Online Gambling

The Rules of Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the niche casino games that the vast majority of people know little about, and many think of as complicated. If you know anything about it you probably picked it up from watching a variety of Hollywood films.

The goal in baccarat is to draw cards from a deck and get as close as you can to the number nine and as far way as you can from the number zero. In many way it resembles the game of blackjack. One of the key differences being that you cannot go bust (getting a score over 9) in baccarat like you can in blackjack.

Scoring in baccarat is as follows.

  • Ace = 1 point
  • Face cards = 10 points
  • 2 = 2 points
  • 3 = 3 points
  • 4 = 4 points
  • 5 = 5 points
  • 6 = 6 points
  • 7 = 7 points
  • 8 = 8 points
  • 9 = 9 points
  • 10 = 10 points

Here is where it can get confusing. Your score is only the last digit of your hand. So if you have a 7 and a 5 you would have a total of 12 points. So your score for this hand would be 2. If you have a 9 and a jack you would have 19, which means your score, would be 9.

In baccarat you’re the “player” playing against the “banker”. In some casinos players can take turns being player and banker.

The game begins with the banker and the players getting dealt two cards each by the dealer. If the player or bankers hands have a total score of 8 or 9 the hand is called natural which means the cards are turned over and the game is finished. If both the players and banker have a score of 8 or 9 then it’s considered a draw. If no natural or draw is dealt then the dealer will advise the players what to do.

Here are the rules the dealer will follow but don’t worry if you don’t know these as the dealer will instruct you as the game is played.

A player has to stand if they have a 6 or 7 and has to draw a card if they have a 1-5. The banker has to draw a card if they have a score from 0-5 if the player stands and has to stand if they get a 6 or 7. See the table below for actions if the player has drawn a third card.

Banker Has: Players 3rd Card Is: The Banker Must:
0-2 Does Not Matter Draw a 3rd card
3 1 to 7, 9 or 10 Draw a 3rd card
3 8 Stand
4 2 to 7 Draw a 3rd card
4 1 or 8 to 10 Stand
5 4 to 7 Draw a 3rd card
5 1 to 3 or 8 to 10 Stand
6 6 or 7 Draw a 3rd card
6 1 to 5 or 8 to 10 Stand
7 Does Not Matter Stand

Baccarat rules never change so you don’t need to know how to play as the dealer will tell you what to do. It’s not a game where you have multiple options when it comes to hitting or staying.

Winning a hand in baccarat pays out 1 to 1 and the odds are in the bankers favor by a small margin.

Odds of winning in baccarat are as follows.

  • 45.84% for the banker.
  • 44.61% for the players.
  • 9.55% it will end in a tie.

Some casinos will allow you to bet on a tie at 1 to 8 but statistically this is a terrible bet as the casino has a 14% edge on tie bets.

During a game of baccarat one gambler will play as a banker and another will play as the player. The dealers responsibilities are to hand out cards and make sure the rules are adhered to. Unlike blackjack the casino doesn’t win at baccarat, they only collect a small percentage on bets that were placed on the banker.

Just to be clear the person playing as the banker is not responsible for the bank they are just another player and have the option to bet on the player.

Some baccarat players swear that the bet on player option is the best option due to the 5% casino commission on winning banker bets. The reality is that this is false; your best bet would be to bet on banker although the difference in odds is almost unnoticeable.

Due to the method that baccarat plays it’s possible for multiple people to bet on player or banker even though they have no cards. Multiple people can play the same hand. This allows a crowd of gamblers to get in on the action.

As you can see from the image below a baccarat table has seats for 14 people although you will see the seats are numbered up to 15. The 13th seat is removed due to the superstition around that number. The head dealer will always sit beside the number 1. He is the dealer who is in charge of the overall game while the other two dealers are taking care of the betting and paying out winnings. These dealers are also in charge of keeping track of the casinos 5% commission on Banker winning bets. They do this by putting chips on the small player numbers on the inside of the table.