Here you can learn how to play baccarat and understand its rules.
The aim of baccarat (or punto banco) is to form a hand of cards that has a point value of closer to 9 than the point value of the dealer’s cards.
When playing baccarat, two hands of two cards are dealt on the table: the banker’s (banco) and the players’ (punto). Baccarat players simply bet on which hand they think has a value closest to 9. You can also choose to bet on a tie.
Face cards and 10s have a value of 0; aces are worth 1; all other cards are worth their face value. If the sum of the two cards is 10 or over, then the first digit is discarded. For example, 8+6 is worth 4, not 14.
Once the bets are made, the dealer turns over the cards, and bets on the winning hand are paid at evens. Bets made on banco, however, are subject to a levy, typically around 5%. This is because when playing baccarat, statistically, banco hands win slightly more over the course of a shoe of cards. This tax represents the house edge.
In some circumstances, a third card may be dealt. Although the circumstances and rules surrounding the drawing of a third card are complicated, you do not have to know them to be able to play: they are compulsory decisions. For a full list of circumstances, see below.
Baccarat third card rules
If either hand has a total value of either 8 or 9, the hand is declared a “natural”. No more cards are drawn, and the hand is over.
Learning Baccarat – Player’s third card rules
If the player’s total is less than or equal to 5, they may draw a third card. If the player does not draw a third card, the bank draws a third card on 5 or less.
If the player does draw a third card, the following applies:
Learning Baccarat – Banker’s third card rules:
- If the bank’s total is 2 or less, the bank takes a third card regardless of what the player’s third card is.
- If the bank’s total is 3, the bank will draw a third card unless the player’s third card was an 8
- If the bank’s total is 4, the bank will draw a third card unless the player’s third card was a 0, 1, 8 or 9.
- If the bank’s total is 5, the bank will draw a third card ifthe player’s third was 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the bank’s total is 6, the bank will draw a third card ifthe player’s third card was a 6 or 7.
The bank stands on a total of 7.
Now you understand the rules for playing baccarat you are ready to begin. However, to learn how to play baccarat like a professional, visit our Baccarat Hints and Tips page.