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How to Play Baccarat for Beginners

Learning baccarat rules doesn’t take a great deal of time or effort. With that said, there are plenty of little details you should know about when you’re learning how to play baccarat:

  • The terminology that relates to the game
  • How the land-based baccarat game differs from the online versions
  • Valuable tips from our experts on how to win
How to Play Baccarat for Beginners

Baccarat Rules - A Step by Step Guide

The rules of a baccarat casino game look pretty similar whether you’re playing in a land-based venue or on the web. To keep things simple, we’ve written this walkthrough for those playing baccarat online:

  1. Choose a table and decide whether you want to bet on the player hand, banker hand or a tie.
  2. A hand of two cards is dealt for both the player and banker, their value being determined using the value of single digits plus the right digit of double digits.
  3. A player hand of 1-5 draws another card but stands on 6 or 7, or a natural 8 or 9. The banker hand draws another card on 0-2 but stands between 7 and 9.
  4. If the banker hand totals between 3 and 6, the action they take next will depend on the value of the player hand.
  5. The values of the player and banker hand are calculated, and whichever is closest to 9 wins the round. Then collect your winnings from successful bets!

Key Baccarat Terms You Need To Know


Spanish word that means bank or banker. Refers here to the game’s dealer

Banker bet

A bet on the banker’s hand, which requires a 5% commission on winning wagers


A type of baccarat played at two joined-up tables, with a player bet on each one


Another word for the dealer


A type of chip used in baccarat


A fee taken by the house from winnings made on the banker bet

Down Card

A card that’s dealt face down, also known as a hole card

La Grand Natural

A natural nine, which is the best hand in the game. Also known as "The Big One"

La Petit Natural

A natural eight, which is the second-best hand in the game. Also known as "The Little One"


When the first two cards of a hand total 8 or 9, which ends the hand automatically unless the other hand is better (in the case of an 8)


Spanish word that means player

Tie Bet

A bet that the player and banker hand will have the same value


A card that’s dealt face up

Tips from Our Baccarat Experts

Our team of experts have spent a huge amount of time playing baccarat. The following tips are what we consider to be the ‘must know’ advice before you play:

Tips from Our Baccarat Experts
Bet on the banker

Despite the fact that baccarat rules dictate that the house gets a 5% commission on wins placed on the banker hand, it still represents the best bet on the table. If you’re wondering how that can be the case, it’s because the probability of the banker hand winning is 45.8% compared with 44.6% for the player hand.

Avoid the tie bet

The probability of winning on a tie bet is just 9.5%, meaning it has a house edge of 14.36%. Compare this with the slim house edge of player and banker bets, 1.24% and 1.06% respectively, it’s easy to see why we recommend avoiding the tie bet entirely.

Manage your money

In an offline venue, each hand of a baccarat game takes a long time to play out because of the superstitions and ceremony involved. That’s not the case online as players control the speed of the game. Monitor your spending habits as you learn how to play baccarat online to keep things sustainable.

Try live dealer baccarat

If you’re struggling to develop a consistent speed when playing at a baccarat casino online, consider making the move to live dealer baccarat. This slower variation goes a long way towards capturing the rituals of offline baccarat by allowing you to interact with the dealer and other players.

Be careful with betting systems

Contrary to how it might appear, there’s no science behind betting on hot or cold streaks. Be wary of systems, that advise upping your bet after a win or a loss. They simply don’t work in the long term and could ultimately see you losing money.

Know your limits

Because this game is traditionally associated with high rollers, it’s not uncommon to see players splashing large amounts of cash at the tables in baccarat. Don’t get caught up in the moment, keep a close eye on your bankroll and only ever wager what you can reasonably afford.

Playing Different Baccarat Variations

When you visit a top baccarat casino online you’ll notice that there are a few different variants of the game available. For the most part, these games play very similarly except for a few minor tweaks to the baccarat rules:

Mini baccarat

A miniature version of the game, hence the “mini”, that allows for seven players instead of the usual eight. Of course, this has little impact online because each player squares off against their own virtual dealer.

Chemin de fer

Uses fewer decks of cards than standard baccarat and sees players take turns to be the banker, with cards dealt face down. The decision whether or not to draw a third card rests with players.

Punto Banco

Allows for up to fourteen players to enjoy the game simultaneously, with no option whether or not to draw a third card; in this variant it is instead dealt automatically where required.

Baccarat Banque

Similar to Chemin de fer, except that only one player (or the casino) acts as the banker for the entirety of the game. Baccarat Banque also uses a smaller number of decks than other variants.

Play Baccarat Online

If you’re learning how to play baccarat for the first time, you should now have all of the information you need to get started. Of course, using a free baccarat game is always an option if you’re not ready to jump in and play with real money just yet.

Whatever variation you’re playing, and in whichever casino, baccarat rules look pretty much the same. Once you have a better understanding of how to play, you’ll feel for more confident wagering larger sums of money.

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