat is also played at much lower limits than Punto Banco.

Midi Baccarat

This is short and sweet. Imagine Mini Baccarat played on a larger, more comfortable table. That is exactly what Midi Baccarat is!

EZ Baccarat

This one is also fairly straightforward. EZ Baccarat is just like Punto Banco, with two key differences. In EZ Baccarat, bets made and won on the banker are paid the full price of 1:1. The 5% commission fee is taken out. The caveat to that is when the banker wins and the banker’s hand has three cards and a value of seven. This results in a push, and the bet is returned.

It is calculated that this small change actually makes up for the lost 5% commission fee. The new rule is just another way to take out a small fee. This one happens to be around 4.9%.

Super 6 or Punto 2000

Just like EZ Baccarat, bets made and won on the banker are paid the full price of 1:1. The difference here is when the banker’s hand wins with a value of 6, the player wins only half of the bet. Everything else remains the same.

Again, this is just another slight variation on the game that really has little effect on the overall outcome.

Chemin de Fer

If you have read any of the James Bond books, then you have come across this game before. If you live or have been in France, then surely you are familiar with Chemin de Fer.

This variation of the game is a bit different than the others, so let’s go over why.

Right off the bat, we notice a major difference. In Chemin de Fer, a player is designated as the banker before the hand starts, not the dealer. Each player will take turns being the banker, rotating in a counterclockwise fashion.

The other key component making this version unique is when there is an option of drawing a third card, it actually becomes “an option.” It is up to the player if he or she chooses to draw a third card, not the predetermined set of rules like in the other forms of Baccarat. This is especially exclusive as now an element of strategy comes into play.

Baccarat Banque

Baccarat Banque is the first type of Baccarat that was a little bit confusing at the forefront. It’s similar to Chemin de Fer, with a few alterations.

Instead of passing the Banker option around counterclockwise each hand, in Baccarat Banque each player will remain the banker as long as he or she continues to win. Once the banker loses, the option is passed to the next player.

There are some other differences in the game that get a bit technical. Rather than bore you with unclear language, feel free to check out this page featuring an in-depth look at Baccarat Banque.

Side Bets

Because there are so many variations, we thought it would be sensible to cover a few of the side bets that are available in the various forms.

Super 6

This is only found on some online sites and at some land-based properties in the United Kingdom. A banker winning a hand with a value of six will pay the player 12:1 odds. Don’t fall for this baloney as the casino advantage on this bet is an astounding 30%.

All Red or Black

You won’t find this option at the online casino sites, but some physical casinos will offer the all red or all black bet. All red will pay 22:1 while all black pays 24:1.

Another sucker bet, as we know the true odds should be 26:1.

Dragon 7

Dragon 7 is a side bet offered when playing EZ Baccarat. If the banker wins with a value of seven with 3 cards, the payout is 40:1.

Panda 8

Panda 8 is an iteration of Dragon 7 that is also found when playing EZ Baccarat. If the banker wins with a value of eight with three cards, the payout is 25:1.

The Dragon 7 and Panda 8 side bets give the house respective edges of 7.6% and 10.2%. These are much more inflated than the standard 1%-1.24% that the game is usually played with.

This leads us right into our strategy section. The key is to stay away from all these “nonsense bets.” Just stick to the game plan of trying to guess correctly.

Best Strategies

CardsThis section is much shorter than most strategy sections for games found on the casino floors and online lobbies. That’s because there is a total of ZERO skill involved in the game. This game is pure luck, period, end of story. If we knew a secret of how to guess and predict correctly, we wouldn’t be writing this page. We would be sipping Coronas on a luxurious beach in Hawaii!

What we can tell you is what you should not do.

Don’t Wager on the Tie Bet

Do not under any circumstances place a wager on a tie. Remember how the house edge is between 1.06%-1.24% when you bet on either the player or the banker. Well, betting on a tie balloons the casino advantage to a whopping 14.36%.

Stay away from the tie bet!

Don’t Be Fooled By “Systems”

It’s actually hard to talk about this with a straight face. Be careful and avoid buying into anybody’s “betting system” they claim to have worked out for Baccarat. Betting systems are derived from people believing in lucky streaks. The best way to explain why betting systems have no merit whatsoever is best explained by this simple analogy.

Pretend we are going to flip a coin seven times. The first six times, the coin lands on tails. What is the chance the seventh coin toss lands on tails again?

The answer- is still 50%!

People who abide by betting systems are those same people that think the seventh coin toss has a better chance of landing on tails.

Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t fall for the betting systems.

Summary

Well guys, that’s all you need to know for understanding Baccarat. Keep in mind you don’t have to pay any attention trying to memorize the rules for when a third card is needed. Don’t spend your valuable time and energy trying to formulate strategies and get reads off other players. Throw all of that out the window.

What you need to do to be a successful player is be a lucky guesser! If you find any other secrets or hidden tips – feel free to fill us in. Don’t try and fool us with some clever betting system though. We are too smart to fall for that.

We have no doubt that you will enjoy playing Baccarat online or at the casino. It’s not hard to find enjoyment in a game that is fun and easy to play – one where the dealer makes all the decisions for you.

Don’t worry if there are no casinos nearby, or if your local joint doesn’t offer the variation you’re looking for. The game is available in loads of forms on a plethora of online casino sites. You winning a bunch of money – well, that’s just one unassuming click away.