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How To Play

Baccarat is an exciting game of pure chance. While it’s portrayed as formal and elegant in the movies – James Bond’s favourite! – it’s actually an easy, slow-paced game that’s great for new players; there’s no strategy or skill needed. Plus, Baccarat offers some of the best odds in the casino.

Check the complete guide on How to play Baccarat.

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The Object of the Game

In essence, Baccarat is a simple guessing game. It’s just about betting which hand out of two that are dealt – the Banker’s hand and the Player’s hand – will win. A winning hand has the highest points out of a possible 9 points.

How Baccarat cards and points work

Points calculation in Baccarat is different from most games. A unique rule in Baccarat is that nine is the highest score, and the value of a hand can’t be higher. Here’s how the cards work and how the points add up:

Face playing cards

Picture Cards & Tens

Picture cards and Tens are each worth zero points.

Numbered Cards from 2-9

Other Numbered Cards

Cards numbered from 2-9 are worth their face value.

Ace of hearts


The ace is worth one point.

Number “15” with the “1” crossed out and the “5” underlined.

Adding up points

Once the points value reaches a double digit, the second digit will automatically become the value of the hand.

With this rule, for example, 10 is worth 0, 11 is worth 1, 12 is worth 2, and so on. After the total points reach 10, simply drop the first digit and that’s the score of the hand.

So a hand of a 9 and 6, which adds up to 15, becomes a 5-point hand. Only a bet on the hand that’s closest to 9 will win.

4 Steps To Play Baccarat

  • Dollar signs signifying expense level with a check mark next to the middle option $$.

    Start with a game plan; set a budget in advance and stick to it.

  • Placing a chip on the Player area of the three betting areas: Tie, Banker, and Player

    Place a bet: bets are placed before the cards are dealt. Choose to bet on one of three options: Banker’s hand, Player’s hand or a Tie.

  • Four cards: A 3 of diamonds beside a 3 of spades above, and an Ace of diamonds beside a 5 of hearts below.

    Know how a round works and how the cards are dealt: in ordinary play, a total of two cards are dealt for each of the Banker’s and the Player’s hands. Learn when a third card will be drawn.

  • Two cards: A 3 of hearts and a 6 of clubs, with a circled number 9 above them.

    Understand a winning hand: Once the hands are played out, the winning hand is the one closest to a total of 9 points.

1. Start with a game plan

Dollar Sign

Set a budget

Baccarat is an exciting game, and you don’t want to get carried away. Decide how much you want to spend in advance. Treat this as money you’d spend on a night out, not expecting to bring it home.

Crossed out credit card

Don’t bring credit cards

To make sure you only spend what you bring, use cash and leave the cards at home.

Trophy with a check mark

Set a win limit

It’s no fun to be up and then lose it all. Decide in advance when it’s time to walk away. Some players set this at the point when they double their money.

2. Place a Bet

Baccarat is a guessing game, so players must place bets before the cards are dealt. Choose to bet on one of three options:

Banker's Hand

A winning bet on this hand pays even money, or 1 to 1. For example, if you bet $10 and win, it pays $10, minus the 5% commission.

Player's Hand

A winning bet on this hand also pays even money.


A winning bet on a tie pays 8 to 1.

3. How a Round Works

Know How Cards are Dealt

Know How Cards are Dealt

Once the bets are placed, a total of four cards are dealt on the table: First, the dealer slides out a card and places it in the Player box.

The next card is placed in the Banker box. This is repeated so that each box has two cards.

Natural win

When is a third card drawn?

Natural win

If the points total is 8 or 9 for either the Player’s or the Banker’s hand on the first two cards dealt, this is called a natural win and the game is over. Placed bets are paid.

When is a third card drawn?

If neither hand totals 8 or 9, the dealer may draw an additional card on one or more hands, depending on its total. A great thing about Baccarat is that the rules for when a third card is drawn are very clear.

Third Card Rules For the Player

Third Card Rules For the Banker

Third Card Rules For the Player

Baccarat rules call for the Player to always go first. The Banker’s hand depends on the Player’s hand. Here are the rules:

  1. If the Player’s hand is a total of 8 or 9 points, it’s a natural win and no additional cards will be drawn. The Player’s hand will stand.
  2. The Player’s hand always stands on point totals of 6 or 7 as well.
  3. On any total from 0 to 5, the Player draws a third card – unless the Banker has 8 or 9. In that case, the Banker wins, and there are no further cards drawn.

There is a special set of rules in play when the Banker draws a third card. There’s no need to memorize these rules, but you can review them beside.

Third Card Rules For the Banker

When Banker’s first two cards total:

0 – 1 – 2 : Bank draws unless Player shows a natural 8 or 9.

3 : Bank draws if Player’s third card is 0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 or 9.
Bank stands when Player’s third card is 8.

4 : Bank draws if Player’s third card is 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7.
Bank stands when Player’s third card is 0 – 1 – 8 – 9.

5 : Bank draws if Player’s third card is 4 – 5 – 6 – 7.
Bank stands when Player’s third card is 0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 8 – 9.

6 : Bank draws if Player’s third card is 6 – 7.
Bank stands when Player’s third card is 0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 8 – 9.

7 : Stands.

8 – 9 : Natural Numbers – neither hand draws a third card.

4. Understand a winning hand

Once the cards are dealt and played out, the hand closest to a total of 9 points wins. Neither hand ever gets more than three cards. In the event of a tie, neither hand wins or loses. The dealer collects the lost bets and pays the winnings.

The dealer takes a 5% commission on winning bets on the Banker’s hand only. This is how the casino makes money on Baccarat. Commissions are tracked in the commission box by the dealer every time it’s owed, and collected for each winning Banker’s hand.

Baccarat Variations & Side Wagers

Baccarat is so popular, it’s generated variations on the game, and additional ways to bet and play. Check out the details on side bets and Mini Baccarat here.

Learn more about Baccarat variations