Master the Rules of Baccarat
Baccarat is a fun card game with a lot of different twists and bends and, on this page, we aim to make you familiar with most of the rules involved in the easiest to the most complex versions of the popular card game.
If you’re eager to master the classical version of Baccarat, or to sharpen your strategy as you play this popular card game, you’ll be happy to know that you’ve come to the right place.
Here you’ll learn what you need to know about Baccarat in order to maximise your chances of winning during a game of Baccarat.
The objective in a game of Baccarat is for either the “Player” (yourself) or the “Banker” (dealer) to get as close to 9 as possible without going over.
If you happen to go over 9; if you’re dealt two 9 value cards, for example, then 10 is subtracted from the total, which would leave you with an 8. That means, if either party is dealt a card with an 8 or 9 value, they become a winner.
Players typically stand on 6 to 9, which makes the bank draw on 0 to 5. However, if the player happens to draw 0 to 5, they will be dealt another card.
The Face cards are made up of the King, the Queen, and the Jack and have a value of 0, as do the number cards.
A player can choose between three different betting options when playing Baccarat online, and those are:
- The Banker
- The Player
- The Tie
The best option is to bet on the Banker as this is the option with the lowest House Edge (1.06 %) out of the three options. The third option isn’t as common an option as the first two as it has quite a high House Edge (14.36 %).
In a game of Baccarat, the Player is first to choose which bet they want to place, followed by the dealer handing out two cards to the Player and Banker. As explained earlier, the one who has the closest hand to the value 9 wins.
What exactly “Baccarat” means
The meaning of Baccarat is 0, which is considered to be the worst hand to end up within a game of Baccarat.
If you’re new to Baccarat, you’ll want to know what value each card has. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are the different cards in a game of Baccarat and their values:
- Ace has a value of 1.
- Numbers 2 through 9 have the same value as their number.
- The 10 has a value of 0.
- The Jack, Queen, and King all have a value of 0.
Baccarat is usually played with 6 or 8 decks and what suit a card has in Baccarat doesn’t matter.
Types of bets in Baccarat
As seen in the “Objective” section, there are three main bets in a game of Baccarat. These bets are “Player”, “Banker”, and “Tie”, one of which doesn’t get used as often as the other two.
Below is our list of the different bets you will come across when playing Baccarat.
1. Bet on a Player
When you bet on a player, you are essentially betting on yourself to win against the Banker (the card dealer).
Betting on a Player instead of the Banker will lead to a full payout, without the online casino taking a commission if your bet wins.
Wins with bets on the Player are recorded to happen 44.62 % of the time.
2. Bet on a Banker
Betting on the Banker leaves you with a House Edge of 1.06 %. Betting on the Banker in any game of Baccarat increases your chances of winning.
Banker bets are recorded to be won around 45.86 % of the time, and the probability of winning if you Bet on the Banker is calculated to be around 50.68 %.
3. Bet on Pairs
“Pairs” is a side bet on Punto Banco, and this side bet wins if the first two cards the Player or the Banker is dealt form a pair while losing on other outcomes.
This side bet involves placing bets on the player’s first two cards forming a pair (being the same).
The Banker pair bet, in contrast to the Player pair bet, involves betting on a Banker’s two cards forming a pair.
Both the Banker pair bet and the Player pair bet payout 10:1.
If either the Player or the Banker has an identical pair of cards on their hand during a game of Baccarat, it’s a win.
As mentioned, this isn’t a betting option typically used due to the high House Edge, nevertheless, it involves betting on a tie between the Banker and the Player.
5. Big hand
With the Big hand side bet, it’s a win if a total of 5 cards are present and where at least one player has a third card.
6. Small hand
The Small hand side bet wins if there are four cards present and at least one player has a third card.
7. Minimum/maximum bets
In a game of Baccarat, there is both a minimum and maximum bet which you are limited by, although you will be able to win with a range of different hand combinations.
Other Baccarat side bets:
There are a host of different side bets in Baccarat, and listed below are quite a number of them. Take time to find a side bet that works for you and go for it, depending on the options available in the Baccarat game you’re playing of course.
3 Card Wins
This side bet predicts that the Player and Banker will experience wins with 3 cards. A Player’s 3 card win pays out 4:1 while a Banker’s 3 card win pays out 5:1.
3 Giving 8
With this type of side bet, the payout 200:1 if the Banker’s hand is made up of 2 cards with the value 3 and the Player’s third card has the value 8.
Also known as Big/Small, the 4-5-6 side bet is a bet on a combined set of cards that the Player and Banker will complete a round of Baccarat with. If you bet on 4 cards, for example, the payout is 3:2, while a bet on 5 or 6 cards pays 2:1, hence the name of this bet.
The 5 Treasures is made up of 5 different bets:
- Fortune 7 (pays 40:1) – Pays out if the Banker has a winning 3 card with a value of 7.
- Golden 8 (pays 40:1) – Pays out if the Player has a winning 3 card with a value of 7
- Heavenly 9 (pays 75:1/10:1) – Pays out if the Player or Banker has a winning 3 card with a value of 9.
- Blazing 7s (pays 200:1) – Pays out if both the Banker and Player have hands with the value 7 consisting of the same number of cards.
- Cover All (pays 6:1) – Pays out if any of the four bets mentioned above win.
The Red or Black side bet is a side bet that focuses on the Player’s hands consisting of either black (spades and clubs) or red cards (hearts and diamonds). And here’s how either outcome pays:
- All Black cards (pays 24:1)
- All Red cards (pays 22:1)
The probability of getting either all red or all black cards is the exact same with this particular side bet.
This particular bet is only made available after a “Player win” or “Tie hand”, or at the very start of the game.
To receive a payout with this side bet, the Banker must win at least 4 times in a row. A win usually depends on how many Banker wins happen after a bet is made, and a Player win or Tie win will end the streak.
Big and Small
This side bet predicts how many cards the Player or Banker will be left with at the end of the round. It typically pays out 3:2 or 2:1 depending on the number of cards.
The Big Tiger side bet will reward the bettor If the Banker has exactly three cards with a value of 6. The odds, in this case, are 55:1.
Bad Beat Baccarat
The Bad Beat Baccarat (victory margin of one point) side bet is considered to be one of the newest innovations in a game of Baccarat.
It typically pays out when one participant, either the Banker or the Player, wins by a single point over the other.
There is both a commission and commission-free version of this side bet, and this allows even more flexibility than in a regular Baccarat game.
Below are examples of how payouts work with Bad Beat Baccarat:
- 3 cards with the value 9 win over 3 cards with the value 8 (pays 40:1)
- 2 cards with the value of 9 win over 2 cards with the value of 8 (pays 10:1)
Contrast Bonus Baccarat
This is a side bet that pays if all the cards of a Player have the same colour and all the Banker’s cards have the opposite colour. An example is if the Player’s cards are all red (diamonds and hearts) and the Banker’s cards are all black (clubs and spades).
Wins are dependent on how many cards both the Banker and Player are left with.
This particular bet predicts whether the combined value of two hands will be either odd or even.
A bet where the combined value of a hand is an even number pays out 1.92:1, while a hand with an odd value will payout.
Golden Frog can easily be described as one of the most legendary Baccarat side bets in existence, as it allows players to win up to 200:1.
This particular side bet consists of 4 variants, and each of these variations predict their own individual outcomes. For example:
- Any 8 beats any six (pays 25:1)
- 2-card 9 beats 2-card 7 (pays 50:1)
- 3-card 9 beats 3-card 1 (150:1)
- 3-card 9 beats 3-card 7 (pay 200:1)
The Golden Frog side bet doesn’t have the lowest house edge among side bets, but it does pay out a significant amount once a player wins, so it’s most definitely worth a try.
Kill the Ox/Tiger
This particular side bet pays out if, for example, the Player hand has a 3-card total of the value 6 and either ties or loses.
Another possible outcome is the Banker has a 3-card total of the value 7 and either ties or loses.
The Ox 6 side bet will payout if the Player hand wins with 3 cards with a value of 6. Wins from this side bet tend to pay 40:1.
This side bet pays if the Banker has 2 cards with a value of 6.
The “Royal 9” is a progressive Baccarat side bet where the bet amount is usually £5. Wins are determined by the Banker’s or Player’s hand consisting of a “Royal 9”; a 9 and any face card (i.e Jack, King, or Queen).
It’s important to note that all wins are paid out on a “for one basis”.
In all, there are 20 side bets; 10 each for the score of both the Player and the Banker’s hands.
With this side bet, all bets need to be placed before any cards are dealt to both dealer and Banker. If the Banker wins with a total score of 6, then you win.
The payout is dependent on how many cards the banker has on their hand when it is complete.
If the Banker has 2 cards, the win is known as the “2-card Tiger” and is usually paid out with odds 12:1. If the Banker is left with 3 cards on their hand, however, this is known as a “3-card Tiger”
and the payout odds are 22:1.
The “Tiger Pair” bet is quite similar to the Banker Pairs and Player pairs bets, except for the fact that Tiger Pair is combined into one bet.
The Dragon Bonus side bet usually pays when your hand is a winner, or your hand wins by a significantly large margin. The highest payout with this particular side bet is 30:1.
Dragon Dragon Progressive
Wins from this side bet are dependent on the hands of both Player and Banker, and range between a combination of 3 of the same card out of 4 cards up to a combination of 6 of the same card.
The Duo Bao side bet revolves around a player being able to bet on Player, Banker, and Pairs.
Players can also add Poker side bets, like a combination of 3, 4, 5 or 6, or Full House, Straight, Straight Flush, and Royal Flush.
This side bet involves bets on specific ties, for example, both the Player and Banker having cards with a value of 6.
If the first two cards dealt to either the Player or the Banker form a pair, this will be considered a win and will reward with a sweet 5:1 payout.
First Two Banker/Player Cards Same Suit
This side bet involves a bet on the first two cards of either the Player or the Banker having the same suit.
This side bet will reward the player based on the “poker value” of the first two cards dealt to both the Player and The Banker.
This type of side bet can be placed at some online casinos in the UK and is a bet predicting the Banker’s hand has a value of 6 in total. If this side bet wins, it will pay 12:1.
This particular side bet has the highest House Edge standing at an insane 29.98 %.
This side bet will payout depending on the number of 9 value cards there are between the Player and the Banker and whether they are suited. For example, a set of 4 9s will pay out 500:1.
This is a side bet that will pay out if either Banker or Player gets a “natural 9”. The Banker having a natural 9 pays 5:1, while a Player getting a netural 9 pays 2:1.
The biggest payout will happen when both Player and Banker get natural 9s, and will pay out 25:1.
This side bet pays out when a player wins with 3 cards that have a value of 8, this is called Panda 8 and typically pays out 25:1.
The odds and payouts
Below is a table illustrating how payouts in a game of Baccarat occur:
The best bet in a game of Baccarat, as we’ll probably repeat a few times throughout this page, is to bet on the Banker in any game as this is the bet that has the lowest House Edge given the odds of winning when placing a bet on the Banker.
The rules in the different variants of Baccarat are mostly the same, and the most commonly played variants are the following:
- Punto Bunco – A Cuban version of Baccarat, born in the 1950s and can usually be played by up to 14 players at once. The players are referred to as “punto” while the Banker is reffered to as “banco”.
- Baccarat Banque – This version of Baccarat gives one player the opportunity to play the dealer throughout the entire game. There are a number of bet options in this version.
- Chemin de Fer – In Chemin de Fer, known as the French version of Baccarat, 6 decks of cards are used instead of 7. All participating players are given the opportunity to play the role of the Banker, and the cards are dealt facing down instead of up by the player playing the Banker.
The player who has placed the biggest bet gets to go first.
As a refresher of the “Card value” section on this page, the value of the cards in a game of Baccarat are the following: All cards between Ace to 9 are valued with points starting from 1. So an Ace is worth 1 point, a 9 is worth 9 points etc.
The Face cards – Jack, Queen, King – are valued at 0 points.
If a 2-card hand is made up of values 6 and 10, as 10 is to be subtracted from any value that goes over 10, we’re left with a value of 6.
In the same manner, a hand that consists of a 7 and a 9 is valued at 6. (7 + 9 -10= 6).
Once the first point makes sense, then the rules for drawing a third card will be much easier to understand.
If a third card was dealt to the Player hand, then the following table will apply:
- If the Player hand draws a 2 or a 3, the Banker draws with 0 through 4 and stands with 5 through 7.
- If the Player drew a 4 or a 5, the Banker draws with 0 through 5 and stands with 6 through 7.
- If the Player drew a 6 or a 7, the Banker draws with 0 through 6 and stands with 7.
- If the Player drew an 8, Banker draws with 0 through 2 and stands with 3 through 7.
- If the Player drew an ace, a 9, a 10, or a Face card, the Banker draws with 0 through 3 and stands with 4 through 7.
How to play baccarat – Breakdown of a round
1. Fund your Balance
While this point may be fairly obvious, we cannot stress enough how important it is that you have all your funds in place before you start playing Baccarat!
To do so, make use of your preferred payment method at the online casino of your choice.
2. Place your bets
As there are different bets in Baccarat, it’s important to make up your mind about which bet you would like to choose. Make sure you know what the odds and payout for each of them are.
If you are unsure, you can go back and read the section that explains the odds and payouts in Baccarat.
3. The Dealer will now deal the cards
Once everyone at the table has placed their bets, the Dealer can start dealing the cards. Both Player and Banker get 2 cards each.
The one I bet on got “Natural”!
A “Natural” in Baccarat is when either the Player or Banker’s first two cards are valued at 8 or 9; a natural win in other words, which means that the game automatically ends.
If such an outcome is achieved, the winning hand will be determined based on these cards alone.
4. Dealer counts the dealt cards
A card counter keeps tabs on the values of cards as they are being dealt. This makes provides the player with the chance to weigh the options of either increasing or lowering their bet.
This could increase the likelihood of a player winning, but nothing is guaranteed of course.
According to the drawing rules, the dealer will draw another card, or not, and count again.
This is the final step of the Baccarat round. Depending on what decisions you made during step 2, there are different possible payouts:
Keep in mind that the dealer will get a cut of your winnings
When playing Baccarat, it’s important to choose a variant and side bet with low House Edge’s.
A House Edge, quite simply explained, is the odds at which the online casino you’re playing at is likely to win from a gameplay session.
As explained earlier, Betting on the Banker is much more advantageous for a player, as it lowers the House Edge significantly.
Some online casinos may charge a 5% commission fee on winning Banker bets, and this is because betting on the Banker is likely to return wins. However, there are online casinos out there that offer commission-free Baccarat games, in those games, there will be no commission deducted from a Banker win.
The best advice for playing a game of Baccarat is to just have fun with it and make sure that your funds match the types of bets you will be placing.