How to Play Baccarat


Baccarat is a game of cards that has been played for centuries. It may conjure images of tuxedo-clad James Bond in a Monte Carlo casino salon, but the game is actually fairly simple to play.

Players bet on either the banker or player to win a hand. The game ends when one hand produces a ‘natural winner’, which means a total of 8 or 9. A tie is not uncommon and is decided by drawing more cards.

Game rules

When playing baccarat, there are from seven to 14 seats around the table and two hands of cards dealt. The winning hand is the one that is closest to nine. Cards numbered 2 through 9 carry their pip value, while the face cards (Kings, Queens and Jacks) and the ace equal zero points. A winning banker bet pays out at 1 to 1, while a winning player bet pays out at 8 to 1. In the event of a tie, the payout is 9.5% of your stake.

The game’s rules are moderately simple and the possible bet choices are straightforward to understand. A number of betting strategies exist, including positive and negative progression systems. Positive progression systems encourage players to increase their bet size after a win and reduce it after a loss. This is similar to the Martingale strategy, which is often used in roulette and craps. However, this strategy can be damaging to a player’s bankroll if it is not employed carefully.


The game of baccarat, or chemin de fer (or chemmy) as it is known in France, can seem intimidating at first, but the reality is that there are only three possible outcomes per hand, and little skill required. Baccarat is also a very fast-moving game, and players should set win limits before playing.

The objective of the game is to bet on the player or banker hand that is closest to nine. The winning hand is determined by a simple system: the final number when all the pips are added up is the score. Face cards count for zero points, and aces count as one.

There are many betting systems for baccarat, including the Martingale strategy, which involves doubling your bet every time you lose. However, this method is not recommended because it can lead to a large loss if you lose multiple hands in a row. Instead, try the 1-3-2-4 system, which reduces your bet by two units after every loss.


Baccarat side bets often offer high payouts, but they also have low odds of winning and a high house edge. Some casinos create unique side bets that can be very profitable. For example, the Perfect Pair side bet has a maximum payout of 25:1. It is important to read the payout tables and rules carefully before placing a bet.

The baccarat game is played from a shoe and two cards are dealt to the Player hand and the Banker hand. The winner is the hand with a total closest to 9. All face cards, including Jacks, Queens, and Kings equal 0 points while other cards equal their numeric values.

Some baccarat games require that players pay a $1 commission when they win with the “Banker” bet. This is higher than the typical 5% house edge for this bet type. However, if the player makes a large bet, the commission will not be significant. The table should be clearly marked to indicate this rate.


Baccarat is one of the few casino games where players can use a strategy to increase their chances of winning. However, players should be aware of the house edge before they play. They also need to understand the game’s rules and payouts, as well as how a third card is drawn.

The most basic baccarat betting strategy is to place your bet on the Banker hand. This is the safest bet, as it will win if your hand is closer to nine than the opponent’s. Two cards are dealt to the Banker and Player hands, and whoever has the closest total wins. If the total is above nine, the first digit is dropped.

Another popular baccarat strategy is to use positive progression systems. These strategies encourage you to increase your stake after each win and decrease it after a loss. You may be familiar with this type of system from other casino games like roulette and craps.