How to Play Baccarat


Baccarat is an intriguing game based on betting and luck that is played at casinos. Baccarat is usually played in a more secluded, separated part of the casino to allow players to concentrate. It allows for a large number of players, anywhere from 12-14. Once the rules are learned, it does not need to be a very difficult game to follow.

How to Wager

The rules behind the game of Baccarat is not a very complex one: each player will bet on one of three positions on the table either the Banker, the Player or a Tie which is also known as the Standoff. If the gambler’s bet is correct and that hand wins, each gambler will get paid out $1 for every dollar bet on the Player position and $.95 for each dollar bet on the Banker position. If the result is a Tie anyone who bet on the Tie or Standoff position will be paid out 8 to 1 or 9 to 1 depending on the house rules.

The Hand

The rules of the cards being played is that each player wants their hand to be closer to nine. The point system is not very difficult to understand. An ace is worth one point, face cards and 10’s are worth zero and the rest of the cards are worth their face value.

The beginning to understanding the rules of how to play Baccarat is to understand what the choices are for betting. Each player can either bet on the banker’s hand (in the European version of the game called Banco), or the player’s hand (or in Europe called Punto). Before the cards can be played, each member of the table must bet on either the Banker or the Player.


Next, the rules state how the cards are dealt. First, the dealer who is responsible for dealing the cards will place one card on the Players square on the table. Then, the next card is dealt to the Banker position. Then a second card is dealt to each. All of these cards are dealt face up.

How the First Two Cards are Counted

As stated in the rules, The first card that is dealt is given a point based on whatever the card is (refer to above where the points are explained– ace is one, face cards and tens are zero and the rest are their face value). The second card that is dealt is added to the value of the first card to create the total. Depending on the scenario, more cards than just the two can end up being dealt. If the Banker is closer to a total of nine points, anyone that bet on the Banker wins. If the Player position’s total is close to a total of nine points, anyone that bet on the Player wins.

An example of how to calculate the points based on the rules of Baccarat: First, the Player is dealt a two. This card is worth two points. Next, the Banker is dealt a queen, this card is worth zero points. It is back to the Player who is now dealt an Ace which is worth one point and brings the Player total up to three. Finally, the Banker is dealt an eight. This card is worth it’s face value of eight which means that the Banker is closer to nine than the Player’s total of three.

The Third Card Rules for the Player (Punto)

Although it might seem as simple as the game Baccarat being over, it is not. The Player and the Banker both have the requirement of being dealt another card depending on what each of their cumulative scores are. The dealer will finish the Player’s hand first based on the following rules.

– When the first two cards dealt to the Player position have a cumulative score of an eight or a nine, then no additional cards will be dealt to the Player position since the first two cards they were dealt are what is known as Natural.

– If the player has a score of a six or a seven, they will stand and if they have a score of anything less than five, they will draw another card.

– The only time that the Player would not draw a third card with a score of five or less is if the Banker has a score of eight or nine.

Should the Player have to draw a third card, the next move will depend entirely upon what card is drawn. This is where the game can get confusing however it is simple to understand when broken down.

The Third Card Rules for the Banker (Banco)

– The Banker will draw again if their score is between zero and three and the Player has drawn an ace, nine, ten or face card. Only if both of these stipulations are met will the Banker draw a third card. If the Player draws one of the aforementioned cards but the Bankers current score is between a four and eight, the Banker will stay.

– The Banker will draw again if his or her score is between zero and two and the Player has drawn an eight. Again, these stipulations must both be met. If the Player does draw an eight but the Banker’s score is between a three and a seven, the Banker will stay.

– The Banker will draw again if his or her score is between a zero and six and the Player’s third card is a six or a seven. The Banker will stay if his or her current total is a seven.

– The Banker will draw again if the current score falls at zero, five or anywhere between and the Player third card is a four or a five. The Banker will stay with a six or a seven as a current score if one of these is the card drawn.

– The Banker will draw a third time if the current score falls between a zero and four and the Player’s third card was a two or a three. Of course, both of these stipulations must be met and the Banker would stay with a score that is five, six or seven.

The Final Result

Totals are calculated by counting the cards. The score that is closest to zero wins and anyone that bet on that hand wins as well. Often, at casinos, the casino will take a percent of the winnings if it was the Banker that won (as they consider that as their luck and therefore their right to some of that money).