Baccarat is an old card game (several centuries old) that is played at nearly every land-based and online casino site. It is deceptively simple. If you are new to the game and have not yet learned the rules, you might initially be confused by the table action. Baccarat hand rankings and payouts may seem counter-intuitive and not follow any logical pattern. In truth, Baccarat is easy to learn. Once you know how to calculate hand values (doing so is not difficult), you’ll quickly gain a level of comfort.
We recommend playing baccarat online at the following reputable casinos.
KickAssPoker.com’s Online Baccarat Guide
On this page you can find detailed information on the following baccarat subjects:
- How To Play Baccarat.
- Baccarat Strategy
- Baccarat Odds and payout information.
- Free Baccarat Game
- Play Baccarat for Real Money Online
How To Play Baccarat
- You can bet on the player. (pays 1:1)
- You can bet on the banker (pays 1:1)
- Or you can bet on a tie (pays 9:1)
- *or any combination of the above
If you bet on the player or banker and win, your wager is paid out even money (i.e. 1:1). Ties are paid out 9:1. Betting on the player or banker is basically a vote of confidence in which will receive a higher ranking hand.
Once you choose the amount of your bet and place your wager, the player and banker each receive two cards. The cards are dealt face up. The value of each hand is calculated by adding the two cards and focusing solely upon the ending number. For example, if the banker’s hand consists of a 6 and an 8, the sum is 14 and the ending number is 4.
A third card may be dealt depending upon the player’s or banker’s ending number. If either the player or banker has an 8 or 9, it is called a “natural” and neither receives a third card. If the player’s hand adds up to 5 or less, a third card is dealt (to the player). If the player’s hand adds up to 6 or 7, a third card is not dealt.
Whether or not the banker receives a third card depends upon the player’s hand – with two exceptions. First, if the banker’s hand adds up to 2 or less, a third card is always dealt (to the banker). Second, if the banker’s hand adds up to 7 or higher, a third card is never dealt.
Otherwise, the following is true…
- If the banker has a 3 (that is, the ending number of the sum of the cards is 3), a third card is dealt if the player’s third card is anything other than 8.
- If the banker has a 4, a third card is dealt if the player’s third card is anything other than zero, 1, 8, or 9.
- If the banker has a 5, a third card is dealt if the player’s third card is 4 through 7.
- If the banker has a 6, a third card is dealt if the player’s third card is 6 or 7.
This may seem like a lot of information to remember, but it’s easy to commit to memory once you play a few hands.
Baccarat is commonly identified as the high rollers’ casino game, often mentioned in fictional novels and films. The high roller connotation is fairly easy to obtain, as learning the basics for playing baccarat will help a player succeed in achieving this status.
What are The Values Of the Hands in Baccarat?
Determining each hand’s value stumps a lot of novices, but is actually simpler than it seems. First, let’s establish four important ground rules.
1. Tens and face cards are valued at 0 (zero).
2. Twos through nines are valued according to their face value.
3. Aces are valued at 1.
4. Suits are irrelevant, and can thus be ignored.
To calculate the value of a hand, add each card’s individual value, and eliminate the number in the ten’s position. For example, suppose the Player is dealt 6 + 9. Add them to reach 15, then drop the ten’s position to reach 5.
Another example: suppose the Banker is dealt a 6 + 8 + 9. Add them to reach 23, then drop the ten’s position to reach 3.
Learn The Basics By Playing Baccarat Online
Before the game starts, a wager must be placed on the dealer, player or on a tie game. The purpose of baccarat is to correctly predict which hand will have a value as close to nine as possible, based on the cards dealt. Eight 52-card decks are used with two cards being dealt to the dealer and player. The player receives a third hand if the value of the hand is five or lower. There are five separate scenarios where the dealer may receive a third card:
Dealer’s hand total is two or lower.
Dealer’s hand total is worth three and the player’s third card is an eight.
Dealer’s hand total is five and the player’s third card is a four through seven.
Dealer’s hand total is a six and the player’s third card is a six or seven.
Luckily, online baccarat games are almost entirely automated. The player does not have to worry about asking for a third card because the gaming software will automatically deal a third card to the player or dealer if it is necessary. You can also find a list of Real Money Baccarat Games by clicking here.
Final Basics for Playing Baccarat
The basics for playing baccarat online are even more simplified after the player and dealer have the correct number of cards in hand. The player and dealer’s hands are compared to determine which hand is valued closer to nine. The winner is determined by using baccarat’s unique value structure where cards 2 through 9 retain their standard value, 10 and face cards hold no value and aces are valued at one unit.
Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games offered throughout the world. It looks difficult to play, but is actually simple if you know how to calculate hand values. A lot of players have implemented various strategies they claim help them make money at the tables. Do they work? Are they reliable?
On this page, you’ll discover why there is no foolproof Baccarat strategy. If you have played the game, you’ll find this section to be intuitive. We’ll quickly explain a few common approaches Baccarat fans use when playing the game so you’ll be able to see the flaws. We’ll also give you a few Baccarat tips that will help you improve your results. Since the house always has an edge, you can expect to lose money over time. Our tips, however, will help you last as long as possible, maybe carve out a healthy profit in the short run and get you ready to play Real Money Baccarat Games Online.
Is There A Reliable Baccarat Strategy?
There are only three bets to make in Baccarat.
- You can bet on the Banker
- Player, or a Tie.
- If you eliminate the Tie (which offers poor odds)
You’re left with two choices: Banker or Player. Given that there are no opportunities to raise, the game of baccarat essentially comes down to the flip of a coin.
This is an oversimplification, but still useful to explain why Baccarat strategy is a bit of misnomer. Imagine betting on a coin flip, except the house has a small edge. You’ll lose over the long run, but it’s possible to hit a profitable streak in the short run.
Basic Baccarat Strategy
Even though the rules of Baccarat are detailed, strategy is very simple. It is akin to playing casino war; you’re basically betting on one side or the other. When playing with a six-card deck (Baccarat is often played with eight decks), the house edge for betting on the banker is only 1.056%. The house edge for betting on the player is slightly higher at 1.237%. Betting on a tie catapults the edge to 14.438%. In short, it’s a bad bet.
Common Approaches To Baccarat Strategy
A lot of people try to count cards in Baccarat. Even though doing so can pay off in blackjack games, it’s a waste of time here. You might be able to scratch out an advantage by counting, but it would be so small as to make playing the game useless. Plus, keeping track of the dealt cards requires a lot of focus and effort. Check out our list of common Gambling Systems used by casino game players.
Other players like to bet in streaks. As long as they’re winning, they bet progressively higher amounts. Once they lose, their bet declines back to a defined starting point. This approach is better than counting cards, but still a poor Baccarat strategy. Why? Because statistically, any streak is an aberration. It’s unreliable just like you can’t rely on the tenth flip of a coin to come up “heads” simply because the previous nine flips did so.
So, what does work when playing Baccarat? Even though the game is one of chance, there are a few things you can do to avoid making costly mistakes.
A Few Baccarat Tips For Improving Your Results & Winning More
- Never bet on a Tie. Doing so may seem appealing because it pays out at 8:1 (and occasionally, 9:1). The problem is, the odds and payout for a Tie bet give the house an astronomical edge. Don’t do it.
- Always bet on the Banker. It might seem as if the Banker and Player bets have the same odds, and give the house the same edge. In reality, they do not. The Banker bet gives the house a slightly smaller edge. Unless you’re feeling charitable, bet on the Banker.
- Assuming you’re betting on the Banker, increase your bet toward the end of the shoe. Here’s the logic: at the beginning of an 8-shoe deck, the difference between the house edge on the Banker and Player is smaller than at the beginning of a single-shoe deck (we’ll spare you the math). In other words, as the shoe dwindles from 8 decks to a single deck, the odds behind the Banker bet become more attractive.
As a side note, this tip is less relevant if you’re playing online since you won’t be able to observe the shoe.
Given the above, you should always bet on the banker.
Baccarat Betting Online
Although baccarat is associated with sophisticated high rollers, it is actually very easy to Today’s baccarat betting casinos have simplified the game play so the player can focus entirely on making their bets and watching the game as a winner is determined.
Online baccarat betting is done entirely through casino gaming software. The software used by online casinos recreates all of the traditional baccarat features and replaces the live dealer with programmed functions that allow for a quicker and more straightforward game play experience. The player’s biggest responsibility is deciding on whether the player’s hand or the dealer’s hand will be closest to nine. The cards are dealt automatically and the program quickly determines the winner at the end of each round, so the player can get on with the next round of baccarat.
Is there A Winning Baccarat Gambling System?
A variety of different gambling systems can be utilized in baccarat because the game features a simple betting structure. For instance, players can use the Martingale system where the bet amount is doubled after every loss or remains the same after a win. Slightly more complicated systems like the Labouchere betting scheme can also be used. The Labouchere system requires players to write out a sequence of numbers, take the sum of the left and right most numbers of the sequence and use it as the wager amount. Both of the numbers are eliminated if the bet wins or the sum is added to the end of the sequence if the bet loses as the player attempts to eliminate all of the numbers in the sequence through wins. For more tips and suggestions read our Baccarat Odds articles.
Learn how to play baccarat here.
Of the most popular casino games, few trim the house edge as low as Baccarat. For comparison, the edge in Caribbean Stud Poker is over 5 percent; the Pair Plus bet in Three Card Poker climbs over 7 percent; and most of the hard bets in craps scale above 10 percent. Baccarat odds are much better. Depending on the type of bet you place, you can get the edge down to a slim 1.012 percent.
To be fair, some casino games get close. Betting on 6 or 8 on craps (place bets, not hard bets) brings the edge near 1.5 percent. Pai Gow Poker shaves it under 1.5 percent (but, just barely). Blackjack, if played with liberal rules (typically, in Vegas casinos that are located off the Strip), offers a razor-thin edge near 0.30 percent.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at Baccarat odds. We’ll focus primarily on the Banker bet (since it has the lowest house edge), though we’ll mention the Player and Tie bets along the way.
Baccarat Odds: Decks Per Shoe, Banker Commission, And Payout
The house edge in Baccarat rises and falls depending on the number of decks used in the shoe, the percentage of the Banker commission, and the pay table. We’ll cover each of these factors below, starting with the decks per shoe.
If the shoe contains 8 decks, the following house edges will be in effect (assuming a 5 percent Banker commission and 8:1 payout for Ties):
Banker: 1.058 percent
Player: 1.235 percent
Tie: 14.356 percent
If the shoe contains only 6 decks, the house edges are as follows:
Banker: 1.056 percent
Player: 1.237 percent
Tie: 14.438 percent
And here are the house edges for a single-deck shoe:
Banker: 1.012 percent
Player: 1.286 percent
Tie: 15.746 percent
The Banker commission is almost always 5 percent of the Baccarat payout, assuming the bet wins. For example, a $10 bet on the Banker would yield a $10 payout less a $0.50 commission (i.e. a total payout of $9.50). There are some casinos, however, that lower the commission percentage. Though it’s rare, you’ll occasionally see this in a few off-the-Strip Vegas casinos.
The following Baccarat odds are for the Banker bet with lower commissions (for an 8-deck shoe):
4 percent: 0.60 percent
3 percent: 0.14 percent
Note that with a 3 percent commission, the house edge nearly evaporates.
Most casinos, and certainly those online, pay out 8:1 on the Tie bet. All of the house edges we’ve covered thus far assume that payout. There are a few casinos that offer 9:1 (we’ll tell you about one of them in a moment). The following house edges apply to the Tie bet for a 9:1 payout, given different size decks:
8 decks: 4.84 percent
6 decks: 4.93 percent
Single deck: 6.39 percent
If you enjoy betting on the Tie, make sure you play at casinos that offer 9:1.
Is It Possible To Make Money With Baccarat?
Yes and no. Over short periods, you can squeeze a profit from the cards. Your chances of doing so are better if you bet on the Banker, and ignore the Player and Tie bets. Over the long run, however, Baccarat odds and the house edge will prevail. You can expect to eventually lose money. Your best chance to prevent this from happening is to come up with a playing strategy that proves to be winner. Check out our Baccarat Strategy page to find one that works for you.
This is the case with all casino games, of course. From craps and Pai Gow Poker to Roulette, Three Card Poker, and blackjack, the house will win over time. But, again, if you bet on the Banker consistently, you’ll likely last longer.
Baccarat Bonuses From Online Casinos
Most online casinos do not offer bonuses for playing baccarat because the house edge is so low.
Baccarat casino online sign up bonuses allow to earn bonus cash every time a player makes a real money baccarat wager. The accumulated bonus cash can then be used to fund future online baccarat sessions, play other casino games or be withdrawn.
Baccarat Sign Up Bonus
Baccarat bonuses award extra cash based on a percentage of the player’s initial deposit. Sign up bonus offers range from 10% to over 100% on initial deposits worth hundreds of dollars. After successfully registering for a real money account and completing a deposit, players are given 30 to 60 days to release all of the bonus cash by playing online casino games like baccarat. The sign up bonus and initial deposit amount must be wagered 10 to 20 times, depending on the casino’s exact requirements, before a withdrawal can be made. Certain baccarat betting game bonuses contribute 100% of each baccarat wager to the clearance requirements while other casino sites only allow baccarat wagers to contribute 30% to %35. Carefully review the terms and conditions of each sign up bonus to make sure it is baccarat-friendly. Click here and discover how and where to Play Baccarat Online.
Maximizing Baccarat Bonuses
Since the best baccarat bonuses are usually only valid for 30 to 60 days, it’s important to extract the most bonus cash by utilizing a few winning baccarat tips. Never wager on a tie round because this option features a 5% to 6% house advantage. Betting on a player or dealer win has a house advantage of less than 1.5%. Experiment with different gambling systems and betting patterns such as the Martingale system and Labouchere gambling system or make bets based on past win streaks. Keep in mind that online baccarat uses a random numbers generator, so a particular betting pattern does not guarantee wins or profit.
Play Online Baccarat
Pronounced “bah-kuh-RAH,” Baccarat has traditionally been thought of as a game for high rollers. One of the reasons is because the tables are often set out of the way in land-based casinos. The game is played in a semi-secluded area, which increases its mystique. Unfortunately, a lot of gamblers who might enjoy playing never try the game because they presume it’s too complicated.
The mystique is slowly vanishing, however, since you can now play Baccarat online. A few of the top online casinos not only offer the game through their Baccarat downloadable Casino software, but also allow you to play it directly through your browser. If you loathe having to download casino software, or you’re using a Mac, you’ll find the online option to be an ideal solution.
Below, we’ll take you through the game, and explain how to play Baccarat. We’ll spend a bit of time on the area that most confuses beginners: how to determine which hand wins. The following is not a Baccarat strategy guide. Instead, consider it a primer that will help you get started playing Baccarat online.
A Quick Guide To Play Baccarat Online
Two hands are dealt: the Player and the Banker. Neither hand is dealt specifically to you. Instead, you can bet on either hand according to which one you think will have a higher value. You can also bet that the two hands will tie. Hands are valued between 0 (zero) and 9. The highest-valued hand wins the round.
The Player hand always goes first, and initially receives two cards. If their value is 0 through 5, a third card is dealt. Otherwise, play goes to the Banker.
The Banker also receives two cards. If their value is 0 through 2, a third card is dealt. If their value is 7 through 9, a third card is not dealt. If the value of the first two cards is 3 through 6, a third card may or may not be dealt depending on the cards held by both the Player and Banker.
There are two ways in which your bet will pay out. First, as explained, you’ll win if you bet on the hand with the highest value. Second, you’ll win if you bet on a tie, and the two hands have the same value. The cards between the Player and Banker hands may be completely different, but valued the same.
Two important side notes are worth mentioning…
First, both the Player and Banker hands will pay even money. If you bet $10, you’ll win $10 (assuming you make the correct bet). However, if you bet on the Banker, and the Banker wins, you’ll pay a 5% commission. On a $10 bet, you’ll pay $0.50.
Where To Play Baccarat Online For Free
Nearly all online casinos offer Baccarat. The problem is, most of them only let you play the game through their casino software. Even though the process of downloading and installing it is usually quick, there is another option. A few casinos will let you play Baccarat online through an “Instant Play” environment. We can confidently recommend the following two:
- Bodog Casino – Bodog has made a name for itself as a full-service online gambling property. In addition to their casino, you’ll find a poker room, sportsbook, and racebook. Within their casino, their “Instant Play” environment offers most of the top table games, such as blackjack, craps, Pai Gow, and of course, Baccarat. Claim an instant and unlimited 10% bonus match when you make your first deposit (minimum $20). Be sure to visit our Bodog Casino Review page to get access to links and information.
Play Baccarat Real Money
Real money Baccarat has been played for centuries, and thus is one of the oldest casino games still offered today. In land-based casinos, it is typically the domain of well-heeled gamblers; a lot of casinos actually move the Baccarat tables away from the normal floor traffic. But anyone can play the game online, since it is offered at nearly all of the top gambling sites.
On this page, we’ll provide a quick tour through real money Baccarat. Because it is unlike most casino games, many gamblers are initially apprehensive about playing it. With this in mind, we’ll give you a simple tutorial for getting started, along with a couple of tips for doing well. We’ll also profile our top 4 online casinos to play Baccarat.
How To Play Real Money Baccarat Online or Live Casinos
There are three bets you can make in Baccarat. You can bet on the Player, the Banker, or a Tie. Once you make your bet, the Player and Banker hands are dealt (Player first), each with two cards face-up. The goal is simple: correctly predict which hand will have a higher value, or that both will have the same value (i.e. a Tie).
Here are a few Baccarat ground rules:
1. 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings, have a value of zero.
2. Aces are valued as 1.
3. All other cards are counted at their face value.
4. Suits are irrelevant.
Hand values are calculated by adding the values of each card, and dropping the tens place digit. For example, suppose the Player’s hand contains a 6 and a 7. Together, they total 13. Drop the tens place to arrive at 3. Check out our Baccarat Strategy articles for more details on playing this exciting game.
Another key factor in how both hands are valued involves a third card…
Rules Regarding The Third Card in Baccarat
A third card may or may not be dealt to either hand, depending on the circumstances. Moreover, one hand may receive a third card while the other does not. If the Player’s initial hand (i.e. first two cards) totals zero through 5, it receives a third card. Otherwise, it does not. Treatment of the Banker’s hand is a bit more complex, as explained below.
The Banker’s hand receives a third card if it totals zero, 1, or 2, regardless of the value of the Player’s hand. A third card is not dealt if the Banker’s hand totals 7, 8, or 9. Beyond these two rules, a third card is also dealt to the Banker’s hand according to the following:
1. The Banker has 3, and the Player has anything but 8.
2. The Banker has 4, and the Player has a 2 through 7.
3. The Banker has 5, and the Player has a 4 through 7.
4. The Banker has 6, and the Player has a 6 or 7.
Here again, the cards’ individual values are added together, and the tens place digit is dropped. For instance, suppose the Banker’s hand contains a 4, 7, and 8. Together, they total 19. Drop the tens place to arrive at 9.
Payouts In Real Money Baccarat
If you correctly predict the Player’s win, you’ll be paid 1:1 (even money). If you correctly predict the Banker’s win, you’ll be paid 1:1, less a 5 percent commission to the house. For example, a $20 bet on the Banker would pay out $20, less a $1 commission (or, $19).
If you correctly predict a Tie, your bet is usually paid out at 9:1, depending on the casino.
How To Play Baccarat To Win
The most important tip for playing real money Baccarat is to always bet on the Banker. The house edge on the Banker’s hand is only 1.056 percent, taking into account the 5 percent commission. The edge on the Player’s hand is 1.237 percent.
A related tip is to always avoid the Tie bet. Resist the temptation to chase the 9:1 payout. Assuming a 6-deck game, the house edge on the Tie is a stunning 14.438 percent. Again, stick to the Banker bet.
If you just want to go enjoy a few ‘free’ drinks at the casino and play in a slow paced, relaxed game, then Baccarat is the game for you. Of course if the attractive people are sitting over at the Pai Gow game then you could also play that and get to take your time and enjoy the drinks in a slower paced lowish house edge game.