Baccarat: rules, odds, best strategies and online casino where to play

  • Written by David Bet
Baccarat: rules, odds, best strategies and online casino where to play

Baccarat is the most popular and the oldest of all games played in modern casinos. Although the game seems serious and elegant, it is really as simple as betting on the flip of a coin. Learn here rules, odds, best strategies and online casino where to play baccarat.


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Baccarat is a highly enjoyable game and can be a highly profitable one too. It has a low house edge, so players generally have a better chance of winning or breaking even here as compared to that of other casino games. In fact, if you try to notice, high-rollers are usually the ones who frequent the baccarat tables also because because of the easy baccarat rules - it's not that complicated to learn how to play baccarat.

Game Basics & RulesIt is very easy to understand the baccarat rules. Players that learn how to play baccarat should first understand the objective of the game. Both dealer and player are dealt two cards or three cards. The one that is closer to 9 wins. Third card is dealt according to third card rules.
Another important thing to know when learning how to play baccarat are the card values. The values of the cards are as follows:

  • K, Q, J, 10 = 0 points
  • Aces = 1
  • All other cards = face value

  • At the start of a new shoe, the dealer will turn over one card. This will determine how many cards the dealer will burn, according to the baccarat value, except a 10 or face card will result in 10 cards burned.
  • The cut card will be placed 16 cards from the bottom of the shoe. When the cut card appears, the dealer will finish that hand, play one more hand, and then start a new shoe. If the cut card comes out instead of the first card, the dealer will finish that hand, and then start a new shoe.
  • Play begins by all players betting either on the "player", "banker", or a tie. At some tables you may also bet on a player pair and banker pair.
  • After all bets are down, the dealer gives two cards each to the player and the banker. The score of the hand is the right digit of the total of the cards. For example, if the two cards were an 8 and 7, then the total would be 15 and the score would be a 5. The scores will always range from 0 to 9 and it is impossible to bust.
  • A third card may or may not be dealt to either the player or the dealer depending on the following rules.


    • If either the player or the banker has a total of an 8 or a 9 they both stand. This rule overrides all other rules.
    • If the player's total is 5 or less, then the player hits, otherwise the player stands
    • If the player stands, then the banker hits on a total of 5 or less. If the player does hit then use the chart below to determine if the banker hits (H) or stands (S).


      Baccarat Drawing Rules
      Player's Third Card



Player's third-card-rule

    If either the player or the bank have a total of 8 or 9 on the first two cards no further cards are drawn. The resulting hand is called a natural and the hand is over.
    If the player's total is less than or equal to 5 the player's hand draws a third card.
    If the player does not draw a third card, then the bank's hand stands on 6 or more and takes a third card on a total of 5 or less. If the player does take a third card then the Bank's third-card-rule below will determine if the bank takes a third card.

Bank's third-card-rule

    If the bank's total is 2 or less then bank draws a card, regardless of what the players third card is.
    If the banks total is 3 then the bank draws a third card unless the players third card was an 8.
    If the banks total is 4 then the bank draws a third card unless the players third card was a 0, 1, 8, or 9.
    If the banks total is 5 then the bank draws a third card if the players third card was 4, 5, 6, or 7.
    If the banks total is 6 then the bank draws a third card if the players third card was a 6 or 7.
    If the banks total is 7 then the bank stands.
  • The score of the player and dealer are compared; the winner is the one that is greater. Winning bets on the banker pay 19 to 20 (or even money less a 5% commission), winning bets on the player pay 1 to 1, winning bets on a tie usually pay 8 to 1. In the event of a tie, banker and player bets will push.

  • On winning banker bets, the player will be paid even money. Meanwhile, the dealer will keep track of the 5% commission owed with small laminated markers. At the end of each shoe, or when a player wants to leave, the dealer will collect all commissions owed.



Baccarat OddsBaccarat odds differ greatly because of a number of decks in a shoe. If a shoe contains eight packs then the following baccarat odds and house edge occur if a player's bet wins:

A baccarat betBaccarat oddsBaccarat house edge

In fact the probability of winning due to a banker bet is the highest, that is almost  46%, when a player lays a bet on 'player' he or she has the probability of  45% to win, and if it a tie that a bet has been put on, then a player will win 9% coups according to baccarat odds.

Baccarat odds for tie bets can differ according to either 8 to 1 or 9 to 1 pays. If the latter tie bet payout takes place for a casino where you play with eight-deck shoe it means that baccarat house edge equals 4.84%. This figure isn't that big as for 8 to 1 payout suggesting that baccarat odds will be greater for 8 to 1 than for 9 to 1 tie bets. 

Baccarat TipsIf you calculate the odds, then you will see that the banker will win more often than the player, but only by a small margin.  It doesn’t really matter either way because the house collects a 5% commission on banker bets that win.  All in all, the house will have a 1.24% edge on player bets and a 1.06% edge on banker bets.  A tie, however, will be your number 1 enemy in baccarat, because it pays 9 to 1 and the house has over 14% edge depending on number of decks used. So as the most important of baccarat tips says never bet on tie. Tie even pays 8 to 1 at some online casinos what makes the casino advantage even bigger.

Why does the Banker have an advantage over the Player?

The reason the banker has an advantage in baccarat is because they get to act last. If the player takes a third card and makes his hand better, the dealer gets to take a card to try to beat that score. If the player takes the third card and it makes his hand worse, the dealer will stay.

How can you tell if an online casino is playing through a shoe of cards or shuffling after each hand?

There is no easy way to tell. For a six deck shoe, you would have a possibility of between 52 (6 cards played each hand) and 78 (4 cards played each hand) hands in a shoe, eight decks is between 69 and 104 hands.

If you were able to keep track of how many times a particular card came up before the minimum number of hands is played, you could find out say if the 3 of clubs came up 7 times in a six deck shoe.

Other than that, you would have to be a very good card counter.

Baccarat is just a game of chance

If you strip the game free of all the complicated figures, though, you’ll see that baccarat is really just a game of chance.  There is no tip on how to decrease casino edge (other than the tie baccarat tip), the best you can do when you are figuring out how to win baccarat tips, is to manage your bankroll properly and to learn to walk away when you’re ahead.  In the long run, the casino will profit off of you even if you know how to play baccarat perfectly and all baccarat tips.  However, if you know when to take off with your winnings, then you can guarantee a true victory.

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