Online Casino Baccarat


The wonderful thing about baccarat is that it’s much easier to play than it appears. The only decision the player needs to make is what wager to place. All the other action is handled by the dealer and governed by the strict rules of the game. Most of the time what you will see is mini baccarat. You’ll only see traditional baccarat in very high stakes games. In these games players get to actually handle the cards themselves. Other than that the two games are played about the same.

The object of baccarat is to hold 2 or 3 cards, which should count 9 or as close to 9 as possible. A two-card total of 9 is called a “natural” and is unbeatable. A total of 8 is the second highest hand and is also called a natural. In the event of a tie, neither the bank nor the player hand wins. Face cards and tens have a value of zero; aces have a value of 1; and other cards are worth their normal value. For totals over the value ten, the ten is disregarded; this means that if you have an 8 and a 7, the value will be 5, not 15. Scores always range from 0 to 9 and there is no bust in baccarat.

Basic Rules

The game is played with either six or eight complete decks of cards. The cards are shuffled and placed in a covered box called the shoe. Part of the formality of baccarat is that each player gets a turn to handle the shoe. If you’re not sure what to do the dealer will let you now. When holding the shoe, a player is expected to bet with the bank. Any player may decline the shoe if they so desire. The actual card play is governed by a rigid set of rules.

Play begins with two cards being dealt to the player and the dealer. A third card may be dealt on either of these hands depending on the value of the initial two cards. The winning hand will be the one with the value closest to 9. When either the player or banker holds a total of 8 or 9 then both hands must stand. This rule overrides all other rules. If neither initial hand has a natural, the player’s hand is the first to be played. If the player’s first cards total 5 or less, then another card is drawn. If the first two cards total 6 or more, then the player must stand.

The banker’s rules are slightly different. If the banker’s first two cards total 7 or more, then the banker must stand. If the banker’s initial cards total 0, 1, or 2, then the banker must draw one card. For totals of 3, 4, 5, or 6, the banker’s action depends on the whether the player drew, and if so the value of the player’s draw. The table below explains the banker’s draw rules under these conditions.

Bank Drawing vs. player’s draw
D = draw, N = no card drawn by player
Bank Total N 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Player’s Draw Card
9
8
7
6 D D
5 D D D D D
4 D D D D D D D
3 D D D D D D D D D D
2 D D D D D D D D D D D
1 D D D D D D D D D D D
0 D D D D D D D D D D D

If the bank wins, there is a 5% commission on players winning bets for the bank. A record is kept of the commission amounts for each player. This amount can be paid at any time, but must be paid at the end of the shoe.

The baccarat betting rules are quite simple. Players place their bet in either the player, bank or tie spot in a numbered box opposite their seat. Player and back bets pay even money. The tie bet pays either 8 to 1 or 9 to 1 and is never a wise bet according to the odds. This initial bet is the only decision a player has to make in baccarat. Everything else is done by the dealer and governed by the rules of baccarat.

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