Baccarat Rules & Gameplay

As a game that’s loved by the rich and the famous, Baccarat is one of the few games that need no introduction at the online casinos. It is one of the simplest and easy to understand games among the other casino games that you can play at the casino. This comes down to the fact that it has easy to place bets. After all, you only have three picks to bet on; a Tie, the player or the banker.

However, given that the game differs significantly from the more popular blackjack and roulette rules, it can be somewhat difficult to play.

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If you’ve found this game a little bit intimidating as you tried to play it, we are here to help! Learning the ins and outs of this game is as easy as understanding the game’s rules, how the cards have been dealt, different strategies and the three bets listed above.

But before we go deep into the topic, let’s have a close look at the game’s history.

History of Baccarat

It is strongly believed that the game of baccarat began in the 1400s, which makes it one of the oldest and most played games. Several theories point to the Chinese being the inventors of the game, though it is strongly believed to have originated from Italy. The game was named baccarat, which translates to zero from Italian. It was referred to as zero because the high cards are valued at zero while playing the game.

The game itself actually began in the 1400s, making it one of the oldest and most played casino games played today. It got the name baccarat because it’s the Italian word for zero, which refers to the fact that the high cards are worth zero in the game.

Over the years, since its inception, different cultures around the world have made subtle changes to come up with a game that fits their playing preferences. But perhaps the most significant change has been witnessed over the past two decades where there have been multiple variations of the game. Online casino and live casino play have resulted in different versions of the game, which players can easily pick.

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Baccarat Basics

Baccarat’s layout is pretty simply, offering you three options to wager on: the Bank (dealer) bet, the Player bet and a tie. You can pick from any one of these three before the dealer draws cards.

The dealer is usually expected to draw two cards (two for you and two for the house) after which he’ll stand or draw an extra card depending on the value of the hand. Unlike blackjack, no one receives more than three cards per game.

As you play baccarat, here are some of the points you need to remember: 

  • Cards of 2-9 retain their face value. K, Q, J and 10 are valued at 0 while an ace is valued as 1
  • Your objective while playing is to get a hand value that’s as close as possible to 9

Once the two cards have been dealt, how the game progresses depends on the hand score.

Player Score

  • When you land a score of 1-5, you draw another card
  • When you land a score of 6-9, you are required to stand
  • If you have an 8 or 9, you have a natural. You automatically win the round
  • When you have a 10 or higher score, 10 is automatically deducted and the cards are drawn as per the rules above

Dealer Score

  • When the dealer has a 0-2 score, they are expected to draw
  • A 3-6 score requires the dealer to draw but only if you stand
  • A 7-9 score required the dealer to stand

Note: Nothing is usually required from your end except from placing a bet. And as you’ve seen from above, the game rules are very straightforward. However, one of the main questions from players is how much each bet pays out.

Payout

  • A player win pays out at odds of 1:1
  • Bank (dealer) win pays out at odds of 0.95:1
  • A Tie pays out at odds of 9:1 or 8:1 in other casinos
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House Edge

One of the main reasons why baccarat is widely popular among casino players is because of its low house edge. Since there are different bets that you can make, there are different house edges.

  • The house edge on the banker bet is 1.06%
  • The house edge on the player bet is 1.24%

Popular Baccarat Games Online

Besides the classic baccarat game, there are other versions of the game that are widely popular among casino players. Here are our top picks:

Punto Banco

This is the simplified version of the baccarat game. Punto stands for ‘player’ and Banco stands for ‘bank’. In this game, you wager on your desired bet, while every action on the table is dictated by the dealer. It follows all the rules described above, with the only difference being that the original version gives you the option of drawing or standing on your own.

Mini Baccarat

This spinoff of the classic baccarat game lets you enjoy baccarat with low bets. The rules followed are similar to the standard game, with the main difference being in how the cards are dealt and the number of decks of cards used.

The standard baccarat game uses six decks but mini baccarat uses eight decks. While playing mini baccarat, the deal is much easier and faster. Furthermore, the cards dealt are placed in a right side position as opposed to the standard upside position.  

Chemin De Fer

Chemin De Fer is a popular variant of baccarat that was widely played in France. When translated to English, Chemin De Fer means ‘railway’ or ‘railroad’. Chemin De Fer baccarat is played using six decks of cards, held in a shoe that moves around the table in a counterclockwise fashion. This is perhaps where it gets the name from as the shoe mimics the movement of a train on a railway. Chemin De Fer uses the standard baccarat rules but this time, the players will be playing against each other.

Banque Baccarat

Also commonly referred to as ‘a deux tableaux”, which loosely translates to “two tables” in English, Banque Baccarat is a game that’s very popular with the high rollers in the Asian continent. It is widely popular because it offers very flexible rules and any number of players can enjoy playing the game (even if you are seated alone at the table).

In banque baccarat, you’ll be dealt with two hands and the dealer is dealt with one hand. One of your hand is dealt to the right while the other one is dealt to the left. It’s then up to you to decide on which side of the table you’d like to place your wager. Results are then determined following the standard baccarat rules.

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Baccarat Tips

Whether you’ve chosen to play the software based or live casino version of baccarat, the game rules remain the same. However, you can always apply some of the tips below to give you an edge over the house. They won’t guarantee you a win each time you play baccarat, but they’ll certainly ensure you win more often than not.

1. Practice Makes Perfect

This is a common saying that we all know and it also applies to Baccarat. Software based baccarat games give you a perfect opportunity to practice for free before committing any real money. Through the demo mode, you can always familiarize yourself with the game’s rules and perfect a strategy after which you can commit some real cash

2. Stay Away From The Tie Bet

The tie bet is the most lucrative bet on the baccarat table, but it’s also the most difficult one to win. However, if you are feeling extremely confident and lucky to beat the odds of 1:11 (chance of winning is 1 out of 11), then you can go ahead and give it a shot.  Otherwise, you are better of trying your luck with the banker or player bet

3. Don’t Let the 5% commission Imposed on the Banker bet Fool You.

The 5% commission imposed on the banker bet might discourage you from betting on it, but it is the best option in baccarat. The house knows that the odds favour the banker bet, so most of them usually tend to have a 5% commission on it. Cumulatively, however, the banker bet will payout 50.68% as compared to 49.32% for the player bet. Any savvy player knows that this small difference could be the big difference in the long run, especially if you are staking huge sums of cash.

4. Are you looking to win big at baccarat?

Your answer lies in the low commission tables, especially with banker bets. Anything that’s lower than the 5% commission is most certainly welcome. However, our advice to you is looking for the zero or low commission baccarat games.

5. Lastly, manage your money as if your life depends on it.

We’ve said this time and again, your bankroll is your lifeline as you play baccarat or any other casino game for that matter. Therefore, ensure that you strive as much as possible to make it last for as long as possible. At the casinos, the longer you spend playing, the higher your chances of winning. And if you’ve already won enough times, locking in a profit in the process, quit while you’re ahead!  

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Baccarat Glossary

  • Action: It’s a common term used to refer to the total cash wagered during the entire game
  • Banco: It’s an Italian word that loosely translates to zero. It’s the worst hand that you can get while playing baccarat
  • Banker Bet: It is one of the three bets that you can make as you play baccarat
  • Carte – This is considered to be the French word for “Hit me.” Only say this when you want to request a card from the dealer
  • Coup – This another French word. It means a round of Baccarat.
  • Croupier: Another name for the dealer
  • Dealer: A real human representing the house as you play live baccarat
  • Le Petite: When translated to English, the word Le Petite means Little One. In baccarat, it is used to refer to a hand totaling 8 (a natural)
  • Mini-Baccarat: This one of the many versions of baccarat that you can play at the casinos
  • Monkey: It’s a term that’s used to refer to a 10 or a face card
  • Natural: When your hand card is an 8 or 9, then you have a natural
  • Standoff: This is a scenario where the bank’s and player’s hand value are joined in a tie
  • A Tie: It is one of the three bets that you can make in baccarat. If the result is a tie, the player and banker get full refunds for their bets, unless of course, you’d wagered for a tie
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Win Real Money Playing Baccarat Using Casino Bonuses

If you’ve read this far, you can now comfortably visit an online casino and play baccarat. However, if you are still not sure how to play the game, why don’t you give it a try using the software based game? It’s a free to play game that has all the features of a real money game. Once you are accustomed to the basic game rules, you can always claim different types of casino bonuses and play the game risk free. Some of these bonuses include:

  • Welcome Bonus – Awarded when you sign up at the casino
  • Mobile Casino Bonus – Awarded by a handful of online casinos when you make your deposit using your mobile device
  • Reload Bonus – Available across most casinos. Awarded whenever you make subsequent deposits at the casino

Closing Thoughts

As you play baccarat, it’s crucial that you remember that it’s a game that relies greatly on luck and that the outcome of one hand is not dependent on the other hand. However, when you apply some of the tips listed above, you could easily land in some serious wins as some of the professional players. Most importantly, you should at all times strive to play baccarat for free, through the demo mode before you commit to playing using real money. This makes you familiarize yourself with the game’s ins and outs, putting you in a better winning position!  

Baccarat FAQs

How do I play baccarat?

Baccarat is a simple and straightforward game with easy to understand rules. You can simply opt to sit at the table and allow the dealer to do all the donkey work or you can opt to follow the house’s rules when playing. Whichever choice you pick, the game promises to offer a fun and thrilling experience, but only if you understand the basic game rules.  

How do I win at baccarat?

To win in baccarat, you need to wager on the hand that will get as close as possible to 9 or total to 9 points. Alternatively, you can bet on the tie if you believe the player and the banker will have the same hand value.

To successfully predict the outcome of the game, it’s important that you understand the basic rules of the game.

Do I have to spend money if I don’t understand the game rules?

No, you don’t have to spend money on a game you don’t understand. However, you can still play the game until you are well conversant with the game rules. The software based baccarat game is available in demo mode, with the same rules as the real money mode. Play the game until you are well conversant with the rules, before spending cash on it.

How many decks of cards does the shoe have?

The standard baccarat shoe normally constitutes of eight decks of cards. However, there are variations that have between 1 and 8 decks. To know the exact number of decks, go through the game’s rules before playing.

What’s the house edge in baccarat?

The house edge simply refers to the theoretical amount of money that the casino is expected to make over a given period of time. The house edge is highest on the Tie bet – at 14.4%, lowest at the banker bet – at 1.06% and medium on the player’s bet – 1.24%.

What does the word coup mean in Baccarat?

A coup simply refers to a game round in baccarat

Do strategies work in baccarat?

It all depends on how well you implement the strategy. However, despite not assuring you a 100% win every time you play baccarat, strategies are a perfect way of reducing the house edge significantly, thus ensuring you win some cash from time and again.

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