Baccarat: A Beginner’s Guide

Baccarat: A Beginner’s Guide
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Are you new to the card game Baccarat? It’s a fun and exciting game that’s easy to follow if you learn about some of the basic Baccarat rules.

This guide will provide you with all the information you need about this popular game, and outline how to play Baccarat. As well as the rules, we’ll explain the different card values and how the point system works. You can also find out about the various bet types available, and the different versions you can play and explore some helpful strategies to help get you started.

But first, let’s talk about the main objective of Baccarat….

The Main Objective of Bacarrat

The objective of baccarat is pretty simple. It’s a guessing game.

You need to bet on which one of the two hands dealt that you think will total closest to nine. This can either be the Player’s Hand or the Banker’s hand.

What is Needed to Play Baccarat

To play a game of baccarat, you’ll need the following items:

The Table

A Baccarat table seats between seven and 14 players, depending on the version of the Baccarat game you’re playing. You also need a space for the dealer. Regardless of how many players are playing, only two hands are dealt – the Player’s and the Banker’s. Not every player gets dealt their own cards, but each player has their own betting area on the table.

Betting Area

Each player has three bet boxes on the table representing the Player, Banker and Tie bet options.

The Dealer

Every physical baccarat game has a dealer who begins the game. They deal the cards from the centre of the Baccarat table.

Commission Box

When playing full Baccarat, a long rectangle filled with numbers is called the commission box. It’s located next to the bank and is used to keep track of all commissions.

On other types of Baccarat tables, a commission circle is located beside each individual betting area. Each number represents one of the players, and each time this player is owed a commission, the dealer will mark it on the table. At many casinos winning bets on a Banker’s hand takes a commission of around 5%.

How to Play Baccarat

Here’s a step-by-step guide to playing Baccarat:

  1. Hands: Before the cards are dealt, all players need to place their bets on either the Player’s or Banker’s hand.
  2. Cards: The dealer will deal two cards to the Player and the Banker. The first card will be dealt face-up to the Player’s box on the Baccarat table. The second card will be placed in the Banker’s box. The dealer then deals the next Player and Banker cards.
  3. Card Value: The face and 10 cards are all worth zero points. Every other card is worth their face value, and an Ace is worth one point.
  4. Natural win: A natural win occurs if the point total is 8 or 9 after the first two cards are dealt, either for the Player or the Banker. The game is over and bets placed are cashed out.
  5. Player’s Third card: Because a Player’s hand is dealt first, it’s completed first. If the Player is eligible for a third card, they’ll receive it before the Banker.
  6. Banker’s Third card: Once the Player has finished their round, the Banker can draw their third card if they’re eligible to receive one. This depends on the Player’s hand.
  7. Calculate the winning hand: The final step is to work out the winning hand, which is the one that totals closest to 9. If there’s a tie, neither hand wins or loses.

Baccarat Card Values & Points System

Learning about the card values used in Baccarat and how points are scored helps you to understand how to play Baccarat. Calculating points in Baccarat is a little different from other card games. For instance, 9 is the highest score, and the value of either the Player or the Dealer’s hand can’t be higher. Let’s take a look at some of the different values and how the points add up.

  • Picture Cards and 10s: Each is worth zero points.
  • Cards from 2-9: Worth their face value.
  • Aces: One point.

When adding up the points, if a hand totals over 10, the second digit becomes the hand’s value. For example, if a 9 and a 7 is dealt, the total is 16. By only using the second digit, this would be known as a six-point hand.

Third Card Rules

Because the Player always goes first, the Banker’s hand in Baccarat depends on the Player’s hand.

Rules for the Player

  • If the Player’s hand totals 8 or 9 points, it’s a natural win. The game is over and the Player hand wins.
  • If the Player’s hand is 6 or 7, the Player has to stand and can’t draw a third card.
  • If the hand totals between 0 to 5, the Player can draw a third card. The only time they can’t is if the Banker has a natural win (8 or 9 points).

Rules for the Banker

  • When the player stands, the banker can receive a third card if their hand is worth 5 or less.
  • The Banker’s hand stands on 6 or 7.
  • If the Banker’s hand total is 2, 1, or 0, they can add a third card regardless of the Player’s hand.
  • If the hand of the Banker totals 3 and the Player’s third card is not an 8, the banker can receive a third card.
  • When the Banker’s hand totals 4 and the Player’s third card is 2-7, the Banker receives a third card.
  • If the Banker’s hand total is 5 and the Player’s third card is between 4-7, a third card is drawn.
  • When the Banker’s hand totals 6 and the Player’s third card is 6 or 7, a third card can be added to the hand.
  • The Banker’s hand stands if the total is 7 from the first two cards drawn.

Type of Bets in Baccarat

There are a few different bets you can make in Baccarat, from Banker bets to Tie bets. Let’s take a look at which ones you can incorporate into your Baccarat strategy.

Banker Bet:  This is when you bet on the Banker’s hand. It’s often referred to as the best option in Baccarat games because it offers the lowest house edge. But because it’s favourable to players, the casino also gets a commission each time it wins. This is usually around 5%, but it can vary at each casino, so check before you play.
Player Bet:  A Player bet is when you bet on the Player’s hand getting a value that’s closest to 9. This type of bet has the second-best house edge and there is no commission to the house if this wager wins.
Tie Bet:  This is betting that the result of the Player’s hand and the Banker’s hand will have the same value. Only players who have made a Tie bet will get a payout, all other bets will be returned.
Side Bets in Baccarat:  Like other card games, Baccarat lets you place side bets which can make the game even more exciting. The available side bets are different at each casino and they’re optional. They can also vary depending on the version of Baccarat you’re playing. Take a look at the available side bets before you play to make sure they’re suitable for you. Depending on the bet, they can help boost your chances of winning.
Player Pair:  This is when you bet the first two cards of the Player’s hand will be a pair (e.g. the same number value or picture type). The odds for this bet are 11:1.
Banker Pair: Similar to a player pair bet, this is when you place a wager that the Banker’s cards will be a pair.
Perfect Pair:  This type of bet is available when you play Baccarat online with well-known software developers like Playtech. You’ll get a payout if the first two cards drawn are identical for suit and rank. If the game is played with eight decks, the house edge for this wager is 13%.
Either Pair:  This side bet is betting that the Player or Bank’s hand will be a pair of the same rank. The payout differs depending on if they’re the same suit. With different suits, you’ll get a payout of 5:1. For the same suit it’s usually 25:1.
Small: A small bet wins if there are only four cards at the end of the round, with neither the Player or the Banker taking a third card.
Big: This type of bet wins if there are five cards on the board at the end of the round.
Super Six: This wager is placed on the Banker’s hand, to win with a total card value of six. This can be made with either two or three cards.
Dragon Bonus: This popular side bet is also known as Mini Baccarat. You can place it on either the Player or Banker’s hand. The hand with the highest score wins and the amount the player wins depends on the margin of victory.
Dragon 7: This is a type of insurance bet that pays 40:1 if the winning hand totals seven points. You can only place this bet if you’ve placed either a Banker or Player line wager before the initial deal.
4-5-6 Bet: This refers to placing a wager on the combined number of cards left on the table after the end of the round. If you successfully bet on four cards, the payout is typically 3:2. For five or six cards, payouts are 2:1.
All Red: This side bet is when you bet all the cards in the Player’s hands will be red, made up of hearts and diamonds. The payout for this bet is 22:1.
All Black: Like an All Red bet, this is when you place a wager on the Player’s hand consisting solely of black cards, i.e. clubs and spades. The payout is 24:1.
Panda 8: If you make this bet, you’ll get a payout if the Banker’s hand collects eight points in only three cards. The payout is typically 25:1 with a house edge of 10.19%.
Quik: Similar to a field bet in craps, this bet is based on the combined total of the Player and Banker hand points value.

Different Types of Baccarat Games

There are plenty of different versions of Baccarat games available all around the world. Let’s look at some of the most popular versions available.

Punto Banco

This is the most popular version of Baccarat, particularly in areas like the U.S., Canada and Macau. In this game of Baccarat, the casino plays out the cards using a fixed dealing baccarat table. You can choose to bet for the Punto (Player) or the Banco (Banker). Or you can bet on a tie. There’s a 5% commission for winning bets on the Banco.

Super 6

This version is also referred to as Mini Baccarat. The main difference between this version and Punto Banco is the payout for Banker bets. While there is no commission, if the Banker’s hand wins with a six, the player only receives 50% of the bet value. This gives the house an edge of 1.46%.

EZ Baccarat

Like Super 6, this version pays even money on both Player and Banker bets, and there is no commission. However, if the Banker’s hand wins with a value of seen from three cards, all Banker bets are a push.

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de fer is a version that began in France in the late 19th century. Unlike other Baccarat games, it only uses six decks. The first player is the banker and the dealer, and they start the game and set the initial betting amount. Other players announce their intention of ‘going bank’ or playing against the Banker’s hand.

After placing the bets, the banker deals two cards for themselves and two for the bettors. If there’s a natural win, the game finishes. If not, players can accept or deny a third card. The banker gets the same option. After the dealing round finishes, the players and the banker reveal the cards. The highest value hand wins.

Lightning Baccarat

Lightning Baccarat is available in online casinos around the world. Evolution Gaming developed it and uses Punto Banco rules. It also adds a random multiplier to up to five cards in the deck. These multipliers range from 2x to 8x and apply if the cards are in the winning hand.

There is a 20% Lightning Fee applied to every bet. So, if you bet $10 bet on the banker, players must pay $12.

Baccarat Banque

The Banque version is available in many physical casinos in Europe. It began in Monaco, played at a specially designed table configuration of two conjoined tables. The Baccarat tables seated 10 – 16 players, with the dealer in the middle. It’s played with three decks instead of the more traditional eight cards.

Baccarat Strategies & Tips

Check out these strategies if you want to improve your chances of winning at the Baccarat tables.

Martingale Strategy

Martingale is one of the most popular betting systems used worldwide for casinos paying even money. As well as using it in Baccarat, you can use it for outside bets when playing roulette. It works by doubling the size of your bet after each loss. When you win, you revert back to your original wager.

For example, if you bet $5 on the Banker and lose, you would increase your bet to $10 for the next round. If you lose again, you would double your next bet to $20. If you win, you’ll get a bigger payout that covers your lost bets and a small profit.

To use this Baccarat strategy, you’ll need a large bankroll. Start with a small bet, so you leave enough money to cover your losing streak. Be wary that this strategy can result in losing more than you gain.

D’Alembert Strategy

You first need to establish your betting unit to use the D’Alembert strategy when playing at Baccarat tables. Usually, this should be about 1% of your bankroll.

When placing your first bet, it’s equal to five betting units. You’ll then increase your bet by one unit each time you lose and decrease it by one unit after each win. So, if your bankroll is $200, the unit is $2, and your initial bet is $10. If you lose, you’ll raise your bet to $12. If you win, lower it back to $10 in the next round.

Paroli Strategy

The Paroli betting system is often referred to as the reverse Martingale. It works by doubling your bet after a win and resetting it after each loss. It can be a high-risk strategy, so limiting your rises after a few rounds is a good idea. That way, you don’t risk losing all of your profits.

Edge Sorting

This is a technique you can use in physical casinos. The aim is to determine if the playing card is high or low, depending on the imperfections on the back of the card. Observing the cards when you play allows you to associate values with the cards to help you predict the deal’s outcome.

Why Play Baccarat?

Baccarat is one of the easiest casino card games you can learn. Once you learn the card values, it’s easy to play.

It also has a low casino edge, which means it’s one of the best casino games to make your money go further. Not only does that mean more entertainment for you to play, but it also improves your chances of winning the longer you play.

When you play online, you can also benefit from lots of bonus and promotional offers. Plenty of casinos will give you cash bonuses for signing up on their website. Although many can come with terms and conditions (which we always recommend checking before activating), they can be a great way to play for free and learn more about online Baccarat games.

Where to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the most popular casino card games you can find. You can play Baccarat at many physical casinos in New Zealand. It’s also available at online casinos for Kiwi players. To help you find the best casino sites, our expert team has compiled some of the top online casinos available in New Zealand to play Baccarat online.

Each site is assessed using various criteria to provide the best possible experience playing Baccarat. We look at the range of games available, which software developers the site uses, the bonuses and promotions on offer and the safety and security of the site. So you can start playing fast!

Summary – How to Play Baccarat

Whether you bet on the Banker or the Player, opt for a tie bet or look at your options for side bets, playing Baccarat is lots of fun. Once you learn the card values and points system, playing online baccarat or at a physical casino is simple.

We always recommend our readers play at reputable and licensed casinos and be on the lookout for bonuses or promotions to help you play for free. These are an excellent way to try new games and understand Baccarat rules before you start to use your own money.

We hope this guide helps you on your Baccarat journey!

How to Play Baccarat FAQ

How do you win at Baccarat?

To win at Baccarat, you simply need to guess which hand you think will total closest to 9 - either the Player's or the Dealer's. Place your bet and try your luck!

Is there skill involved in Baccarat?

Baccarat is a game of chance. While the cards you are dealt are based on luck, you can apply some Baccarat strategy to help improve your chances of winning. And understanding the different bets and card values can help you to make more informed bets.

Can you cheat at Baccarat?

Cheating at online Baccarat games is incredibly difficult and not something we encourage at CasinoCrawlers. Many casinos use pattern detection systems to look for cheat codes and programs. And software developers use sophisticated and secure technology, making cheating increasingly difficult.

Is it hard to learn how to play Baccarat?

Of all the card games you can play at a casino, Baccarat is one of the easiest. The card values are simple, as are the rules and objective of the game. All you need to do is place a bet on whether you think the Banker or Player will have cards that add up the closest to nine.

What are the odds of winning at Baccarat?

When you play Baccarat online, the Banker's hand wins 45.8% of the time compared to the Player's hand at 44.6%. Ties usually occur 9.6% of the time. The house edge depends on how many decks you're playing. With eight decks, betting on the Player has a house edge of 1.24% compared to 1.06% for the Banker, despite commission on wins.

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Noah Adams
Noah Adams
Senior Content Editor
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Noah is the senior content editor at CasinoCrawlers and a writer with many iGaming articles under his portfolio. Therefore, he is skilled at writing bonus guidelines, gambling strategies, and casino reviews. During his spare time, he enjoys playing Call of Duty and is a huge rugby fan.

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