Baccarat Tips and Tricks for Rookie Gamblers

Baccarat tips and tricks representation
Baccarat: Shutterstock

Baccarat, along with roulette, blackjack, poker and craps, is considered one of the big five casino table games. Yet, it’s often viewed with caution by regular table game players. Our baccarat tips and tricks for beginners are there to reduce any gambling anxiety and give you a few hints on how to play and win. 

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Baccarat originated in Italy during the 15th century. The game’s name is derived from the Italian word “baccara”, which means zero, reflecting the value of face cards and tens. Initially played by the nobility, it gained popularity among the French aristocracy in the 19th century and was later introduced to casinos.

Baccarat evolved over time and underwent various adaptations in different countries. The game reached North America in the early 20th century and was initially known as “Punto Banco”. Its popularity grew in Havana and Las Vegas casinos during the 1950s and 1960s, attracting high rollers and becoming synonymous with elegance and exclusivity.

Baccarat tips and tricks article. General view of international Casino in Hotel Nacional De Cuba in Havana, October 1, 1958. This is one of the ten big casinos in Cuba whose operations were in the hands of US gambling interests.

The introduction of online gambling in the 1990s further expanded the accessibility and reach of baccarat, allowing players from around the world to enjoy the game from the comfort of their homes.

Today, baccarat remains a prominent feature in land-based and online casinos, captivating players with its simple yet thrilling gameplay and offering various online variations such as mini-baccarat and live dealer baccarat.

Baccarat Betting Rules

While the game might appear intimidating, baccarat rules are straightforward and easy to master. Here are a few baccarat tips and tricks for playing the game:

  • Baccarat offers three possible game outcomes – a banker win, a player win, or a tie. The player bets on which outcome they predict will occur.
  • The final score depends on the card values, with each participant ending the game with two or three cards.
  • When it comes to scoring, the golden number is 9. The game-winner is anyone who gets 9 or a number closest to 9.
  • Card suits are irrelevant when playing baccarat, and the Joker card is not used.
  • Any hand that adds up to 8 or 9 is an automatic win called a natural.
  • The final score is derived from the last digit of the sum of all cards (e.g., 7 and 9 add up to 16, which means the final score is 6, the number’s right-most digit.
Ace1 point
2 – 9Face value
10, J, Q, K0 points

Baccarat Tricks for Betting on a Player or Banker

While it might appear that both the banker and the player hold equal chances of winning, the banker’s cards statistically carry a slight advantage over the player due to the rules governing the third card. In numbers, this translates to the banker having a 45,85% chance of a win, compared to the player’s 44,62%.

Similarly, a banker’s bet carries the lowest house edge of 1,06%. This is slightly better than the player’s house edge of 1,36% and a long way from the house edge of a tie bet, which equates to a whopping 14,4%.

The third-card rules, which we will discuss later, are rather complex and fully automated in an online baccarat game. Due to these rules, the banker is expected to win more hands in the long run.

However, there are perks to betting on the player. All the winnings accrued during a player bet go to the player. Alternatively, should a player bet on a banker, around 5% of their winnings go to the house. Ultimately, the player can settle on a mixed approach, switching bets from banker to player and vice versa.

Baccarat Tips and Tricks for Betting on a Tie

The primary advantage of a tie bet is that it carries a substantially larger payout since most baccarat games pay 8:1 on a tie. Sadly, only about 10% of hands in baccarat result in a tie. To put this in perspective, betting 100 hands on a tie will result in you winning just ten times.

Baccarat tie

Of course, statistics are not failproof, and you could walk away with 90 wins for 100 bets placed. However, due to its variable nature, putting all your bets on ties is not recommended, although including them occasionally could improve your chances of winning.

Understanding the Baccarat Game Flow

As mentioned above, baccarat has three wagering options – player, bank, and tie. A standard baccarat game uses eight decks of 52 cards, with up to 12 players playing at a time. The value of a hand can’t exceed nine since this number represents the highest value in the game.

At the beginning of a game, the player and the banker are dealt two cards. The player must then decide whether to hit or stand, which would ultimately determine the banker’s next move.

Players’ Hands

Should the player’s hand be natural, they automatically win. If a player draws a hand total of 6 or 7, they stand. If their total score is 5 or less, they hit.

Bankers’ Hands

Banker’s move depends on what the player does and the value of their third card. The overarching rule is that should a banker or a player get a natural, they both must stand. Subsequently, should a player stand, the banker automatically hits when their total is 5 or lower. If the total is higher than 5, they must stand.

Baccarat Tips and Tricks Relating to the Third Card

Sealer distributing chips for the game of baccarat

A natural hand ends a round, with all bets being paid out. If neither the player nor the banker draws a natural, a third card may be drawn under specific conditions:

Third Card Rules for Players

  • If the player’s total adds up to 5 or less, they can draw a third card.
  • Should a player not draw a third card, the banker gets a third card, should their total be 5 or less.

Third Card Rules for Bankers

  • The banker always gets a third card when they have a total of 2 or less, irrespective of the player’s third card.
  • A third card is awarded to a banker when they get a score of 3, except when the player draws 8 as their third card.
  • The banker gets a third card when they get a score of 4, except when the player draws 0, 1, 8, or 9 as their third card.
  • A third card is awarded to a banker when they get a score of 5, except when the player draws 0, 1, 2, 3, 8, or 9 as their third card.
  • Should a banker score 7, they would be eligible for a third card only if the player gets 7 or 6.
  • If the bank’s total is 7, it must always stand.

Baccarat Tips and Tricks for Successful Gameplay

To pull off a successful round of baccarat, you need to familiarise yourself with the game’s basic rules. Although it might appear a bit overwhelming at first, the rules governing baccarat are straightforward:

  1. Master the game’s rules before you play to ensure you make competent decisions.
  2. Apply responsible bankroll management strategies, set spending limits, and stick to these.
  3. Your safest bet is to wager on the banker’s hand.
  4. Avoid betting on ties. They might sound appealing, but they also carry the highest house edge.
  5. Don’t get carried away – even if you are on a winning streak, taking an occasional break is advisable to rest and clear your mind.

Different Variations of Baccarat

While Punto Banco is the most common type of baccarat, different game variations exist. Here are the six most popular variants of the game:

Punto Banco

This is the most common variation found in many casinos. Punto Banco is a game of chance where players bet on either the “player” (punto) or the “banker” (banco) to have a higher hand total. It follows a set of predetermined rules for drawing additional cards, making it easy to understand.

Punto Banco chips

Chemin de Fer

Originating in France, Chemin de Fer is a more strategic version of baccarat. In this variation, players take turns being the “banker” and can draw an additional card based on their hand total. Other players can challenge the banker’s position, creating a more interactive and engaging gameplay experience.

Baccarat Banque

Like Chemin de Fer, Baccarat Banque involves players taking turns as bankers. However, in this variation, the banker position is more permanent, and the casino typically plays as the banker. It offers higher stakes and requires a larger bankroll compared to other variations.

Mini Baccarat

Mini Baccarat is a scaled-down version of the traditional game, played on a smaller table with lower betting limits. It follows the same rules as Punto Banco but is faster paced, making it more appealing to casual players. Mini Baccarat is popular with beginners and those seeking a less intimidating experience.

EZ Baccarat

EZ Baccarat is a variation designed to eliminate the commission typically charged on winning banker bets. It introduces the “Dragon 7” and “Panda 8” side bets, which offer higher payouts but are independent of the main game’s outcome. EZ Baccarat has gained popularity due to its simplified rules and the added excitement of side bets.

Super 6/Punto 2000

Super 6, also known as Punto 2000, is a variation of baccarat that changes the payout for winning banker bets. Instead of the usual 1:1 payout, Super 6 offers a 0.5:1 payout, except when the banker wins with a 6, which pays 1:1. This variation increases the house edge. Still, it can provide higher payouts for successful bets on the banker.

Baccarat’s unwarranted image as the bogeyman of the casino industry is mainly due to its niche appeal. But, with the game now a staple in most land-based and online casinos, it has become more accessible to the masses. We hope you have found our baccarat tips and tricks helpful and wish you luck with your next game.

Frequently Asked Questions

All our recommended casinos offer online baccarat for real money.

As a single-digit system, 9 is the highest score.

Since the player must stand on 6, and if the banker also gets it, the result is a draw.