How to play baccarat

By Milla Gustafsson. Updated:

Learn how to play baccarat with our help. 

Baccarat is an exciting card game that can be found in most online casinos. Bojoko gives you a full guide to baccarat. This guide will explain in detail what baccarat is and the rules of how to play it. It includes interesting topics for beginners and advanced players alike.

We start from basics and move to more advanced baccarat tactics. Keep on reading and enjoy playing baccarat like never before.  

Table of contents

What is baccarat?

Baccarat is a popular card game where players bet on which of the two hands will score closest to 9. The two hands in the game are the player and the banker. The players will then place bets to guess which hand is going to win. It can be either player, banker or tie, where both get the same score. 

Each hand is dealt two cards, and the values of these cards are added together. In baccarat, the value of each card is determined by its face value, except for 10s and face cards, which are worth zero. If the total value of a hand exceeds 9, the second digit is taken as the hand's value (for example, a hand with a total value of 15 has a value of 5).

Baccarat can often be found in online casinos. It originated in France and has since gained worldwide popularity. The most known character to play baccarat is James Bond. Baccarat features as a plot device in a number of Bond movies and became widely known because of that.

Baccarat is a game of chance, as the players have no control over the cards that are dealt. It is a simple and fast-paced game, making it a popular choice among both beginners and experienced gamblers.

Baccarat table

This is how baccarat table looks like

Baccarat tables come in different sizes, from midi to big. The main difference they have is the number of players they can accommodate. The big tables are also designed for high rollers, and they are not easily accessible in casinos - unless you have the stakes that it requires. 

We will look at a typical online baccarat table. Most players will recognise the baccarat table that is often referred to as mini-baccarat table. It has a semi-circle shape. It looks a bit like a blackjack table with a dealer behind and a place for seven players in front. 

The actions are very simple on this table. The dealer runs the game and each player places their bets on the banker. player or tie. The chips are placed in the relevant box in front of them. 

The dealer deals two sets of two cards - one representing the player and the other the banker. Depending on the variation played and its rules, a third can be drawn for one hand or another. 

Once the totals are determined, the dealer automatically rakes in the chips from losing players and pays out the winnings to those who guessed the outcome correctly.

The mini-baccarat table layout is nice and simple. Therefore, it suits perfectly to online casinos. However, the bigger tables are also used especially on live casino baccarat. 

Baccarat card values

It is very important to understand baccarat card values. The basics are explained below:

The card values are always as explained, no matter which variation of baccarat you are playing. The feature of when to deal a third card depends on the game and it will be explained in detail later on this page. 

These are baccarat card values

Baccarat rules

Rules of baccarat are quite simple and easy to learn. The basic rules are as follows: 

Example round of baccarat

First, you place your bets on either the Player hand or the Banker hand. You can also bet on a Tie.

Next, the dealer draws 4 cards face open: two for the Player hand, two for the Banker.

If either the Player or Banker has a hand with a value of 8 or 9, the round ends and the higher hand wins. This is known as a "natural".

However, if neither hand had an 8 or 9, the dealer draws more cards according to preset rules. After the cards are drawn, the highest hand wins.

If you did bet on the winning hand, you win 1:1, i.e. you double your money.

Baccarat third card drawing rules

This is probably the most confusing thing about baccarat. Sometimes, you only draw two cards to the Player and two cards to the Banker, and that's it. However, there are situations when either or both hands get a third card. We explain these below.

You don't need to know the third card rules by heart. The dealer draws the cards and you can trust that they know what they're doing. If you are unsure of what is happening, you can always ask the dealer to explain. 

Natural

If either the initial Player hand or the Banker hand totals 8 or 9, this is known as a natural. Neither hand gets a third card. The hand closest to 9 wins.

Player gets a third card

Extra card rules for the Player hand are very straightforward:

Banker's third card rules

The third card rules for the Banker hand are a bit more complicated. You'll need to take into account whether the Player gets another card, the value of the Banker hand and the value of the Player's third card. Here's how it works:

This depends on the Banker hand and the value of the Player's third card, not the total value of the Player hand.

Baccarat banker third card rules

Payouts

In the standard Punto Banco version of baccarat, there are three possible bets, outcomes and payouts:

We look at the mechanics of each baccarat bet below.

Baccarat payouts

Player bet

Player bet is the most straightforward bet in baccarat.

The house edge of c.a. 1.24% for the Player bet is fairly slim. It equals an RTP (return to player) of 98.76%, roughly the same as French roulette.

Banker bet

Banker bet is pretty much the same as the Player bet. However, the Banker hand has a slight advantage compared to the Player. That's why a 5% commission is deducted from all the winning Banker bets. So instead of paying 1:1, the Banker win pays 0.95:1.

Despite the commission, the Banker hand is still your best bet in baccarat. With a house edge of only 1.06%, it offers a generous RTP of 98.94%. The only games with comparable odds are blackjack and video poker - both requiring some skill.

Tie bet

Since a Tie results in returning the stakes for both Player and Banker bets, the Tie bet is not technically part of the main game. However, this side bet is available at most baccarat tables. That's why it's important to explain how it works and why you should avoid playing it.

This doesn't sound so bad unless you know the odds. On average, the Player and Banker bets return almost 99p for every pound bet. Not so for the Tie bet. The house edge is a massive 14.36%, resulting in a return rate of 85.64%.

Obviously, the high payout of 8:1 is tempting, but that's just the point: to lure suckers in. An experienced player avoids the Tie bet like a plague and sticks to the Banker bet which offers the best odds.

Playing baccarat online

Baccarat is a popular card game that has gained significant popularity in recent years, especially in the online gaming sphere. Playing baccarat online offers several advantages compared to traditional land-based casinos.

One of the primary advantages of playing baccarat online is the convenience it offers. Online baccarat allows players to enjoy the game from the comfort of their own homes, without the need to travel to a physical casino. This provides a more relaxed and controlled environment for players.

Another benefit of playing baccarat online is the availability of different variations of the game. Online casinos often offer a wide range of baccarat games, allowing players to choose from different rules and betting options. This variety adds an element of excitement and keeps the game fresh for players.

Playing baccarat online also offers the opportunity to take advantage of various bonuses and promotions. Many online casinos offer attractive bonuses to new and existing players, such as welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, and loyalty rewards. These bonuses can provide players with extra funds to play with and increase their chances of winning.

On our baccarat casino page, you can find the best online casinos to play baccarat. Our team has picked some of the top casinos and by adding filters, you can narrow the search to your own preferences. 

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Live baccarat online

Live baccarat online offers a realistic and immersive gaming experience, as it is streamed in real time from a professional casino studio.

It's a great way to get a real touch of the game with real dealers and other players. You only need to have a stable internet connection and you can access quality live baccarat. The good thing about live casinos is that they usually offer a wide range of baccarat tables. Varying betting limits and variations of the game allow you to choose the one that best suits you and your budget. 

Live baccarat also has a social aspect to the game. Unlike traditional online baccarat games, where players compete against a computer program, live baccarat involves real dealers and other players. This creates a more interactive and engaging atmosphere, as players can interact with the dealer and fellow players through a live chat feature. It adds a sense of authenticity to the game, making it feel as if you are sitting at a real baccarat table.

The fact that the games are conducted in real-time, with the dealer shuffling and dealing the cards, provides transparency. It eliminates any doubts about the fairness of the game, as players can witness every action unfold before their eyes. Additionally, live baccarat games often come with a variety of camera angles, allowing players to view the game from different perspectives.

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How to play baccarat and win - the best tips

How to play baccarat

There is no direct way to win and be successful in baccarat. Although there are a few tips that can potentially give you better chances, always remember that baccarat is a game of guessing. It differs from blackjack and poker, where you can use different strategies to increase your chances of winning.

We can give you the best tips, but these do not provide you with the road to winning. Take them more as friendly advice on how you can enjoy the game more and avoid sliding into a losing streak. 

  1. Avoid tie bets - Statistically, it is very unlikely for you to win if you go after tie bets. Although they have the best payout rate, they are also extremely risky. 
  2. Banker is the best bet - Banker is a safe choice, and there is pure maths behind this statement. The banker will win slightly over 50% of the time. With an RTP of 98.94%, the banker's hand is the best-paying hand in baccarat. 
  3. Manage your budget - Money management is critical when playing baccarat. In the end, betting on any hand in the game is like betting on a flipping coin. Set your limits so that you can enjoy the game without breaking the bank. 
  4. Don't do all-in bets - You might get attempted to do this, especially if you have been losing too much and you are looking for a fast way out. But don't go for this, or you might end up leaving the table with an empty wallet and a sad face. 

Learn baccarat strategy

There are many opinions about whether baccarat can truly have a winning strategy or not. Many experts have been studying baccarat and ways to make bets for a long time. They have managed to develop some advanced betting systems that can be implemented into your baccarat strategy.

Some of these strategies are very similar to what we see used in other table games. Some strategies are based on placing bets in a certain way, some use mathematical systems and the most advanced ones take years to master. 

We dig deeper into the different strategies on our baccarat strategy page. There you can explore different systems, some even centuries old. 

Play free baccarat

The best way to practice and learn more about baccarat risk-free is to play free baccarat. Many online casinos have RTP table games which you can play for free. This means you don't use real money to place bets, but you can't win real money either. 

Free baccarat is especially useful for beginners who want to learn how to play the game. For those, who want to learn a new variation, free baccarat offers a safe way to practise the game. It gives you a chance to see how different versions work and helps you to make a decision on whether you wish to continue playing the game with real money. You can find good free online baccarat sites with the help from Bojoko. 

Use baccarat casino bonuses

Baccarat casino bonuses can help to boost your bankroll with some extra bonus money. Baccarat bonuses are perfect for playing baccarat without risking your own budget. 

Baccarat bonuses can be found among other great bonuses on our comprehensive page. Baccarat bonus can be a deposit bonus, free chips, cashback or another type of reward from the casino. When you find a good bonus that can be used for baccarat, there is no reason not to use it. Just remember to check the bonus terms carefully so that you will know for sure it is suitable for the game you want to play. 

Different versions of Baccarat

There are several baccarat variations online. They all have the same objective - bets placed on which hand is closest to nine - but their unique rules and side bets set them apart. Here are some of the most common types of live baccarat you will encounter.

Punto banco: This is the most common version of baccarat. It can be found in most online casinos, and it follows the basic rules of baccarat. The goal is simply to guess which hand gets closest to nine points. 

Baccarat banque: This variation is mainly common among European players. It uses three decks and allows players to act as the bankers. The player that acts as the banker doesn't necessarily play against other gamblers. Instead, they can only wager on the banker side to win.

Chemin de fer: Chemin de Fer is another popular baccarat version. Like the baccarat banque, this version allows you to act as the banker. Here, the player who accepts the banker role plays against other gamblers at the table.

3-card baccarat: This game is usually played with a single 52-card deck. All scoring rules are similar to the standard baccarat, e.g., cards are worth their numerical value, and face cards are worth 0. However, in this variation, a hand with three face cards gives the highest payout only, followed by a score of 9, which is usually the best hand in traditional variations. If a game ends in a tie, the player with the highest number of face cards wins.

Mini baccarat: Mini baccarat has similar rules and objectives to regular baccarat. However, as the name implies, mini baccarat is a smaller version of the game. Its small table could only sit up to seven gamblers in land-based casinos. Mini baccarat at online casinos usually comes with the lowest betting limits. The game is highly popular for its simplicity.

FAQ

Baccarat is a comparing card game where the goal is to bet which hand get closest to nice points. 

The basics of baccarat are as follows: 

  • Players place their bets on which hand they guess will get nearest to 9.
  • Each hand starts with 2 cards, and a third may optionally be dealt.
  • The values are summed, and the nearest to 9 wins.
  • The banker pays the winnings according to players' bets. 

There are three main variations of baccarat: punto banco, chemin de fer and baccarat banque. They all have the same basic rules, but they come with unique twists. 

Baccarat and blackjack are two very different table games. Blackjack requires decision-making and at least some knowledge of basic strategy. Baccarat is more like a guessing game, where your only decision is how much you want to bet on which hand. 

Our blackjack rules page will tell you everything you need to know about playing blackjack. 

To place a bet in baccarat, you need to choose whether to place your chips on player, banker or tie box. Placing bets in online baccarat is very easy and the simple layout of the table makes it even easier. 

The rule 3 in baccarat means that in some versions of the game, the player or banker will draw a third card. The rule varies according to the baccarat version, so always make sure you know the rule 3 in the version you are playing. 

Baccarat is purely luck because there is no skill involved in this game. Although some players will argue that you can use different tactics to win the game, it's all about guessing the right winning hand. 

About the author

Milla Gustafsson

Article by:

Milla Gustafsson

After working with casino content for a good few years, Milla now puts her heart into writing detailed articles that speak from player to player. She will investigate the smallest details and provide honest reviews.

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