Do you want to learn how to play baccarat like a pro at an online casino UK? If the answer is yes, then you’ve landed on the right page. Baccarat is one of the easiest casino games and despite not being on many players' radars, we think many will agree it’s also one of the most fun games.
Baccarat is a popular card game that’s played between the player and the banker. Unlike other card games, however, players don’t get their own cards to play and don’t usually touch the cards either. The goal of any baccarat game is to predict the outcome by betting on the winning side.
Like any game of chance, there’s no sure way to predict which side will win, but it’s still necessary to know the basic rules of the game before jumping in. You might also improve your odds of winning baccarat by following our tips and avoiding common mistakes, which will be covered in this guide. We’ll explain the game of baccarat how to play like a professional and how to choose your bet.
What are the Rules of Baccarat?
Baccarat is played between the player and the banker, but there can be multiple players seated at the baccarat table, playing at the same time. The rules of the game are that the dealer handles the cards in this game while players place their bets at the start of the game.
Each side gets two cards from the dealer, and the objective is to get as close to nine as possible to win the round. The dealer determines the value of each hand by counting the cards according to the baccarat card values, which we’ll explain further on.
If the player or the banker has a score higher than nine, a total of 10 points is removed from the score. For example, if the player has a hand of 16, their final score would be six because you remove the 10 from the total. This is a simple rule that applies to any hand with a total score that goes over nine.
Another important baccarat rule is the third card rule. Sometimes, the dealer might deal a third card to the player, the banker, or both. The dealer must follow the baccarat third card rule to draw any additional cards, and the rules are also different for the player and the banker sides. This is the only part of learning how to play baccarat that gets somewhat complex, so we’ve illustrated the rules in two different tables below.
The third card rules that apply to the player are as follows:
|1,2,3,4,5, or 10
|A third card is drawn
|6 or 7
|8 or 9
The rules for the banker drawing a third card are based on the banker’s first two cards, as
|0 - 4
|Banker draws a third card if the player has a 2 or 3 as their third card
|0 - 5
|Banker draws a third card if the player drew a 4 or a 5
|3, 6, or 7
|0 - 2
|Banker draws a third card if the player drew an 8 as a third card
|0 - 3
|Banker draws a third card if the player's third card is a 9, 10, Ace, or face card. They stand if the total is between 4 and 7.
These rules may seem rather complex at first, but the good news is that you don’t actually need to know them to play baccarat like a pro. This is because the dealer is responsible for drawing additional cards, and once you’ve placed your stake, there’s nothing else for you to do except wait for the result!
Whether you’re learning how to play baccarat Chemin de Fer, No Commission Baccarat, or any other variation of this fun card game, the basic baccarat rules remain the same. This also applies to playing online or live baccarat. Although the platforms are very different, the steps in the game, the rules, and the game objective don’t change.
How to Bet on Baccarat?
One of the reasons casino baccarat is so easy to play is that there are only three possible bets to choose from when placing your stake. Unlike other casino games like roulette, for example, which has a vast number of different bets to choose from, there are only three in baccarat.
The first is wagering on the player’s side, which means you’re betting that the player’s hand will be the closest to nine. The second bet option in baccarat is the banker bet which is betting on the outcome that the banker will win the round.
Both bets pay even money, but the banker is always recommended because the house edge is slightly lower than the player’s bet. It’s very important to note that the casino usually takes a 5% commission on winning banker bets, which means the correct payout for this bet is 0.95:1 if you consider the commission.
The third and final possible outcome in casino baccarat is that the game ends in a tie, which means the banker and the player have the same score. This is the third betting option you can choose from, and you’ll win this bet if the game ends in a tie. The odds of winning this bet are much lower than the two other bets, so most how to play baccarat casino game guides will tell you to avoid this bet entirely.
Now that we’ve gone over the three possible bets in baccarat, let’s look at the payouts for winning bets. Remembers, you should always choose which bet to place by comparing the house edge and the payout for each bet when they offer different payouts/odds. Picking random bets without considering these might quickly use up your casino deposits without seeing any wins.
The payouts for each bet are described below. We suggest keeping them in mind when playing live casino baccarat, which is more fast-paced than online baccarat.
If the player’s side gets closer to nine, they win the round. Any player who placed their stake on the player will win a 1:1 payout, which means even money. For example, if you wagered £10 on the player and they won, you get your original stake back plus another £10. So, you win £10, but your balance will total £20.
If the banker’s hand is higher than the player’s, the banker wins, and any player who placed this bet will win a payout. The banker bet pays even money, but the casino generally takes a 5% commission on this bet, making the payout 0.95:1. So, if you wagered £10 on the banker and it won, you win a total of £9.50.
If the banker and the player have the same hand value after all the cards are dealt, the result is a tie. The tie bet is the highest-paying bet in baccarat. Like any bet, the higher the payout, the lower the odds; this is the case with tie bets too. Most baccarat games offer a payout of 8:1 for winning tie bets, but the winning odds are very low because it’s a rare outcome.
Baccarat Card Values
Considering that the highest value the banker or the player can get in the game is nine, you might be wondering how to value the face cards, the ace, and the 10-card. This is where the baccarat card values come in, and they’re important because they’re different from the poker or blackjack card values.
It’s very easy to learn and memorise the card values in baccarat, as summarised in the table below:
|10, Jack, Queen, and King
In short, the cards up to eight are worth their face value, the Ace is always worth a value of one, while all the face cards and the 10-card have no value.
Several betting strategies that can be used on casino games like baccarat, live roulette, and live blackjack exist. These strategies can be broken into two main types: progressive betting systems and non-progressive ones. Progressive strategies are much more popular, so you might already know a little about the betting systems we’ll discuss in the following sections.
Progressive betting systems can be further categorised as positive or negative progression systems. With a positive progression strategy, you increase your bet on a win and reduce it on a loss, while negative progression systems work oppositely.
Below are the most common betting strategies that can be used when learning how to play baccarat. These can be applied to both online and live baccarat, and the idea is to structure your bet by following a specific system. It’s crucial to note here that none of the baccarat betting strategies described below can be risky to use because they require a rather large bankroll to follow. More importantly, these strategies won’t guarantee a win because baccarat is 100% a game of chance, and the results are always random.
The Martingale strategy is the strategy that almost every player knows about or has at least heard of. It’s one of the most popular betting strategies for roulette, but it can also be used for baccarat games. The Martingale system is a negative progression system, meaning you keep your bet the same if you win and double it if you lose.
The theory behind this system is that when you eventually hit a win, the amount won will compensate for the previous losses and potentially earn you a profit. Please note that this is not a foolproof strategy, and the theory doesn’t always work in practice. There’s also the risk of using up your entire bankroll before hitting a win or breaking even.
The 1-3-2-4 strategy is a betting system that’s more advanced and might be a little complex if you’re still learning how to play baccarat card game. This positive progression betting system requires you to increase your stake on a win and reduce it on a loss. Instead of simply doubling your wager, however, this system uses a base unit to begin with.
On a win, that bet unit should be increased according to the next number in the strategy, which means it will be tripled on the first win. If you start with a base bet of £1, your next bet would therefore be £3 (on a win). On the next win, you need to bet two units according to the number sequence, and so on.
The Fibonacci betting system is a fairly advanced betting system commonly used for playing roulette but can be easily applied to baccarat games. When you feel confident in your understanding of how to play like a pro, you might be interested in trying the Fibonacci method.
This baccarat strategy is based on the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the two numbers preceding it. The sequence starts as follows:
1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21
It’s easy to continue the sequence yourself by adding the last two numbers together to get the next one in the sequence. For example, 21+13=34, which gives you the next number that follows in the sequence.
This number sequence is used to determine your next bet every time you lose. It’s also a negative progression system, which means that you increase your wager by the next number in the sequence every time you lose. The process should be repeated until you win, at which point you return to your original bet. This means that no matter where you’ve gotten in the sequence, you always go back to your original wager when you win a round.
Different Sizes of Baccarat Tables
Like live blackjack, live baccarat has several variations, both in the rules of the game and the size of the table you play on as well. The size of the table doesn’t change how to play online baccarat, but it does affect the betting limits on the table and how many players can join the table too.
Below are the most common sizes of baccarat tables you can find at a casino:
- Full-Size Punto Banco Baccarat – Full-Size baccarat, also referred to as Big Baccarat, is the largest baccarat table layout that can take up to 14 players. Unlike regular baccarat tables, a full-size table has a caller and two dealers. The dealers manage half of the table each, while the caller is responsible for dealing the cards and announcing the winning side. Full-size baccarat tables can be found at land-based casinos and are generally more suitable for high rollers.
- Mini-Baccarat – Contrary to the full-size baccarat table, the mini version is suitable for low rollers because bet limits are usually quite low. Players can join the table with bets as low as £5, which is why it’s one of the most popular tables. Up to seven players can sit at a Mini Baccarat table, and there’s just one dealer on the table. It’s also faster-paced than most baccarat tables because fewer players are at the table.
- Midi-Baccarat – As you can probably guess from the name, the Midi Baccarat table is somewhere in between the Mini and the Full-Size tables. Midi Baccarat tables can be found in both online and land-based casinos, and they can seat up to nine players. The table limits are not as low as the Mini Baccarat tables but not as high as the Big Baccarat tables either, making them suitable for a wider range of punters.
Baccarat House Edge
Like any casino game, baccarat has a house edge which varies slightly depending on the side you choose to bet on. As always, when learning how to play baccarat online, the house edge is something that should inform all your betting decisions, as well as the potential payout. Before choosing a bet, it’s necessary to understand the statistical likelihood of winning that bet and how much you can win if you do.
With that said, let’s first look at the house edge on the banker’s side. The odds of the banker’s hand winning are 45.87%, including tie outcomes. The odds of losing are 54.13%. This gives us a house edge of 1.01% for a single-deck baccarat game and a slightly higher house edge of 1.06% for six or eight-deck baccarat. The bet pays 0.95:1 rather than 1:1 because of the 5% commission that goes to the casino.
Moving on to the player’s side, this bet pays out even money, but the odds of winning are slightly lower at 44.63%, compared to 45.87% for the banker. The odds of losing, therefore, are 55.37%. The house edge for the player bet in a single-deck baccarat game is 1.29%. These odds consider the tie bet.
The banker bet has a slightly lower house edge, which means a greater chance of winning this bet. This explains why casinos add a 5% commission on winning banker bets. The lower house edge is also why one of the most common tips you’ll come across when learning how to play baccarat in casinos is to bet on the banker every time.
The tie bet is the one that should generally be avoided if you look at the house edge. The odds of winning a tie bet are only 9.51%, so the odds are certainly not in your favour. This bet has a very high house edge of 15.75% (for single-deck games), making it one of the worst bets you can make in this game.
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FAQs About How to Play Baccarat
1. What are the Basic Rules of Baccarat?
The basic rules of baccarat are that the game has two sides: the player and the banker. The aim of the game is to bet on the winning side or a tie. The side that gets closest to nine wins the round.
2. How Do You Play and Win Baccarat?
There is no sure way how to play baccarat and win baccarat because no skills or strategies are required to influence the outcome of this game. To win, you need to predict the outcome by betting on the banker, the player, or a tie.
3. What is the Object of the Game Baccarat?
The object of the game is simply to guess the winning side and place a bet on it. For example, you get a payout if you bet on the banker and their side wins.
4. Is Baccarat a Skill or Luck?
Baccarat is purely a game of luck, and no skills are required to play or win the game. For this reason, baccarat is ideal for beginners who want a straightforward game with very easy-to-understand rules.
5. How to be Successful in Baccarat?
Since baccarat is a game of chance, there are no sure ways to ensure success in the game. Ultimately, the outcome is impossible to predict, but one of our best tips is to stick to the banker bet and always avoid the tie bet.