Because the game was made famous in James Bond’s high-stakes, VIP, velvet-roped casino settings, baccarat tends to intimidate novice players, but it’s actually very popular among new players because there is no skill involved. Baccarat rule are predetermined and baked into the flow of the game. Players simply make an initial wager of whom they believe will win and hope for the best. Our how-to-play baccarat online guide will walk you through the basics, play a sample hand, explain card values and introduce you to different variations of the game.
The first thing you need to know is that in every game of baccarat there are three possible outcomes: bet on the player win, banker (dealer) win or tie. Unlike in table games such as blackjack, the baccarat dealer is the only one to touch the cards. Whomever’s finishes with a total closest to nine (9) hand wins. We’ll explain card values below.
When ready to place a bet, you may wager on the player to win, the dealer to win or a tie. However, because the house edge is over 14% on a tie bet occurring, we recommend avoiding this at all times.
After you place a bet, the banker (dealer) deals two cards face up to both the player and the banker and the game is set in motion. It’s at this point where we need to review card values.
The easiest way to remember card values in baccarat is that Aces are worth one, cards 2-9 are worth their face value, and 10’s, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth zero (0). Because the objective of baccarat is to get as close to nine (9) as possible, when two cards equal 10-or-more, the first number is removed. For example, a 9-5 hand equals 14, but because it can’t go over nine, the one is removed, leaving the hand with a total of four.
Because the house edge is over 14% on a tie bet occurring, we recommend avoiding this at all times.
The best way to learn baccarat is to watch and observe several sample hands before sitting down. Here we’ll walk you through a quick sample hand:
There are instances when banker or the player draws a third card. These can get a little confusing, but are predetermined game rules and are always the same at every table. Whether either draws third card is received depends on the value of the first two cards for either party. Here’s the player third-card rules …
|When Player’s 2-Card Total Is …||3rd Card BaccaratRule|
|1-2-3-4-5-10||Draws a third card|
|8-9||Natural win (banker can’t draw)|
The banker’s third-card rules are dependent on what the player’s draws on his third card. Again, these rules are always the same and don’t vary from hand to hand, table to table. Don’t stress if you can’t memorize the charts, but it’s a good idea to study and learn them.
|When Banker’s First 2 Cards Total…||Banker Draws When Player’s Third Card Is…||Banker Stands When Player’s Third Card Is…|
|8-9||Natural Winner (player can’t draw)||Natural Winner (player can’t draw)|
Natural winners are when either the player’s or banker’s first two cards totals 8 or 9. When this occurs, the side with the 8 or 9 hand wins and no other cards are dealt. This is also called a natural.
Punto Banco – chances are if start playing baccarat online, it’s Punto Banco. This is the simplest version of the game – also found with LIVE dealers – and the sample hand we played above.
Chemin de Fer – this version is a little more involved and complicated than Punto Banco, but is one in which the players bet against each other. Like in poker, it includes antes and one player eventually becomes the bank.
Mini Baccarat – consider this a stripped down version of Punto Banco, but also a version that is great for new players because of lower minimum bets required.f
Speed Baccarat – this version is more for the experienced player as the banker/dealer breezes through more hands per hour. On the flip side, Squeeze Baccarat is when the banker/dealer deals the cards faces down and takes their time unveiling each card.
Because baccarat is a game of chance and there is no skill involved, there is little strategy involved. However, it’s worth learning the various house edges as a means to incorporating a potential baccarat strategy. The house edge on a player’s bet is 1.24%, on a banker bet is 1.06% and on a tie is a whopping 14.36%. For this reason, it’s always best to bet the banker and inherit the 5% commission should you win. It’s the cost of doing business and enjoying the uber-low house edge.