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Written by: , Head of Content September 12, 2021 at 4:58AM
Last Updated: October 13, 2023 at 3:19PM ()
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Learn How to Play Baccarat 2024 and Win: Rules, Odds and Tips

how to play baccarat

So How Does Baccarat Work

It may look intimidating but is actually simple. Even complete beginners can confidently enjoy it as a dealer takes care of everything. What gamblers need is just to decide which hand they place a wager, so you shouldn’t worry about how to play baccarat and win even if you are a complete beginner.

Game Play

This game has some common features with blackjack, but at the same time is very different. It’s a face-off and punters need to pick a side (banker/player). These are just the names of the hands. Being a player, you don’t necessarily have to choose a player.

The gameplay is simple and allows you to relax and enjoy the experience. Apart from the decision mentioned above, all they need to think of is a wager amount. A dealer then follows a predetermined set of rules and finally the winner is determined. That’s nothing either side can do. There’s no room for super risky and generously rewarding moves, but the Tie bet is an alternative that pays pretty well. This Tie scenario does occur but is relatively rare and experts recommend staying away from it.

Cards decide the outcome. Four of them are initially thrown on the table, two for each hand. 9 is the perfect score and if no one scores it, the closer one wins the round. 2-9 carry the same face value; 10-K score 0 points, and A gives 1 point. Unlike blackjack, it’s impossible to go bust because when the score exceeds 9, the first digit is dropped. Suppose 5 and 8 are dealt, which is 13. Drop 1 and we get a total of 3.

More cards may be dealt if there’s not enough power in any hand to claim the victory. A player or a dealer has no control over the decision to stop or continue. There are specific rules.

The Important Rules to Know

There’s no pressure to force yourself to memorize rules because a round will develop on its own. However, knowing some key rules is useful as some of them give a deeper understanding of how to play baccarat. Below is the breakdown of the payouts.

  • Player: 1 to 1
  • Banker: 19 to 20

Beginner players may want to know why a 5% fee is taken from winning banker wagers. The answer is something very simple: positional advantage. The hand is dealt second, this way the chances of losing decrease.

A pair of cards giving 8 or 9 is called “natural” and it automatically wins against a weaker score. But if these totals do not show up initially, a player will get an extra card for scoring 0 to 5, and no more cards are given for 6 or 7.

The banker follows different rules. It only draws if it can’t beat the player with a current score. A range of rules is set for the banker to draw or stand in response to a certain player’s third card, and these rules are explained in the chart below.

how to play baccarat

What the player gets affects the banker’s move. Look up the scores from the draw at the top of the table. Banker’s current total is on the left. Where the two lines intersect on this baccarat rules chart it’s what the banker should do. S stands for Stand and D stands for Draw. Remember that it’s not about the player’s total but the player’s third card.

Suppose a player gets an extra card that gives 4 points. Banker’s hand totals 5. The chart shows that a banker will draw. If instead, a banker has 6, the rule is to stand.

The Baccarat Odds

Baccarat can be played using a different number of decks. Unlike other games, there will be a tiny difference in the odds as the number of decks changes. So, it’s acceptable to ignore this factor and concentrate on the hand, which is the key element that influences the odds. The chances of the banker’s hand winning is 45.8% and the player’s hand winning – 44.6%. What seems to be an insignificant advantage is important. Tie – 9.6%.

Casinos earn an average of 1.06% from banker bets and 1.24% from player wagers. Even considering the less favorable 1.24% casino edge, most other casino games can offer a more appealing return for punters. So, both hands would be a solid choice. But choosing a Tie is definitely an unfavorable decision because even though the payoff is 8 to 1, a casino gets a crazy high 14.36% edge.

A Tie doesn’t threaten any of the two competing hands because if it lands, nobody loses and you get your money back. So, if you can’t lose when it’s a Tie, and wagering on it isn’t justified, just ignore this bet.

How to Play Baccarat

A simple game like this requires no special skills because there are just a few betting choices and the dealer does everything. But it’s a casino game meaning players must be aware of risks and enter the game prepared. Decide on your bankroll and how it will be spent before you join a table.

There’s no need for a detailed plan with multiple scenarios. But to have fun and do it responsibly, make sure you set some boundaries and do not deviate from them. When ready to execute your plan, wager and wait for the outcome. Here’s what will happen:

  • After wagers are placed, a pair of cards go into one and then the other hand.
  • There will be an extra card given to a player or no more cards, depending on the rules.
  • As discussed above, banker moves should be a response to player actions and cards.
  • In the end, the score closest to 9 is the winner.

Baccarat Betting Systems and Strategies

Many systems have been developed. But none of them can ensure positive outcomes, and many will just make gambling riskier. Players use the infamous Martingale, Fibonacci, and D’Alembert. However, the best strategy is to follow a simple game plan and have control over what you do in response to certain situations.

The Bankroll management strategy is the single most important of all. Playing responsibly and walking away when the fun stops might be difficult, but is crucial. Many systems were designed for 1:1 payouts and seem to be more suitable for betting on a player. However, a banker is generally a more justified option as it offers a better average return.

  • 44.6% is the theoretical success ratio. So, it’s a nice choice. The casino enjoys a 1.24% edge and the payout is 1 to 1. It’s more convenient to use this bet when applying specific betting systems as they require the 1 to 1 payout. That explains why strategies often recommend it.
  • Offers statistically better chances of winning and fair rewards. This is the choice experts make. Its positional advantage mentioned above boosts the win rate. However, casinos usually charge a 5% fee to balance out the difference in chances. There are no-commission game variants, but they always make up the difference by introducing some less favorable rules. The house edge in the case of the bet on the banker is 1.06%, which is one of the lowest in the casino.
  • Bet on a Tie. This is the worst choice in baccarat. The casino has an edge of 14.36%, which is too high and even the 8 to 1 payout doesn’t make it worth taking the risk. So, avoid this bet. If you think there’ll be a Tie, just pick any hand instead of chasing higher payouts that are unlikely to land.

Baccarat Betting Options

Baccarat rules and strategy are pretty straightforward. Perhaps that’s what attracts many players to the game. Coupled with its low house edge, even inexperienced baccarat players can win real money when they play baccarat online. Here are the main betting options at a Baccarat table:

  • Banker bets:
    Here, you predict that the banker’s hand will be the closest to nine. The Baccarat payouts from this bet are always even amounts, with a standard rate of 9:20. But if you want to learn how to always win at Baccarat, we suggest you place banker bets.
  • Tie bets:
    You wager that the banker and player’s hands will reveal a similar card value. Due to the high chances of this not happening, the potential payout for this bet type is more exciting (9:1 or 8:1). However, tie bets’ house edge is high, making it an unpopular Baccarat tournament strategy.
  • Side bets:
    The type of side bets you can wager depends on the Baccarat variant and the operator. An example is the banker pair, where you predict the banker’s hand will reveal two cards of similar value. Such wagers offer bigger payouts but lower Baccarat odds.

Online vs. Offline Baccarat

Many players prefer to play Baccarat online because of its faster and more convenient gameplay. Additionally, online Baccarat tips expose players to several Baccarat variations.

Offline Baccarat involves players knowing how to play Baccarat and visiting a physical casino with a real Baccarat table to play a round or two of the game. The main reason why offline Baccarat is popular is because of the thrilling experience.

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Nonetheless, the Baccarat rules sheet is the same as that of an online casino. That means once you understand how Baccarat works, online players won’t have to learn anything new.

Learn All about Baccarat Strategy

The game doesn’t respond to any smart system, old or new. The odds can’t get any better than 45.8%, and in the long run, the house always wins with the 1.06% edge. Don’t waste time devising or looking for a solid solution because it’s very simple: banker bets. There are options to consider to make gambling a bit more fun, but you’ll not benefit financially from them.

Martingale is tried, tested, and applied to perhaps every casino game. Proven to be inefficient and super risky, it still remains in the spotlight. Exploit this baccarat strategy only if you are ready for some significant swings rather than smooth gaming and regular payouts.

Originally developed for roulette, it turned out to be quite universal and is widely known. Every loss is the signal to double a bet and this is repeated until a win is secured. It has many flaws that can’t be ignored, but it’s still popular possibly because it’s built on the gamblers’ natural desire to chase losses.

Every baccarat table has a max stake limit. When doubling takes place, it doesn’t take long to reach the limit leaving a punter with multiple losses, one bigger than another, and no way to recover them.

You can easily go bust with this type of behavior. It may not seem like a lot when you lose one or two times, but there’s no guarantee that the losing streak won’t last 10 or 20 rounds. That’s when the recommended bet amount gets scary big. Suppose an initial stake is $1. It then grows to $2, $4, $8, $16, $32, $64, $128, $254, $508…

If modified with safety in mind, it can become a decent method. For instance, a bunch of limits is set. A controlled approach with losses managed closely is required to enjoy the added thrill of progressive stakes.

Flat Betting. The strategy has a self-explanatory name. Not much to be thrilled about, however, it’s a solid candidate for the best baccarat strategy, at least because it promotes responsible gaming. Choose a fixed bet size that remains unchanged no matter what happens. If you lose, the amount won’t change for the next round, and it’s the same bet size the next time after a win.

A solid option, but make sure the wager isn’t too big and emotional stability won’t be compromised after a few losses. Unlike Martingale, it requires a lot of self-control, because of the temptation to divert from the strategy that gets stronger when you had no luck for some time.

There are opportunities to demo the game. Use it to test different systems so that eventually you’ll know if there are things you like/dislike about them to later modify them to your taste or develop your own. Keep in mind basic recommendations and feel free to experiment with ideas. That’s to ensure you have a tailored system and ultimate fun.

As usual, safe gaming is the priority. Use available controls to avoid problem gambling. Personal limits such as deposit, wager, loss, and session duration caps are common tools many operators offer.

Paroli Betting Strategy

What strategy is it better to use, and how to play Baccarat? Also known as the Reverse Martingale system, the Paroli betting strategy involves doubling your wager after each win. But if you lose, you reset. It’s a popular blackjack strategy that also applies to other table games like baccarat. But among the most noteworthy Baccarat tips to win when executing this strategy is to start with a low amount and set a consecutive three win limit.

Different Versions of Baccarat

Despite being simple, baccarat has many variations. The presentation may be different, but the basics stay unchanged. To spice up the gameplay, many content developers introduce side bets with unlikely scenarios but that offer nice payouts.

Punto Banco

No other variation can beat Punto Banco in terms of popularity, and this holds for online and offline worlds. Everything is standardized and punters only decide what bet they want to place. The rest is done for them. The game unfolds based on the predetermined set of rules so that everyone will know what will happen.

Chemin De Fer

It’s significantly different from the one mentioned above in the way that gamblers are involved in the process. They don’t just bet and passively watch how things unfold but participate. One player becomes a banker and challenges other participants. He/she is responsible for dealing cards and decides how much he/she wants to risk. Fellow punters then place their stakes against a dealer. If a banker loses he/she must pay all winners and the role of the dealer is assigned to the next player.


This variation is exclusive to offline casinos because of the procedures involved. The same is true about Chemin de fer. Midi type was created as a mix between big and mini versions. The key difference is in the pace of the game. Big tables are usually slow and mini versions are super fast. Midi is somewhere in between.

The pace is controlled by the rules of who can handle the cards. The mini version is fast because the dealer takes care of all the card handling. As the pace is very fast, lower table limits are usually applied to mini tables. In midi baccarat players are allowed some freedom and can turn cards up. This will slow down the game, but the limits are higher than at midi tables.

Online is more focused on higher volatility content, and you are unlikely to find plenty of versatility. Expect a few common RNG versions. Nothing much happens in the RNG department in terms of baccarat innovations, and studios are slow to introduce new titles. But the live casino collection is significantly richer, although the game still remains in the shadow of trending game shows.

Super 6

As one of the most popular baccarat games in casinos, Super 6, also called mini Baccarat, offers lower bets ($5 -$25) compared to other versions. Another distinct feature of the mini Baccarat is that it can accommodate six to seven players, making rounds super fast. As a result, online Baccarat payouts here are 50%, with a house edge of 1.46%.

EZ Baccarat

Now that you know how Baccarat works, EZ Baccarat is similar to Super 6. It eliminates the 5% Baccarat commission and allows you to place two additional side bets: Panda 8 and Dragon 7( which pay 40:1).

Tips on How to Play Baccarat and Win

There are strategies some players will be tempted to implement as they hope for a better return. You can only implement them well after fully knowing how baccarat works. But basically, Baccarat already offers the most optimal course of action. Siding with a banker is a smart choice because that’s how you theoretically win more without having to do anything. What’s also important is no skill is required to strip a casino of those extra bits of edge. Below are additional recommendations to boost your baccarat payoff.

  • Don’t choose the Tie. You’ll constantly hear this advice, and it isn’t just a biased opinion, but statistics. 14.36% casino advantage is unacceptably high. 8 to 1 payout won’t make up for taking this huge risk.
  • Choose the banker every time to make your balance last longer. Again, it’s what statistics show. 1.06% is the lowest house edge for this game. Obviously, the option lacks some volatility, but that’s what eventually brings more wins.
  • Avoid the side wagers. Some variations present multiple extra opportunities to spice up the gameplay. For instance, bet on the scenario when both hands get a similar pair of cards regardless of the suit. Perfect Pair is a more advanced option when a pair should consist of two equally ranked cards of the same suit. This one pays 25 to 1, but the combination is quite rare.
  • Check how many decks are used. You want as fewer decks as possible because that’s what improves the win rate. The main thing is just to keep it simple. Content developers can come up with ways to spice things up and offer a more volatile experience, and they are absolutely fine if the thrill is what you are up to. But for those who are focused on maximizing payouts, the challenge is to keep placing the same bet.
  • Set a budget and stick to it. One of the most crucial strategies, besides creating a Baccarat rules sheet, in Baccarat, like in any casino game, is money management. Before you start playing, determine a set amount that you’re willing to lose and don’t exceed it.
  • Look for fewer players. Baccarat tips advise that while the number of players doesn’t change the odds of the game itself, playing at a less crowded table can give you more time to think about your bets and Baccarat odds, and it can be a more relaxing experience. That’s how Baccarat works.
The same game that is played offline has transitioned to online casinos, and it’s the best way to play baccarat for novice punters. It’s the punto banco version that is usually offered by gambling sites.
Bets are placed on either a banker, a player, or on a tie. Each hand receives cards and the one with the total closest to 9 wins.
This is the bet that has the lowest house edge. Therefore, it’s the safest way to bet. The Player bet isn’t that bad, though, but you should definitely avoid a tie.
Absolutely not. The most common version of baccarat is completely standardized and the dealer handles all the cards. Other than choosing a hand to bet, players don’t do anything and can jump right into the action after learning the basics.
As there are no decisions that players make to influence the outcome, they just need to guess which hand will win.