Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a card game that involves betting on the Player, Banker, or Tie. Players place their bets before the dealer deals cards. The winning hand is the one that comes closest to nine. Aces are worth only one point.

If either the Player or Banker hands have totals of 8 or 9 on their first two dealt cards, this is a natural winner and placed bets are paid. If not, a third card is drawn.

Game rules

In baccarat, the player and banker each receive two cards. The player’s hand must be closer to nine than the banker’s to win. Unlike other card games, the value of the hand is not calculated by adding up the cards. Only the rightmost digit is taken into account. The dealer draws a third card when the player’s total is five or less, and stands when it is six or higher.

The game has three betting options: on the player, on the banker, and on a tie. A winning banker or player hand pays out 1:1, while a winning tie bet can pay up to 8:1. The tie bet is the least likely of the three outcomes and has a house edge of 9.52%.

Before you begin playing, set a budget for your baccarat session and stick to it. It is easy to get carried away with the excitement of the game, so it’s important to set a limit ahead of time and stick to it.


Aside from the Player, Banker, and Tie bets, baccarat offers several side bets. One of these is the Player Pair, which pays out if the first two cards dealt to the Banker and Player are the same. Another popular side bet is the Banker Pair, which pays out if the first card to the banker is a nine and the second card is a seven.

There are also other betting options in baccarat, including the Big and Small bets. These bets are based on the total value of four, five, or six cards and pay out according to the odds. Players can also make a bet on a tie, which is paid at 8:1. Players can use a variety of betting strategies to increase their chances of winning. These include positive progression systems, such as the Labouchere System, which is a variation of the Martingale system. This strategy is more conservative than the former and allows players to manage their bet size.


Baccarat is a game of chance, but players can track trends to improve their odds of winning. It is important to remember that only one hand can win per round, and that a banker or player bet pays out according to the outcome of the round. A winning bet on the player’s hand pays out even money, while a win on the banker’s side has a 5% commission.

A runner is paid out for a winning Banker Pair hand, while a winning tie bet qualifies for a payout of 8:1. Players can also place side bets on Big and Small, which pay based on the poker value of four, five, or six cards.

Players should remember that the maximum total a hand can achieve is nine. To get this, they must subtract ten from the first numeral or drop the first digit of the total. For example, an 8 and a 7 would make 15. A player should always know the rules of the game and use score sheets to keep track of their progress.


There are many variations of baccarat, and each has its own unique rules. Those rules determine who assumes the role of banker and the rules by which cards may be drawn and betted on. Some of these variations also offer side bets, while others do not.

Punto Banco is a popular game in the United States, with a house edge that is low enough to keep the game interesting for most players. It is played at casino floors across the country and is available in VIP sections of major online gambling sites.

Another variation of baccarat is EZ Baccarat, which pays winning player and banker bets even money, except on a winning total of seven from three cards. This variation does not pay commission on winning bets, so it is sometimes called “Commission Free Baccarat” in the US. It is a good choice for beginners who want to avoid the hustle of calculating commissions. It also allows the banker to accept or reject a third card if necessary.