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Baccarat Rules

Last Updated: 24/10/2022

When playing online baccarat, one of the most popular online casino table game, you get an experience that simulates the high-stakes exciting action of its land-based counterpart. However, to have the best possible experience, it is essential to know the rules of baccarat. Better understanding baccarat rules can help you get maximum enjoyment from the game.

With a knowledge of the fundamentals of baccarat, you can also improve your betting decisions. Below we will introduce you to all the baccarat rules you need to know. Furthermore, our expert team has scoured the Ireland online casino industry to find the best sites to play baccarat.

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Rules of Baccarat

On the surface, the rules of baccarat are easy to understand, even for beginners. However, the game can also become complex, especially as you become more experienced. Even so, let’s start with the basics of baccarat rules:

The objective of every baccarat game is for the player to guess the outcome of the game correctly. There are three options: Bank, Player, or Tie. You get chips of differing value (virtual chips if you play online), which you use to make your bet. [BACCARAT GAME LINK TBA]

Regarding card values, baccarat rules state cards 2 to 9 have their face card value, Ace has a value of 1, while 10s and face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) have no value. Players compete with the bank to have the highest value hand up to a total value of 9. 

Baccarat Terms

Not only will knowing the basic terms of baccarat allow you to play the game with confidence, but the following terms also help you understand baccarat card game rules:


A croupier is another name for the dealer, the casino professional who assists the conduct of the game and deals the cards. Online, there is no dealer for virtual baccarat games. Instead, online games use software to deal cards to players. One exception is live casino online baccarat. 

Burn Card/s

Essentially, burn cards are those that are removed from the playable deck and discarded. When a new shoe (the box that holds the cards) starts, the dealer will turn over one card. This card highlights how many cards the dealer will burn (according to their value). For example, if the card is a 3, the dealer will burn three cards. 


When a hand (for either the player or the banker) has a value of 8 or 9, the hand is known as a “natural.” This is a winning hand that ends the round immediately. A natural 9 beats a natural 8 if both occur during the same game. 

La Grande and La Petite

Meaning “The Big One” in French, La Grande is the best hand according to casino baccarat rules. It is a natural hand with a value of 9. La Petite (The Little One) is also a natural but has a total value of 9. 


While not an official part of baccarat card rules, a Monkey is a slang term for any 10 card and the face cards (Jack, Queen, and King). These all have a value of 0 in baccarat. 

Dragon 7 and Panda 8 Bets

Dragon 7 is a side bet where you wager on the bank winning with a hand tallying 7, made of three cards. It has a payout of 40 to 1. Panda 8 side bets allow you to wager on the player winning the hand with a value of 8 over three cards. 

The Big Eye Boy

Big Eye Boy is a baccarat road, a prediction path displayed on a chart through circles, dots, and lines. These are ideal for more experienced players who may wish to strategise their betting during a session.

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Baccarat Betting Rules

To have a complete understanding of baccarat rules, you will need to know the requirements for both the player and the banker. Let’s start with player rules, which will help you when betting on player outcomes when playing baccarat at the best online casinos:

Player Rules

Here you will be betting on the player (yourself) holding a better hand than the bank. A payout of 1:1 makes this an attractive wager, while the house edge of 1.36% is also appealing. Even so, to bet on the player, you should be very confident in the quality of your hand. 

Banker Rules

On the other hand, the banker is essentially the house (or casino) represented by the dealer. Baccarat is unique because you can actually bet that the house will win. The banker bet comes with a payout of 1:1 and a favourable house edge of 1.06%. Many baccarat players only ever bet on the banker because of the better house edge. 

Tie Rules

In its simplest terms, the tie bet is a wager where you bet that the player and the bank will hold a hand of the same value. It has a payout rate of 8:1 and a house edge of 14.4%. That high house edge means the tie bet option is not advisable. There is no value in taking this bet under most conditions. 

Third Card Rule

The third card rule in baccarat comes into play if neither the banker nor the player have a two-card hand totalling eight or nine, depending on the player’s hand. When the player holds a value between 0-5, they receive a third card. Yet, they do not take another card if the total is 6 or 7. Bankers draw a third card after the player takes their additional card:

  • If the player’s third card is a 2 or 3, the banker takes a third card if their two-card hand has a value between 0 and 4.
  • If the player takes a 4 or 5 as their third card, the banker takes their third card if their two-hand value is between 0 and 5.
  • When the player draws a 6 or 7 on their third card, the banker is forced to take a third card on a two-hand value between 0 and 6.

Baccarat Table Layout

One of the fundamental aspects of learning baccarat game rules is grasping the betting table and how it works. To any baccarat newbie, the game table may look pretty confusing. However, once you have a better understanding of where and how to place your bets, you can start playing with confidence in no time. 

Mini Baccarat Table

For most baccarat players, the mini table is the one they will be most familiar with. It is a classic casino set-up, with the dealer standing behind the table with up to seven seats in front set in a fan position around the playing surface. 

The gameplay is also efficient, making mini baccarat tables most welcoming to beginners or casual bettors. Players make their bets (Banker, Player, or Tie) by putting their chips into the corresponding box on the table. Once bets are placed, the croupier will deal two sets of two cards, one representing the player and the second for the banker. 

When playing online baccarat, most tables will be designed to look like mini baccarat tables. This is because games are virtual, so there are no limits on how many players can access the table. 

Big Baccarat Table

A big baccarat table is identical to a mini baccarat table in layout. The main difference is that the table will host more players at a land-based casino. Up to 12 or 14 players can sit at a big baccarat table. Yet, you will never find a baccarat table seating 13 players - no one wants to associate with that infamous unlucky number! Most casinos reserve big tables for high rollers or VIP players, meaning they are often more exclusive. 

The layout on both big and mini baccarat tables is simple if only standard betting options are available (Banker, Player, Tie). Although, there are baccarat variants that provide side bets. If the online game you choose does have additional wagers, they will be available in betting boxes on the table. Simply move your chips into these boxes to wager on the side bet. 

Baccarat Table Rules

Baccarat rules vary depending on which type of baccarat you play. Online virtual baccarat has friendlier rules, while playing live casino baccarat online or at a brick-and-mortar casino comes with several table rules. Observing the following regulations and baccarat etiquette will help you and your fellow players have a better experience:

  • Many tables require 6 bettors to be playing before a game will start.
  • Some casinos will require all seats to be taken before starting.
  • In land-based games, the croupier/dealer takes a commission for the casino when they win (usually 5%).
  • Once you make your bet, you can no longer touch your chips.
  • You cannot join a game that has already started.
  • In mini baccarat, only the dealer can touch the cards.
  • Some big baccarat tables will invite a player to handle the deal.

Number of Card Decks in Baccarat

Knowing baccarat card rules is essential if you want to build knowledge that allows you to make better betting decisions, and having a good baccarat strategy at hand is key. Baccarat is a card game that uses multiple decks during a session. The exact number of decks in play differs from one baccarat variant to another. Even so, the most common deck amount is eight, although many games use six decks. [BACCARAT STRATEGY LINK TBA]

This is important because the number of decks and cards in play affects the odds of the game. In an 8-deck game, there are 416 total cards (8 x 52 cards in a standard deck), while 6-deck variants have 312 cards. 

Baccarat rules dictate that a shoe (card holder) with six decks produces odds of 45.87% when betting on the banker. Betting on the player offers odds of 44.63%. As for eight deck games, the banker bet has odds of 45.86%, and the player bet has odds of 44.62%.

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Different Baccarat Game Types

Baccarat is an extremely popular game at online casinos. As such, the best software providers have a wide selection of options available for online gamblers. One of the reasons why baccarat is so popular is because it comes in a range of different variants. These options provide flexible baccarat rules for players, including the following game types:

Punto Banco

Punto Banco is one of the most famous twists on baccarat and is almost identical to the traditional game. Online players love this variant because it has fast gameplay and is easy to play. Here you will be playing directly against the banker. Once players make a bet, the dealer handles all other aspects of the game. House edge for Punto Banco is 1.17% for the bank bet, 1.36% for player, and 14% for a tie.

Baccarat Banque

While baccarat is a simple game, some variants spice things up with additional baccarat game rules. In this version, the role of the banker is auctioned off. When a player wins, they can choose to become the banker. Unlike other variants, Baccarat Banque is played with just three decks of cards instead of 6-8. 

Chemin De Fer

Meaning railroad in French, Chemin De Fer (known as “Chemmy”) is similar to Punto Banco with some key differences. For example, the player can choose the banker and can decide if the bank or player should draw a third card (when tied under 8). Chemin De Fer is the game James Bond famously played in Dr No and is beloved online and offline. The house only takes profit from the commission to the dealer.

How to Win at Baccarat – The Basics

Now you know the basic casino baccarat rules, it is time to put that knowledge into action. But before you head off to one of our recommended best online casinos, our team of casino experts has put together the following top tips. The advice below will provide you with easy-to-implement guidelines to take your baccarat game to the next level:

  • Bet the Banker: It is a universal truth of baccarat that you should bet on the banker all the time. While baccarat rules do not specify this, the banker bet has the best house edge. In other words, your chances of winning are higher when you bet on the bank.
  • Avoid Tie Bets: In contrast, the tie bet option has an awful house edge compared to the player and banker bets. Betting on the tie comes with more risk than any other main bet in baccarat.
  • Betting Strategies: Betting systems can help you manage your bankroll and add extra excitement to a game. However, remember that betting strategies like the Martingale or the Paroli do not guarantee wins or improve your chances of winning.
  • Set Loss/Win Limits: Manage your budget carefully and only spend what you can afford to lose. Golden rules of responsible gambling set a firm limit for how much you can lose. You can also set a win limit, allowing you to still walk away with a profit.
  • Don’t Go for All-In Bets: All-in bets are incredibly risky as you can burn through your bankroll on one stake. Instead, spread your wagers over multiple rounds and make wise betting decisions.
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Baccarat Rules FAQs

What is the objective of baccarat?

The goal in baccarat is to predict whether the banker or player will achieve a value of 8 or 9 with two cards. A third card can also be included under some scenarios. Baccarat rules also allow players to bet on the outcome being a tie.

Why do you get a 3rd card in baccarat?

A third card is given to the player and banker if neither party hold a two-card hand with the value of 8 or 9. In this situation, there are various scenarios for when the player should draw a third card before the banker responds by drawing their own third card.

Is baccarat beatable in the long run?

Of course, it is. However, it is also a game of chance. While using betting strategies and making wise decisions can boost your chances of success, you are still relying on luck. It is possible to win and make a profit, but if you play for long enough, the house/casino will eventually win.

Should you always bet banker in baccarat?

Yes, at least in most conventional situations. This is because the banker bet has the best house edge, giving players the best chance of winning. The player option is not far off, but the banker bet is still slightly better. You should avoid playing the tie bet because of its higher house edge.

What is the best hand in baccarat?

A two-card hand with the value of 9 is the best hand in baccarat. According to baccarat card game rules, this is known as a “natural”. There is also another natural hand that is the value of 8. Yet, a natural 9 beats a natural 8.
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