Baccarat is one of the most exciting casino table games. From the hallowed casino floors of Monaco to the best online casinos in the UK, there's no doubt that baccarat is a popular game. However, what makes the game so loved is its simplicity. Whether you play at a physical casino or play baccarat online, the objective remains: place a bet on the hand you think will win.
Of course, there are additional rules and more to the game, but that is the basic principle. Let's explore the game further below.
Is It Easy To Learn Baccarat?
Baccarat is an easier game to learn compared to other table games. Aside from being James Bond's preferred casino game, baccarat is slow-paced and fairly straightforward. In addition, the game doesn't require the strategy or skill that blackjack does. For example, your only real task is to bet on one of three possible outcomes.
Playing baccarat is simple if you stick to the following steps:
- Set a plan and stick within your budget.
- You place your bets before the cards are dealt.
- Know how the round works, e.g., each party receives two cards, the point system, etc.
- Understand what makes up a winning hand.
What Is The Objective Of Baccarat?
The game consists of two hands: the Banker and the Player. This doesn't mean you're the Player and the casino is the Banker. These are just the names of the hands. The objective of the game is to place a bet on one of the 3 following outcomes: the Banker hand winning, the Player hand winning, or a tie.
The winning hand is the one that has a total value closest to 9. Sometimes, a 3rd card may be drawn for the hands; this is decided by the dealer based on a pre-determined set of rules. We'll see how this changes the game below.
The goal is to bet on a possible outcome. For example, you bet on whether you think the Banker or the Player hand will win. The winning hand is the one that has a total value closer to 9.
Each card has a value. An Ace is worth 1, 2 to 9 are worth their face values, and 10 and the royals are all worth 0 (zero). If a hand totals more than 9 (i.e. is double-digit), you only take the last digit. For example, if a hand totals 14, it counts as 4, or if a hand totals 17, it counts as 7.
If a hand totals 8 or 9 with just the initial 2 cards, this is called a natural and automatically wins the round.
There are instances where the dealer will draw a 3rd card for a hand. The Player hand is considered first:
If the Player has a hand totalling between 0 and 5, the dealer draws a 3rd card. If the Player has a 6 or 7, they stand, and a 3rd card will not be drawn. An 8 or 9 is a natural, so no 3rd card is necessary.
If the Player stands (only has 2 cards), then the Banker draws a 3rd card if they have a total of 0 to 5, and they stand at a 6 or 7.
If the Player received a 3rd card, then the Banker receives a 3rd card or stands based on their current total and the Player's 3rd card.
How To Play Baccarat (For Beginners)
Sure, the objective is to bet on a possible winning hand, but there's also a 3rd option. Sometimes, there can be a tie. You can also bet on a tie. A tie is when the Banker's and the Player's total points are the same.
Note that each type of bet has different odds in baccarat. For example, the Banker's hand bet has a 1.06% house edge, while a Player's hand bet has a house edge of 1.24%. Additionally, a tie bet has a house edge of 9.5%.
Betting on the Player hand and winning pays out at even money (1:1), as does betting on the Banker and winning. However, if you bet on the Banker and win, the house (casino) takes a 5% commission on your winnings due to the slightly better odds of the Banker hand winning (lower house edge). Winning a tie bet awards a payout of 8:1 - this one can vary in different UK casinos, so be sure to check this in advance for your chosen game.
As discussed earlier, the Banker receiving a 3rd card can depend on the Player hand. If the Player did receive a 3rd card, the Banker's next move depends on their score. For example:
- If the total is 0, 1, or 2, the Banker receives a 3rd card regardless of the Player's 3rd card.
- If the total is 3, the Banker receives an extra card but won't if the Player has an 8 in total.
- If the total is 4, the Banker receives an extra card if the Player's 3rd card is anywhere from 2 to 7.
- If the total is 5, the Banker receives an extra card if the Player has any card from 4 to 7.
- If the total is 6, the Banker receives an extra card if the Player has a 6 or 7 as the 3rd card.
- If their total is 7, the Banker stands.
Again, the dealer is the one that determines when 3rd cards should be drawn based upon the above rules. After placing your better on the Player, the Banker or a tie, the dealer progresses the game until the point of settling bets. You don't make any of the above decisions.
It can be a bit confusing to get your head around at first, but once you understand the information provided here and see a hand played in action, it should make a lot more sense.
The most important point to note is that your only real action in the game is betting on one of three possible outcomes: the Player winning, the Banker winning, or a tie.
Please gamble responsibly and only bet money you are comfortable losing. Baccarat is a game of chance, and nothing is guaranteed.
*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.