Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games. However, before playing Baccarat in a real casino or online casino you need to understand the basics of the game and betting options. In a casino, the game is played with six to eight decks of cards. The most popular form of Baccarat is American Baccarat or Punto Banco. The aim of baccarat is to place bets on the hand which the player feels will be closest to 9. It could be the dealer (banker) or the player. The player also has the option to bet on a tie between the player and the dealer.
What are the Card Values in Baccarat?
The card values in Baccarat are as follows. They differ slightly to how cards are valued in Blackjack. From Two to Nine, all cards retain their face value. Aces are worth 1. However, all face cards (Jack, Queen, King) and Tens all are worth 0.
When adding the cards one must only deduct 10 points in order to arrive at each card's value. For example, reading the value of a hand 4 + 3 = 7. The hand is worth 7. But reading the value of a hand 7 + 5 = 12 = 2. The first digit is dropped because the total exceeds 10.
A game of Baccarat starts with 2 cards being dealt face down to the Player first, then to the Banker. Once the Player/Banker have their initial cards, the player and the dealer must compare their hands in order to determine the winner. If either the Banker or Player has a total of 8 or 9 (which is called Baccarat) they both stand. If this is not the case, then play proceeds as follows:
If the player's hand value after being dealt 2 cards is between 0 and 5, then the player must draw another card (third card). If the player's hand value is 6 or 7, then he/she must stand.
The banker’s play is a bit more complicated and depends on whether the player drew a card and the value of the third card drawn.
If the player didn’t draw another card if the dealer's hand is between 0 and 5, then the dealer must draw another card. If the dealer's initial hand is 6 or 7 he must stand.
- If the player’s third card is a 2 or 3, the banker draws on 0-4 and stands on 5-7.
- If the player’s third card is a 4 or 5, the banker draws on 0-5 and stands on 6-7.
- If the player’s third card is a 6 or 7, the banker draws on 0-6 and stands on 7.
- If the player’s third card is an 8, the banker draws on 0-2 and stands on 3-7.
- If the player’s third card is a 9, 10, Ace or face-card, the banker draws on 0-3 and stands on 4-7.
Once the value of the player and banker’s hands are established, each two-card or three-card hand for the player and banker is compared to find out who wins. ie. The hand which is closest to 9 is the winner, unless both hands are equal, in which case it is a tie, and the tie bet wins.
Typically, a casino will pay out 1 to 1 to the Player hand, 1 to 1 on the Baker hand, and 8 to 1 on a tie.
Playing Online Baccarat
All the top online casinos offer Baccarat games. Each of these offer different variants and rules so it’s worthwhile reading up on them before playing any real money baccarat games.