How is Baccarat played?

Baccarat is a classic casino game that is played worldwide. Its reputation for being glamorous and complex belies the fact that its rules are quite simple to understand. Baccarat involves two primary parties: the ‘player’ and the ‘banker’. The game is traditionally played with eight decks of cards, but variants may use fewer.

At the start of a round, both the player and the banker are dealt two cards each. In baccarat, each card has a specific point value. Cards two through nine are taken at face value; tens, jacks, queens, and kings have no point value (are worth zero); and aces are worth one point. When adding up the points from the cards, only the last digit of the total is counted. So, if a hand totals 15, the baccarat value is five.

The aim of baccarat is to predict which hand will score closest to nine. Before the cards are dealt, players place their bets on either the player, the banker, or a tie. If the player or the banker has a total of eight or nine on the first two cards, it’s called a “natural”, and the hand must stand. No additional cards are drawn.


If neither the player nor the banker has a natural, the player’s hand is resolved first. If the player’s total is five or less, they draw a third card. If the player does not draw a third card, then the banker’s hand stands on six or more and takes a third card on a total of five or less. However, if the player does draw a third card, the banker’s decision to draw a third card is determined by the player’s third card in accordance with complex drawing rules, or “tableau”.

Finally, after all cards have been dealt and the drawing rules applied, the hand closer to nine wins. If you bet on the player and the player wins, you are paid out at even money, 1:1. If you bet on the banker and the banker wins, you are also paid out at even money, but a 5% commission is deducted. If both hands have the same total, the tie bet wins, typically at 8:1 odds, while both player and banker bets push.

In conclusion, baccarat is a game of chance and strategy with a sprinkle of luck. Its simple rules, fast pace, and low house edge make it a popular choice for gamblers everywhere. Whether you’re a high roller or a beginner, baccarat can offer a thrilling gaming experience. Just remember, in the end, it’s all about having fun.