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How to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the most glamorous, suspenseful, and simple casino card games. It’s a game of chance that requires no technical skill and offers some of the best odds available in the casino. This guide will introduce you to the basics of how to play baccarat, making it easy and enjoyable to get started.

Understanding the Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat is played at a large table that can seat 12 to 14 players. Despite the large number of players, only two hands of cards are dealt: the “Banker” and the “Player”. Participants can bet on either hand or on a tie.

The Objective

The goal of baccarat is to predict which of the two hands—the Player or the Banker—will come closest to a total of 9. Here’s how the scoring works:

  • Cards 2-9 are worth their face value.
  • Aces are worth 1 point.
  • 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings are worth 0 points.

If the total of the hand value goes over 10, the score is adjusted by subtracting 10 from the total.

How to Play

The Gameplay Steps

  1. Place Your Bets: Decide whether to bet on the Player, Banker, or a Tie.
  2. The Deal: Two cards each are dealt to the Player and the Banker.
  3. Third Card Rules: Depending on the totals, a third card may be dealt to either hand following a set of predetermined rules.
  4. Determine the Winner: The hand closest to a total of 9 wins.

Table of Baccarat Scoring

2-9Face Value
10, J, Q, K0

Key Rules for Drawing a Third Card

The decision to draw a third card for the Player or Banker hands is based on a set of rules:

  • Player’s Rule: If the Player’s total is 5 or less, the Player draws a third card. If it’s 6 or 7, the Player stands.
  • Banker’s Rule: The Banker’s action depends on the Banker’s initial total and the value of the Player’s third card if one is drawn.

The Specifics:

  • If the Player stands (does not draw a third card), the Banker draws on totals of 0-5 and stands on 6-9.
  • The Banker draws a third card on a total of 0-2 regardless of what the Player has.

Baccarat Betting Options

Choose your betting strategy wisely. Here are the three main bets:

  1. Player Bet: Betting the Player’s hand will win. Pays 1:1.
  2. Banker Bet: Betting the Banker’s hand will win. Pays 1:1 minus a 5% commission.
  3. Tie Bet: Betting both hands will tie. Pays 8:1 or sometimes 9:1.

Tips for Beginners

  • Avoid the Tie Bet: Although it offers higher payouts, the odds of a tie are poor.
  • Banker is the Best Bet: The Banker’s hand has slightly better odds of winning than the Player’s.
  • Manage Your Bankroll: Baccarat is fast-paced, and it’s easy to get caught up in the action. Set limits for both wins and losses before starting to play.


Baccarat is easy to learn and offers great fun and some of the best odds at the casino. Whether you’re playing in a lavish casino setting or online from the comfort of your home, baccarat can provide plenty of excitement and chances to win. Remember, the most important part of playing baccarat, or any casino game, is to have fun and gamble responsibly.