Baccarat - A Casino Card Game

Baccarat is a casino card game where players collect points using combinations of two or three cards. When compared to other gambling games, its rules are very simple, which makes it easy for beginners to master it quickly. The objective of Baccarat is to predict which cards, the dealer's or the player's, will score the number of points that is closest to 9. The chances of winning are 1 to 1, which means that the casino's advantage is rather low. Currently the largest number of Baccarat games are played in Asia, but the demand for the game in other parts of the world is also increasing.

Baccarat Rules

Below are the rules for the American version of baccarat which is the most common in casinos. As a rule, one-three croupiers participate in baccarat. The number of players is up to 14 people, although in theory, their number is unlimited. Eight full decks are used. In mini-baccarat, which is more common in the West, one croupier is involved and he is the only one who shuffles the cards.

Player (you) and dealer (banker) take part in the game. This is why sometimes baccarat is also called punto banco (player-banker). First, you place a bet. The bet limits are defined on the gaming table and they are usually written on a special plate. Next, you and the dealer are dealt two cards. In special cases described below, one or both of you take a third card. Then you compare hands and determine the winner.

Baccarat Combinations

The most valuable combination in baccarat, the so-called "natural", is two cards that score eight or nine points. Points for cards from two to nine are worth their face value and the Ace is one point. The remaining cards do not score points. If you have more than nine points, then ten is subtracted from the amount. That means, if you have twelve points, you subtract ten and are left with two points, hands always contain zero to nine points.

Baccarat Bets

Baccarat allows you to make one of three bets:

  • Punto - bet on your victory, pays 1 to 1
  • Banco - bet on the victory of the banker, pays 1 to 1 but 5% of the win is deducted in the casino's favour
  • Draw - bet on the equal score of hands. It pays 8 to 1 or 9 to 1, depending on the rules of the casino

Baccarat Third Card Rule

After receiving two cards, you can take a third card if you have less than six points. The dealer takes a card under a complex system of rules:

  • If the dealer has six or more points, he does not take a card if you did not take one
  • If the dealer has two or fewer points, then he takes the third card
  • Three points - the dealer takes a card if you did not receive eight points
  • Four points - the dealer takes a card if you do not have a card with the following number of points: zero, one, eight or nine
  • Five points - takes a card if you do not have a card of four, five, six or seven points
  • Six points - takes a card if you do not have a card of six or seven points
  • Seven points - does not get a card

So, the dealer's decision depends on your cards.

Baccarat Types

In addition to the American version, there are also many other varieties of baccarat. The essence remains: you need to score more points but not more than 9. Otherwise, there are differences:

  • From one to eight decks are involved in the game
  • You can have up to 14 players
  • Variable rules of dealing and taking cards, sizes of payouts
  • The role of the dealer can be constant or move around the players
  • Payouts from the bank or bets Casinos have a range of bets paid by the casino itself. If players compete with each other, the bank is funded with bets and goes to the winner

Also, the layout of tables differs, depending on the casino or the version of the online game.

Baccarat Chemin de Fer (chemmy)

It's popular in European casinos. Here a casino does not participate in the game but only gives equipment and monitors following the rules. Players act as bank by turns. The bank is based on bets of participants and 5% commission is charged for the casino. The first bank is the player who placed the most. The participant sitting to the right of him can bet the whole bank the first. If the banker loses, he passes the box with cards to the right neighbour. However, Chemin de fer slightly differently defines the rule of the third card:

  • Six to seven points - the player keeps his cards
  • Four or fewer - takes a card
  • Five - chooses whether to take card or not

After that, the banker decides. If he has more than the opponent, he takes the stakes and keeps dealing cards. If the opponent has more points, then the winner takes the prize which is his bet multiplied by 2. In this case, the player to the right of the banker takes the role of the dealer. The banker can refuse to play and transfer the bank to any of the willing players. Then he gets the prize only after he passes the bank.

Classical (European) Baccarat

Classic baccarat is much like American. There are two differences:

  • If your hand scores five points, you decide whether to take a third card or not
  • The size of the bank is determined by the casino Players participate depending on the size of the bets of previous visitors

If the bet on banco wins, players pay a 5% commission to the casino.

Punto Banco

It involves a table with a special layout. The number of players is up to 16. The game involves one permanent dealer. Participants place a bet on punto (player), banco (dealer) or on egalite (draw). Otherwise, the rules do not differ from the usual American version.

Baccarat Strategies

Keep in mind that scoring cards, Martingale and other famous strategies do not work in baccarat. You don't have much freedom to act here and the advantage in case of a successful bet is not too high. Therefore, other tips are suitable for this game. The advantageous bet is banco. Casino's advantages:

  • With punto bet - 1.25%
  • With banco bet - 1.05%

It is recommended to change bets and not to select the same side. However, in the long term, banco bets prevail. You should not bet on a draw. The advantage of the casino in this case is 15%. NeonSlots advise choosing versions of baccarat with the least number of decks. Playing six decks is a little more profitable than eight because of the advantage of the casino. With eight decks, it is 1.06% and with six - 1.05%. Choose a casino with a small commission. Most often, the commission is 5%. Some reduce it to 4%. This reduces the casino's advantage to 0.6%. It is necessary to determine the limits of loss and win, as well as with the time spent on the game. Never go beyond established limits.


Baccarat is a simple game where you do not have to memorise complex rules as they are not here. It is common in land-based and online casinos around the world. Read NeonSlot´s article to learn more on how to play for real money baccarat and other card games in fully licensed legal casinos.