Three Card Baccarat – Learn How to Play

3-card baccaratBaccarat is known to be the easiest classic table game to play. It has the smallest house edge you’ll find anywhere and it’s basically a guessing game that requires no particular skill.

So it’s really the perfect game for beginners. But what about its variants?

3-card baccarat can be a little confusing to wrap your head around. But it still functions with the same principles as regular baccarat, regarding the player’s actual involvement in the game. You’ll mainly find 3-card baccarat in live casinos, as it’s quite a rare variant of the game.

Let’s check out the main differences that make up this baccarat variation, as well as the general rules.

Card values in 3-Card Baccarat

Like in regular baccarat, suits have no bearing on the card’s value. However, card values are quite different from poker or blackjack.

  • All 10s & Face cards = 0pts
  • Ace: 1pt
  • 2-9: Counted at face value

This means that in order to count scores, you’ll have to disregard all 10s or 20s. So if you get 9-8-2, the total score will be 19. But you have to disregard the first digit, so your score will be 9.

Gameplay in 3-Card Baccarat

Here’s what makes baccarat so easy: you’re betting on the results of two sides. The “Player” side, and the “Banker” or “Dealer” side. The only decision you have to make is what to bet on: Player, Banker or Tie.

At the beginning of every turn, the bettor will choose what to bet on. The dealer will place your bet in the appropriate space on the playing mat.

Once all bets have been placed, the dealer will deal 3 cards for the “Player”, and three cards for the “Dealer”.

The goal of the game is for each of the card scores to land either 8 or 9. So if you betted on the Dealer hand and its final card score is 8, then you win. (A hand that results in an 8 or 9 score is known as “a natural”.)

Beware: the “Player” bet doesn’t refer to you. It refers to the space on the mat that is reserved to the “Player” hand. Actual players in baccarat are referred to as “bettors”, as your only role is to bet.

Rules for 3-card Baccarat

Usually, as we mentioned above, face cards have a 0 value in baccarat. But in 3-card baccarat, the highest possible hand is actually 3 face cards.

Also, the bettor can win if they bet on a tie. But if nobody bet on the tie and the Dealer and Player hands do end in a tie, then all bets are pushed and no chips are exchanged.

All winning wagers also pay 5% commission, so you’ll have to factor that in when calculating how much you stand to gain.

Player Bet, Dealer Bet and Tie Bet

Let’s take a look at the odds and payouts for each bet. If you bet on the player:

  • House edge on player bet: 1,24%
  • Regular wager: 1:1 payout minus 5% commission

If you bet on the dealer:

  • House edge on banker bet: 1.06%
  • Regular wager: 1:1 payout minus 5% commission
  • Dealer hand total wager (0 to 9pts): 8:1 payout
  • You can wager on the Dealer getting 0 points, and get an 8:1 payout.
  • You can wager on the Dealer getting Three Faces: 96:1 payout

If you bet on the tie:

  • Tie bet: 8:1 payout

If both Dealer and Player hands have the same total, then the hand with most face cards wins. So for instance, Jack-King-4 beats Jack-10-4 even though both have a total of 4.