Probably you have already seen the Baccarat in films where it is played by aristocrats, VIPs, or even special agents, as, for example, it was in the movie Casino Royale 1954. Do you want to learn how to win cleverly, as James Bond did? Then don’t waste your time and read the rules below.
Purpose of the Game
The main goal is to predict who of the two possible hands will win. The winner is a hand that scores 9 points, or as close to 9 as possible. Regardless of the number of players (depending on the version of the game, there can be from 7 to 14), there are two hands in the Baccarat games – the Player and the Banker. At the beginning of the game, you place your bet. On the Baccarat table, you can see three common bets: “Player’s hand”, “Banker’s hand”, or “Tie”. Then the dealer gives two cards face up to each hand.
Baccarat Card Values
Cards from 2 to 9 take their face value. Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings count as 0 and Aces count as 1.
How to Count Points
As soon as cards are dealt, you count a total of the hand. If it reaches 10 or more, simply drop the first digit. So, if the Player got 9 + 4 = 13, the total value is 3.
If the Player or the Banker has received 8 or 9 points, then such a win is called “natural”. In this case, the game ends, the winner is announced, and players get their prizes.
In certain cases, when you play Baccarat a third card may be added to the Player, the Banker, or both. If none of the hands has 8 or 9 points, then it is possible to deal a third card. The Player is always the first to receive the cards, and therefore the Banker’s hand depends on the Player’s hand.
So, the actions of the Player after receiving the first two cards:
- 8-9 points – wins (or tie);
- 6-7 points – stands;
- 0-5 points – takes the third card.
If the Player stands (i.e., has only two cards), the Banker acts according to the same rules as the Player above. In other words, the banker stands with 6 or 7 and draws a third card with a score of 0–5.
If the Player draws, the Banker’s acts depend on the third card the Player:
If both the Player and the Banker have 6s (or 7s), then it results in a tie.
In casino baccarat games, there are also sheets at the table to monitor your points. In online baccarat, as a rule, there is a virtual sheet where the hands are automatically recorded. It helps you to track your score.
After the winner is announced, the dealer collects losing bets. Winning bets are paid according to the odds. The odds and payouts in the Baccarat games are straightforward.
- The bet on “Player” pays even money 1 to 1.
- The bet on “Banker” pays 19 to 20 (if the Banker’s hand wins, the casino takes a commission of 5%).
- The bet on “Tie” pays 9 to 1 (or 8 to 1).
The game has one of the lowest House Edge, that is why Bacarrat is so popular among gamblers.
Baccarat has different odds depending on the number of decks, and possible bets (there can be more than three in some versions). Usually, there are 8 decks, but it can take 6 (mini baccarat), or even 1.
Since the choice of bets in a baccarat game is limited, many strategies are based on the change of bets; value and depend on the previous results of the game. One more popular strategy is to bet on the Banker. In this case, the House Edge is very low, but it will take a 5% commission. Therefore, we can conclude that it is better to avoid bets on Tie because the House Edge is about 14.4%.
There doesn’t really exist a win-win strategy, but you can play Baccarat online for free and practice different strategies. Decide in advance how much you can lose, and learn to finish the game as soon as your limit is reached.