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How to Play Baccarat and Win in {{ "now"|date("Y") }}

Last Updated: 24/10/2022

If you have always wanted to know how to play baccarat and win, welcome to our ultimate guide. On the following page, we will provide everything you need to know about learning how to play baccarat, one of Las Vegas most famous card game. From basic rules to complex ideas, this article is perfect for beginner and expert baccarat players alike.

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Baccarat Rules: How Do You Play Baccarat

The first step when learning how to play baccarat online or at a brick-and-mortar casino is getting to grips with the basics whether you are playing a virtual or a live baccarat game. There are fundamental baccarat rules that every player should know. 

Let’s start with the gameplay rules you will need to know when playing for the first time. Baccarat often overwhelms new players because it seems complex from the outside. However, once you scratch below the surface, baccarat is surprisingly simple. 

At the start of each baccarat casino game, your goal is to make a bet on the outcome of a hand up to a value of 9. Hands are made of two cards and are given to the player and the banker. Your stake will predict whether the player or banker holds the winning hand. It is also possible to wager on the outcome being a tie. 

In baccarat, cards with a value of 2 to 9 have their face value, while the ace is a 1. All 10s and face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) do not have a value and count as 0. When a hand has a value over 10, the second digit is the value (for example, a 5 + 9 = 14, drop the 10, leaving a value of 4).

A baccarat table features sections for each bet option (Player, Banker, Tie) where you can put your chips. If you are new to the game, the following baccarat how-to-play rules are an excellent starting point:

The Tie Bet in Baccarat

One of the most confusing aspects of learning how to play baccarat and win is learning about the tie bet. When you make this bet, you are predicting the player and the banker will both hold a hand of the same value. While this is an option to bet on, the tie bet is something you should avoid. The house edge is much higher than the player or banker bets, significantly lessening your chances of winning. 

BetDescriptionOddsHouse Edge Player Bet on the player winning the round 1:1 1.24% Banker Bet on the banker winning the round 1:1 1.06% Tie Bet on the banker and player having a hand of the same value 8:1 or 9:1 14.4%

Natural Winners in Baccarat

When playing baccarat, the goal is to win the hand by betting on the banker or player having the higher value (without surpassing 9). Only two winning options are available, a hand value of 8 or 9. These are both called “natural” hands. A “natural” 9 is the highest value hand obtainable in baccarat and beats a “natural” 8 if both occur during the same round, resulting in a natural win.

Third Time Lucky: When Do You Need One More Card?

Understanding the third card is perhaps the most challenging obstacle when learning how to play baccarat at online casino sites. Essentially, when neither the player nor the banker has a hand with a value of 8 or 9, they take a third card. The player goes first and takes a third card when they have a hand value of between 0 and 5. If the total of their two cards is over 6, they do not draw a third card. For bankers, they are forced to draw a third hand under specific circumstances:

  • If the player receives a third card of 2 or 3, the banker draws if they have a value between 0 and 4.
  • When the player gets a 4 or 5 on their third card, the banker takes a card if they have a value between 0 and 5
  • If the player’s third card is a 6 or 7, the banker must take a third card if their value is between 0 and 6.
  • When the player draws an 8 on their third card, the banker will take a third card if their value is between 0 and 3.
  • If the player draws a 9, 10, face card, or ace third card, the banker will draw if they have a value of 0 to 2.

The Best Bets in Baccarat

Once you learn how to play baccarat and start wagering at the best online casino or in person, you will have three bet options: Player, Banker, and Tie. While each of these options are available, the choice you make will have a significant impact on your chances of winning. 

  • Banker: Easily the best betting option in baccarat and the bet you should always choose. That’s because the house edge is lower (1.06%) than the player and tie choices. When you bet on the banker to win, you also get odds of 1:1 with a payout of 45.8%.
  • Player: When you bet on the player hand to win, you also get odds of 1:1. Yet the house edge is higher at 1.24%, meaning the casino wins more often than the banker bet, so the player takes more risk.
  • Tie: Avoid the tie bet because it has odds of 8:1/9:1 and a high house edge of 14.4%. Therefore, on average, the casino wins 14.4% of the time. It is not worth taking this bet because of this less favourable house edge.

Baccarat Side Bets

The standard banker, player, and tie baccarat bets are available in every game variation. However, if you want to learn how to play baccarat, it is also worth knowing about the additional bonus bets that are often available. These are known as side bets and vary in availability from one baccarat variant to another. Check out the popular side bets you will find when playing online baccarat below:

Player Pair

When you take the player pair option, you are betting that the first two cards dealt for the player will be of equal value. This bet pays out at 11 to 1 and is available in 8-deck games. 

Banker Pair

You can also transfer the pairs wager to the banker bet, predicting the first two cards given to the banker will be a pair of equal value. Again, this is exclusive to 8-deck baccarat games and pays out at 11 to 1. 

Either Pair

Alternatively, you can boost your chances and take the either pair bet. This option means you wager on a pair turning up on the two-card hand value of either the banker or the player. Available in 8-deck games, the payout takes a hit at 5 to 1.

Perfect Pair

The ultimate pairs bet in baccarat is the perfect pair, where you wager on the player or banker (your choice) getting a pair of equal value and equal suit. As this is less likely to happen, the payout is more lucrative at 25 to 1. 

Big Bets

Big bets in baccarat have different meanings, depending on the online software provider of the game variant. Some options allow bets on a total number of cards dealt in a round (4, 5, or 6), with 5 or 6 winning on a big bet. It is known as a big bet because to get the 5 or 6 cards, the player or banker must draw a third card. 

Small Bets

A small bet is a side bet option that is the alternative to the big bet. Again, you wager on the number of cards you think will be drawn during the round (4, 5, or 6). If you bet 4 and 4 cards are dealt, you will win this bet.

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The Best Baccarat Strategy

When you learn how to play baccarat, having a core understanding of the table game and basic strategies can help you wager with confidence and make the best betting decisions. Below are basic strategic steps you can take to ensure you have the best online baccarat experience possible:

Bet on the Banker

A golden rule of baccarat is to always bet on the banker. That is because the banker bet has a superior house edge (1.06%) compared to the player (1.24%) and tie (14%) options. In other words, you have more chance of winning a bet on the banker. 

Never Bet on a Tie

While a tie bet is available on most baccarat games, it is actually a pointless betting option. Due to its increased house edge and added risk, you are less likely to win (and make a profit) when placing a tie bet. 

Stick to a Budget

Baccarat is a fast-paced card game, and online it is even quicker! Therefore, it can be easy to burn through your bankroll when playing - especially if you lose. Before each session, set your budget and stick to it. Ideally, you should bet only with the disposable income you can afford to lose.

Don’t Wait for “Cycles” to End

A “cycle” is a gambling term for a series of outcomes that are the same. For example, a winning streak or a losing streak. It is important not to wait for cycles to end. If you are on a losing streak, know when to walk away. Similarly, learn to walk away when winning to avoid losing your profit.

Baccarat Strategy FAQs

What are the odds of winning in baccarat?

Baccarat winning odds depend on which bet you choose from player, banker, or tie. The banker option is best with odds of 1:1 and a house edge of 1.06%. Next is the player at 1:1 but a house edge of 1.24%. Lastly, the tie bet is the worst option, with odds of 8:1/9:1 and a house edge of 14%.

How do I consistently win at baccarat?

Making wise betting decisions, such as wagering on the banker, is the best way to maximize your chances of winning at baccarat. However, as you learn how to play baccarat, you will understand that no system guarantees wins. Baccarat is ultimately a game of luck.

What is the best bet in baccarat?

The banker bet is the best option in baccarat because it has the best house edge. Therefore, this basically means that your chances of winning are higher when you choose the banker option. The house edge for the banker bet is 1.06%.

Is baccarat a game of skill?

While baccarat is a game of chance, it does require skilful gameplay. It is not possible to guarantee wins in baccarat, no matter what you do. However, you can learn how to play baccarat and win by managing your bankroll, making wise betting decisions, and knowing when to walk away in profit.

How do you deal in baccarat?

Baccarat starts with the players making their bets (Player, Banker, Tie). The dealer then deals one card to the right and one to the left in a rotation pattern. This continues until the player and banker have two cards. All cards are face up, and the hand to the dealer’s left is the community hand that belongs to the player.

Is there any strategy for playing baccarat?

Yes, absolutely! While this is a game of luck, for which you cannot guarantee a win at each round, there is still strategy involved. For example, understanding betting options and how much to wager can help you extend your bankroll.

How do you beat baccarat?

Betting on the banker is the first rule of learning how to play baccarat and win. The banker bet has the best house edge, so you have a higher chance of winning than betting on other options. It is worth remembering you cannot guarantee wins when playing baccarat.

Is there a secret baccarat pattern?

Many players will argue that pattern recognition (studying the outcomes of previous hands) is vital. The reality is this plays no role in the outcome of a baccarat game. Laws of averages simply do not work because baccarat is a game of luck, and you cannot affect the outcome beyond controlling your own betting and bankroll.

How do you play baccarat for beginners?

Beginners can easily learn how to play baccarat by understanding the three main betting options - Player, Banker, and Tie. In this game, you are trying to decide whether the player or banker has the highest value hand without going over 9.
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