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Baccarat Game Guide

Baccarat Game Rules

Baccarat Game Rules - How To Play Baccarat

Few casino games give gamblers better odds for winning than baccarat, with the house often having an edge of just 1.04% over players. It’s a fast-paced card game, played on a unique table that comes in three different versions.

Baccarat game rules are simple to pick up, meaning even first-time players can quickly get up to speed. Below we’ve covered everything you need to know about the rules for playing baccarat, from the fundamentals of banker versus player to multiple decks.

Basic Baccarat Rules

Baccarat is a card game of chance that involves two figures – the banker (Banco) and Punto (player) – and is played on a customised table that can hold an average of 14 players. Eight decks of cards are used in baccarat and they are kept in a dealing box known as a shoe (this is also called the bank).

The basic rule of baccarat is very simple: at the start of each round of betting (known as a coup) the banker and player are each dealt two cards, with the option for further cards being dealt as the coup progresses.

Gamblers need to bet on who (the banker or the player) will get nearest to the total of 9 with their two dealt cards, or on there being a tie. Each bet has the following odds/payouts:

  • Banker’s hand wins: Player has an edge of 1.24%; House has an edge of 1.06%

  • Player’s hand wins: 1:1

  • Tie: 8:1

Baccarat Rules Of Betting: Banker Versus The Player

The betting rules of baccarat dictate that wagers are placed on the player winning, banker winning, or there being a tie. In baccarat, there are rules for both the player’s and the banker’s hands:

Baccarat Rules For The Player’s Hand

If the first two cards dealt to the player have a combined value of over 6 the player must stand, which means that no more cards are dealt and their hand ‘stands’. However, if the value of the player’s first two cards is 5 or less then the player is dealt another card.

Baccarat Rules For The Banker’s Hand

If the banker’s first two cards either match or exceed 7 the banker has to stand and receives no further cards. If the first two cards dealt to the banker are lower than 7 the rules for progressing the coup are more complex than those for the player:

If the banker’s hand is 0, 1, or 2

The banker is dealt one more card

If the banker’s hand is 3, 4, 5, or 6

The player must choose whether to be dealt another card. If the player is dealt another card, the banker must also take another. If the player doesn’t choose to take another card, the banker must stand.

Overview Of The Rules Of Play

While it’s not the simplest card game and you do need to be aware of the nuances to each hand, the basic rules of baccarat are easy to pick up:

  • One player faces off against the banker

  • Each round of betting is called a coup

  • A coup begins with the player and banker being dealt two cards

  • Player’s rules apply to the hand they are dealt

  • Banker’s rules apply to the hand they are dealt

  • The hand closest to 9 wins

However, along with this overview of the rules of play, there are some additional baccarat rules you need to know when playing in either a land or online casino.

What Are The Rules In Baccarat When The Cards Total More Than 9?

If the cards dealt add up to more than 9, their values are added together and the 1 is taken away to give the total. For instance, if there were two 9s the sum would be 9+9 = 18, so you would remove the 1 to give a total of 8.

What Are The Rules In Baccarat When Player Or Banker Is Dealt A Total Of 9?

If the banker or player is dealt a total of 8 or 9 then they both stand.

What Are The Rules In Baccarat When Player Chooses To Stand?

If a player has decided to stand then the banker must hit (be dealt another card) if their cards total 5 or less.

Overview Of The Card Values In Baccarat

Baccarat follows a similar rule to blackjack when it comes to the value of the cards in the game – the value of all of the royal cards (Jack, Queen, and King) is 10. However, an ace is valued at 1 – unlike blackjack, where an ace is either 1 or 10 (depending on which better supports your goal of making a score of 21). The other cards in baccarat represent their face value: So, 9 is 9, 8 is 8, and so on.

Rules For Winning Bets In Baccarat

Beyond the odds for player, banker, and tie bets (which you can find in the Basic Baccarat Rules section of this guide), there are no rules for winning bets in baccarat. However, there are trends and strategies which are used to help you to make a winning bet in baccarat.

We’ve covered these four trends and two strategies in detail in our How To Win At Baccarat guide, but below you can find a brief overview of them below:

Four Trends Of Baccarat  

  • Zigzag zone: Results zigzag between player and banker

  • Streaky bankers and players: Player and banker experience winning and losing streaks

  • Trend switch treatment: Change your betting to keep in touch with a winning trend

  • Hovering state: Playing defensively without a clear trend to your betting

Rules Of The One-Sided Baccarat Strategy

The main rule of the one-sided baccarat strategy is to focus on one bet only – either the player or the banker. The benefit to using this approach is that lets the player or banker build up an advantage over time.

Rules Of The Breaking The Doubles Strategy

The rule to using the breaking the doubles strategy is that you adopt the zigzag zone and bet on the opposite of the pattern.

Explanation Of Baccarat Game And Rule Variations

There are three variations of baccarat – mini, midi, and full-size. While each share many of the same rules, there are some differences to how the games are played.

Rules Of Mini-Baccarat

Mini-baccarat uses the same rules of full-size baccarat, with one major exception: in mini-baccarat, the dealer turns over all the cards whereas in full-size-baccarat the players turn over some. This makes for a faster-paced game than full-size-baccarat.

Rules Of Midi-Baccarat

Midi-baccarat employs the same rules as mini-baccarat. Where the two differ is that the table is larger in midi-baccarat, so that more gamblers can play.

Rules Of Full-Size-Baccarat

Full-size baccarat follows the rules explained throughout this guide – the action is between the banker and player, with bets placed on either those two figures winning, or on a tie.

Overview Of Different Baccarat Tables

While the three variations of baccarat (mini, midi, and full-size) all follow broadly the same rules, they do have tables of different sizes.

Baccarat Game Variation

Table Size

Mini

Up to 7 players

Midi

Up to 9 players

Full-size

Up to 14 players

Below you can see the layout of a full-size baccarat table:

Some of the other features you will find on the tables of the two smaller versions of baccarat include:

  • The caller is located in the centre of the table

  • The chip rack is placed near the caller

  • There are seven boxes to collect the commission

  • The shoe and chips are set by the side of the croupier

Underneath you can see an example of a smaller baccarat table:


Rules Of Multiple Decks In Baccarat Games

Baccarat is played with multiple decks of cards. Standard baccarat games are played with eight decks of cards but some use six decks. There are no defined rules on whether the game should be played with six or eight decks.

The number of decks of cards used in baccarat changes the odds of winning for gamblers playing the game. For example:

Odds In A Six Deck Game Of Baccarat

  • Player: 44.63%

  • Banker:45.87%

  • Tie: 9.51%

Odds In An Eight Deck Game Of Baccarat

  • Player: 44.62%

  • Banker:45.86%

  • Tie: 9.52%

FAQs

Is Baccarat A Good Game To Play?

Baccarat is one of the most fun games you can play at a casino. This is because the basic rules are simple to pick up and the game is played at a fast pace.

How Do You Play Baccarat?

Baccarat is a card game played between one player and the banker, with aim of the game being to get as close to a score of nine from the cards dealt.  

All players sitting at the table bet on the outcome of the action between the two – bets are placed on either the banker or player winning, or game being tied.

What Casino Game Gives Me The Best Chance Of Winning?

The best way of deciding which casino game gives you the best chance of winning is to look at the RTP (return to player). RTP is the amount of money that goes back to players in the long run.

An example of how RTP works is that if a game has an RTP of 99% then it means £0.01 of every £1 gambled is returned to players over time. This would give the house an edge of 1% over the player.

The casino game with the highest RTP is blackjack, which typically has an RTP of 99% – based on a house edge of 1%. Baccarat often has an RTP as low as 89.94% – based on a house edge of 1.06%.