Baccarat Rules – The Basics

Baccarat is the simplest and easy to learn card games that you can find in a casino. Baccarat (pronounced Back-a-rah) is a very simple card game from all gambling games with only three possible results on which the customer bets – ‘Player’, ‘Banker’ and ‘Tie’. In this casino game the term ‘Player’ does not necessarily refer to the customer and nor does the term ‘Banker’ automatically refer to the house – they are just options on which the customer can bet.

The main aim is to just correctly predict which of two dealt hands, the Player’s or the Banker’s, will be closest in value to 9, or bet on a tie. The way the value of the hand is to calculate is explained in more detail below.

Details of Pay
You can find a typical online casino version of Baccarat is played in the following way at an onscreen table that is a recreation of the classic casino layout. Some best UK casinos are offering single and / or multiplayer versions of this game, but the essential rules and method of play are the same.

The cards in Baccarat game are contained in a dealing ‘machine’ called a shoe. Several shuffled packs of cards are held in the shoe, and it is typical for an online casino to use eight virtual decks of playing cards for Baccarat. The casino’s virtual Croupier passes the shoe to the first player to his right who has the option to cut the deck and, in doing so, take on the role of Banker for that hand. If the player declines to cut the cards, the shoe passes to the next player to make the same choice. If none of the players around the table accept to cut the deck the shoe returns to the Croupier who will cut the deck randomly and become the Banker for that hand.

Once the cards have been cut the Croupier draws the first card from the shoe, reveals it and then burns (discards) that number of cards from the shoe e.g. a five is drawn as the first card so the next five cards in the shoe are burned. Aces have a value of ‘1’ and picture cards ’10’.

The next step is for the shoe to pass to the Banker – either the player who agreed to cut the cards or the Croupier if no player did – and players to make their bet ahead of the Player’s and Banker’s hand being dealt.

When the betting stage of online Baccarat is reached, all players have the option to place bets by putting virtual chips on the Baccarat table in three places to indicate a bet on the Player’s Hand, the Banker’s Hand or a Tie. Players usually press a ‘Deal’ or ‘Pass’ button to indicate that they want to bet or skip on the deal, and there is also usually a time limit within which players must make their decision before they are automatically excluded from that particular hand.

Once all players have indicated whether they want to Deal or Pass on the hand, the Banker’s and Player’s hands of two cards each are automatically dealt from the shoe. Where the value of the cards exceeds 9, the hand’s value for the purposes of Baccarat is calculated by then subtracting ten from the total, e.g. 5 + 9 = 14, deduct 10 to give the hand a value of 4. Also note that in Baccarat all picture cards and tens have a value of 0 and Aces a value of 1.

After the Banker and Player’s initial two cards have been dealt, a third and final additional card may be dealt. In online Baccarat the deal of a third card is automatic according to a ‘Third Card Rule’ explained below.

The Third Card Rule

If either of the Player’s of Banker’s hands totals 8 or 9 (‘naturals) after the first deal, both hands stand. Otherwise:

A third card is dealt to the Player in the following circumstances:

Player’s Hand Third Card Dealt?
0 to 5 Yes.
6 to 7 No – Player’s hand must stand.

A third card may then be dealt to the Banker in the following circumstances:

Banker’s Hand Third Card Dealt?
0 to 2 Yes.
3 No if Player’s third card is an 8.
4 No if Player’s third card is a 0,1,8 or 9.
5 Yes if Player’s third card is a 4,5,6 or 7.
6 Yes if Player’s third card is a 6 or 7.
7 No – Banker’s hand must stand.
The usual payouts are:

Bullet A winning Player’s hand bet is paid 1 to 1.
Bullet A winning Banker’s hand bet is paid 1 to 1, but the house takes a commission, which is usually about 5%.
Bullet A winning Tie bet is paid 8 to 1.
Playing Online
Before playing any online casino’s version of Baccarat it’s always wise to check the game guides published on its own site to find out about how the specific software used delivers this game, and any variations in the basic rules we’ve described above. Where a ‘play for fun’ version of a casino’s online Baccarat is available, we’d always recommend playing a few hands with that first to get used to the software’s player controls, before diving into the action at the ‘real money’ tables.