The game of baccarat (also called Punto Banco) remains to be one of the most pursued card games by gamblers from all over the world. Baccarat tables are an essential part of almost every land-based casino room, but online casinos feature this game as well.

Learn to Play Baccarat Like a Pro

If you already know the rules of baccarat and you want to improve your game, you can jump right to the part where we will discuss some general tips and strategies. However, if you have never played baccarat in your life and you’re eager to learn all of its rules, you should carefully read the following section.

The General Rules of Baccarat

To play baccarat, you actually don’t need to know the rules of the game since the dealer will do all of the work and you will just be choosing what you bet on and how big you want your bets to be. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to know the rules of baccarat, and they are not even that complicated, to begin with.

Baccarat is played with four or more 52-card decks which are all shuffled together. Depending on the casino rules, a game of baccarat can be played with several players, but even a single player can enjoy this game alongside the dealer.

The first thing you do in baccarat is bet. You can make three different types of bets:

  1. Player (Punto)
  2. Banker (Banco)
  3. Tie

Some baccarat games allow for additional betting options, like for the player’s and banker’s bets to be a pair.

After the bets are made, the dealer will put two cards each to their designated sports (player and banker spots). The goal of the game is to guess which of the two hands will win or if the hands will end up in a tie.

A hand which has the value closest to 9 wins. Cards 2 through 9 have their face value, while 10, Jack, Queen, and King count as 0. Ace is always 1.

The score of a hand is the sum of all cards of that hand. However, if the sum of a hand exceeds the value of 9, then the first number gets dropped. For example, if one hand consists of a 6 and a 9, that’s a total of 15, but since we need to drop the first digit, the value of that hand will actually be 5.

Betting on either the player’s or the banker’s hand will bring a payout of 1 to 1; however, all bankers which are won carry a 5% commission. Successful tie bets can bring a payout of 8 to 1 or more, depending on the casino rules. If you place a bet on either the player or the banker and the result is a tie, that hand is considered a push, and no money is won or lost.

In specific situations, the third card will be dealt and added to the player’s or the banker’s hand. If the player’s hand has a value between 0 and 5, the player gets dealt an additional card. If the value is 6 or 7, the player stands. If the value of the player’s hand is an 8 or a 9, this is referred to as the natural, and both hands stand.

The banker gets a third card after the player receives their third card, but only in specific situations. If the banker’s hand has a value between 0 and 2, they must draw. The value between 3 and 6 will result in the drawing of the third card, but only if the player’s hand has a certain value. The banker stands if the value of his hand is 7 or greater.

Baccarat Tips and Strategies

Now that you are familiar with the general rules of baccarat, it comes the time for you to learn some useful tips and strategies that may increase your chances of winning at this game.

For starters, we will discuss the tie bet. While the payout for this kind of a bet is high (8 to 1 or greater), it is actually advisable not to bet on a tie so often. Apart from the fact that the ties are rare, the casino has a house edge of 14.36% on ties, which means that the reward is not worth the risk.

If you want to raise your chances of winning at baccarat, you should also consider a trick called card counting. Card counting is usually associated with blackjack, although it’s frowned upon and even banned in many casinos. However, for baccarat, card counting doesn’t guarantee that you will beat the game and win every time but rather that you will only be able to lower the house edge slightly.

Essentially, this technique works best if the game is played with 6 to 8 decks. Once the game starts, all the cards will be shuffled and put together in a shoe. Here is where you will start counting, and you will begin from the number 0 and add or subtract from that number accordingly. You will be betting on the banker’s hand until the count exceeds 15, at which point you should switch to the player bet. Once the new decks arrive, you’ll start all over.

This strategy works best for live dealer baccarat and not for normal online baccarat games.

Below, you can see a great card-counting sheet for baccarat that you should try to memorize:

Card counting sheet for baccarat

Image credit: https://www.playcasinoonline.net/baccarat/card-counting/

Conclusion

So, there you go folks. Baccarat is a fun card game that is ideal for amateur gamblers since all they need to do is place bets, while the dealer does the rest. Nevertheless, baccarat doesn’t have to be based on luck solely and can be enjoyed by veteran gamblers as well. We hope that the tips and strategies that we shared will help you minimize your risks the next time you decide to play.

You can play baccarat in almost every land-based casino, but there are plenty of websites that will allow you to enjoy this game from home. Whichever the case, remember to gamble responsibly and have fun.

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