The guiding principle behind baccarat rules is that players may bet on the “banker”, “player” or “tie” positions. The rules of baccarat differ from other traditional casino games. For example, the “player” position does not necessarily represent the player and the “dealer” position does not directly represent the casino. To understand baccarat, you must understand that these three positions simply reflect possible outcomes of each deal.
How to Play Baccarat
The rules of baccarat dictate that to win you must accurately predict which hand will have the higher value. Wagers can also be placed on the “tie” position in hopes that the “dealer” and “player” hands will end up with the same value.
Baccarat rules are unusual among casino games because the player does not interact in any way with the cards. Unlike other games, like blackjack, where the player makes decisions in each hand, the rules of baccarat dictate that the cards are dealt using a specific prefixed system. Thus learning how to play baccarat is more about learning each position in the game. While some players prefer the fact that they do not have to make any decisions once they place their bet, some feel distanced from the game because they are not involved and can't understand baccarat's appeal. Of course after playing they may change their mind.
Learn Baccarat—Card Distribution
- To begin, the “player” position and the “dealer” position each receive a single card, with the “player” position receiving its card first.
- Each position then receives a second card. The second card determines how the game will proceed.
- If the “player” position is showing a value between 0 and 5 and the “dealer” position is showing a value between 0 to 7, the “player” receives a third card. If the “player” position has a value greater than 5, the “player” does not receive a third card.
- The “banker” receives a third card if it is showing a value of 0,1, or 2.
- If the “dealer” has less than 7, but not 0,1, or 2, whether it receives a third card or not is determined by a preset mathematical table that considers the “player” hand.
Learn Baccarat—Card Values
New players should understand baccarat employs a counting system that is completely different than that of most other casino games. When learning how to play baccarat, leave your knowledge of other card games at the door.
- Numeral cards 2 through 9 carry the value of the number shown on the card.
- All face cards and tens count as zero, and an Ace counts as one.
However, there is more to calculating the value of a baccarat hand than simply knowing the individual values of the cards. A player must calculate the value of each position by adding the independent values of the cards and then dropping the tens digit.
For example, if the “player” position is showing a seven and an eight the mathematical value would be fifteen. To find the value in baccarat, however, the player drops the tens digit out of the math, so that the final sum of the “player” position would be five.
Learn Baccarat—Bet Types & Betting Procedure
Besides getting used to an unusual counting system, baccarat players need to carefully consider the benefits of each position before placing a bet.
- Both the “player” and the “dealer” position pay out even money on each hand, which means if a player chooses the correct position, he will receive his original bet plus an equal sum.
- Bets on the “dealer” give players an average 1% increased odds on winning. Because players may bet on each position equally, nearly every online casino charges a 5% commission on total winnings from the “dealer” position. This means that if a player wins, he receives his original bet, plus a sum equal to 95% of that bet.
- Betting on the “tie” position is the riskiest bet possible in baccarat. Ties occur very rarely, but when they do, the payouts can be immense. Typically the “tie” position pays 9 to 1, which means that if a player wins on the “tie” position, he receives his original bet plus a sum equal to nine times that bet.
- Everyone benefits when the “player” and “dealer” have an equal value, even when no player wagered on “tie”. In most casinos, a tie is considered a push. Because of this, all of the players who bet on “dealer” or “player” do not lose their original bet. The hand is simply re-dealt without monetary losses from anyone.
One of the reasons for baccarat’s continued popularity is the fact that the baccarat rules give it one of the lowest house edges of any casino game. The “player” position has a house edge of 1.24%, while the “dealer” position has an advantage of 1.06%. Of course, the “tie” position carries the highest house advantage, at 14% on average. It is not unheard of for the house to sustain heavy losses from high stakes baccarat games that fall in favor of the player.