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Baccarat Guide - How to Play, Rules and Variations

Right after fan-favourite card games like poker and blackjack comes the unique game of baccarat.

This interesting game dates back to the 15th century, when it was a hit among the high social classes. According to sources, baccarat found its way from Italy to France and saw its popularity constantly grow over the years.

These days, baccarat is the first pick of high-stake gamblers. Namely, the card game comes with several betting options, some of them offering the best odds out there. Plus, the gameplay is quite unusual and exciting, making the game excellent for unforgettable casino adventures. So, thanks to its popularity, baccarat and its several variations are always featured at online as well as brick-and-mortar casinos.

How to Play Baccarat

Well, there are several aspects of baccarat a player must learn before playing the game. First, let’s check out the basic rules and then we’ll move on to the type of bets and house edge. So, a game of baccarat usually involves eight standard decks of cards. The game’s objective is to get as close as possible to the hand count of 9.

Naturally, this is done by getting cards and calculating the score. Keep in mind, though, that bust doesn’t exist in baccarat. Hence, the score is calculated by adding the numbers and then checking the rightmost number of the sum. Differently put, if you hold 5 and 9, your baccarat hand score would be 4 as that is the rightmost number of 14.

Another thing that baccarat players must know is the card count. Namely, in this game face cards (J, Q and K) and 10s have no value i.e. their value is 0. The rest of the cards count as their face value or anything from 1 to 9.


Now that you know how to win and count baccarat hands, let’s see how the gameplay progresses. Unsurprisingly, the game starts with dealing cards i.e. both the banker and the player receive two cards each. Depending on the exact baccarat variants and rules, you or the banker may need to get another card.  The particular rule that demands this is the one suggesting that anyone holding a score of 5 must hit and get additional card.

Nevertheless, when both the player and the banker have completed hands, the time for comparing the hands is on. Since the objective is to get as close as possible to the count of 9, the one who has achieved this is the winner. However, many times the hand counts may be identical, in which case there is a tie. Don’t worry, though, as you can bet on tie scores as well. We’ll get there in a second.

Types of Bets and House Edge

Just like there are various types of bets a player can place on blackjack, there are a total of three baccarat bets one can place. The first bet is the player bet i.e. bet on the player. This bet has 1:1 payout and comes with 5% commission. Player bet comes between the banker and the tie bet in terms of house edge. Namely, the house of this bet is 1.36%.

Betting on the banker i.e. placing the banker bet is the best one when it comes to house edge. Namely, this bet has house edge of 1.06% and it’s the reason why high rollers love baccarat so much. Just like the player bet, on the other hand, it offers even payout and comes with a 5% commission. Finally, there’s the tie bet, whose house edge is high 14.4%. However, players are often attracted to it thanks to the high payouts of 8 to 1 or 9 to 1. You should remember that you may bet on all three options or choose two bets at the same time. Actually, playing in the shoe i.e. betting on both player and banker is a popular baccarat playing strategy.

Table Limits

Players should know that every table comes with table limits. These limits make a certain table a good pick for different types of players. Thus, for example, medium limits usually go from £1 to £100 and target medium rollers. Naturally, since baccarat is the game for high rollers, most tables have high limits between £1 and £1,000 or higher. Usually, the table limits are easily visible on the table, so make sure to see whether they suit your bankroll before starting to play.

Popular Variations

Players these days can choose between many interesting and innovative variants of baccarat. Popular casino providers always try to come up with creative variations in both rules and features. Thus, the options are plenty. For example, Punto Banco and Mini Baccarat remain fan-favourite variants of the game. Additionally, interesting options are American Baccarat, European and Baccarat Pro. It goes without saying that each of these games boasts with something that makes it special in comparison to the rest. Therefore, you should try them all and find your own personal favourite. However, they all come with sleek design, smooth action and realistic sounds. Hence, you surely will feel as if you’re playing at a real Las Vegas or Macau casino.