How To Play Baccarat

Baccarat is the dark horse of live casino games, but it has a lot to offer if you’re willing to learn how baccarat is played. Seeing as you’re here, you’re probably looking to do exactly that. Great idea! People tend to underestimate the enjoyment there is in this game, but you’ll soon find out how right you were for learning how baccarat works once you start playing it for yourself. So, read on and learn how to play baccarat with this definitive guide to the game!

Check out all our baccarat guides and strategy pages

The first steps to playing baccarat online

The basics of baccarat are pretty easy to get your head around. In the game, 2 cards are dealt to the “banker” and 2 to the “player”. You must bet on which of these two you think will have the highest pair of cards. Keep in mind that these two fields are not dealt directly to the player and the dealer like they would in blackjack, for example. You can choose to bet on whichever one you want. The card values differ in this game than to most others though, so take some time to get used to this, and some other basic information, which you can find right here:

The baccarat table

This is the area where bets are placed in the game. This variant of baccarat dictates how many players are at the table. For example, in a land-based casino, mini baccarat sits 6 players, while the punto banco table can have up to 14. Each table is covered in felt material and includes a betting area for each player. You’ll find out more about the different bets further down. In live baccarat, this betting area is superimposed on the interface, making it easier for you to place bets.

The roads

If you have ever joined a live baccarat table before, you probably noticed that there are a number of grids on the interface. These are the different roads that show all the previous wins since the start of the session. Here, you will find the various boards with quirky names like big eye boy and big road. These can get a bit technical, so, for now, all you need to know is that they are used by players to help them determine how to bet.

The dealer

In case the name didn’t already give it away, the dealer is the person who deals the cards at the table. Sitting at the opposite side of the table to the players, they deal the cards from the shoe – not an actual shoe, this refers to the device that holds the shuffled cards. Once the round concludes, the cards are discarded and a new round begins. In the world of live casino, they are known as game presenters and each of them brings their own unique personality to the table with them.

The cards and decks

Baccarat is usually played with either 6 or 8 decks of cards. The card values in baccarat differ from those in other casino card games. The 10, King, Queen & Jack cards are all valued at zero, while the Ace is worth 1. The rest of the numbered cards, 1 – 9, are all worth their face value. Also worth noting is that card suits play no part in baccarat, with the exception of some types of bets.

The game environment

The game environment is usually streamed from a live casino studio. The look and feel of the table depends completely on the provider. For example, many tables will emulate the look of a table at a Chinese casino, namely one from the Macau region on the country’s south coast. This is mainly due to the fact that the game is more popular here than most other places in the world, giving it a more authentic feel.

The interface and chips

The interface on a game of live baccarat displays everything you need to play. Here you will find the chip selection, as well as many different settings including a history of your previous bets, adjustable sound and camera settings and, depending on the table, you can see how the other players are betting.
You will also find the betting area where you can place your chips to make a wager. The value of the different chips varies from table to table, so make sure you know what the minimum bet you can make is before jumping into a game. Also on display are the various roads that you can use to see the results of the previous rounds.

The stream

With advancements in technology happening almost every day, game providers are constantly upgrading their live baccarat streams in new and innovative ways. Most providers will provide high-quality HD streams, that can be adjusted if streaming in HD is too much for your internet. The camera angles usually focus on the table and the dealer, with no other angles available. This is more than sufficient for an engaging gaming experience. There are some exceptions of course, Evolution Gaming’s Baccarat Control Squeeze features unique camera angles from under the table.

The etiquette

There are a number of established customs in baccarat that you need to follow to make the game more enjoyable for everyone. While these rules are not essential to playing and winning, you still need to adhere to them. These include things like being polite to the dealer and to the other players and avoiding profanities and touchy subjects. You’re here to play baccarat after all, so avoid mentioning personal information, world politics and anything else of this sort.
Some tables also give you the option to tip the dealer. If you win big, you’re expected to give them a little something for it. Finally, if you’re at a table you’re expected to be playing. It’s ok to sit in on a couple of rounds to get the hang of it, but make sure you do make some bets eventually.

What are the baccarat rules?

With the basics under your belt, you can now move on to the baccarat rules and types of bets. By understanding these, you will be one step closer to becoming a high roller at the table. Sounds exciting, right? Also, before you choose a table to place some bets, make sure you have funds in your casino account. It happens more often than you think that players join only to notice that they have yet to top up their account. First up is a step by step guide explanation of how you can place your first bet, while explaining what the rules of live baccarat are at the same time.

When to bet at baccarat

There’s a designated window of time at the beginning of each round where you can place your bets. You will notice this on screen straight away when you join a table. The dealer will announce that it’s time to place bets and a timer will appear that counts down the time you have to place a wager. This time can be anything from 10 seconds up to 90, depending on the table you’re playing at. Once the time is up, no more bets can be placed until the next round.

How to place the chips correctly

Playing online baccarat takes much of the pressure out of placing bets, especially if you’re very fresh to the game. When it’s time to place your bets, the betting area will take centre stage on your screen. Hovering over each bet type will highlight it and clicking on it will place a wager equal to the value of the chip you have selected. If you’re still a little bit unsure, why not watch a couple of rounds first before placing a bet?

When the round begins

After the betting time concludes, the dealer will place 4 cards on the table. They will be dealt in the pattern of player-banker-player-banker. These can be either dealt face-up or face-down, depending on the table.

When the round concludes

The values of each hand is tallied up, and the field with the highest value wins. There are basically 3 different outcomes for each round: player win, banker win, and tie. A winning hand is one that’s valued at 9 or closest to it. Any hand that exceeds 9 points, the 10-value will not be included. For example, 11 is counted as 1, 12 as 2, etc.

When betting time begins again

After the round, the dealer will clear the cards from the table by placing them in the discard rack to their right. The betting time will open again, and you can place another wager for the upcoming round.

Shuffling

The game will continue until the dealer reaches the cut card. This means it’s time to shuffle the deck and the dealer will take a few moments to properly shuffle the cards before continuing the game. Sometimes, to save time, they will have a secondary shoe with pre-shuffled cards that they can swap out the current shoe with.

Etiquette

Make sure you’re always on your best behaviour while you’re playing. Everyone is here to have a good time so make sure you do everything you can to provide the other players with an enjoyable experience.

Error handling

In the unlikely event that an error occurs on the stream, the round will be paused and the manager on the floor will be notified. An error message will be displayed on the screen until everything is resolved. If the issue requires the round to be cancelled, your bets on that round will be refunded.

General rules in live dealer baccarat

Third card rule

The third card rule applies to both the player and banker hands, but in a different way for each of them. Let’s go through the rules for the player hand first. If a player hand is less than or equal to 5, another card is dealt to the hand. On a natural hand, the player will always stand. A natural hand is any combination of 2 cards that totals to 8 or 9.

For the banker hand, a total of 2 or less allows a third card to be drawn. If the banker’s total is 3, a third card is drawn only if the player’s third card is not an 8. For a total of 4 for the banker, another card is drawn if the player’s third card is not 0, 1, 8 or 9. On a total of 5, the banker will get a third card if the player’s third card is a 4,6,6 or 7. Finally, if the banker’s total is 6, a third card is drawn if the player’s card is a 6 or 7. On a total of 7 or more, the banker must stand.

How to bet at baccarat online

The simplicity involved in the types of bets for baccarat are what make this game so appealing, especially for beginners. There are a number of main bets and some side bets, depending on the variant of baccarat. Let’s start by going through the basic bet types you can make.

Banker bets

This is the most favourable type of bet to make as it has a lower house edge than the other wagers you can place. All you need to do is place your chips on the designated “banker” area on the table. Keep in mind though that with the lower house edge, the casino will usually take commission on a winning banker hand. The percentage taken depends completely on the table and the variant of the game, with 5% being the norm. Make sure you’re fully aware of how much the casino will take before you start betting.

Player bets

The second best bet you can place are player bets. There is a higher house edge involved than there is with the banker bet, but the casino will not take any commision on a win. If you think the player will win the round, simply place your chips on the designated “player” area on the table and cross your fingers.

Tie bets

Tie bets are the least favourable of the 3 main bet types you can make. By placing a tie bet, you’re hoping that both the player and the banker hands are of equal value at the end of the round. This does, of course, come with more favourable odds than the other types, but most players tend to avoid placing tie bets altogether because there’s a much greater risk involved in doing so. To make a tie bet, place your chips in the designated area on the table.

Special bets and side bets

There are a number of side bets and variant specific bets that can also be placed when playing baccarat. Once you have wagered on some of the basic bets, you can then branch out into these special bets. Bets such as banker & player pairs, perfect pairs, Dragon 7 and Panda 8 are all found on different types of baccarat. You can read more about these types of bets on the baccarat variants page which will go into more detail on all the bets mentioned. For now though, focusing on the basic bet types should be more than enough to enjoy a couple of games.

Banker pair and player pair bets

These types of bets allow you to place a wager on the player’s cards or the banker’s cards coming up as a pair. For example, if the player gets two 4s. This side bet is offered in a number of live baccarat tables, but not every table will have it available. Make sure you check with the table to see if this side bet is available. These side bets are included on all Evolution Gaming tables, so make sure to check them out.

Perfect Pair bets

Perfect pair bets pay out when either the player or banker cards make a suited pair. For example, if the player cards are two 4 of hearts, this is considered a perfect pair. Much like the other side bets, this is only included on select tables from certain providers.

Big hand and small hand bets

These are two more side bets that you can find at certain live baccarat tables. The small hand pays out when the total value of the player and banker cards is equal to 4. The big hand pays out when the two hands combined equals a total of 5 or 6.

What are the odds of winning at baccarat?

If you’ve made it this far then give yourself a pat on the back. You’re now officially ready to play baccarat as a beginner! The only thing left for you to learn about is the baccarat odds table. So, how does baccarat pay? Below you will find a nifty table that goes through player, bank and tie odds as well as the various side bets. As you can see, there’s only a couple of different options so learning off the odds for them is very straightforward. Make sure you do know them though, as it’s always good to know how much to expect when you win. The following table is based on an 8-deck game.

Baccarat Odds and Payouts

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