Baccarat Guide: Your Ultimate Baccarat Playing Resource

Baccarat is one of the classic games in the casino world. Some claim it dates back to the 15th century . Yet, it stands up today as one of the most thrilling games both online and offline.

According to the Ian Fleming novels, it’s James Bond’s favourite game . If it’s good enough for the legendary spy, then there’s plenty in this game to leave you both shaken and stirred…

If you want a taste of agent life, or simply want to get to know the game of baccarat, then you’ve come to the right place. Take a glance at our complete guide to baccarat right here. But remember, it’s For Your Eyes Only…

An Introduction to Baccarat

Baccarat is a popular card game that is played in casinos across the world. Similar to blackjack, it’s a game between the player and the banker and is a game that was introduced to the world hundreds of years ago.

Our beginner’s guide is designed to take you through exactly how to play baccarat, complete with all the key rules to get you on your feet and ensure you know exactly what you’re doing when you hit the online baccarat tables.

The History of Baccarat

There are two versions of history when it comes to baccarat and both are hotly debated as to the origins of the game. One thing is for sure, the game started life in France.

There are sources that claim the game was introduced into the country by Italy during the Franco-Italian war in the 15th century, while others believe it emerged more towards the 19th century.

What is for sure, is that it began to grow in popularity during the Napoleonic era and spread across Europe into the popular card game it is today.

Both online and in the casinos of Las Vegas, the game continues to grow in popularity and here at BetVictor we now have a range of variations from Lightning Baccarat to Baccarat Squeeze.

Getting to Know Baccarat

If you’re completely new to baccarat, it shouldn’t take you too long to get to grips with the basics. It’s a relatively simple game to play and enjoy and, as it is a game between player and dealer, you only really have to concentrate on two sets of cards.

In many online versions of baccarat, you will be the only player at the table, which simplifies the playing process even more. As the player don’t have to take any actions besides placing your bet, making it the perfect entry level game for players new to the BetVictor online casino.

The Aim of Baccarat

Baccarat is all about the player’s hand compared to the dealer’s hand and a player must bet on which hand will finish closest to a total value of nine. Unlike other card games you can bet on the opponent’s hand, or indeed a tie.

The aim of the game is to correctly predict which of the two hands will therefore finish closest to a value of nine. For example, a player may be dealt two cards totalling three with the dealer being dealt two cards with a total of five. In this instance the dealer would be closest to the value of nine and a bet placed on the dealer would win.

Table Layout

If you are looking to start your baccarat adventure, then it is always useful to get familiar with your surroundings, beginning with the layout of the table.

As it’s a game between player and banker, and there are no actions a player must take, aside from betting on the outcome, the table itself is very basic.

One of the main features of the table you need to be aware of is where you place your chips for the type of bet you wish to place. On a baccarat table you’ll find three sections as annotated on the graphic above.

  • The Player section is where you place your chips if you believe the player’s hand will be dealt as the closest to nine.
  • The Bank section is where you place your chips if you wish to place your bet on the banker’s hand being closest to a total value of nine.
  • The number on the table in which the player is sitting is where a player places their chips if they wish to bet on a tie. In some cases, it may also be a section which is labelled ‘Tie’.

Baccarat Bets

There are three types of bet you can place in baccarat, with where you place the bets detailed above. The bets involve betting on who they believe will be dealt a hand closest to the value of nine and each bet carries different payouts.

Betting on the Player

A bet on the player’s hand is paid out at 1 to 1 and is backing yourself to have the closest hand. With this wager you’ll receive a full payout, so if you were to place a £10 bet, you would receive £10 in winnings.

Betting on the Dealer

Betting on the dealer is slightly different. While paid out at 1 to 1, you are also required to pay a 5% commission. Therefore, if you were to bet £10 and win, you’d only receive £9.50 in winnings.

Betting on the Tie

A bet on the tie carries a larger payout of 8 to 1 (in standard baccarat games – some variations have different payouts that will be detailed on the table), but of course the odds of this outcome occurring is also much lower. This means if you were to make a bet of £10 on a tie, you would receive £80 in winnings. No commission is charged on this outcome.

Baccarat Card Values

Understanding the card values is one of the most important aspects of learning the game of baccarat, as they do differ to the likes of blackjack and poker.

The game itself is usually played with eight decks of cards, and for the most part the values on the cards are respective of their values.

In some instances that isn’t the case though. Where in Blackjack the 10 and face cards carry a value of 10, in baccarat they are worth zero. So, if you were to be dealt a nine and a King, this would give you a total card value of nine.

In baccarat the Ace card carries a value of one.

When it comes to hand values, the highest a hand can total is nine, with anything over considered “bust”. However, it is possible to readjust your total if it does exceed nine.

This is done by dropping the first digit of the sum. For example, if you were to be dealt two sevens, you’d have a total value of 14. If you were to drop the first digit, this would give you a value of 4.

Therefore, if any hand exceeds nine, you will drop the first digit, or in other words subtract by 10 to gain your competitive hand value.

Dealing A Third Card

There are also points in the game where you or the banker may be required to be dealt a third card. There is no decision a player or dealer has to make on this, with a third card dealt dependent on the initial cards two cards dealt.

Dealt 8 or 9

If a player is dealt an eight or nine initially, then the hand is considered natural and no further cards are drawn for that particular hand.

A Player’s Hand

If a player is dealt a six or seven, alongside an eight or nine, then no third card is drawn for a player.

If a player is dealt a hand that values between zero and five, a third card is drawn which will then be their completed hand value.

A Dealer’s Hand

When it comes to the dealer’s hand and a third card being drawn, it is slightly different. This is largely dependent on the player’s hand. Below are a series of circumstances where the dealer will be dealt a third card:

  • The dealer will receive a third card if his initial hand is of a value of two or less
  • The dealer will receive a third card on a value of three unless a player receives a third card that was eight
  • The dealer receives a third card on a hand value of four if the player’s third card is between two and seven
  • The dealer will receive a third card on a value of five if the player’s third card is between four and seven
  • The dealer will receive a third card on a value of six if the player’s third card is between six and seven
  • If the dealer’s hand has a value of seven or above, they do not receive a third card.

How to Play Baccarat

Now you have a firm idea of the intricacies of baccarat, it is time to start playing. The process of playing baccarat is incredibly simple and due to the rules highlighted above, as a player you aren’t required to make any decisions aside from who you wish to bet on.

Below you’ll find our step-by-step process of playing baccarat…

Step 1: Placing Your Bet

Of course, the first step when playing baccarat is the placing of your bet. This is done before each hand is dealt, so you are making the decision before you have seen any cards. There will be minimum and maximum betting limits at any online baccarat table or in a casino, so you need to be mindful of this.

Once you have confirmed your bet, you can then allow the cards to be dealt.

Step 2: The Deal

The cards are then dealt face up, with two on the player’s spot and two on the dealer’s spot. If the player’s hand is six or above, no cards are drawn for the player and the play moves to the dealer. If the dealer has a value of seven or above, no third card is drawn for the dealer.

Step 3: The Third Card

If a player has a total value of zero to five, then a third card will be drawn for the player. The player’s hand is first to receive a third card, with the dealer then being dealt a third card in the applicable manner based upon the rules noted above. Once third cards are drawn, it is time to compare the cards.

Step 4: The Payout

Once all cards have been dealt, including any third cards, the winning hand is the one with a total value closest to nine. If a player has bet on the correct hand, they win. If they have bet on the wrong hand, they lose.

Baccarat Odds

There have been many calculations down the years on the odds of winning in baccarat, and as the payout of 1 to 1 suggests, it is fairly even between dealer and player.

However, the house has the slight edge in the game as highlighted in the statistics below:

Hand Win % Loss % Tie %
Player 44.63 45.87 9.51
Dealer 45.87 44.63

Baccarat Variants

There are a number of different variations of baccarat these days, most of which carry similar rules with slight differences. Among the most common variations are:

Mini Baccarat

A popular variation here at BetVictor is Mini Baccarat, which is essentially a condensed version of the game. Unlike the standard game, it accommodates for only seven players round the table rather than eight and it generally has lower betting rates than it’s older sibling. In terms of rules, they play exactly the same as those highlighted above.

Chemin de Fer

It’s James Bond’s favourite and is the classic French version of the game. Where it differs slightly is that it only uses six decks of cards and in offline versions the players themselves act as bankers, rotating on every hand.

In this variant, cards are also dealt face down and the decision for a third card is decided by the player rather than based upon the rules noted in this baccarat guide. This variation is not found online due to the more interactive elements which cannot be replicated.

Punto Banco

Punto Banco is a variation which comes from Cuba and welcomes a much larger number of players around the table, in some cases as many as 14. The way the game is played is much the same as the classic form, with players not deciding on their third card, but rather a third card being drawn on a set of rules.

Baccarat Glossary

Like all online casino games, there are a handful of terms that can often be a little confusing. If you’re ready to play but would like to learn more about the lingo, then look through our complete baccarat glossary for all the terminology you need to know…

B:

Baccarat: This is a term given to the worst hand in baccarat and describes a term with a value of zero. This would occur when being dealt two cards from 10, Jack, Queen, King.

Banco: This is the Spanish term for banker, or dealer. The game Punto Banco essentially translates as Player Banker

Banker Bet: One of the three common bets in baccarat and is a bet on the dealer’s hand to be closest to nine.

C:

Chemin De Fer: A blackjack variation that is popular in France.

Cheques: In brick-and-mortar casinos, baccarat is played with a particular type of chip which is called a cheque.

Commission: This is paid when a winning bet is placed on the dealer’s hand is closest to nine. This is due to the low house edge in baccarat and the fact the dealer’s bet wins slightly more frequently than the player’s bet.

Croupier: A French term for dealer that is also used throughout the world.

D:

Dragon Bet: This is a side bet that can be played in some variants in which a player can also bet on the number of points a winning hand will win by.

M:

Monkey: This is a slang term used for either a face card or a 10, which effectively carry a zero value.

N:

Natural: A Natural is a hand dealt that either totals eight or nine.

P:

Punto: This is the Spanish term for Player. Punto Banco translates as Player Banker.

Punto Banco: Punto Banco is a popular baccarat variant that hails from Cuba.

S:

Standoff: This is a term to describe a tie in which the player and dealer have exactly the same value hand.

T:

Tie: This is when the player and dealer have the same value hands. If you bet on the tie it pays out at 8 to 1 in standard Baccarat games.

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