A Beginner’s Guide to Baccarat

From sticky floor California card rooms to tuxedo-laden casinos in Monaco, baccarat is a game that can be intimidating. Its elitist image and confusing rules can make it difficult to understand.

However, baccarat is actually quite simple. The goal is to predict which hand will total closer to nine when the pips are added up.


The origins of baccarat are not completely clear but it is believed that the game was invented in Italy by Felix Falguiere who added some gambling elements to a game played with tarot cards. It spread to France and became popular with the nobility and rich people.

Francis ‘Tommy’ Renzoni is credited with bringing Punto Banco (the version of baccarat everyone knows and loves) to Las Vegas in the 1950s. It was then that the game really took off.

Baccarat is famous for its beautiful lead crystal paperweights and tableware – in particular the 19th century colored crystal glass and the superb millefiori canes which outshine anything from Bohemia or Venice. It is also renowned for its fine decanters and bottles. The company is still in operation today and is based in the town of Baccarat, France.


If you’re new to baccarat, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations. These are what determine the outcome of the game and affect your overall enjoyment. Whether you’re playing online or at a land-based casino, these rules apply to both types of gaming sessions.

During each round of baccarat (known as a coup), both the Banker and Player are dealt two cards. The value of these cards is summed to find the hand that is closest to 9. Court cards have a zero value, and Aces count as one. Other cards have their own values. The winning hand is the one that comes closest to nine. The resulting wagers are then paid out according to the table. There are also a number of side bets that pay out larger payouts.


Baccarat is a game of chance, and while luck does play a large role in the outcome of each hand, there are certain plays that can be made to reduce the house edge and maximize winning streaks. Practicing good stake management is also important, as the game’s high volatility can quickly deplete your bankroll.

There are three main betting options in baccarat: Player, Banker, and Tie. Each has different payouts and odds of winning, so it is important to know the rules and odds before playing baccarat for real money online. In addition to the main bets, players can place side bets. These vary from one casino to another and from one version of the game to another. The most common side bets are for Banker Pair and Player Pair, which pay out if the player or banker has a pair of matching cards.


Unlike other casino games, baccarat offers a wide range of side bets with varying payout odds. These bets can make a game much more exciting and are often worth the extra risk, especially when they pay out big winnings. Nevertheless, they should be avoided by players who are new to the game.

A good rule of thumb is to set a budget before starting play and stick with it. This can help you avoid huge losses and will also prevent you from chasing losing streaks. Some players use positive progression systems where they increase their bet size after a win and reduce it after a loss. Others prefer negative progression strategies like Martingale, which can be detrimental to bankrolls. It is important to find a betting strategy that suits your own personal preferences and bankroll.


Baccarat has several variations and its popularity is growing worldwide. While they all have the same objective of betting on whether the player or banker hand is closest to nine, each variation has its own rules and side bets.

The most popular version is Punto Banco, which is found in casinos around the world. This game is purely based on chance and doesn’t allow players to make decisions that affect the outcome of the hand.

Another popular variation is Chemin De Fer, which is played in European casinos. This game is thought to be the oldest version of baccarat and gets its name from the fact that it was once kept in iron boxes. It is also believed that it was the favourite casino game of James Bond, who portrayed it in many of his movies.