How to Play Baccarat


Baccarat is a popular casino game, and you can probably find it in any casino. While the rules are similar to other games where you compare the score with the dealer, there are a few differences. Rules of Baccarat are rather simple, and the game is fast-paced. These are probably the main reasons for the popularity of the game. 

Basic Baccarat Rules

In contrast to many other card games, you won’t play against other players, but against the dealer or the banker. Furthermore, when the game starts, the player can bet on themselves or the banker winning the round. Alternatively, you could also bet on a tie. The goal of the game is to guess who will be closer to nine. There are three possible outcomes – the player can win, the banker can win, and the result can be tied. 

Unlike blackjack, players will have far fewer choices, and they cannot bust. Furthermore, the value of cards between two and nine will count as face value, ten and higher will count as zero, and ace will count as one. 

When it comes to the end phase of the game, any two-digit sum of cards will count by the second digit only. For instance, if the player has three and four, the total sum is seven. On the other hand, if the banker has seven and nine, the total sum is sixteen and in Baccarat will count as six, which means that the player is closer to nine. 

The First Two Cards

baccarat cards

Both the player and the banker will receive two cards. If either the banker or the player draws eight or nine, the game is over. Depending on these two cards, there might be a need to draw additional cards. If neither the banker nor the player has a natural, they will proceed according to the tableau or the drawing rules. These Baccarat tables are important for bankers since the rules for the players are much simpler. 

The Rules for Players

The rules that players follow are a lot easier, so we will go through them first. As the game begins, both the player and the banker will receive two cards. If the player has a total value of two cards between zero and five, they will draw the third card. Of course, unless the banker already got eight or nine. 

Furthermore, if the player receives six or seven in total, they will stand and wait for the banker. Finally, if the player receives eight or nine, they will win. Unless the banker also has the same score. 

The Rules for Bankers

Now, the rules for bankers are a bit more complex, but they follow a similar algorithm. If the player has a total value of five or six, and they stand, the banker will ignore their hand and follow the same rules as the player. This means that the banker will also stand on five and six, draw on anything between zero and five, and win on eight or nine. 

On the other hand, if the player draws an additional or third card, they will follow a different algorithm. The only thing important for the banker’s rules is the third card that the player received. 

  • If the sum of the first two cards that banker draws is two or less, the banker will draw the third card regardless of the player’s third card. 
  • Similarly, if the dealer’s sum of two cards is three, they will draw the third card unless the player’s third card is eight. 
  • For a sum equal to four, the banker will draw the third card in all cases, except if the player’s third card is between two and seven, including two and seven.
  • Furthermore, for the banker’s sum equal to five, they will draw the card unless the player’s third one is four, five, six, or seven. 
  • Finally, if the dealer’s two-card combination is six, they will draw, unless the player’s third card is six or seven. 
baccarat rules for bankers

If the sum of two cards is seven, the banker will stand regardless of the player’s hand. 


Since there are three different outcomes of the game of Baccarat, the player will be able to place a bet on any of the options. This means that the player can bet on themselves, on the banker, and on the tie. If the player chooses to bet on the banker’s hand, they will win money only if the banker wins. 

Unlike similar games, the player will have to place a bet on the tie, if they hope to win anything should the banker and the player have the same score. If this happens, the player will win eight to one payout. The payout for the player is one to one, and for betting on the banker the casino will take a five percent fee. 

Playing Baccarat in a Casino

If you visit a casino, you will probably notice that they use six or eight standard decks of cards. Usually, casinos will offer a Punto Banco version of the game. This game is the most popular in casinos, and the difference is that both the player and the banker will follow the rules we mentioned. In other versions of the game, the player will have an option to choose the action they want to take. Furthermore, there are versions where one of the players will act as a banker. Both players can choose their next move and aren’t tied to the rules of the table. In these games, everyone will play against the specific player that acts as a banker until the banker changes. 

Unfortunately, if you play Punto Banco, you won’t have much space for the tactics, since each of the decisions you make is already decided by the tableau as well as the cards that are dealt. 

It is worth mentioning that there are several other variations of the game like baccarat chemin de fer or popularly “chemmy,” and even mini version. Mini-Baccarat table, for example, is a lot smaller and offers a lower limit, but follows the same rules as Punto Banco. 


Baccarat is a fun, fast-paced game, where you may win big if you’re lucky. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it offers one of the lowest house edges in the casino. Even if you bet on the banker, and “pay” five percent commission, you will still face a house edge that is lower than a single zero roulette. On the other hand, if you are betting on the tie, you will face incredibly high house edge, which is over fourteen percent! As you can guess, one of the best strategies is to avoid betting on the tie. 

Interestingly, Baccarat is always associated with a famous British secret agent. Did you know that James Bond’s favorite game was Baccarat? In Ian Fleming’s first book, he attempts to bankrupt a villain by playing this game. However, in the Casino Royale movie, the game was replaced by Texas Hold’em. 

Whether you decide to follow in James Bond’s footsteps or want to try something new, this guide will give you a nice head start! 

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