You can bet on the player’s or banker’s hand as the winner or opt for a tie. Furthermore, you can find various side bets on special Baccarat variants, but more on that later.
Learn to play baccarat
In this article we explain the card game Baccarat (also called Punto Banco). Learn the basic rules and hand values and get acquainted with different Baccarat varieties. In Holland Casino this game is referred to as Punto Banco, where players do not compete against each other, but where they play together against the bank. Your own decisions do not affect the outcomes for other players, creating a kind of togetherness.
If you’re looking for casino games where you have an equal chance of winning or losing we wish you good luck because they don’t exist. Yet there are a number of casino games that do come close to it, including Baccarat. It has one of the lowest house edge in the casino. Baccarat Chemin de Fer is the original version and is known today as Punto Banco in land-based casinos in the Netherlands. While it has a low house edge, many people will still avoid Baccarat because they think the game is very difficult to learn.
You don’t have to take our word for it, but Baccarat is probably even easier to learn than Blackjack. There is little or no strategy involved and no skill required. Few decisions are made and the game runs automatically after all bets are placed. Read on below to find out for yourself how easy it is!
Small addition: Punto Banco will most often be offered in casinos in Europe as a Baccarat variant. We will discuss the rules of baccarat below, but later on we will discuss more variants, so you can try them out at a casino.
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Baccarat game rules
The object of baccarat is to guess who you think has the best hand, the banker or the player. Furthermore, you can bet on a tie if you think they’ll draw. So you never play yourself. You can also bet money on two of the three betting options per round.
See below for an example of how a hand is played:
Before the hand starts you can bet. In doing so you bet on the banker, player or a tie. Once the bets are placed, the dealer will deal out two hands. One is for the player and the other for the banker. The player’s hand will first be assigned a point total to determine if a third card should be drawn.
Whether the player receives an additional card is based on the number of points at the time. Each card has a value attached to it and they work differently than on other casino games. Below we have listed baccarat hand values from low to high:
- An ace always counts as 1
- 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 keep their own value
- King, Queen, Jack and Ten are worth 0 points
- The highest number of points that can be scored is 9
When two cards are dealt and the value goes over 10 points (two figures), the back figure alone will be used. As an example, the player receives two sevens and has a total of 14. In this case, the rightmost digit will count and the player has a total of 4.
To draw a third card or not
Once a point has been assigned to the player, no third card will be dealt. In Baccarat, this decision will depend on the banker’s cards (more complicated game rules). But don’t worry. All the rules for both player and banker are found below. You don’t have to memorize them; the casino software or live dealer will do this for you.
However it is important that you are aware of these rules in order to better understand the game. Don’t get confused anymore about why sometimes a third card is dealt and sometimes not. Below you can see an example where a third card is drawn based on the value of the hand or when no more cards are dealt:
- The values 0 to 5 mean that the player draws another card.
- If the values are 6 and 7, no additional cards will be dealt.
- In the case of values 8 and 9 (also called “Natural”) no additional cards will be dealt either.
After the player’s hand is dealt, the banker’s hand is dealt. More things will be taken into account there because all actions from there will depend on the player’s point total:
- At 1 and 2, the banker will always take a card, regardless of the player’s point total.
- If it is 3, the banker will take another card if the player has a value of 1 to 7 and if the player has a 9-10.
- At 4, the banker will receive an additional card if the player’s hand is a 2 to 7 and the banker will stop if the player has a 1, 8, 9 or 10.
- At 5, the banker will take a card if the player’s hand is 4, 5, 6 or 7 and the banker will not receive a card if the player has a 1, 2, 3 or 8, 9 or 10.
- If it is 6, then the banker will receive an additional card if the player’s hand is 6 or 7. The banker will stop drawing cards if the player has a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 8, 9 or 10.
- At 7, the banker will stop drawing cards, regardless of the player’s hand.
- At 8 or 9, the banker will always pass, regardless of the player’s hand.
How can I win money and how much do I win?
After both hands are dealt they are compared. You will win the hand in the case of:
- Bet on a tie (Tie) and the banker and player play equally. In this case you will receive an 8:1 or 9:1 payout depending on the casino you are playing at. Did you bet €2? Then you will receive your own €2 back and then 8x€2 (€16) or 9x€2 (€18). So you win a total of €18 or €20.
- Bet on the player as the winner and this hand wins. This pays out 1:1. This means that if you bet €2, you get €2 back – plus an extra €2 (€4 in total).
- Bet on the banker as the winner and this hand wins. This pays out 1:1. You pay 5% commission (fee) because this bet wins the most in Baccarat and comes with the lowest house edge. This means that with a bet of €2 you first get your €2 – 5% = €0.10 back (€1.90) and again €2 – 5% = €1.90. You win in this case €3.80 in total.
If your prediction is incorrect, all your money is lost. Basically this is all you need to know about the Punto Banco version that you find in many European casinos, also called Chemin de Fer. Now let’s look at other Baccarat types, where special rules have been added. In these versions, you can sometimes make decisions after the hands have already been dealt.
You can find plenty of Baccarat types, where you play with additional rules and you can also place money on side bets. Below you’ll find the most well-known Baccarat variants and find out what makes them so unique. In addition, you will also be introduced to important side bets that can be used to win extra money.
Baccarat Chemin de Fer
The original and most popular version of baccarat is baccarat chemin de fer. This type of baccarat originated in France. One player will be appointed as the banker and will deal the cards. The banker will be able to pay out all the bets made by players. This important role will go around the table counter-clockwise, giving each player a chance to become the banker. A unique rule to this game is that a third card is not always dealt, even if the rules would allow it. It is up to the player and banker to accept or decline.
Chemin de fer is the Baccarat variant that has often been mentioned in James Bond movies such as GoldenEye, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderbolt and Casino Royale. However, Baccarat had to give way to Texas Hold’em Poker in the movie Casino Royale, due to its popularity being many times higher at that time.
Furthermore, a player will remain the banker as long as he / she keeps winning. Once he / she left, this role is immediately passed to another player. What makes this Baccarat game so unique is the fact that three hands are dealt. One to the player on the right, one to the player on the left and a third hand to himself.
There can be ten players at a table at one time. Five on the right side and five on the left. From there, the third card will be able to be accepted or refused by the banker himself, just as is the case with Chemin de Fer. However, Baccarat Banque is more often found in American casinos.
EZ Baccarat uses the same rules as the original version. One exception is that you don’t have to pay a 5% fee on winning bets on the banker. You just get paid out 1:1. However, they do have an additional rule that if the point total with three cards totals 7, that it ends in a tie, also known as a push.
This rule takes the house edge from 1.06% to 1.018% for a bet on the banker. Basically, it amounts to the same thing because you then pay 4.912% commission instead of 5% in the long run, but there is the possibility that you won’t win any money with the point total of 7 with three cards.
The Mini Baccarat game can be played in many casinos. These are smaller tables that can accommodate seven players in total. It is also called the Baccarat with low bet limits because you can play with much lower stakes. Players will also not be able to touch the cards.
As you can see, there are plenty of Baccarat versions out there. And each version will come with special game rules. The house edge does not differ much per variant and it will depend on the casino which variants you can all play.
These days real baccarat is hardly offered anywhere. First of all, you never have the chance to be the banker as you should be. For one thing, you never get the chance to be the banker you’re supposed to be. Most casino games based on traditional baccarat don’t come with a dealer but are powered by software. In live baccarat you do play and communicate with live dealers.
The usual rules do not differ much from each other. For example, betting on a tie will still offer 8:1 or 9:1 payouts. Some will even offer Baccarat variants where you don’t have to pay a commission for a bet on the banker, a big advantage! Whether you call it Punto Banco or Baccarat, these games are the same.
The betting limits at a casino
Betting limits do vary widely. Casinos allow players to play from as little as $5.00. While some casinos play with higher minimum limits, at such casinos it is possible for a beginner to start playing with real money right away. You don’t risk much money and you can set the pace yourself. Each casino has different limits, but usually the maximum betting limits will be around $100, $250, $500 or $1,000. In other casinos, this number is often higher, up to a maximum of €5000 per hand.
An interesting Baccarat variant to play will be found in the land-based casino. Here the cards are dealt by real dealers. After roulette and blackjack, Baccarat is the most common casino game in a live casino environment. The dealers will always be well dressed and help you with questions. Casino studios will vary from casino to casino but are often Asian or European in style.
One of the most famous variations of live Baccarat is “Live Baccarat Squeeze”. In this, the live dealers will do everything they can to make it as exciting as possible for the players. The cards are dealt from a deck by the live dealer. Two cards from the banker are immediately revealed and one card from the player is revealed. The player’s second card is slowly turned over until the card is revealed.
These are the most familiar Baccarat terms
If you are walking around a casino and see a Baccarat table, don’t be afraid and take a seat. Don’t worry about the rules of the game because they are easy to master – and more importantly, the game is not only for the “elite” but also for novice and low limit players.
The moment you place a bet, all you have to do is wait for the outcome. See below for some familiar terms so you can better understand the game of Baccarat.
A baccarat version offered in American casinos.
Chemin de fer
A baccarat type mainly found in European casinos. It has multiple spots available to players and is also known as “Baccarat en Banque”.
In most Baccarat varieties you will have to pay 5% commission (fee) for the banker bet. This commission is charged for specific bets that have a very low house edge.
At the larger casinos, there will often be two dealers present at a baccarat table. One will be positioned on the left or right side of the table and one in the middle to deal the cards.
A player who plays with higher stakes than the average player. Baccarat is often associated with highrollers because of the high maximum bet limits made available in an exclusive section in casinos. Often these are wealthy customers who are attracted to this game.
When the first two cards are immediately a winning hand with a value of 8 or 9. The round of play ends immediately and the bets are collected and paid out.
A large wooden stick used by dealers in a casino. It allows the dealer to place cards on the table more easily.
Exclusive VIP area for the high rollers in a casino.
Punto Banco is the Spanish name for Baccarat and originated in Argentina. You could play the game in the casinos of Mar del Plata.
A slipper, also often called “Shoe,” is a box where the dealer deals out the cards. In land-based casinos, the player with the highest bet may also hand the cards to the player with the second highest bet. In Mini Baccarat, the dealer will do this.
The “Tie” stands for draw and is one of the three bets available on a Baccarat table. This bet pays out 8 to 1 because a tie between the player and banker does not happen very often. It also has a huge house edge of 14.2%.
Would you like to get familiar with the various side bets of Baccarat variants? These can sometimes bring in a lot of money, but are more difficult to predict. See below which side bets are most common:
Dragon 7 and Panda 8 at EZ Baccarat
At EZ Baccarat you can win a payout of 40 to 1 if the banker has a value of 7 with three cards in hand. However, you need to have wagered on this. This side bet comes with a house edge of 7.61%. If the player has three cards with a value of 8 and you have bet on it, you can receive a payout of 25 to 1. This side bet comes with a house edge of 10.19%.
In London casinos, the “Royal Match” is often offered. This is a bet where the player or banker gets a king and queen in hand with the first two cards. This pays 75 to 1 payout for a king and queen of the same suit and 30 to payout for a king and queen off-suit (not the same suit). It has a house edge of 2.13%.
A Baccarat game where players play with an animated dealer. With this bet, 75 to 1 for a bet on the player or 68 to 1 payout for a bet on the banker (commission deducted) can be won, provided the winning hand is formed with a ‘three of a kind’. For example 6-6-6 (point total of 18 = 8). The house edge of betting on the player is 5.27%. Are you going to bet on the banker? Then you are playing with a house edge of 8.57%.
For Mini Baccarat lovers, there is a side bet where the payout depends on the point total won. The highest value (9) pays 30 to 1 payout.
4-5-6, Big and Small, Either Pair and Perfect Pair
In this variation you can bet on a specific outcome, for example 4, 5 or 6. A 4 pays 3 to 1 and 5 and 6 pay 2:1. Big and Small amounts to the same thing. The Small is a bet on the 4 and the Big is a bet on 5 or 6 as the winning hand. The house edge for the “Small” is 5.27% and for the “Big” it is 4.35%.
The “Either Pair” basically means that if the player’s or banker’s first two cards form a pair, it will offer 5 to 1 payout. A “Perfect Pair” will allow a payout of 25 to 1 if a perfect pair is formed with the first two cards. This means a pair of the same suit.
One of the most interesting side bets in baccarat is the “Matching Dragon”. Mainly because this side bet is often found in casinos in Macau (one of the biggest gambling cities in the world).
Many Asian players are lovers of Baccarat, so casinos decided to add extra bets to the game. Players are paid out based on the number of cards used to win a bet. See below how it works:
- 1 card pays 1 to 1.
- 2 cards pay 3 to 1.
- 3 cards pay 20 to 1.
- 4 cards pay 40 to 1.
- 5 cards pay 660 against 1.
- 6 cards pay 100 at 1.
Do you decide to go to Las Vegas? Then you can get acquainted with the side bet “Rabbit Play”. In many casinos in Las Vegas you can play a Baccarat type where you can win up to 500 to 1 payouts. See below for the payouts for each side bet:
- The first two cards form a pair, without being of the same suit: pays 7 to 1.
- The first two cards form a pair of the same suit: pays 15 to 1.
- A three of a kind, without being of the same suit: pays 50 to 1.
- A three of a kind consisting of the same suit: pays 500 to 1.
Can you win with a strategy?
In fact, there is no casino strategy or wagering system that will allow you to beat the casino at the game of Baccarat. Physical casinos will give you notebooks with pencils so you can keep track of the results of hands. Many players are superstitious and may make a different decision in the next hand based on previously played hands. They kind of follow patterns.
The real experts will say that it is a waste of time, and that there is really no way to bring down the casino’s house edge. Card counting won’t work either as it can with blackjack. The advantages of playing Baccarat are very small – and even very rare! Often it will be the last five to twenty cards in the deck where there is better prediction of whether the player or banker will win a hand.
What about betting systems?
The betting systems you normally use on games like roulette will not work in Baccarat either. Many ‘advantage gamblers’ will use the Martingale system. Somewhat it can have an effect on the outcomes and final results, but then you should not lose too many consecutive rounds. Whether it has a positive or negative effect in the short term, this progressive betting system can actually start to cost you more money.
There are plenty of ways in which you can get a bit ahead, but this comes down more to making wise decisions. Below are some tips that will at least help you reduce your expected hourly losses in the long run:
- Betting on the banker is the best possible bet with the lowest house edge of 1.06%. At the same time, this is the bet with which you will lose the most money because you often have to pay a 5% fee.
- Never bet on a ‘Tie’, also known as a draw. This comes with a very high house edge of 14% and does not happen often. Unless you like to take risks.
- Look for casinos where you can play casino bonuses free on the Baccarat tables.
- Find Baccarat types that are played with more decks. When you play Baccarat with six to eight decks, you will only pay 4% commission on the banker bets. This reduces the house edge by 0.50%.
Frequently asked questions about baccarat
🏆 How do I win a bet at Baccarat?
🏆 How do I win a bet at Baccarat?
Baccarat is one of the easiest games to learn, with players having a choice of three betting options in each round. You can bet money on Bank, Player, or Tie (Draw). If your prediction is correct, your bet wins.
💰 Should I always bet on Bank?
Not always, but with the mathematically proven odds of 45.85% for a bet on the Bank in each round compared to the 44.62% of a bet on the Player, it’s safe to say that in the long run it’s best to bet on the Bank.
🧮 Does card counting work in live Baccarat?
Yes, just like with Live Blackjack, you can count cards at the game of Live Baccarat. The remaining cards in the deck can have a lot of influence on the results. Based on keeping a count, you decide whether to bet your money on the Bank or Player.
🃏 How many decks are used in Baccarat?
Most Baccarat variants in a land-based casino are played with eight decks of 52 playing cards per deck. Sometimes you can make your own choice and come across variations that are played with six decks, for example.
💶 What does the commission mean in baccarat?
Most casinos require players to pay 5% commission with the winning of a Bank bet. This is because the casino’s edge with this bet is quite low, and they increase the advantage with it.
Now that you are familiar with the Baccarat game rules, types, side bets and terms. You will always find a Baccarat type that suits your own preferences well. For novice casino players, it is ideal to try out Baccarat on our website the game are offered free of charge. Practice well first, keep this page handy in case you get stuck and play without risking any money.
Briefly and for the sake of completeness
Baccarat is a game that originated in Italy and has been played since the 15th century. A century later the game was also played at the French court, where the rich elite won or lost fortunes. From then on, other Baccarat types emerged, such as Chemin de Fer, Punto Banco and Baccarat Manque.