How do you play the card game baccarat?

By Ethan - January 1, 2023

Playing the baccarat card game is easy. Here we’ll break down step-by-step how to play the game of baccarat:

  • Create your game plan

    Before you start playing baccarat, you must have a game plan, which usually involves:

    Setting your budget
    Setting a win limit
    Setting a loss limit
    Not bringing your credit cards
  • Place your bet

    At a baccarat table, you have three main bet types you can choose from:

    The banker’s hand – a winning bet on the banker’s hand pays 1 to 1 minus a 5% house commission
    The player’s hand – a winning player bet also pays 1 to 1 or even money
    Tie bet – a winning tie bet pays 8 to 1 or 9 to 1

    In addition to that, when you play baccarat at some casinos, including online gambling websites, allow the players to place bets known as baccarat side bets. These are quite different from tie bets, and they include:

    Banker pair – You are betting that the cards dealt to the banker’s hand will be a pair. For instance, 10-10, 9-9, A-A, or J-J.
    Player pair – This means you are betting that the cards drawn and dealt to the player will be a pair.

    Baccarat variants like punto banco and chemin de fer can have other types of side bettings on either the player or banker. These may include Bellagio Match, Big and Small, and Dragon Bonus.

  • Check the point total of both hands

    The dealer will announce the point total of both the banker’s and the player’s hands. The point totals are calculated based on the values of individual cards, as follows:

    Picture cards (aka suits) are worth no points.
    Tens (10s) are worth zero (o)
    Cards 2 to 9 are worth their face value (for example, card 3 is worth 3, card 4 is worth 4, card 5 is worth 5, and so on)
    Aces are worth 1 each

    The second digit is the hand’s value if the point total exceeds 10. For instance, an 8 and a 5, which total 13, make up a three-point hand. Your wager must be on the hand whose point total is closest to 9 in order to win.

  • Known the “Natural win”

    If the final digit of either the Banker or Player’s hand is 8 or 9, it is said to be a natural win, and it can be declared as either a banker win or a player win. In such a case, no additional cards will be given out.

  • Understand third card draw rules

    If the total points of either the Banker or the Player bet are 5 or less, a third card will be dealt. The dealer draws a third card, but some third card rules apply and the banker acts accordingly…

    If the total of the Player’s cards is 5 or less, the player draws.
    If either the Banker or the Player has a total of 9 or 8. That’s called a natural and the winning hand will be forced to stand.
    If the Banker has a total of 5 or less and the Player stands, the banker draws. Also, if the player’s third draw is anywhere between 4 and 7, the Banker draws; a special rule applies when a banker draws a third card.

  • Understand a winning hand

    If a hand’s total is closer to 9 than the other, the hand wins. If both hands have the same point total, the round ends in a Tie. That means all players at the table will get their wagers back and the card dealing starts again.

Some key things you should know about the card game of baccarat:


Baccarat is typically played with 8 decks of 52 cards. The baccarat cards are re-shuffled and dealt from a shoe, much like in blackjack.


To start the game, the participants receive 2 cards each; the 1st and 3rd cards go to the Player’s hand, while the 2nd and 4th cards go to the Banker’s hand.


Once both hands have received two cards each, the score is determined from the total of the cards. In online baccarat, the total is shown automatically below the Banker side and the Player side.


No extra cards will be given if either the Banker’s hand or the Player’s hand has a card sum of 8 or 9.


The hand that wins is the one whose total is closest to nine (9)


A Tie is established if both the Banker hand and the Player hand have the same total


A third card may be drawn if the first four cards don’t determine a winning hand. The first third card usually goes to the Player’s hand. If the winning hand isn’t established, then another card is issued to the Banker’s hand.


Only one extra card may be issued to each hand. There are rules that apply to how and when the third card is dealt.

What are baccarat rules?

To answer this, you need to understand that there are a number of unique twists to the game, depending on the point total of the participants, and where you’re playing – an online or a physical casino, among others. For starters, here are some common baccarat rules that every player should know:


A hand with a sum of 9 or 8 is said to be a natural win. So, the third card rule doesn’t apply.


The player’s hand stands if the total is 6 or 7


A third card is drawn if the banker or player has a point total of between 0 and 5 unless either of them has a point total of 8 or 9.


A third card will be drawn if either the Banker hand or the Player hand has a total of between 0 and 5


The second digit is the point total of a hand if the points’ value gets to a double-digit; it is derived by dropping the first digit. For instance, 9 and 7 cards will result in a total of 16. That means that the value of the hand is 6.


The hand with the total value closest to 9 wins the round.


Suits or face cards are not relevant because they have a value of 0.


If a player bets on a banker space and the banker wins, the casino takes a cut of 5% of the Banker hand’s winnings. This is the commission for the house since the banker has a higher chance of winning.


Can you count cards in baccarat?

Yes, you can count cards in baccarat but it may not be as rewarding when compared to blackjack. This is partly because counting cards in both baccarat and blackjack is based on the removal effect, which means that if high-value cards have been dealt out, the chances of getting a lower card are high and vice versa.

However, online games have no removal effect as they are based on a random algorithm, so card counting may not be effective there. Also, baccarat uses multiple decks, but card counting is effective in games that use a single deck of cards. Still, several authors have proposed ways to go about card counting in baccarat.

Is Baccarat easy to learn?

Yes, baccarat is one of the easiest casino card games to learn.

There are many reasons why baccarat is easy to learn and play:

  • There are generally only three options to bet on baccarat
  • The dealer does most of the work once you have placed your bets
  • You can bet on one option, such as the Banker’s hand, from the start to finish and stand a good chance of winning money
What is Panda in Baccarat?

Panda (or Panda 8) is a popular side bet in the EZ variant of baccarat. The other side bet in EZ baccarat is Dragon 7.

To win a Panda bet in EZ Baccarat, the Player’s hand must have a total of 8 based on the sum of three cards. It pays 25 to 1, meaning that a bet of $10 will pay $250.

What is a face card worth in Baccarat?

A face card is worth zero (0 points) in baccarat. It is also known as a count card. It refers to a picture card, such as a Jack (J), Queen (Q), or a King (K).

What is a natural 9 in Baccarat?

A natural 9 in baccarat is when either the Banker hand or Player hand has a total of 9 with a 2-card hand.

What are the basic rules of Baccarat?

In baccarat, the goal is to get as close to 9 as possible. Starting with two cards, players can draw a third. Totals over 9 drop the first digit, making 12 count as 2. The closer to 9, the better your chances of winning, with face cards worth 0 and aces worth 1.

How do you play Baccarat cards?

Baccarat is played by comparing cards between two hands, the ‘player’ and the ‘banker’. Each coup (round of play) has three possible outcomes: ‘player’ (player has the higher score), ‘banker’, and ‘tie’. Players bet on which hand will win, and cards are dealt according to fixed rules, with the goal being to get as close to a total of nine as possible.

What is the object of Baccarat?

The object of baccarat is to bet on whether the player or the banker’s hand will win by having a score closest to nine. The best hand wins, with face cards and tens worth zero and other cards worth their face value.

What is the best way to play Baccarat?

Maximizing your chances in baccarat involves consistently betting on the Banker. This play has the lowest house edge, enhancing your odds of winning. Additionally, avoid the Tie bet despite its allure; it typically has the worst odds for players. Stick with the Banker for the best strategy.