Baccarat Rules – Learn How to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is a simple game that demands from you little to know since eventually you can place your bets only on three single types of bets:

  • Banker bet
  • Player bet
  • Tie (standoff)

Though the game is simple, the baccarat rules are strict and they do not allow players many options to choose from.

Baccarat is a community game where all players play with the same hand. In some variations, the baccarat rules offer to deal a second hand. but that majority of baccarat games make use of only one hand which narrows down the betting options for players.

In many casinos dealers would be responsible of the conduct of the game and players would only place their bets. The goal in baccarat is to reach a point total of 9 with your hand.

Determining Hand Value According to the Rules

Each hand is consisted of no more than three cards, the baccarat rules do not allow a fourth card to be dealt under any circumstances. Each card has its own value: An Ace is counted as one point; other cards are valued according to their count up to Nines; Tens and face cards are counted as zero points.

In the end of each round the points are the cards are counted and the hand value is determined. If the total point count exceeds 9 than the first digit is ignored. If the count exceeds 10 than subtract 10 from it, if the count exceeds 20 than subtract 20 from the point total.

Few examples:
A hand of Ace/Nine has a point total of 1 9=0. A hand of Nine/Seven has a point total of 9 7=16, ignore from the first digit and the hand’s point total is 6. A hand of Four/Ten has a point total of 4 0=4. A hand of Five/Nine/Seven has a hand total of 5 9 7=21, subtract 20 and the hand value is 1.

The Baccarat Game Course

The game is usually played around a table with a special baccarat layout; the size of the table is similar to the one of the craps table. Around the baccarat table about 12-14 players can be hosted and there are three dealers managing the tables. Two of the dealers are responsible for gamblers at each side of the table and the third one is managing the game itself.

Each player may place his bet on the banker hand or the player hand; these pay even money but notice that on a winning banker bet you would pay a 5% commission (though you can find no-commission baccarat games). A tie bet pays 8:1.

After all bets are made the dealer deals two cards to himself and one for the player that’s playing the hand (in some variants, as in Chemin de Fer, the player hand moves along the table). The dealer would simply announce “card for the player” which means the player must draw a card or “card for the banker” which means the same for the banker.

A third card is dealt in certain cases according to baccarat rules. The winning hand is the one with the higher point total. If the player reaches a point total of 9 or 8 (which are called “natural”) he wins less the banker has the same hand value (a tie).

Baccarat Rules for the Dealing of a Third Card

As mentioned before, the rules of baccarat are strict and only in certain cases the croupier (dealer) would deal a third card. Baccarat rules specifications are that a player may draw a third card when his point total for his two initial cards is 1-5 or 10. When his hand point total is 6-9 he would stand.

The baccarat rules that apply for the banker are a bit more diverse. When the player’s point total is 7-9 he would always stand but in other cases he would draw under certain conditions:

  • When the banker’s hand point total is 2 he would draw a third card regardless of what the player’s third card is.
  • When the banker’s point total is 3 he would draw another card less when the player’s third card is 8, id the player’s third card isn’t 8 the banker would draw a third card.
  • When the banker’s point total is 4 he would draw another card less when the player’s third card is 1,8,9,10 or a face card.
  • When the banker’s point total is 5 he would draw another card less when the player’s third card is 1,2,3,8,9,10 or a face card.
  • When the banker’s point total is 6 he would draw another card only if the player’s third card s 6 or 7.

These rules are a bit tricky for beginners. After you have mastered all the baccarat rules for drawing of a third card you are ready to move on to advanced material. If you liked baccarat you might find interest in other online casino games. Learn how to play your favourites.

The Baccarat Betting Rounds

The strict baccarat rules make this game to be simple and they also give the game its rather low house edge: a banker bet has an house edge of 1.17% (which is adjusted to the favor of the casinos with the 5% commission on winning banker bets); a player bet has an house edge of 1.36%; a tie bet has an house edge of 14.12%.

After the round is over the casino’s dealers will gather the losing bets and then pay the winning bets. The player who really deals the cards is not accountable for the payouts and the dealers pay all winning baccarat bets, though in Baccarat Banque a player can play as the banker and he is responsible for funding his loses.

Final Notes

There are many issues that should be learned by baccarat players before marching for the nearest baccarat table. There are various issues such as money management, baccarat odds. Players would need to adopt the suitable baccarat strategy for them as well as learning baccarat terminology, which is a vital part of learning how to play baccarat.

Notice that even though you do not yet fully understand how to play baccarat it shouldn’t stop you from playing since you would be guided by the dealer at all stages of the game: he would tell you when to draw a third card, how much cards to cut from the deck at the beginning of the game and so on. There is a lot more to know about how to play baccarat such as the history of baccarat, it wouldn’t improve your game but it’s info that you might find very interesting.

Dave McGavin, Editorial Staff 6/2/06