Baccarat Basics

Baccarat is a casino game played for high stakes. It’s usually played on a large table in the high roller room and featured in several James Bond films, including Dr. No, Thunderball and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Players wager on either the Player hand, Banker hand or a Tie. Two cards are dealt to each hand, and the winning hand is the one that comes closest to nine.

Game rules

Baccarat is a game with fixed rules, but players often follow their own betting systems and strategies. Some even try to circumvent the rules by betting on Player or Banker only, instead of both. But this strategy is risky and can lead to a big loss.

The first thing to remember is that a winning hand is the one closest to nine points. This is determined by adding up all the pips on the cards, from ten to one (ace = zero). If both the Player and Banker hands have totals of 8 or 9, the game is over. Bets placed on the winning hands are paid out.

The Banker side of the table has a low house edge, but the odds on any hand will fluctuate throughout the course of the game. This is why it’s best to play conservatively and always bet on the Banker, despite the 5% vigorish (or juice) that casinos charge to maximize their profits.


Baccarat is played with a shoe that holds six or eight decks of cards. Players place bets on either the Bank, Player or Tie. Two cards are dealt to the Bank and one to the Player, and the hand that gets closest to nine is the winner. The game’s rules state that tens and picture cards count as zero, while aces equal one.

Online baccarat tables differ from blackjack ones in that players don’t handle the cards. A dealer or caller presents the cards on a wooden paddle or pallet. Baccarat is a popular game among high rollers, and some players follow complicated betting systems.

The most basic baccarat strategy involves placing bets on the Player or Banker hands. A win on a Banker bet pays out a fixed amount of money, but a tie bet pushes. In order to offset this skewed payout, the casino charges a fee known as vigorish or juice. This fee is usually around 5% of the winning bet.


In baccarat, players place bets on the Player, Banker or Tie. They then receive two cards each. The goal is to get a hand with the highest point total. Face cards and tens are worth zero points, while other cards have their numeric value. A hand with a point value of nine wins, while hands with eight or lower win by a margin of one.

Occasionally, the banker’s hand will not need to draw a third card when the player stands on a score of 6 or 7. This is known as a ‘natural’ and it is the best outcome for players.

Some baccarat tables feature electronic posts that rise up to display the winning hands. These may build anticipation, but tracking winnings is unlikely to improve your game much. It’s more likely to help you spot trends, but those will be hard to decipher. Regardless, it is important to understand the payouts and their implications.


Despite its hard exterior, baccarat is a simple game to learn and plays out fairly quickly. The game has only three possible outcomes per hand, and it’s easy to understand how the odds work. Probabilities range from zero to one on a linear axis, and the closer an event is to one, the more likely it is to happen.

The game is also fast, which makes it a great choice for players who want to bet as much as they can in a short amount of time. It’s important to set win and loss goals and stick with them, as this will help you manage your bankroll.

Other popular baccarat variations include Chemin de Fer and No Commission Baccarat. In the latter, the croupier will not take a 5% commission from winning Banker bets. This can reduce the house edge and make the game more attractive to players. However, this version of the game is not available in all jurisdictions.