Baccarat Rules: How to Play the Game

Baccarat is an extremely simple game to learn and follow. The rules are very straightforward and once you pick them up, it’s easy to implement your own personal strategy. You’ll feel confident at baccarat tables, mini baccarat tables and online baccarat tables, right from the get-go.

The Uncomplicated Baccarat Rules

By participating, you are considered the “player,” and you are able to either bet on the banker’s hand or the player’s hand, or even a tie between the two. When you bet on a hand, it means that you think that will be the winning hand.

Two cards are then dealt each to the player and the banker. If the hand on which you’ve placed your bet has won, you win even money – which means that the odds are 1 to 1. If there is a tie, and you have bet on a tie, you are paid 8 to 1 (which means you receive 8 times your original bet!).

The winning hand is that which has come closest to totaling 9. In baccarat rules, an Ace is worth 1 point, the cards 2-9 are worth their face value, and the cards 10 and face cards have zero points. Nothing complicated there so let’s look a little closer.

However, there is one small fiddly part. In baccarat, there is no such thing as a “bust” -such as the case in blackjack when you score over 21 – but there is also no such thing as a score over 9. Here’s why: When a hand scores a two-digit total, the first digit is dropped, leaving the score at only the second digit. For example, if you have been dealt an 8 and a 7, the numeric total would be 15, but the baccarat score is 5 because the first digit is dropped.

If the first two cards that have been dealt in a hand score an 8 or a 9, the hand is automatically considered a “natural” and will win, unless a tie occurs between two naturals. If a natural hand occurs, both hands are made to stand, and the natural hand is declared the winner.

If neither hand has achieved a natural, another hand is dealt for both the player and the banker to determine which hand is the winner.

The average casino tax on a winning banker hand is 5%. As anyone can be the banker, not only casino employees, it is wise to keep this in mind to keep an advantage, since if the casinos are taking a cut in only one hand, it is likely that this is the hand with the better chance at winning.