How to Play Baccarat – #1 Guide

Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games, but it can also be difficult to understand. There are many rules when you play baccarat that determine how to bet, who wins and how the cards are dealt. The wagering is simply, since you only bet on the banker’s hand, a player bet or tie bets.

But what determines when the banker draws or a hand takes a third card is what confuses many people. Understanding how to play baccarat is important if you want to know what the house edge is and what baccarat strategy to employ. Read on for more information on these popular table games.

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We Present the Best Baccarat Sites

Our site presents the best casino game operators that offer a top baccarat game online. When you’re searching for baccarat tables online, it can be hard to decide where to play because there’s so much choice. That’s why our experts do all the legwork and research so you don’t have to.

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We take a look at every aspect of the exciting game of baccarat and what sites offer the best game to play. We have a complete guide on every online casino that offers great games so you can play baccarat and win money on banker bets, player bets or a tie bet.

Understand the Rules of the Baccarat Table

It’s important to learn how to play baccarat so you can know what winning bets are and how you should bet the game. While the rules of the game might seem daunting, once the cards shuffled properly, there are dedicated rules that determine the betting, and whether additional cards are drawn.

The preset rules dictate which hand wins, either the player’s hand or the dealer’s hand or a tie, and when the next game starts. We’ll present the main rules of baccarat in the following paragraphs. This will help you understand the card rules and things such as when player hands draw further cards.

Values When Cards are Dealt

The first step to learning the game is understanding the point values of the cards that are dealt for the banker and the player, and what tie bets are. Cards for both the player and the bank hand have the same card value. In other words, the cards dealt have the same value whether it’s the banker hand or the player hand.

Every number card will have a face value of what’s on the card. For example, a 2 will have a value of 2. Every 10 as well as all face cards have a value of 0. This is what is used to determine the point totals for the player or banker hands.

Here is a table that will detail what the value of every card is. This will remain the same for all baccarat rules, whether it’s mini baccarat or any other games at the baccarat table.

Hand
Value
Hand
Value
Hand
Value
Ace
1
Five
5
Nine
9
Two
2
Six
6
Ten & Jack
0
Three
3
Seven
7
Queen
0
Four
4
Eight
8
King
0

This means all king cards in the deck, for example, will be valued at 0. These values will be calculated when cards are dealt to both the banker hand and the player hand, and this is how the winning hand is determined. There are certain rules to how the points are added up, though, that will decide if it’s a player win or a banker win.

Adding Up Points

After two cards are dealt to the banker hand and the player hand, the dealer uses the card values above to determine what the initial score is. From these two cards that both the banker and player have, you’ll add up the two card values.

For example, if the first two cards that the banker hand has are a Jack and King, then that hand will have a score of 0. If the first two cards of the player hand are Nine and Eight, it becomes a little more complicated. You add up the values of both, which would give you 17. Then, drop the first digit of the player’s hand but keep the second digit, and that will give you a value of 7 for the player’s hand.

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How to Play the Baccarat Game

While baccarat is a simple game to play in Las Vegas or at an online casino, there are some steps you need to follow when you’re betting n the game. If you’re playing the most popular type of baccarat, which is known as Punto Banco, then you’ll be betting on either the player or the banker, and you’ll be playing against the dealer like in blackjack.

That’s because Punto Banco literally means “player” and bank.” The following paragraphs, we’ll describe to you the baccarat rules and how a game of baccarat is played.

Starting the Game

Whether you’re playing Baccarat Punto Banco or at other baccarat tables, the game will start by placing a wager. You can either bet on the player, on the banker side or on side bets such as a tie bet. You’ll need to make sure your wager meets the minimum bets and maximum bets that are set by the casino.

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Once every wager is placed, the cards are dealt to determine the score after the initial deal. A third card is drawn under certain circumstances for the player and banker, which we’ll describe later. Then, the hand winning will be determined by the one closest to 9.

Set a Budget

Whether you’re playing baccarat banque, EZ baccarat or Chemin de Fer, you want to make sure that you set a budget for yourself. You should understand that baccarat is an exciting game, and a main reason is it doesn’t have a high house edge.

Baccarat offers players a great chance to win after they place a bet, but there are also a lot of losses that can happen on the felt table. That’s why, as with all card games, it’s important baccarat players set a budget before they start so they don’t lose all their money. It’s a great baccarat strategy to follow.

Have an Exit Strategy

In addition to setting a budget, it’s also good to first have a strategy for when you’ll stop betting. Set a limit that you are OK with losing, so that you don’t keep betting and losing more than you might like to.

At the same time, you should set an amount that you’re willing to walk away with if you’re winning your bets. This will allow you to maximize your winnings and minimize your losses. This could be the same amount, or it could be different.

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Place Bets on Baccarat

There are three main types of bets you can make when you play baccarat. You can place a wager on either the player, the banker or on a tie bet. It’s important to know before the cards dealt which one you want to bet on and why, and where the house edge is greatest. It’s also important to know what happens on the winning hand, whether it’s the banker bet or the player bet. The following paragraphs we’ll describe the main bets to you.

Banker’s Hand

You can bet on the bank hand before the first two cards are dealt. The casino that you play at will offer this as one of the main betting options. After the casino dealer gives out the cards, the hand wins if it’s the closest one to the value of 9. The banker winning will pay everyone who placed a banker bet before that hand.

One thing to keep in mind with banker wins is they take a 5% commission. This means if you bet $100 on the banker’s hand and it’s the winning hand, then the banker wins will owe $5 to the casino. The payout, then, is slightly lower than even money. The house edge is very small on the banker’s hand, though, at only 1.06%.

Player’s Hand

The other main bet you can make is the players bet. You will be betting on the player win on this deal instead of the banker. The two dealers will give out the cards, and then the player or banker will be determined the winner.

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Many people like to bet on the player’s hand in Las Vegas and other online casinos because there is no commission if the player’s hand wins. It does have a slightly higher house edge at 1.24%, though. The player hand pays even money. The player and banker cards are dealt up in the American version, but are dealt facedown in Chemin de fer and some other versions.

Tie Bet

The third bet you can make is on the tie bet. Sometimes, both the player and banker end up with the same hand value, even after every card is drawn and the highest wager is made. In this case, the hand will be determined a tie.

The banker and player bets will each stay put – they won’t win or lose. Any betting made on the tie will win, and be paid at 8-1 odds. If you bet $5 on the tie, for example, you’d win $40 if it wins. This is a great payout, but the house edge of this baccarat bet is much higher at 14.4%.

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Know How the Cards are Dealt

The winning hand in baccarat is determined based on whatever hand value is closest to 9. Sometimes, this can be done in the first two cards with a natural win. Other times, one of the hands draws a third card.

When this is done is based on very specific rules for baccarat. It’s important to know when the player draws or when the player stands, and what the banker does in response. The following paragraphs we’ll describe all these rules.

A Natural Win

A natural win occurs whenever either the banker or player hand’s value is 8 or 9 after the first two cards are dealt. This could happen in a number of different ways. If the player is dealt a King and a 9, then that will have a hand value of 9, since all face cards have a value of 0.

Similarly, if the banker gets a face card and a 9, the value of that hand will be 9, and it will be a natural win. The same goes if the face value of both first two cards are 8. When this happens, neither hand will draw a third card, and the hand will be over.

When is a Third Card Drawn?

If neither hand gets a natural win, then the third card rules of the game of baccarat will come into play. To determine what happens next, you first look at the player’s hand. The player draws in specific circumstances, and then the banker draws based on what the player’s hand is.

It is possible that a third card is drawn for just the player, just for the bank or for both. Again, which hand draws a third card depends on the player’s value first.

When the Player Draws a Third Card

If the player doesn’t get a natural win, or doesn’t lose one to the dealer, then you have to look at the card values. If the initial total for the player’s hand is between 0 and 5, then the player will draw a third card. The player’s third card will then be factored into the final value.

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The player’s third card will be added to the total of the first two. So, if the first two cards are King and 5, and the player’s third card is a 9, then the final score will be 4 (0+5+9 =14). If the player’s initial value is between 6 or 7, then there will be no player’s third card.

When the Banker Draws a Third Card

What the banker does after the initial two cards depends on whether the player drew. If the player didn’t, then the banker will follow the same rules for the player’s third card. He’ll draw if his initial score is 0-5 and stand if it’s 6 or 7.

If the player did draw, it’s a little more complicated. The banker will draw a third card regardless of the player’s third card if the banker’s initial total is 0-2. If the banker has a total of 3, then he’ll draw unless the player’s third card was 8. If the banker has a total of 4, he draws if the player’s third was 2-7.

If the banker’s total is 5, then he draws if the third card for the player was 4-7. If the banker’s total is 6, then he draws if the third card for the player was 6 or 7. The banker stands if his total is 7.

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Calculate a Winning Hand

No matter how many cards are drawn for both hands, you calculate a winning hand the same way. Add up the total of all the cards on the table and come to a final number. If the total is a 10 or more, drop the first digit and keep the second digit, and that will give you the score. Here’s an example:

  • Player: King, Ace, 2 = 3 (0 + 1 +2 =3)
  • Banker: 9, 4, 4 = 7 (9 + 4 + 4 = 17; drop the 1 and be left with 7)

In this example, the banker would win since his score is 7 and the player has a 3. The idea is to bet on the hand that finishes closest to 9.

Tips

This is certainly a lot of information to process. So, how do you determine how you should bet on a game of baccarat? There are some basic tips you can follow, which we’ll describe in the next few paragraphs.

Ignore the Ties

Tie bets can seem very enticing with the high payouts of 8-1, but this is not a great way to win. Sure, you will get big payouts on tie bets when they hit, but they don’t hit often. This is by far the worst bet for people to wager on at baccarat. Casinos will try to entice you to wager on it with high payout odds, but it’s just not worth it if you want to win consistently.

Consider the Bank

You may initially shy away from betting on the bank when you play baccarat just because of the 5% commission that’s taken on all wins. However, this is there for a reason. The house edge is the lowest on all bank bets, which is they charge a commission for betting on it.

A great strategy when a game just begins or a new shuffle is made is to bet on the bank. Over time, you’ll more than make up for the commission you pay on winnings.

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Follow the Bank Trend

Baccarat is a great game to follow winning streaks in order to cash in. You should pay attention to the bank trends when you’re betting. Is the bank winning a lot? Is the player winning a lot? Is it alternating back and forth? See what the trends are based on the bank winnings, and then place your bets accordingly.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Just like any game, it’s best to get a handle on it before wagering big money. That’s why if you can, try out baccarat games for free online so you can get an understanding of how it all works. You can see how the draw rules go, how to bet on each hand and some strategies that you can employ as well. This will help you get a feel for the game without having to risk real money before you do so.

Conclusion

Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games, and for good reason. The really low house edge is what attracts many players. It’s a fairly simple game to play, but the rules are a little complicated. Follow our guide above to find out more, and check out our site to see where the best places to play baccarat online are.

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