How to play Baccarat?

Playing Baccarat is real fun – it is quick, exciting, and the odds of winning are high, so no wonder that casino Baccarat is a very popular James Bond type card game. The origins of the game are debated; according to some, it is from 15th century Italy, others believe it to be French.

The rules are simple: Baccarat is played between the player and the banker and one can place a bet on the player, the banker, or a tie. Two hands are dealt and the one with the total closest to 9 wins.

Baccarat has been popular all around the world and there can be different variations of the game. The North American version is called Punto Banco and there are Chemin de Fer, Mini Baccarat, and Baccarat Banque where different numbers of card decks are used and the number of maximum players can differ. You can also play free Baccarat online with a virtual dealer or try out Baccarat online with a live dealer.

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Baccarat table explained

The Baccarat table’s size depends on the type of Baccarat that is being played. Around the Big Baccarat table up to 14 people can play, while the Mini version only allows 5 or 7 players. The minimum betting amount is also different subject to size tables.

Apart from Big and Mini tables, there are also Midi versions, where 9 players can play at once whereas Chemin de Fer, and Punto Banco games can accommodate 6 to 9 players at once.

Baccarat Field

Bet types

In this relatively simple game, there are three betting options.

  • Banker bet

    Banker bet

    Has the smallest house edge so it is the most favourable for the players.

  • Player bet

    Player bet

    Has the second smallest house edge with no commission involved.

  • Tie bet

    Tie bet

    Assumes an equal card value for the player and the banker.

Baccarat scoreboard

The scoreboard is a handy tool one can use to track their bets.

  • Banker wins

    Banker wins

    When Banker bet wins, the red circle appears on the scoreboard.

  • Player wins

    Player wins

    The blue circle on the scoreboard means that Player bet wins

  • Draw


    Circle crossed out with a green line indicates a Tie on the scoreboard.

Baccarat card value

In Baccarat, the values of the cards are added up and the suits are irrelevant. Face cards and 10s have zero value while Aces have a value of one. The cards from 2 to 9 are counted as their face value (2 through 9). You can see some examples below to get you going.

Baccarat Cards

Probabilities of each total after two cards

The table below describes your chances of getting points from 0 to 9 with a combination of two cards:

Card combination probability in Baccarat
2-Card Combinations in Baccarat
Total 6–DECK 8–DECK
0 14.7168% 14.7359%
1 9.4979% 9.4903%
2 9.4484% 9.4532%
3 9.4979% 9.4903%
4 9.4484% 9.4532%
5 9.4979% 9.4903%
6 9.4484% 9.4532%
7 9.4979% 9.4903%
8 9.4484% 9.4532%
9 9.4979% 9.4903%
Example Hand #1

Example Hand #1

Ace plus King

If you were playing Blackjack, this would be a winning hand and it would be a great start in many other card games. However, in Baccarat, it has a total value of 1 only:

King (0) + Ace (1) = 1

If this was the player’s hand, a third card would be dealt according to the drawing rules.

Example Hand #2

Example Hand #2

Four plus Five

This combination is the best you can get in Baccarat as it totals 9.

Four (4) + Five (5) = 9

A total of 8 or 9 is called a natural, meaning it automatically wins unless the other hand is higher (8 vs 9) or equal to this (9 vs 9), which means a tie.

Example Hand #3

Example Hand #3

Nine plus Seven

These two cards give a total value of 16. However, in Baccarat, the total card value cannot exceed 9, therefore you need to subtract 10 so this hand is worth 6.

Nine (9) + Seven (7) = 16 - 10 = 6

Example Hand #4

Example Hand #4

Nine plus Ace

This combination will give you a total of 0.

Nine (9) + Ace (1) = 10 - 10 = 0

In this case, a third card would be drawn and the value of that would be added to 0. If this card happens to be a Five, the total value of the hand would now be 5.

Best Bets in Baccarat

As we already know, the banker bet is slightly better than the player bet. But why?

In an eight-deck Baccarat there are 4,998,398,275,503,360 different combinations possible to give 4, 5 or 6 card player vs. banker hand.

Of those allmost 5 quadrillions combinations:

  • 2,292,252,566,437,888 – result in banker wins.
  • 2,230,518,282,592,256 – result in player wins.
  • 475,627,426,473,216 – result in ties.

Those enormous numbers are really too hard to take in, but if we will break them to percentages, and 5% commission on Banker wins, the bets come out more understandable:

Banker bet win/lose probability
Banker Bet – 8 Decks
Event Pays Probability Return
Banker Wins 0.95 45.8597% 43.5667%
Player Wins -1 44.6247% -44.6247%
Tie 0 9.51% -1.05%
Player bet win/lose probability
Player Bet – 8 Decks
Event Pays Probability Return
Banker Wins -1 45.8597% -45.8597%
Player Wins 1 44.6247% 44.6247%
Tie 0 9.51% 0


1. Place the bet

1. Place the bet

Placing the bet in Baccarat is extremely easy. No matter which version of the game you are playing, the three sections where you need to place your chips are right in front of you and clearly labelled as “Player”, “Banker”, and “Tie”, with the Player being the closest to you and the Tie the furthest away.

2. Wait until dealer will give you your cards

2. Wait until dealer will give you your cards

Once the bets are placed, the dealer will start dealing two hands. At this point, you are not allowed to touch your chips anymore. Two cards are drawn for the Banker and the Player and depending on the total amount, a third card might be drawn. Then it is determined who won.

3. Payout

3. Payout

The Payout is also easy to understand and follow. For both the Banker and the Player, the payout is 1:1 but for Banker bets, there is usually a 5% commission, and for a Tie, it is either 1:8 or 1:9. This depends on the Baccarat casino and you should find this out before placing your first bet.

Baccarat types

With different Baccarat types come various table layouts so you can be playing alone or alongside other people, with one, two, or three dealers. The minimum bet amounts also differ, and there can be just the three betting options or the possibility to place side bets.

Big baccarat online canada

1. Big Baccarat

This is the full-size version of the game that most land-based casinos will have. The table’s shape is oval and there is a U-shaped area cut out on each side of the table for the 3 dealers. A maximum of 14 players can play at once with yellow numbers marking the places from 1 to 15, as number 13 is omitted.

Mini baccarat online canada

2. Mini Baccarat

This table is half of a circle and has only 5 (or sometimes 7) places for players. The places are numbered 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, leaving out number 4, which is also considered unlucky. This game has only one dealer who stands opposite to the players.

online baccarat canada

3. Online Baccarat

The Online Baccarat table is similar to the Mini table which is compact and you are playing alone with a virtual dealer. There are three betting options: banker, player, and tie with the player being closest to you. Some online casinos allow side bets as well. Usually, you have a chance to try online Baccarat free.

Live dealer baccarat online canada

4. Live dealer Baccarat

In this version of the online game, you follow the same rules as in standard Baccarat and an actual person is dealing the cards. This gives the player a real casino experience as there can be several players who one can interact with.

Best strategies that might help you

When you play a Baccarat casino game, you have some of the best odds of winning compared to many other casino games. However, it is a very fast game and you have to be aware of the rules if you want to increase your chances of winning. Unlike in Blackjack or Poker, though, the only decision you will have to make around the Baccarat table is how much to wager and how often.

Always avoid the Tie bet

Always avoid the Tie bet

The winnings of 1:8 or even 1:9 might be appealing but statistically, you have poor chances of enriching yourself with tie bets. The probability of winning with a tie is only 9.54% so unless you are playing Baccarat free, do not bet on this.

Always avoid the Tie bet

Bet with the Banker

This is the most basic strategy and it comes down to simple maths. The return to the player payout percentage is an incredible 98.94% meaning that if you have placed 100 bets of $1, statistically you will receive back $98.94. Even when considering the possible 5% commission on the Banker bet, this is still a marginally better bet than the Player.

Always avoid the Tie bet

The D’Alembert System

The system of the French theorist comes down to the principle that chances of winning and losing will eventually even out. You need to choose a unit that can be, for example, one chip or $1. Every time you lose you increase your wager by one unit and every time you win you take away one unit from your next wager.

Online vs Live dealer

Online Baccarat

  • Blue Chip A wide variety of Baccarat types can be available when playing in an online casino.

  • Blue Chip Many casinos offer mobile versions of the game so you can play Baccarat online even when you are on the move.

  • Blue Chip The pace of the game adapts to you. You can place as many bets as you want within a short time.

  • Blue Chip You can play Baccarat online free or for real money.

  • Blue Chip There is no risk when playing free online Baccarat and you can get better before you try out the live dealer version.

  • Blue Chip In many online casinos, you can place side bets on Baccarat so you have more choices than the usual Banker, Player, and Tie.

Live Dealer Baccarat

  • Blue Chip Playing with a Live Dealer transports your senses to a real casino. There is an actual person in a good-looking uniform.

  • Blue Chip As convenient as playing Online Baccarat but the thrill is on a different level.

  • Blue Chip You can pick your dealer who seems/looks the nicest to you.

  • Blue Chip The pace can be slower as you have to wait for a human to shuffle and deal the cards and other players can be slow to place their bets.

  • Blue Chip Some casinos allow you to play Baccarat online free in a demo with no stakes.

  • Blue Chip If there are no free seats, you might need to wait to play, but at least you can put down your name on a waiting list.

Top Baccarat Casinos


🃏 Where can I play free Baccarat online?

The good news is that most online casinos will let you play free baccarat online. So get used to the game before jumping in the real action!

🃏 Which type of Baccarat should I choose?

This is up to you. It depends on if you want to play alongside other people, how much you want to wager (or if you want to play free Baccarat).

🃏 Is counting cards a thing in Baccarat?

Unlike in Blackjack, counting cards won’t work as the player makes no decisions. Baccarat is a game of chance – it is as simple as that.

🃏 How does the chance of winning compare to other casino table games?

The chances of winning are actually among the highest in Baccarat. Online Blackjack and craps can be compared to Baccarat in this regard.

🃏 Can I win at Baccarat in the long run?

There is, of course, the house edge so if you play indefinitely you will lose some money. The key is to finish when you are in plus!

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