Baccarat is one of the simplest casino games to play and the easiest to understand. The rules of baccarat are quite simple and straightforward. It’s all about you strategically placing your bet and letting events play out. These five tips are a must if you intend to play baccarat at the casino.

  • Your bets can be placed on either of the two hands

Unlike most casino games, you don’t have to play against the house when playing baccarat. The two hands involved here are that of the player and the banker.

player and banker hand in baccarat

The betting layout of a baccarat table

You can either place your bet on the player or on the banker before the cards are dealt. You should also know that when you win on the banker hand, you will owe the casino a 5% commission on your winnings. Once you’ve placed your bets, you just sit down and watch the cards being dealt. The rules are built into the game so you don’t need to make any further decisions.

  • Know how the cards are dealt and their face values

Two cards are initially dealt on each of the two sides (player and banker). The player or the casino operator slides one card out and places it face-up on the player’s box. The next card will be placed on the banker’s box.

Once this is done, the house deals another round of cards: The player card and then the banker card. You should note that all cards are worth their face value, except for 10’s and face cards, which are valued at zero and the ace is worth one point. To win in this game, your bet must be on the hand whose total is closer to nine.

  • Take note of the natural win

It is very important that you understand the natural win. Why do we say this? Once the natural win occurs, the game is over. In a case where the first two cards dealt equals an eight or a nine on either hand, the player who hits that total is referred to as the ‘natural winner’. If this occurs, no other cards will be dealt within that round.

  • Know when the player gets a third hand, and what rules govern the banker’s third card

When no one is dealt a natural win, chances are that the player gets to draw a third card. However, this is not always the case. In the event that the player doesn’t need to draw a third hand, the banker who plays second gets to draw the third hand. You don’t need to know the rules about the drawing of additional cards because the dealer will know the correct procedure. Additionally, there are informational game rule cards posted at each table. 

  • Calculate the winning hand

There are three possible outcomes in baccarat. The player wins, the banker wins, or there is a tie. The casino’s mathematical advantage over the player on each of these bets is as follows: Player – 1.24%; Banker 1.04% (this includes the 5% commission paid to the house on winning bets); and Tie 14.4% (you should avoid making this bet!).

tie in baccarat

A tie in baccarat where each hand has a total of eight

A tie occurs when both the banker and the player have the same total of points. In this case, both bets are returned to the player and banker. Only the bets on the tie are paid. As a beginner, you should also note that it is usually better to place your bet on the banker’s hand as you get to enjoy the lowest casino advantage over you.

If you read carefully, then you’re already a step closer to winning your first game and you’ll be ready to tackle baccarat in any casino!

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