Baccarat is a card game strongly associated with high stakes gambling, but it is definitely not impossible to find low stakes baccarat tables nowadays – especially not online. Many internet casinos even offer micro stakes baccarat, so deep pockets are no longer necessary to become an avid baccarat player.
- The standard 52 card deck is used for baccarat. There are no jokers, and no cards are wild.
- Baccarat is normally played with one, six or eight decks shuffled together. Each casino can set their own rules, so always check how it’s done at the specific table at which you wish to play.
- Unlike the roulette where there are so many different outcomes, Baccarat has only three possible outcomes for you to bet on: the Banco hand wins, the Punto hand wins, or there is a tie between them.
- None of the players at the table gets to make any decisions regarding the cards. In this way, Baccarat is very different from games such as Blackjack. When playing Baccarat, you only decide what to bet on: Banco, Punto or Egalité (tie).
- When the Banco hand wins over the Punto hand, all bets on Banco gets paid, and all wagers on Punto and Egalité are lost.
When the Punto hand wins over the Banco hand, all bets on Punto gets paid, and all wagers on Banco and Egalité are lost.
When there is a tie between the Banco hand and the Punto hand, all bets on Egalité gets paid, and all bets on Banco and Punto are lost.
The point system
To actually understand baccarat, you need to learn the point system. It’s very easy to remember. However, the dealer will take care of everything at the baccarat table, so you don’t have to be familiar with the point system to start wagering if you don’t want to.
- All cards up to and including nine are worth their numerical value. An Ace is worth 1 point, a Deuce is worth 2 points, and so on.
- Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings are all worth 0 points each.
What’s the highest ranking hand?
The highest ranking hand in baccarat is one worth 9 points.
The second-highest ranking hand is one worth 8 points, and so on. The lowest ranking hand is one worth 0 points.
When Banco’s hand and Punto’s hand are compared, the hand closest to 9 point wins.
What is this baccarat hand worth?
To calculate the value of a baccarat hand, start by adding together the value of each individual card.
Example: Banco’s hand is comprised of an Ace and a Four. That’s 1 point + 4 points = 5 points.
What happens if the value goes over 9? Example: A hand consisting of a Seven and a Six = 7 points + 6 points = 13 points. When this happens, the rightmost digit will give you the value of the hand. So, in this case, the hand is worth 3 points. Another example: A hand consiting of a Seven and a Three = 7 points + 3 points = 10 points = a hand worth zero points.
Playing a round of Baccarat
- The players make their wagers. As explained above, there are three betting options in baccarat: wager on Punto, wager on Banco, or wager on Egalité.
- The dealer places two cards in the Banco area and two cards in the Punto area. All cards are dealt face up.
- What happens next depends on the value of the two hands. In some situations, the dealing is finnished and no more cards will be dealt. In other situations, the rules stipulate that one or more cards must be dealt to Punto and/or Banco.
- When the dealing is over, in accordance with the rules, the dealer will declare the result: a Punto win, a Banco win, or Egalité. She will then take in losing wagers and pay out on winning wagers.
When are more than four cards dealt?
Below, you will find a very commonly used set of rules, but you should always check the specific table rules before you make any bet, because some tables do not apply these exact rules.
When will the Punto hand get a third card?
The Punto hand always gets a third card from the dealer if the two-card hand is worth less than six points. This is the only situation where Punto gets a third card.
When will Banco get a third card?
For Banco, the situation is considerably more complicated than for Punto.
- Banco always gets a third card of the two-card hand is worth less than four points.
- If Banco’s two-card hand is worth 4 points, Banco will get a third card if the Punto hand is worth 2-7 points.
- If Banco’s two-card hand is worth 5 points, Banco will get a third card if the Punto hand is worth 4-7 points.
- If Banco’s two-card hand is worth 6 points, Banco will get a third card if Punto’s three-card hand is worth 6-7 points.
- If Banco’s two-card hand is worth 7-9 points, Banco never gets a third card.
What are the payouts?
- Winning Punto wagers gets paid 1:1
- Winning Banco wagers gets paid 19:20
- Winning Egalité wagers gets paid 8:1
- You wager €200 on Punto and win. You get paid €200.
- You wager €200 on Banco and win. You get paid €190.
- You wager €200 on Punto and win. You get paid €1600.
Important: This is a very common payout schedule for baccarat, but always check the payout schedule for the particular table you wish to play at.
Baccarat was invented in France a long time ago, and several versions of baccarat has emerged since then, such as Baccarat Banque and Chemin de Fer. Punto Banco is a famous offshoot of baccarat that developed in the Caribbean, and spread to the United States from casinos in Cuba before the revolution.