Baccarat: How to play and strategy

30-second Summary:

  • Baccarat is one of the top card games in the world of casino games, and is primarily a game of chance.
  • Baccarat is a simple, straightforward game which makes it so popular amongst casino players.
  • There are different varieties of the game to play if you want to switch things up a bit.
  • While Baccarat is a game of chance, there are a few good strategies to keep in mind to keep you in the game.
  • There are 3 main bets you can make, depending on your appetite.

Baccarat is one of the most popular card games these days, but Baccarat has been played since the 19th century when it was the ‘it’ game amongst the French nobility. With its years of history and simple gameplay, it’s no wonder that the game is still going strong.

Baccarat’s appeal is that it opens the doors to all kinds of players as it’s not a difficult game and with its low house advantage, it has some of the best odds from amongst the other card games, such as Blackjack.

It’s good to keep in mind that it is a game of chance but there are a few Baccarat strategy tips that will help you improve your odds. Keep reading to learn how to play Baccarat and a few key takeaways to remember.  

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Baccarat Basics

So, what is Baccarat? Like most card games, Baccarat uses 8 standard 52-card decks. The cards are placed into a dealing machine which is referred to as ‘the shoe’ which ensures that the decks are shuffled adequately.

 There are only three possible outcomes per hand, therefore if you are new to the game, you do not need any particular skill in order to get started. Like we mentioned before, Baccarat is mostly a game of chance and so it is easy to get into the swing of things.

 If you are pondering over Baccarat how to play, think no further. The game starts when the dealer deals the cards, you place your bet, and see what comes out of it. We will go into further detail on which hands are good and which aren’t that great later on in this review.

 You can wager your chips on the Player hand, the Banker hand, or you can also make a tie bet where you wager on both hands. The dealer will then deal 2 cards, two to the Player and two to the Banker, all of which are dealt face up. The aim of the game is to guess which hand has a count that is as close to the number 9 as possible.

 The cards from 2 to 9 all have their face value, so for example, the four of hearts card equates to a value of 4. The cards 10, J, Q, and K have a value of 0, whereas the Ace card has a value of 1. Since each hand has two cards, their values are added together. Say you’ve been dealt the cards 2 and 4, your total value is now 6. However, if the total value is over 9, deduct 10 from the total value or drop the sum’s first digit. For instance, if you have been dealt the cards 9 and 6, your total is 15, and if you drop the first digit, the value is now 5.      

Baccarat Payouts

Now that you have a grasp on the basics, you can turn your eye to the baccarat gambling systems. The different bets you make will have different payouts. Let’s break it down and see what to expect.

  •  Player Hand Bets: if you bet on the Player’s hand and the hand is closer to 9 than the Banker’s hand, the win is yours. If you happen to wager 20.00 on the Player hand you will also win 20.00 on top of that, earning you 40.00 in total.
  •  Banker Bets: if you decide to bet on the Bank’s hand on the other hand and it wins, you will be paid in evens minus the 5% house commission. Let’s say you’re betting 20.00 on the Banker and it wins, 1.00 will go to the house as commission giving you 19.00 in return.
  •  Tie Bets: a tie bet gives you the chance to wager on both the Player’s hand and the Banker’s hand coming to an equal value. Given that both hands having an equal value is relatively uncommon, the returns are far better than when wagering on the other two hands. So, if you win a tie bet, the payout is 8:1. Let’s say you bet 20.00 with a winning tie bet, you will receive an astonishing 160.00 in return, as well as keeping the 20.00 you used to wager.

Bets to Avoid

In general Baccarat is a pretty straightforward card game to bet on. However, if you are not much of a high-roller and prefer to play it safe, there are certain bets which you really should avoid if you don’t want to take bigger chances.

While the tie bet has a truly impressive payout as we mentioned earlier, it is also the most dangerous bet to make. From all the best available, it is the one with the worst odds.

To compare, betting on the Banker hand has a house edge of 1.06%. Don’t forget the 5% commission on the Banker which must be paid! If you’d rather not do that, you can always bet on the Player hand, which has a house advantage of 1.24%.

Give Baccarat a Go

Baccarat is a fun, simple, straightforward game. Thanks to its easy gameplay, novice players can jump on board and get into the swing of things quite easily, while more seasoned players can enjoy a laid-back round of cards.

While Baccarat is based on chance, there are some smart strategies to keep in mind in order to help you last in the game, as well as keep your bankroll going strong. Adopting these strategies will not ensure a win, but they will help you play more rounds of the game.

Keep our tips and strategies in mind when playing Baccarat and ensure your bankroll keeps you afloat in the game.

Key takeaways

●     Bet Safe with the Banker

 Since Baccarat is a game of chance, you need to keep an eye on your bankroll. The best way to do this is to bet with the banker, as it’s the easiest bet you can make. 


●     Know Your Limits

 Remember that Baccarat always has a house advantage and therefore you’re bound to lose at some point, that’s just part of the game. Setting a win limit ensures that when you win over a certain amount you can stop right there and enjoy your wins.


●     Low House-Edge Bets Are Your Friend

 For an effective Baccarat strategy, wager on low house-edge bets so that you can stay in the game for as long as possible. The Banker hand has a house edge of 1.06%, whereas a tie bet has a house advantage of 14.36%. Stick to the low house-edge bets and you’ll have a longer-lasting game.


●     Forget About All-In Bets

 It really isn’t a good idea to go all-in, as you are much more likely to lose all your winnings rather than win big. While going all-in sounds exciting and glamorous, it can be a precarious strategy, so assess accordingly.


●     Don’t Forget About the Strategies

 Choose the right strategy for you, depending on what kind of bankroll you’re working with. Of course, a bigger bankroll can adopt a somewhat more daring strategy, but a smaller bankroll needs to adopt a more conservative betting strategy.

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Baccarat Strategy FAQs


Baccarat is totally a game of chance so there is absolutely no point in looking for patterns in the game. Any prior plays have no effect on the current hand being played, so there’s no pattern to take notice of.


Yes, Baccarat outcomes are completely random. Each hand is totally random and so it is pointless to keep track of previous hands or to count cards in any way.


Baccarat has one of the best house edge percentages compared to other casino games, with a 1.06% on a Banker bet. Blackjack has a favourable house edge too, but the other casino games fall way behind Blackjack and Baccarat.


Yes, of course, you can! There are plenty of casinos that offer multiple versions of Baccarat, including the three varieties mentioned above, live Baccarat and plenty more. Online casinos have way more variety than land-based casinos, try out the different versions and see what’s your favourite.