Baccarat Rules 2020 – Getting to know the basics

online baccarat guideYou may have seen Baccarat played in one or two James Bond movies as the famous spy visits one of the illustrious casinos as a part of his mission. You might also have seen him play it with the suave sophistication of a pro while you have no idea what’s going on. That might be because the croupier was French, but it also might be the fact that you’re not entirely familiar with Baccarat Rules.

Now, be honest. Are you up to scratch with Baccarat Rules, even the basic ones? If you’re new to the game, almost certainly not, but even if you’re veteran you may need to brush up every now and then, especially after it’s been a while since playing the game. Probably not. But not to worry! We’re here to refresh your memory.

This Bacarrat Guide Will Include:

  • The basic rules of Baccarat
  • The different card ranks
  • All ways you can make bets
  • Most common variations

Once you’ve gone over our Baccarat rules guide, hopefully, you’ll feel refresh enough to return to any game and make numerous successes. Here’s our guide to the basic rules of Baccarat!

Baccarat Rules: The Basics

Baccarat is simple enough to understand once you get to grips with the basic premise. Many sites tend to confuse things with all the different variations and rules from different casinos. But we’re here to clear the air and make things super-simple so you don’t feel left out by unknown terminology.

The Set-Up

The basic set-up of Baccarat can be comprised of up to multiple players (usually between four or five) and the cards used can be between one or eight packs of 52 standard playing cards. The dealer usually hands out two sets of hands, the Player Hand and the Banker Hand, both of which can win or reach a tie if the value turns out to be the same.


The main objective of Baccarat is to place a bet on the winning hand and get more than you originally wagered. It’s basically like any other card game. You are, in a sense, playing against the dealer but you can bet on the dealer’s hand as well as your own, which makes it a much more team-oriented game. At least, in part it is.

How do you “beat the dealer”? Well, that’s simple. You must get as close to a nine as possible on either hand. We’ll explain how this works in the next section. For now, keep in mind that getting close to that nine is the main aim of the game.

Baccarat Rules: Card Ranks

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at what each card represents. This is where people get a bit confused where Baccarat’s concerned so we’re going to break it down step-by-step to ensure that there’s no room for error.

Card Values

Unlike most casino table games, the card values are quite different to the number printed on the card itself. This is where most of the confusion comes in so it’s important to know what each card represents and what it’s used for.

  • Ace: This card has the value of exactly “1”
  • All Face Cards: Kings, Queens and Jacks all have the exact value of “0”
  • “10” Cards: All “10” cards, like Face Cards, have the value of “0”
  • Cards 2 – 9: All cards value between 2 – 9 have the exact value their cards held

So, a little bit different. For many who play Blackjack Poker, the fact that Ace is only considered only a 1 and not 11 is quite jarring. That’s not even going into the 10 value cards or the Face Cards not even holding any value whatsoever. At first, this may seem troubling, but you’ll soon see that this is enormously beneficial in getting that ever-crucial nine.

Getting A Nine

3-card baccaratAs we said, the main aim of Baccarat is to get as close to a nine as possible on whichever hand you chose to bet on. This sounds relatively simple but its simplicity is what makes the game so intense at times. Everything could hinge on a single card.

Let’s take a look at how an example hand might offer you a win:

You choose to bet £5 on the Player Hand. The dealer deals out cards for both Player and Dealer hands respectively. They are split:

  • Player Hand: 3 of hearts, 6 of spades
  • Dealer Hand: 4 of clubs, 4 of diamonds

This, of course, shows that the Player Hand wins as the 3 and 6 equate to an exact value of 9, while the Dealer Hand only has 8, meaning that whoever bet on the Player Hand gets the pot money.

Dealing More Cards

However, if the card values are five or less, the dealer can deal another card to said hand, just like in this example:

  • Player Hand: Ace of hearts, 3 of spades
  • Dealer Hand: 4 of clubs, 4 of diamonds

The dealer will then deal another card. If it’s a 5 then the player will get a 9 and that hand will win the round. If they get over a 5, however, they will get a value greater than 9 then the value decreases. For example, if the dealer drew a 7, the value of the card will be 1, not 11. You always drop the one.

To make it clearer, here’s an example of a hand after a second draw.

  • Player Hand: 2 of hearts, 3 of spades, 8 of clubs = 3
  • Dealer Hand: 4 of clubs, 4 of diamonds = 8

In this scenario, it would mean that the Dealer Hand wins.

Getting A Draw

If, on the other hand, the dealer drew another 4, then both the Dealer and the Player hands would have the exact same value of 8, resulting in a tie. While not the most desirable outcome, you can choose to bet on a tie as the odds are 8 to 1, making the returns quite substantial.

Here would be an example of a tie:

  • Player Hand: 3 of hearts, 3 of spades = 6
  • Dealer Hand: 1 of clubs, 5 of diamonds= 8

We do advise that you do not bet on a tie, however, if you are low on funds. It is the riskiest bet you can make and the likeliness of it happening each round are quite slim. Tread with caution.

Baccarat Rules: Making Bets

As you may have figured out, there are a few ways which you can place a bet in Baccarat, each with their own outcomes and odds. It’s important to know these odds so we encourage you to pay attention to this next part if you ever want to play successfully at Baccarat.

The three basic bets according to Baccarat rules are:

  • Player Bets
  • Dealer Bets
  • Tie Bets

These three core bets are what make up the entire game and each has their own level of risk. Be sure to know all the odds of each before playing.

Player Bets

Player Bets are one of the two primary bets you can make for each round of Baccarat. By placing chips on the PLAYER side of the table, you are essentially saying “I think the Player Hand will win this round.” It’s usually in red and below the DEALER bet side of the table. The odds of getting the Player Bet right are, of course, 50/50.

Dealer Bets

Pai Gow Poker GuideDealer Bets are in every way the same as Player Bets, but this time it’s positioned above the PLAYER part of the table and the word DEALER is usually written in black.

The odds of getting a Dealer Bet on around is 50/50. Betting on these is much like Roulette in a way. With either red or black to bet on, there’s a strong element of chance attached to Baccarat.

Tie Bets

Alternatively, if Dealer and Player Bets are a bit too safe for you, you could always bet on a tie. As we’ve already mentioned, this bet is fraught with risk so you must proceed with caution.

Ties are incredibly rare but the odds on them are 8 to 1, meaning that the returns are very high and if they pay off, you could have a lot of money in the bank.

House Edge

It’s important to discuss house edge whenever it comes to Baccarat, as with any card game. Each bet has its own return rate and an edge which serves the casino more favourably than the players. While each casino is different, there is a general sense of an ‘average’ house edge when it comes to each game of Baccarat.

Here are the averages that we have found:

Bet  House Edge Average
Banker 1.06%
Player 1.36%
Tie 14.40%

From these figures alone, you can pretty much ascertain that it may be better to make a Banker Bet as less money goes to the casino overall. However, this is just a guide, not a rule and should give you some idea on how to better form a Baccarat strategy.

Baccarat Rules: Some Variants

Because Baccarat is such a popular game, there are naturally many variations of the original. It’s hard, in fact, to find some original Baccarat because of how many there are. Here, we won’t go into too much detail as we’ll be sure to cover the variants at a later date but we will briefly go over the most popular Baccarat variations.

Chemin de Fer

chemin de fer baccaratThe original Baccarat served as strong inspiration for the roots of this card game which is historically played in France. Today, you’ll be hard pressed to find a casino that offers to play Chemin de Fer but you might have more luck in France itself.

This version of the game is (or was) fairly popular thanks to the flexibility of the rules. Players have a more active role to the point they can take turns shuffling the decks.

Baccarat Banque

As close to the original Baccarat as you’re going to get, Baccarat Banque is very similar to Chemin de Fer. The only real difference is that the banker is, in fact, the player with the largest amount of money to gamble. Baccarat Banque can be played in some European casinos but it is overall less popular than our last entry on this list.

Punto Banco

Finally, the most popular form of Baccarat played largely in America, Punto Banco is simply a game of chance with little to no strategy involved. Each game is set by some very strict rules which makes it odd that it’s so popular. However, odder things do occur in gambling and this is the simple fact of the matter. You can play Punto Banco at almost any mobile casino you care to name.

That concludes our list. There are plenty of other, more obscure variants of Baccarat but most of the Baccarat rules listed here are relatively the same. In short, you’ll never be short on choice and you’ll have plenty to choose from the get-go.

We hope this guide has been useful to you and that you have a firmer grasp on Baccarat rules than you did before.