Baccarat has been one of the most popular card games since at least the 19th century – although, it’s said to have originated in 15th century Italy. The baccarat table is one of the most recognisable features of the game and there’s plenty to know about it. From the different types of table to who sits where this guide explains what you need to know about the baccarat table.
A Beginner's Guide To Baccarat
A favourite chance-based card game of many gamblers, baccarat is played in land and online casinos across the globe. The object of the game is to get a score as close to 9 as possible from the cards that have been dealt – see below for the card values:
Tens, jacks, queens and kings = 0
Aces = 1
Number cards have their face value of 2-9
Baccarat is played between the players sat at the baccarat table (up to 14 players can play at one time) and the banker. Baccarat betting rounds are called coups and you can make three types of bet — player, banker or tie — and they all have different odds and house edge:
Banker: player edge of 1.24%; house edge of 8:1
Quick Guide To The Rules Of Baccarat
The basic rules of baccarat are extremely straightforward – each coup held at the baccarat table begins with the banker and player being dealt two cards. The dealer only deals additional cards as the rounds of betting progress. There are also specific rules for the player and banker about dealing more cards:
If their first two cards have a total of 0-5: players are dealt a third card
If their first two cards have a total of 6-7: players stand
If the player stands: they follow the same rules as the player (acting depending on their total)
If the player was dealt a third card then the dealer’s next action depends on the total of their first two cards and the player's third card. If they total:
2 - The banker is dealt a third card (irrespective of the player’s third card)
3 - The banker takes a third card (unless the player’s third was an 8)
4 - The banker draws again if the player’s third card was one of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
5 - The banker draws again if the player’s third was one of 5, 6, 7
6 - The banker draws again if the player’s third was either a 6 or a 7
7 - The banker stands
The American Baccarat Table Has A Unique Design
A full-size American baccarat table is one of the most recognisable features of the game. It features a unique design with 14 numbered sections. Americans are very superstitious about the number 13, so the table’s number range from 1-15 but with number 13 completely missing.
The table is shaped like a pair of 3D glasses, with sections 1-7 located on one side of the baccarat table and sections 8-15 on the other. Each player (of which there can be up to 14) sits in front of one of the numbers.
The three dealers are positioned in the middle section of the table, with dealers two and three situated next to each other, and dealer one (the caller or croupier) opposite them.
Check out the video below to see what the full-size baccarat table looks like, along with getting a simple guide to the game:
The Mini-Baccarat Table Has Its Own Design
As the name suggests, mini-baccarat is a smaller version of American baccarat. A maximum of seven players (there are seven numbered sections for them) can play on a mini-baccarat table, along with one casino rep, which means the table is smaller than the American version.
While the mini-baccarat table still has a unique, it can look slightly different depending on which casino you play it at. The classic and most popular design is shaped like a half-moon, with the players positioned along the curve and the dealer sat in the centre of the linear part of the table.
The rules at the mini-baccarat table differ only slightly from the full version of baccarat. While the basic rules of the game are the same, the dealer turns over all the cards (in full-size baccarat the players turn over some of the cards).
Watch the video below to see what the mini-baccarat table looks like, as well as getting a quick overview of how to play the game:
Location Of The Baccarat Table
American full-size baccarat tables are located in a roped-off part of the casino, known as the baccarat pit. This adds to the allure of the game by giving it an exclusive feel, like a VIP club.
It’s also possible to find a baccarat table on the casino floor. The baccarat table on the casino floor is not usually the full-size version; It’s usually a mini-baccarat table.
Online Baccarat Table
The explosion in popularity of online casinos, since the first online casino was created by Microgaming in 1996, means that there are now many websites that allow you to play baccarat in your own home.
Online baccarat tables often follow the design of the mini-baccarat tables you find in land casinos, using the half-moon shape and with space for seven players – although, you will typically be the only player at the table.
The online baccarat table features the same three betting sections you find on real baccarat tables:
You can find the best online baccarat tables by checking our reviews section, where we provide extensive feedback on the standard of the baccarat games offered by the UK’s top online casinos.
Number Of Players Sat At A Baccarat Table
Around the baccarat table, there are numbered spaces where players should stand. A full-size baccarat table is numbered from 1 to 15. Do not, however, be fooled. There is only space for 14 players around the table (7 on each side). The number 13 is not printed on the table as it’s considered to be bad luck by many players. It would be difficult for a casino to get a player to stand at the slot numbered 13.
Mini-baccarat tables are designed to seat a maximum of seven players, along with one dealer. There are seven numbered sections to indicate where the players should sit and place their bets, with the dealer positioned opposite the players and in the centre of the table.
Baccarat Table Layout
There are two different versions of baccarat – American (or full-size) baccarat and mini-baccarat. The baccarat table layout depends on whether you play the American or min version of the game.
American Baccarat Table Layout
The American baccarat table is layout is split into 14 sections for the players (numbered 1-15, with 13 not included), with separate sections for the three dealers.
Mini Baccarat Table Layout
The mini-baccarat table layout is sectioned into seven areas for the players (numbered 1-7), and one for the dealer.
Baccarat Table Limits
Baccarat is known for being a high roller game, especially the full-size version. This means that you can often find tables (in the exclusive areas of swanky casinos) that have limits of up to £100,000.
However, baccarat isn’t only for the richest gamblers. Full-size tables can have limits that start at £50, while mini-baccarat has gained in popularity because it has much lower table limits; some reputable online casinos, for example, have limits that start at £1.
How To Read A Baccarat Table
Baccarat is a game of chance, meaning that you cannot read baccarat tables in the same way as games like poker – where you might spot players playing bad hands and continuing to pump money into the table.
Instead of trying to read a baccarat table, you should focus on preventing the other players from distracting you and causing you to make bet sizes that take you beyond sensible bankroll management.
How many betting positions are there on the baccarat table
While there are either 14 (American) or 7 (mini) sections for players to place their bets on a baccarat table, the number of betting positions remains the same:
Check out the video below for tips on how to use a strategy where you only make player bets while you’re at the baccarat table:
Casino Employees Sat At The Baccarat Table
There are three casino employees that will be at a full-size baccarat table. There is the croupier, also known as the caller, and two dealers.
The croupier is the casino employee who directs the game and calls out what is happening. The caller is the one who ensures the rules of the game are followed correctly, and will also tell players when they should hit or stand. Part of the caller's job is also to collect the commissions that players pay on winnings made on the banker bets.
The other two casino employees (the dealers) stand on the opposite side of the table to the croupier. One dealer will service the players playing at the spaces marked 1 through 7, and the other dealer will service players playing at the spaces marked 8 - 15. These dealers pay off the debts of the casino when a player wins a bet, and remove the bets from the table when a player loses a hand.
At a mini-baccarat table, there is just one casino employee, the dealer, and they fulfil all the roles carried out by the croupier and dealers at a full-size table.
Is Baccarat A Good Game To Play?
Baccarat is one of the most widely played card games on the planet, with casinos across the globe having either a full-size or mini-baccarat table. This is because it’s a fast-paced game (particularly the mini version) that’s very easy to learn.
What Is The Best Strategy For Baccarat?
Baccarat is a game of chance, which means that the strategy you take when playing should be informed by the odds associated with the bets available to you – dealer, player or tie.
Banker: player edge of 1.24%; house edge of 8:1
How Do I Bet On Baccarat?
To place a baccarat bet, you sit down at the table, decide how large your bet will be (taking account of the minimum and maximum bet allowed at the table you’re playing at), then move your bet into either the player, banker or tie section.