How To Play Baccarat
A baccarat game is a classic Bond-movie setting, which perhaps makes the game seem more intimidating than it should. Baccarat is actually a simple game to play. And in terms of betting, the baccarat strategy has much in common with coin flips. What is more, baccarat is a casino game with a relatively low, player-friendly house edge.
So for those wondering how to play baccarat, let’s first have a look at the game rules.
The rules of baccarat require all the betting on any particular hand to be completed before the hand begins. The game then starts with two cards being dealt to each of two hands, known respectively as a Player hand and a Bank hand.
The game objective in live baccarat is to predict which of those hands will subsequently acquire a total which is closest to 9. This is done by betting on the Bank hand, the Player hand, or else wagering that the round will finish as a tie.
In calculating any hand total, all tens and ‘face’ cards have a value of zero, an ace has a value of one, and all remaining cards score at their face value
However, if any hand should score higher than 9, that score is adjusted by subtracting 10 from the original total.
The house rules at any particular venue will decide whether either the bank or player hands are entitled to draw a third card. And in any event, there will always be a maximum of three cards available for any hand.
Those who correctly bet on a winning player hand qualify for a 1 to 1 payout. However, while those who correctly forecast a winning bank hand will also be eligible for a 1 to 1 payout, under baccarat rules they must also pay a 5% commission. This has the effect of reducing the payout odds on this hand to 19 to 20.
A winning tie bet qualifies for a payout of 8-to-1.
How to bet on Baccarat
If you wager on the player hand and it comes nearest to nine, you win twice your stake.
If you wager on the banker hand and it’s a winning hand, the payout is 95% of your stake. But don’t forget that totals above nine require you to drop the first digit to get the true value. For example 9 + 6 = 15, drop the ‘1’ = 5.
A tie is the other betting option, which as mentioned will give you an 8-to-1 payout.
Score sheets are available at live baccarat tables to help you keep in touch with your score.
One thing which can be confusing about baccarat is the drawing of a third card. But the important thing to remember is: this is not a matter of strategy, these decisions are all covered by game rules and actioned by the dealer. So as a player you could simply ‘go with the flow’ – but it’s always a good idea to have some understanding of what may happen.
When a player’s hand totals 0 to 5, or equals 10, a third card is drawn. If the total is 6 or 7, the action is known as a ‘stand’, which means no third card is drawn. Totals of 8 or 9 are described as ‘naturals’, and here too no third card can be drawn.
These actions are summarised in the chart below:
The rules for a banker hand follow similar principles but are a little more detailed. Once again, the dealer is responsible for applying these rules and thus will announce the action to be taken. And once more, the actions involving the banker hand are summarised in the chart below:
And one more point: When there is a tie, there is no loser. Should the first two cards total 8 or 9, the hand is deemed a “natural” and is thus an automatic win, except when both hands produce “naturals” of equal value, in which case it becomes a tie. If neither hand contains a natural, further cards are drawn to decide the winner.
Top rules of baccarat
Like many other casino games, there is much you can learn from the experience of playing the game. But certain plays and actions should be understood early. So here are six baccarat tips to help you develop a playing strategy.
1) Ignore the ‘tie bet’ option: Experts have calculated the house edge for a tie bet is around 14.4%. Such a big percentage is a disadvantage from the outset and always makes this particular bet a poor choice.
2) The banker is your best bet: Because the bank wins just over 50% of games, this should always be your go-to bet. And the fact that 5% commission is charged to reduce the benefits to the player simply confirms this.
3) – until it loses: You should always watch for winning streaks, and statistically speaking, the bank will usually get the most. When this happens, bet with the bank – just don’t be over-aggressive.
4) Pass on the next bet after the bank loses: Whenever the bank finally loses out to the player, don’t bet on the next outcome. Wait until the following one. Note whether it’s a win for the player or the bank. Then resume betting in line with the outcome of that play.
5) Discount all tie bets: For strategic purposes, treat every tie bet as if it never happened. A tie bet is simply a drawn game without a winner or a loser, so don’t include it in your bank-win/ player-win calculations.
6) Practice good stake management: Though baccarat has an advantageous house edge, its win/lose ratio makes it a coin flip. So look to follow bank streaks as suggested, but always monitor your outlay. Staking 10 units for each wager with a limit of 200 units per session (followed by a complete break) is a wise schedule to follow.
Most popular live baccarat strategies
Live baccarat is a deceptively simple game to play. But to make the most of your time online it’s always best to use a baccarat betting strategy which is both logical and easy to apply. So this guide to baccarat strategy is designed to help you to learn how to play baccarat well and develop a baccarat system which will make playing a fun and enjoyable experience, however, remember that luck also plays a very important role in every casino game.
Just and you’ll be ready to try out these strategies in our Live baccarat games.
The 1-3-2-4 system
Take the 1-3-2-4 number sequence and choose a unit value for your betting – say £5, for example. Your opening bet will be placed as a single unit. If that is successful, you then take the next sequential number and place a bet for those units (e.g. 3 x 5 = £15). And if you achieve four winning bets, you will then be up by 10 units.
The one-sided baccarat betting strategy
This ‘one-sided’ betting strategy is fairly straightforward to explain: A player bets online on ‘one side’ of the baccarat table – thus choosing to stick with a player or banker bet. There’s a low house advantage on either side, but there’s more to it than that. Much like a blackjack game, the ‘real odds’ on any particular hand will fluctuate throughout. That means sometimes the banker side has a very slight statistical advantage, while at other times it’s the player side whose nose might be in front. So, this whole strategy rests upon a player’s ability to coast through all the break-even phases and sense the short-lived moments when the run of the cards seems advantageous to their chosen side. The aim, of course, being to try to profit from them or at least keep your Live Casino bankroll at a healthy breakeven point.
The Martingale strategy
This is yet another progressive baccarat strategy in which you double your stake after every loss. Just remember to bet only on the player. Why? Because betting on the banker pays just 0.95. So when you bet £1, you’ll win just 95 pence – hardly a smart move if you commit to doubling your stake. But a bet on the player pays out pound for pound. So when you bet £1 and win, that’s what your return will be. So to recap: when using the Martingale strategy, never bet on the banker or the tie – always on the player. Never change that betting option. And when you play, bet £1 and if you lose increase your bet to £2 etc. etc.
What does baccarat mean?
Baccarat was invented by an Italian man named Felix Falguiere back in the 1400s. The name Baccarat came from the Italian word baccara which means zero but adopted the French spelling when the game spread from Italy to France. The name zero is said to be in reference to cards with a label of 10 or higher has a value of zero.
The French played two versions: ‘Chemin de fer’ and ‘baccarat en banque’ which became very popular across the country that the game became illegal to play in casinos in 1837. This did not stop players from entertaining themselves with this game.
From France, the game spread to England where the very notable author Ian Fleming took a liking to Baccarat. This likeness for the game was then imortalised in his world famous fictional character James Bond.
Is baccarat easy to learn?
Baccarat is an easy a slow-paced game that is stacked full of fun. It is why it is popular globally as one of the worlds favourites. One of the more simple casino games, the most difficult part of the game is deciding how much to wager if wagering at all.
Is baccarat a game of skill?
There is no skill involved in Baccarat, it is purely luck of the draw and whoever’s cards are closest to the sum of 9 wins. It’s as simple as that.