If you’ve ever seen the baccarat table at a live casino, it probably looked like a game just for high rollers with its special roped off area and well-dressed players. Despite that, the game isn’t actually all that sophisticated. All you have to do as a baccarat player is bet on one of three outcomes: the player, the banker or a tie. After that, you just sit back and watch.
Online baccarat comes in all stakes so you don’t have to be a high roller to give the game a try. In fact, I recommend you give it a try because baccarat offers players one of the lowest house edges in the casino. If you want to play and stay entertained for a long time, you can do so at baccarat without spending a lot of money.
How to Play
Baccarat is one of the easiest games to play because the casino handles almost everything for you. The rules that dictate when more cards are drawn are pretty complicated but it’s not necessary that you know them because everything is automatic.
The object of the game is to correctly guess on one of three outcomes:
- The player wins
- The banker wins
Unlike blackjack, where every person at the table plays each hand, only one person acts as the player at baccarat. Everyone (including the player) bets on the outcome of that single hand.
Once all the bets have been placed, the dealer gives two cards face down to the player and two cards face down to the banker. From here on out, the dealer automatically handles the rest of the game. The rules get a little complicated but that won’t affect you as a player.
After the cards have been dealt, both hands are turned over and their point totals summed up. The hand that comes the closest to 9 points is declared the winner. If both hands end up with the same number of points, the hand is declared a tie.
- The cards 2 through 9 are counted at face value
- 10s and face cards are worth 0 points
- Aces count as 1
If the points total in a hand exceeds 10, the tens spot is dropped. So this means that if the player’s hand contains a 9 and a 6, the points total would be 5 and not 15. If the banker’s hand contained a 7 and a 5, the points total would be 2 and not 12.
The best possible points total on the first two cards is 9 points. After that, the next best total is 8 points. Whenever a hand reaches 8 or 9 points within the first two cards, it’s called a “natural” and no more cards are dealt.
In all other cases, the player and banker will draw one more card according to the following rules. It’s not necessary for you to remember these rules because the casino automatically enforces these rules on both sides.
- On a total of 6, 7, 8 or 9, no more cards are drawn
- On a total of 0-5, one card is drawn
- On a total of 7, 8 or 9, no more cards are drawn
- If the player did not draw: the banker draws with 0-5 points, stands on 6 points
- If the player drew a 2 or 3: banker draws on 0-4, stands on 5-6
- If the player drew a 4 or 5: banker draws on 0-5, stands on 6
- If the player drew a 6 or 7: banker draws on 0-6
- If the player drew an 8: banker draws on 0-2, stands on 3-6
- If the player drew a 9 through Ace: banker draws on 0-3, stands on 4-6