Play Baccarat

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If you’ve never played before, now is your chance to practice risk free. Baccarat is easy to play and hugely popular with high rollers due to the fast pace and potential to win or lose a lot in a short amount of time. On this page we offer some practical advice on how to play and where to play for real.

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CJ’s guide to Baccarat: How To Play

Baccarat is a classic casino table game. It is played between two people – the player and the banker.  The objective is to bet on the hand with the closest total value of 9.

There are 3 possible outcomes to each hand.

  1. The player wins
  2. The banker wins
  3. A tie

You can bet on any of the above outcomes and each has a different payout

Player wins – 1:1
Banker wins – 0.95:1
Tie – 8:1

Whilst the Tie bet has an attractive payout the odds of actually hitting a tie are only 9.51%.

Compare this to 45.87% on the banker and 44.63% on the player. 

The rules:

The banker and the player are dealt 2 cards face up.

If the player or the banker is dealt a total of 8 or 9 both the banker and the player stand.

 If the player has a total of 5 or less, the player gets another card. Any other total value and the player stands.

If the player stands, the banker gets another card if they have a total of 5 or less.

Adding up points in baccarat:

You’re betting on the hand with the closest total to 9. So how do the points work?

Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings are worth 0 points.
Aces are worth 1 point.
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 are worth their face value.

But what happens when your card total is more than 9? When this happens, the hand automatically becomes the value of the second digit.

For example: you have a hand made up of a 4 and an 8. The points total is 12. Since this is more than 10, the hand value is 2.

Or you have a hand made up of a 6 and an 8. The points total is 14. In this case, the hand value is 4.

Baccarat Games

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most popular variations of Baccarat and some of the key features. You will find this game at pretty much every online casino and you may have the option to play it with a live dealer for the ultimate online casino experience!

Punto Banco

This is the most commonly found baccarat game. It could not be more simple in terms of player interaction. All you need to decided is whether to bet on the banker, the player or a tie. (Hint: don’t bet on tie) You may find some Punto Banco games have added features such as pairs side bets. Again, these payout more but are infrequent.

Baccarat Banque

In Bacarat Banque only 3 decks of cards are used. It can also be called Deux Tableaux and in this case two tables are joined together with the banker in the middle and two player hands are dealt. The banker plays against both player hands at once. The banker is unique in this version since the role of banker is auctioned off and given to the player who placed the largest wager. Only the banker can bet on banker win, and only the players can bet on player win.

Chemin De Fer

In this version of Baccarat players bet against each other. The player who is Banker wagers a bet that covers the bets of the players. Chemin De Fer translates as “railway” in French, and the game gets its name from the movement of the shoe which goes anticlockwise around the table as each player deals the cards. You won’t find this game in an online casino but it can be found in some casinos in Europe.

No Commissions

As a baccarat player you are probably annoyed that you have to pay a commission when the banker wins. No Commission Baccarat offers a game where you don’t have to pay this fee, so the banker wins and player wins both pay out 1:1. Of course, the house doesn’t want to lose it’s edge completely so to offset the lack of commission

Baccarat Betting Strategies

  • There aren’t any real strategies since you can not affect the outcome of the game. Many players bet in patterns, for example alternating between betting on the player or the dealer or on a streak betting on a number of player or banker wins in a row. This comes down to player superstition more than anything else since there is mathematically absolutely no correlation between each hand’s outcome.

  • You can consider your betting strategy based on the odds. The best strategy mathematically is to bet on the banker every time. Why? Because this bet has the best odds. The worst strategy is to bet on tie because the casino edge is a massive 14%.

  • You can also select a baccarat or punto banco game that uses less decks of cards. The fewer the number of decks, the better the odds.


What’s the RTP on baccarat punto banco?

Most Punto Banco games offer an RTP of between 98.8% and 98.96%

Why are the banker odds higher than the player odds in baccarat?

Since the banker only acts after the player acts, they win hands more often. The casino counteracts this by effectively charging a commission of 5%. This is why the player pays 1:1 and the banker pays 0.95:1.

Is there any skill involved in baccarat?

No. Baccarat is a luck game. You don’t even have to know how to play, but it certainly helps make the game more exciting if you know what is going on.

What’s the difference between baccarat and punto banco?

Punto Banco is just a form of baccarat. This is the most commonly played version, and is usually just called Baccarat.  There are however different forms of baccarat; namely Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque.

How do you pronounce baccarat?

Baccarat is a word of French origin, so the “t” is not pronounced. Ba-kuh-raa.

How many people can play baccarat at once?

In a casino there are between 7 and 14 seats for players. Regardless of the number of people at the table only 2 hands will be dealt – the player and the banker. Each person at the table will be betting on the same 2 hands, and the outcome of player, banker or a tie.