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How to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is a very popular card game in Europe. The rules are simple to follow and anyone can start playing with a few instructions. There are two players which are you, the player and the dealer which is referred to as the Banker. You and the banker will both get to cards and with those you will attempt to get a score of nine total. The cards have these values assigned to them, an ace is one point, cards two thru nine are assigned points on their face value and then all the other cards are given zero points. Because your objective is to reach nine points, if your cards equal more than nine, the first digit is your score. What you really want to get is called a natural which is when your initial two have a value of eight or nine.


Baccarat Diagram

According to some sources, Baccarat is a very old card game dating back to the Middle Ages. It originated in Italy and then spread to many different countries around the world, becoming more and more popular. From the explanations below, it is an extremely easy game to learn and will provide many hours of gambling fun for both beginners and seasoned players.

Learning the rules is quick and easy and once the beginner has done this he will be well on the way to becoming a confident and comfortable player.

The player is offered the option of placing his bet on the Banker’s hand or the Players hand or betting on a Tie between Banker and the Player.

The game starts when the Banker and the Player are each dealt 2 cards.

If the hand that you placed your bet on wins, you will win even money, or odds of 1 to 1. So if you bet 10 dollars, you will win 10 dollars plus get your bet of 10 dollars back.

If you bet on the hands being a tie and they are tied, you will win at odds of 8 t o 1, so if you bet 10 dollars, you will win your 10 dollars back plus another 80 dollars.

If you bet on the banker’s hand to win and it does, it will pay out at odds of 1 to 1, but it will be taxed at about 5% by the casino.

The objective in this game is for your two cards to total 9 or as near to 9 as possible. In any event, you must be nearer to 9 than the dealer’s hand to win the hand.

The cards are valued differently in this game, as follows:

10’s and all picture cards - 0

Aces - 1

2 to 9 – face value. This means that the eight of spades counts as 8 points.


You cannot go bust in Baccarat as you do in Blackjack when you exceed the target total. If your points total double figures, you drop the first digit. Let’s say you are dealt a six and a seven. The total is thirteen. You drop the first digit the 1 and your score is then 3.

If the score you get on the first 2 cards is an 8 or a 9, the hand is declared a ‘natural’ and will automatically win, unless, of course, another natural is dealt which results in a tie. A natural 9 will beat a natural 8. If no natural is dealt, then a third card is dealt to each hand and this will determine the winner on the total count of the hands.

The Baccarat table has a special layout which the beginner needs to know. The table is relatively simple as there are only three bets being made at any one time, the Player, the Banker and the Tie.

The table has seating positions for seven players on each side and these are numbered from 1 to 15, skipping the number 13. The number 13 has a reputation of being unlucky so it is completely excluded in most casinos. As Baccarat is a game based purely on luck, the number 13 never appears on a Baccarat table.

In front of each seating position are three betting areas, one for each of the possible Baccarat bets. On one row the word ‘Banker’ is written out, the second row has the word ‘Player’ on it and on the line across the top of both of them, the word ‘Tie’ is written.

Casinos have rules for the playing of the game, similar to those in Blackjack.

These are the rules for the Player:

When the Player’s first 2 cards total 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, The Player must draw a card.

When the Player’s first 2 cards total 6 or 7, the Player ‘stands’. i.e. no further cards are drawn.

When the Player’s first 2 cards total 8 – 9 this is a “Natural hand”, and no further cards are drawn.

These are the rules for the Banker:

Point Value of First Two Cards: Draws when the player’s third card is:

Does not draw when the player’s third card is:

0 – 1 – 2 Always draws a card.

3 0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 9 8

4 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 0 – 1 – 8 – 9

5 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 8 – 9

6 6 – 7 0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 8 – 9

7 Always stands.

8 – 9 Player cannot draw. Player cannot draw

Although the house edge in Baccarat is very low, nonetheless the only real way to win is through luck! For this reason, Baccarat is considered a good choice for the recreational and beginner gambler.

Players will often bet on the hand that won previously. Since in a game of chance, like throwing a coin, winning will never alternate equally – it will never be a matter of win, lose, win, lose, win, etc… This is known as the streak theory. While this is a good idea, in the end it actually means nothing, since there is no strategy to playing Baccarat.

Basic Baccarat rules:

Player: if the player is dealt the total value of an eight or nine, then he/ she stands (doesn’t pick a third card). This is the same if the player is dealt the total value of a six or seven. Anything below this and the player is obliged to draw a third card.

Following the player, the banker has his/ her turn.

If the banker is dealt the total sum of an eight or nine, like the player, he/ she must stand. Similarly, if the banker is dealt a seven, he/ she also stands. If the banker is dealt a six and the player didn’t draw a card, then the banker has to stand. Lastly, if the banker's value totals a zero, one or two then he/ she has to draw. This is the basic rules for the third card, they do get slightly more complicated and these complications can be checked for in the information above.

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