The Basics of Baccarat

08th January2 min read

Baccarat is a relatively simple game to get into, and it can be a lot of fun to play in a casino – whether online or off. Below are the basics to get you started, as well as a few important rules to look out for while you play. You can always try a few hands online sites that offer free demos, just to get the knack of things before you play for stakes.

Winning Conditions

First things first, let's look at how to win a game. There are three possible outcomes for each hand: player win, banker win, or tie. Do note that the banker isn't the house. A hand wins by being as close to nine as possible, or by actually making nine. Natural wins can also happen if either the player or banker's hand is an eight or nine after the initial deal.

Betting

Betting is pretty straightforward – you can choose to place your bet on either the banker or the player hand.

The Cards

Two cards are dealt to the player and the banker each. This is the first round, and after all cards are dealt, totals are added up. Once the totals are in, the game moves to see if the player can draw a third card.

The Third Card

Whether or not the player hand gets to draw a third card or not depends on the total they have. If the hand is a six or seven then the player must stand. Any total from zero to five however, means the player hand can draw one more card. The only exception to this is if the banker's hand already has an eight or nine, in which case they win the round.

Drawing a third card for the banker works slightly differently, and is also based on the third card drawn by the player hand, as detailed below:

  • Player Hand Third Card 8: Banker draws if they have 0-2, and stays on 3-7
  • Player Hand Third Card 6 or 7: Banker draws if they have 0-6, and stays on 7
  • Player Hand Third Card 4 or 5: Banker draws if they have 0-5, and stays on 6-7
  • Player Third Hand Card 2 or 3: Banker draws if they have 0-4, and stays on 5-7
  • Player Third Hand Card 9 or 10: Banker draws if they have 0-3, and stays on 4-7

That's pretty much it – not so hard at all. The main thing to look out for is the extra card rules for the banker, but other than that the game isn't too different to blackjack. The goal is simply to make sure the hand you've bet on is as close to nine as possible, and the additional action comes in through the variance possible on the third card play for the player hand, and the potential game changers that this leads to with the banker third card.

The other good thing about the game is that it's very dealer focused game, so you can sit back and work out which hand to bet on. It's a popular game too, so you'll find it in almost all casinos no matter where you go to play.

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