Baccarat is one of those casino card games that was popularized worldwide through film and literature. Made most famous by the dealings of James Bond, the notorious ‘Double-O-Seven’, in the book and movie ‘Casino Royale’, Baccarat has ever since been a game of intrigue and aristocratic wagers.

Though in live casinos, the Baccarat table is often sheltered by curtains and/or red-rope walkways, the high-roller atmosphere of the game is a mere misconception. The truth is, players of all bankroll sizes are equally welcome to play.

But if you don’t feel comfortable as a casual bettor at a live casino Baccarat table, online casinos have removed all stigma from the game by allowing players to bet on Baccarat from the comfort of home.

Baccarat – Game Setup

Baccarat can be played by multiple players, consisting of anywhere from 1 to 8 standard decks of cards. Baccarat is not usually a game that anyone “plays”, but rather bets on. The dealer plays out both hands, the Player and the Banker, according to specific hand development guidelines. Either the Banker’s or Player’s hand will win, unless it is a tie.

Baccarat – Objective

The object of Baccarat is to place a wager on the winning hand – the Player or the Banker. The closest hand to 9 wins. There is also a Tie bet on both hands resulting in the same value.

Baccarat – Card Ranks

Ace = 1
Face Card = 0
10 = 0
2-9 = Face Value

Baccarat – How To Play

Baccarat is played by placing a wager on the Player’s Hand, the Banker’s Hand or a Tie. Once all bets are placed, the dealer will deal two cards to the Player and Banker sides of the table. The cards are then added up in the following manner.

A hand may only reach a highest possible total of 9. If the value reaches 10+, the hand is recalculated by subtracting the 10. For example, if the hand value is 13, 10 is subtracted and the hand value becomes 3.

A hand of King-7 would equal 7. All 10’s and Face Cards are instantly dropped, having a value of 0, or 10, either way having the same result; the card is negated.

What happens next will be determined by each hand’s value.

Baccarat – Hand Development Guidelines

If either hand, Player or Banker, totals 8 or 9, both hands automatically stand. The hand closest to a value of 9 wins (except on a Tie).

If the Player’s hand totals 6 or 7, the Player’s hand will stand (take no more cards). When the Player stands, the Banker’s Hand must take one more card if the Banker’s total is 5 or below, and must stand if the total is 6 or above.

If the Player’s Hand totals 5 or below, a third card is dealt to the Player’s hand. When the Player hits, the Banker’s Hand must abide by the following set of rules:

Banker Hand Player’s 3rd Card Banker Must
0, 1 or 2 Any Draw a 3rd card
3 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 or 9 Draw a 3rd card
4 2,3,4,5,6 or 7 Draw a 3rd card
5 4,5,6 or 7 Draw a 3rd card
6 6 or 7 Draw a 3rd card
7 Any Stand
8 Any Stand
9 Any Stand

Baccarat – Pay Outs

Bet on Player: Pays 1-to-1
Bet on Banker: Pays 1-to-1, minus 5% commission
Bet on Tie: Pays 8-to-1

As we all know, the casino always has a house edge, no matter how miniscule it may be. The casino game of Baccarat is designed to give a slight advantage to the Banker, therefore a 5% commission is taken on all winning Banker bets to pull the house edge back to the casino’s favor. Betting on a Tie may look enticing due to the high payout, but the house edge is much higher on a Tie bet, and is not generally recommended.

More Casino Games