Getting Started with Online Baccarat - Rules & Guidelines

Baccarat is one of the most straightforward casino games out there. Whether you play land-based variants or online baccarat options, it doesn’t really matter. The rules are identical and baccarat will always remain the same. The most played variation of the game worldwide is called Punto Banco. That’s why you’ll see this name thrown around synonymously with the word “baccarat”.
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How to Play Baccarat

First things first – What is baccarat?

Baccarat is one of the games with the lowest house edge and biggest RTP value. Additionally, payouts are hefty and your chances of winning relatively high. Let’s learn how to play baccarat online, when to draw, when to hit and what baccarat means. The rules to baccarat are as simple as can be. Players have two betting options – Banker or Player. All you need to do is place a bet on either of the two selections at hand.

Baccarat for dummies doesn’t differ much from the advanced game. If you can count to 10, that’s half of the job done.

No matter what baccarat variant for real money you play, the rules are the same.

  1. Determine your bet value.
  2. Choose your bet options.
  3. Wait for the cards to be drawn by the dealer.
  4. Look at the outcome to see if your hand won.
  5. Collect your winnings.

With this brief baccarat overview out of the way, let’s see how baccarat works in detail.

  • Can baccarat be beaten?
  • Who invented baccarat?
  • Why is baccarat so popular?

Read the answers to these questions below.

Recommended Baccarat Casinos

Are you looking for a place to play baccarat for real money? Why wouldn’t you check out our recommended online casinos for baccarat players?

Sometimes, it can be hard to find a reliable, genuine online casino website for baccarat. That’s why we handpicked only the premium, best-equipped establishments that offer online baccarat variants. If you’re after a dependable casino with great ratings and positive user feedback, keep reading.

Look at the list below to see the best baccarat sites.

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Baccarat Basics

Baccarat was invented in France in the 19th century. It was particularly popular with French aristocrats. However, over the centuries, wider audiences have grown keen on this simple yet immersive casino game.

Baccarat is playable with between 1 and 14 players in land-based casinos. On the other hand, you might find virtual venues that accept more than fourteen players at a time.

To play baccarat online, you’ll use four, six or eight decks of cards.

This French casino game is celebrated for its amazingly low house edge. Players love to win obviously. To beat the house advantage, we’d recommend online baccarat.

The RTP (return to payer) value in baccarat goes over a whopping 99%, which is considered player-friendly. To complement the favorable RTP, the house edge in baccarat is around an awesome 1%.

That combination makes it fairly easy to win in baccarat. However, baccarat can be volatile, which makes it both a good and a bad idea for players.  The rules dictate that you decide how much you’d like to wager in that round. Place your bet on either of the two main bets and optional bets if you want. The dealer will draw two cards for each of the possible hands (more about it below). The total sum of the two cards for each hand determines what hand wins.

Totalling 8 or 9 in baccarat is considered a natural.

The objective of the game is to get as close to 9 as possible without going over. When a natural (8 or 9) appear, no more cards are drawn.

Card Values in Baccarat

So, how do you get to 8 or 9?

You need to learn card values in baccarat. Here is how much each card is worth:

  • Cards 2 through 9 keep their pip (face) value.
  • Tens (10s) and face cards (royals) are worth 0 (zero).
  • Ace (A) is valued at 1.

Here is how to calculate your hand’s value in baccarat.

Example

Let’s say you bet on Banker. The dealer draws a 6 and a 2 for the banker. Add the two numbers and you’ll get 8. That’s a natural in baccarat. You win.

In another instance, let’s imagine your hand gets a 7 and an 8. The sum is 13. In baccarat, we eliminate the left digit and keep the right one only. To translate, your hand’s value is 3.

So if you go over 9, your score resets to zero.

Depending on what cards your baccarat hand gets, you’ll see when to draw and when to hit. Also, in iGaming, each game has a paytable with relevant information. We suggest going through the manual and rules before playing.

Main Bets & Payouts

As should be clear by now, there are two main bets in baccarat:

  • Player
  • Banker

To be clear, that doesn’t mean that you are the player and the dealer is the banker. Those are just the names of the bets.

Before we move on, maybe you’d like to see check out the complete baccarat dictionary we prepared.

Bets on the “player” are paid at 1:1.

Technically, all bets on the “banker” have the same 1-to-1 payout. However, as this bet has a higher edge, i.e. a better chance of winning, winning bets on the banker will pay a 5% commission. In other words, the banker bet pays at 0.95:1.

If you’d like to avoid the 5% fee, you can play baccarat without commission. Many providers offer the so-called No Commission Baccarat, which pays equally on player and banker.

In the following lines, we’ll also tell you more about side (additional) bets in baccarat, as well as their payouts.

Side Bets & Payouts

While you have to decide between Player and Banker, side bets are optional. They offer higher payouts and are perfect for ambitious, high-roller players. Let’s see what you can work with.

  • Tie – betting that both sides will end up with the same sum is called the tie. The payout for the tie bet is 9:1 or 8:1, depending on the casino and the game.
  • Player Pair – if you think that the bet to your left (player) will draw a pair (e.g. two 6s), place the player pair side bet. Casinos usually pay at 11:1 for this side bet.
  • Banker Pair – the same payout applies for the banker pair side bet (11:1). If you win a banker pair, that means that the banker side ended up with two cards of the same suit.

When a tie with zeros on both bets is drawn, the dealer will pick out two more cards, one for each side. After that, it will be clear what side won.

Popular Baccarat Alternatives

We believe it is clear by now how baccarat works. If it isn’t, make sure to drop us a question in the comment section below the article.

Let’s take a moment to see where else you can apply these baccarat rules. A few other games are based on the same principle. Some of them even originate from France, too.

The most popular baccarat variants are:

  • Punto Banco
  • Baccarat Banque (À Deux Tableaux)
  • Chemmy
  • Dragon Tiger
  • Andar Bahar

The last input on the list comes from India and has some similarities with baccarat. The principle is almost the same so we decided to include it here.

Remember, you can use our exclusive tips & tricks on any of these games.

To wrap up, we can deduce that you can play baccarat for fun, meaning not for free, but there are no real-money winnings involved.

Live Baccarat

Nowadays, a growing number of gamblers are transitioning to the live casino universe. Live dealer baccarat provides convenience and speed no in-person baccarat can.

For instance, you can sit comfortably at home, place a bet in a matter of seconds and immediately activate dealing. There’s no need to worry about dressing up or Googling “baccarat casino near me”. Instead, just find a cosy spot in your apartment and log in through your mobile or tablet.

The same rules apply and the house edge is identical. Live baccarat is as quality as its physical parallel.

Live baccarat is produced by multiple software providers and streamed from professional casino studios. The most popular developers include Evolution Gaming, NetEnt and Vivo Gaming.

Best Online Casino By Country

Although most casinos online are inherently international, some of them specialize for certain markets. If you’re looking for the best casino for your country or area, you’ll find it on this page. The CasinosOnline team reviews online casinos based on their target markets so players can easily find what they need.