How to Play Baccarat
Date of Publishing: June 09, 2021
Whether it’s the famous scenes in the 007 spy movies, or you’ve seen it being played at a land-based casino – baccarat is one of the most popular games of chance around.
This casino game has been played for more than 600 years and it’s never been easier to access from home. In this guide, we at JeffBet talk about how to play baccarat – including everything from the basics, to tips and strategies.
In a nutshell, this game is purely based on chance, so anyone can give it a try. A winning hand is one that is 9 or as close to 9 as possible.
The objective of baccarat is to correctly predict and bet on what the winning hand will be – albeit that of the player or the banker. If you have exactly the same value – this is a tie.
Baccarat – Player vs Banker
As we alluded to, there are only 3 different outcomes when playing baccarat – they are player, banker or tie.
If you tally up your player’s hand and it comes to 10 or totals between 0 and 5 – the dealer draws a third card. No third card will be drawn if your hand totals 6 or 7. If you count a total of 8 or 9 you have what’s called a ‘natural’ – you will not receive a third card.
However, if the player and the card dealer have the same hand value – this becomes a tie. When it comes to the banker’s hand – rules are similar with notable differences.
For instance, the banker will also draw and stand in various situations, depending on the first 2 cards drawn:
- The banker’s first 2 cards total 0 – 1 – 2 – If you show a natural (8-9) – the banker will draw
- The banker’s first 2 cards total 3 – If your third card is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 or 10 – the banker will draw. If your third card is an 8 – the banker will stand
- The banker’s first 2 cards total 4 – If your third card is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 – the banker will draw. If your third card is 1, 8, 9, or 10 – the banker will stand
- The banker’s first 2 cards total 5 – If your third card is 4, 5, 6, 7 – the banker will draw. If your third card is 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, or 10 – the banker will stand
- The banker’s first 2 cards total 6 – If your third card is 6-7 the banker will draw If your third card is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, or 10 – the banker will stand
- The banker’s first 2 cards total 7 – the banker will stand
- The banker’s first 2 cards total 8-9 – this is a natural – no one gets a third card
As you can see, if the player or the dealer land 2 cards totalling 8 or 9 this will be counted as a win automatically. As the banker has the edge, many people wager with the banker rather than a tie or player bet.
Baccarat Odds and Payouts
The lower the house-edge percentage is, the better it is for you. In its most simplistic form, let’s say the house edge is 4%. This means that if you continue to play the game, approximately 4% of the money you stake goes back to the casino.
As we mentioned, there are 3 outcomes when playing baccarat, so let’s look at the house-edge in each scenario:
- Banker’s hand: 1.06%
- Player’s hand: 1.24%
- Tie: 14.36%
We based the above percentages on an 8 deck game. A 6 deck game shift’s the house-edge to 14.44% in a tie situation.
What Baccarat Strategy is Best?
It could be argued that aside from placing your bet, there is nothing you can do to help your chances of winning. However, if you consider the information previously provided, you might look to bet on the banker’s hand – as it has the lowest house-edge at just 1.06%.
Some of the most popular baccarat strategies are as follows:
- Martingale Strategy: This strategy is sometimes used in games such as roulette and it is probably the riskiest of the 3 as it involves doubling losing bets.
In a nutshell, when placing even bets, you follow a system whereby if you win; you make exactly the same bet/stake again. If you lose; you increase your bet two-fold.
- The 1324 Strategy: This betting system is easy to implement as you will be betting 1 unit of money (such as £1, £10, or £100), followed by 2, 3 and 4. This could see you betting £10, £30, £20 and then £40. Let’s say your first bet ends in a win – you can move onto the next bet. If you lose, you must start again whereas if all 4 bets are won – you have made a decent profit.
Alternatively, if the initial bet ends in a loss – this means you are down by 1 currency unit. If the second bet goes the same, you are down by 2 currency units. If your third bet wins, you are 2 units in profit. If you win the third and fourth collectively, you are in the green by 10 currency units! Whilst this isn’t a guaranteed way to make money, if you can make it past that second win you can indeed make a profit.
- The Paroli Strategy: This particular system works in the opposite way to the aforementioned Martingale strategy. The Paroli strategy is based on taking advantage of winning streaks. For instance, let’s say you bet £2 on the banker’s hand and win, followed by betting £4 on the player’s hand and winning – this system sees you betting £8 on the player’s hand and winning yet again.
The goal with the Paroli strategy is to not tempt fate beyond 3 successional wins – before going back to the beginning again.
If you have thought about counting cards when learning how to play baccarat – you should know this is a waste of time, particularly with online casinos. The fact is, each new game begins with a fresh deck of cards – so the idea of keeping a running total to keep track of the value of cards is ineffective in this scenario.
How to Bet on Baccarat Online
To clear the mist for any newbies, you will see a simple 5 step walkthrough below:
- Think about how much you would like to set aside to play with
- Before the dealer has dealt the cards to you, you need to place a bet
- This will be a ‘tie’, ‘player’s hand’ or ‘banker’s hand’
- Whoever gets as close to 9 as possible wins
Let’s look at the card value and the possible outcome of your baccarat bet:
- Cards 2 to 10 are their own face value – for instance, a 2 of hearts is 2 points, a 4 of clubs is 4 points – and so on
- 10, Jack, Queen, and King are worth 0 points, and an Ace is worth 1 point
- If you bet on the player’s hand and it is closest to 9 – you will win double your stake
- If you bet on the banker’s hand and it is closest to 9 – you win 95% of your stake
- If you bet on a tie and are correct – you will get a payout of 8 to 1
As you can see, betting on baccarat online is much the same as in a land-based casino.
We have talked about some commonly used strategies when playing baccarat.
See below some baccarat tips:
- The banker’s hand wins 45.86% of the time and the player at 44.62%. As such, you might want to consider starting a banker bet if win frequency is important to you.
- As we said, the house-edge for tie bets is 14.36% – so this might not be the best option for you
- Don’t count tie bets toward your gains and losses from a baccarat game
- Try out strategies with small stakes or even a free demo
- Manage your casino budget by only staking a pre-decided amount per session
One of the best tips for players of any level of experience is to stop playing when the fun stops.
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