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How to Play Live Baccarat – Beginners Guide

baccarat guide

If you’re someone who enjoys trying your hand at cards or rolling the dice before lady luck, you’re far from alone.

In fact, experts predict that the worldwide gambling industry will reach around £91.59 bn by 2027.

Poker, slots, roulette, and blackjack are all awesome games, but it’s important that you spice things up sometimes.

Learning how to play baccarat gives you an excuse to test your gaming prowess and hone your skills in a new, fun way.

Plus, since it’s a fairly easy game with high odds, you’re bound to win a few quid.

Here, we’re going to talk all about how do you play baccarat, what baccarat is and how you can master the game by learning the rules!

How to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is a casino card game in which two hands are compared: the ‘player’ and ‘banker’ hands. Each round has three possible outcomes:

  • The player hand having the higher score (a ‘player’ hand)
  • The banker hand having the higher score (a ‘banker’ hand)
  • The player and banker hand having the same score (a ‘tie’ hand)

The goal is to bet on which result will appear. Baccarat is completely a game of chance, so make sure to hedge bets when you’re feeling lucky!

It doesn’t matter if you play baccarat online with live dealers or at a land-based or with your friends at home. If you know how to play punto banco baccarat then you can play this game anywhere.

  • The objective of the game is to bet on the hand that has a point total closest to nine.
  • Each hand is made up of only two cards, with each card having the point value as the number on their face.
  • The exceptions to this are face cards and aces, both of which are worth zero.

Here is a simple step by step of the game

  • You place your bet on the Banker or the Player or the Tie.
  • The dealer gives two cards to the Player and two cards to the Banker. Depending on the totals , the third card rule may apply and the Player or the Banker will get a third card
  • If the position that you bet on gets a total of 8 or 9 you win
  • If none of the sides have a total of 8 or 9 then the closest total to 9 wins

That’s all there is to Baccarat Rules! Baccarat truly is the easiest casino card game that you can learn to play.

Analyze Card Hands

The logistics of baccarat are easy, but figuring out how you should bet is a little more challenging.

  • The payout for winning the player hand is a bit higher than that for winning the banker’s hand.
  • You win double your stake if you wager on the player hand if it’s closest to nine.

On the flip side, you only win 95% of your stake if you do the same for the banker’s hand.

Live Baccarat Odds

Now let’s have a look at the odds of winning in Baccarat. Remember that the odds are the same whether you play live Baccarat online or at a land-based casino.

If you have a look at the table below with the Baccarat Payouts you will notice that the Banker pays less than the Player. But why does the Banker have an edge in baccarat?

The banker takes a third card when the player draws one that is more likely to help that hand. In other words, the Banker acts after the Player and that gives that position the slight edge. Overall banker wins 50.68% of the time when there is a decision, and the player wins 49.32%

ResultPayout
Player1:1
Banker0.95:1 (5% Commission)
Tie 8:1

What is the House Advantage in Baccarat

One of the main factors that attract casino players to Baccarat is the low casino house edge.

Based on an eight-deck shoe which is the most common especially online, the House Edge (with ties considered) on both sides are: 

Banker = 1.06% 
Player = 1.24%

At 1.06% on the Banker’s hand, the house edge in Baccarat is one of the better odds available to casino players.

The Tie has a house edge of 14.36%.

It also has extremely high odds- no matter which hand you bet on, you have almost half a shot at winning. It’s a gamble, but it’s much less of one than you would be making at other games.

Live Baccarat Rules

As with all games, you need to get familiar with the baccarat rules before putting any actual money down on a game. Let’s have a look at the most important Baccarat rules and some common questions about specific hands.

The third card rule

A lot of new baccarat players are not sure of what the third card rule in baccarat is. The third card rule is when the player or the banker gets a 3rd card. It is simpler for the Player hand and is applicable in the following situations:

  • When the player’s total equals or is less than 5, then the player gets a third card. If the player does not draw a third card, the bankerer stands on 6 or more and draws on 5 or less.

When it comes to the Banker’s hand things are a bit more complicated with the third card rule.

  • When the bankers total is less or equals 2, the bank draws a third
    card.
  • When the bank’s total is 3, the bank draws a third card if player’s third card is not an 8.
  • When the bank’s total is 4, the bank is to draw a third card if the player’s third card is not a 0, 1, 8 or 9.
  • When the bank’s total is 5, the bank draws if the player third card is a 4,5,6 or 7.
  • In case bank’s total is 6, the bank will draw a third card if the player/s third card is a 6 or 7.

What Happens in a Tie in Baccarat

You should only bet on player and banker hands. Even if the cashout is high, the odds of winning on a tie bet are extremely low. This is especially the case because ties provide the opportunity for either the player or the banker to win as well.

In baccarat, 8s and 9s are called ‘natural.’ If there is a tie but one hand has a natural in it, the hand with the natural wins automatically.

If there’s a tie without a natural, a third card is drawn to decide a winner.

Focus on the player and banker’s hands- they’re far more rewarding.

Can you bet on both player and banker in baccarat?

Yes, you have this option but it doesn’t make much sense to do so. If you bet on these two outcomes you are betting in total more money than you can win.

What happens if you have over 9 in baccarat

In Baccarat if your card total score is over 9 then the score resets to zero.

For example, if you score 12 with two cards then you actually have a total of 2! So whatever your total is over 10 you take out 10 to determine the value of your cards.

What is a Natural 9 in Baccarat

The Natural 9 is a two-card hand totalling 9. bet pays if the chosen side, Banker or Player, has a natural total of 9. The odds are the same on both the Banker and Player side.

Side bets in live baccarat

Another advantage that you can find mainly when you play live baccarat online is the side bets.

There are now many baccarat tables online with live dealers that have side bets and you can now place a bet on like Player Pair, Banker Pair, Perfect Pair, Either Pair or Big and Small.

  • Player Pair: If both the Player and Banker receive a pair from the first two cards dealt, both the Player Pair and the Banker Pair side bets win.
  • Either Pair: Wins when the first two cards dealt on either the Player’s or the Banker’s hand make a pair.
  • Perfect Pair: Wins when the first two cards of either the Player or the Banker from a pair of the same suit.
  • Big: Wins if the cards dealt to the Player and Banker make a total of 5 or 6.
  • Small: Wins when the total between the Player’s and the Banker’s hand is 4.

Strategies for Winning

In addition to ignoring the ‘tie’ bet option completely, there are some other ways that you can take your winnings into your own hands.

The first is to continue to bet on the banker’s hand until it loses. Winning streaks are awesome, and the banker bet has the highest odds and is therefore going to have the most streaks. Once the bank loses, though, you’ll need to switch gears.

This doesn’t mean that you should bet the player on the next outcome. Instead, you should take a round off and pass on the bet following a loss.

The bet that you place after your off-round should be the winner of the previous round, whether that’s a banker or player hand.

Remember to put all of these strategies to the test when practising for free. This will help you figure out what methods work for you so that you can win more when betting for real money!

Be sure that you stick to a budget when heading off to an online casino. You don’t want to bet more than you have. Once you hit the number of losses that you previously told yourself that you can afford, pick up and walk away. You can always play again another day when you can afford to.

Baccarat Terminology

If you want to play baccarat live dealer games but you are not very familiar with the game here is some live baccarat online terminology which is also the same when you play at a land-based casino.

Some of the terminologies derive from Italian and French words due to the history of the game but when you are playing live casino baccarat the terminology is universal.

Baccarat: Baccarat means zero and is the worst hand in this game.

Banco: This is how the dealer is called in this casino game.

Punto Banco: Translates literally to “player banker”. Punto Banco is the most widely seen version of baccarat.

Chemin de Fer: This is a European Baccarat variation that is rarely seen especially online,

Banker
One of the three possible bets on a standard baccarat table. Pays off 1 to 1 minus 5% banker commission. The house edge is just over 1%.

Player
One of the three possible baccarat bets. Pays at 1 to 1 and has a house advantage of just over 1%. The player is the opposite bet to the banker.

Tie
One of the three possible outcomes of a baccarat coup. The tie bet has the highest payoff at 8 to 1 but also comes with the highest house advantage of just under 15%.

Commission: 5% ‘fee’ that the house takes on winning bank bets

Mini Baccarat: A popular version of baccarat where the live dealer deals all of the cards. Mini baccarat tables tend to be the main game in baccarat casinos.

Natural: A hand count of eight or nine from the first two cards dealt to a hand.

Run: A side bet that that gives you the opportunity to bet on a series of hands. For example, you could bet on five banker hands in a row.

La Grande: A natural totalling nine which is the best hand in Baccarat.

La Petite: A natural totalling eight (The little one, French).

Loss Bet: A bet against the bank.

Coup: French word for a round of Baccarat.

Online vs In-Person Baccarat: Where Should You Play?

When beginning to learn any new casino game, it’s important to consider how you want to play. Traditional gambling where you go to a casino and play with other people in person is a great way to get the adrenaline pumping.

It’s a fun social experience and lets you have a good and memorable time with other players whether they’re friends or new competitors.

On the flip side, online gambling is convenient. You can do it right from your couch and place bets while wearing your PJs. It’s just as diverse in its offerings as traditional gambling is, so you can play many variants of baccarat on your computer.

The only real downside to playing online against a CPU is that you can’t interact with other players. Your winnings are completely determined by a computerized algorithm and you’re unable to watch the dealer and make sure that the game is fair. You also won’t be able to share your love of baccarat with other players.

Luckily, there’s a solution: live dealer baccarat.

A live dealer online room allows you to play against other players online. It connects you to other players via a dealer so that you can interact with others and the game itself in real-time. You get the full casino experience from the comfort of your home and have control over your winnings.