How to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is a popular card game that is similar to Blackjack but is actually much easier to learn and play. The game only looks complicated and often has the lowest house edge out of all the table games at online casinos.

If you’re looking to learn how to play Baccarat, you’re in luck. On this page, we will give you our Baccarat guide for beginners, including rules of the game, basic strategy, and Baccarat tips for beginners.

Basic Rules of Baccarat

Baccarat looks complicated, but it is actually one of the simplest games to learn in the casino. As a player, the only thing you do is bet. Before the deal, you can place one of the following bets:

Player – You’re betting you will win the hand. This pays even money.
Banker – You’re betting the banker (dealer) will win the hand. This pays even money.
Tie – You’re betting you and the banker will tie. This pays 8 to 1.

At this point, your involvement in the hand is complete. All other action in the game is handled by the dealer. The object of the game is to get a hand as close to nine as possible. Point values are as follows:

  • Aces = 1
  • 2 through 9 = Face Value
  • K, Q, J = 0

After bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards face up to the players and themselves. The point totals are then calculated. If a hand’s point total is 10 or more, then the first digit is dropped and the second digit is the total of the hand. For example, if you are dealt a six and a seven, instead of a 13, you’d have a 3.

If either the player or the banker has a total of 8 or 9 after the deal, that is considered a natural win and the first player to the hand wins automatically. There are two exceptions. The first is if the banker has the same hand, in which case it’s a push. The other is if a player has 8 and the banker 9, at which point the banker wins.

If nobody has an 8 or 9, then a third card may be dealt depending on point totals. Players must stand on a 6 or 7. For hands from 0 to 5, players get a third card.

Bankers get an expanded set of rules. If a player does not draw a third card, bankers always stand on 6 or 7 and always draw on totals from 0 to 5.

If a players takes a third card, bankers draw based on the following:

 

  • Player draws a 9, 10, J, Q, K, or Ace – Banker draws on 0 to 3 and stays on 4 to 7.
  • Player draws an 8 – Banker draws on 0 to 2 and stays on everything else.
  • Player draws a 6 or 7 – Banker draws on 0 to 6 and stays on 7.
  • Player draws a 4 or 5 – Banker draws on 0 to 5 and stays on 6 or 7.
  • Player draws a 2 or 3 – Banker draws on 0 to 4 and stays on everything else.

After draws are completed, the point totals are finalized, and any winners are paid. Losing bets are scooped by the dealer. If a player and banker tie, then the tie bet is paid out.

Now that you know how to play Baccarat, it’s time to go over some basic strategy and Baccarat tips to help you win more at the tables.

Basic Baccarat Strategy and Tips for Beginners

Below is our Baccarat guide for beginners. It includes simple tips for winning at the games and managing your money at online casinos. Like the game itself, our Baccarat tips are simple.

Always Bet the Banker – No, we are not kidding. It is always the smart play to bet the dealer. Due to the expanded drawing rules, the Banker’s bet has a small 1.06 percent edge over the Player’s bet at 1.24 percent. Granted, you will run into streaks where the Player wins a large share of hands, but long-term, you’ll win money with Banker bets.

Skip the Tie Bet – The Tie bet is the equivalent of a sucker bet on Baccarat. It has a crazy house edge of 14.4 percent. That means you are expected to lose $14 of every $100 wagered. Avoid this bet.

Practice Money Management – You’re going to go on streaks in this game, so manage your money accordingly. Set a stop loss for your session and stick to it. If you sit down with $50 in your account, only play with $10 to $15 at the table. Should you lose that amount, walk away until another day.

Sign Up for Casino Bonuses – If you want a bit more money to play with at the Baccarat tables, consider signing up for online casino bonuses. These bonuses often give you a match, typically 100%, on your deposit. This gives you more money to wager at the table. Some casinos offer bonuses specifically for table games.

Play at Regulated PA Online Casinos – The best tip we can give you is to play at regulated online casinos in Pennsylvania. All online table games, including Baccarat, are licensed and regulated by the PA Gaming Control Board. This means that gaming is certified legitimate and your funds are segregated and secure. You don’t get these protections at overseas online casinos.

Online Baccarat will be available to players at PA online casinos starting this summer. With the Baccarat tips and strategies above, you’ll find yourself having fun and possibly winning at online Baccarat at Pennsylvania online casinos.