Beginner’s Guide to Playing Baccarat: Learn the Basics & Strategies

Home » Beginner’s Guide to Playing Baccarat: Learn the Basics & Strategies

Introduction to Baccarat

Welcome to the exciting world of Baccarat, a game synonymous with sophistication and intrigue in casinos worldwide. Often perceived as a game reserved for high rollers and seasoned gamblers, Baccarat, in reality, offers simplicity and elegance that makes it accessible and enjoyable for players of all levels, including beginners.

In this guide, we’ll demystify the game of Baccarat, breaking down its basic rules and procedures in a way that’s easy to understand for those new to the game. Whether you’ve seen it played in movies or heard about its exclusive reputation, you’ll find that Baccarat is not only straightforward but also offers a unique blend of suspense and strategy.

From its humble beginnings to becoming a staple in casinos across the globe, Baccarat has a rich history that adds to its allure. But don’t let its storied past intimidate you; the game’s core is surprisingly simple. Our aim is to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to approach a Baccarat table, place your bets, and enjoy the thrill of one of the most classic games in casino history.

So, let’s embark on this journey together and unlock the secrets of Baccarat, setting you on the path to becoming an informed and savvy player. Whether you’re planning to visit a luxurious casino or play online from the comfort of your home, this guide will be your companion in understanding and appreciating the timeless game of Baccarat.

Baccarat table
Baccarat table

1. The Basics of Baccarat

Baccarat, often regarded as one of the most straightforward casino games, is all about prediction. In this section, we’ll cover the essential elements of the game, laying a solid foundation for anyone looking to start their Baccarat journey.

The Objective of the Baccarat

At its core, Baccarat is a guessing game. The primary objective is to predict which of two hands – the Player or the Banker – will have a hand value closest to nine. There’s also an option to bet on a tie, but more on that later. It’s important to note that as a player, you’re not limited to betting only on the Player’s hand; you can also bet on the Banker’s hand or a tie.

Understanding the Card Values

To fully grasp how to play Baccarat, it’s crucial to understand the card values:

  • Numbered cards (2 through 9) are worth their face value.
  • Aces are worth 1 point.
  • 10s and face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) are worth 0 points.

The scoring in Baccarat is unique. If the total value of the cards exceeds 9, only the second digit of the total is counted. For example, a hand consisting of a 7 and an 8 (totaling 15) is worth 5 points. This rule ensures that the highest possible hand value in Baccarat is always 9.

The Deal and the Third Card Rule

Baccarat begins with two cards dealt to both the Player and the Banker. If either hand totals 8 or 9 after the initial deal (known as a “natural”), that hand wins, unless there’s a tie. If neither hand has a natural, the game’s rules might require one or both hands to draw an additional card, known as the third card rule. This rule can seem complex but remember, in most casino settings, the dealer takes care of this aspect, so as a player, you won’t need to make any decisions regarding the third card.

Understanding these basics is the first step in navigating the world of Baccarat. In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into how a round of Baccarat is played, the types of bets you can make, and beginner strategies to help you get started.


2. How to Play Baccarat?

Now that you understand the basics and objectives of Baccarat, let’s delve into the specifics of how the game is played. This section will guide you through the gameplay process and the different types of bets you can make.

The Gameplay

A round of Baccarat unfolds as follows:

  1. Placing Bets: Before any cards are dealt, players place their bets on one of three outcomes: the Player’s hand winning, the Banker’s hand winning, or a tie.
  2. Dealing the Cards: The dealer then deals two cards each to the Player and Banker hands. These cards are dealt face up.
  3. Calculating the Scores: The value of each hand is calculated based on the card values explained earlier. The score of a hand is the last digit of the total of the card values.
  4. Determining the Third Card Draw: Whether a third card is drawn for the Player or Banker hand is determined by a set of rules. For the Player’s hand, if the total is 0-5, a third card is drawn. If it’s 6 or 7, they stand. For the Banker’s hand, the decision to draw a third card depends on the Banker’s initial score and the Player’s third card (if one was drawn). This might sound complicated, but in practice, the dealer takes care of these decisions.
  5. Declaring the Winner: The hand closest to a total of 9 is the winner. If both hands have the same value, it’s a tie.
Baccarat, Player's 3rd Card
Baccarat, Player’s 3rd Card

Types of Bets in Baccarat

Understanding the bets available in Baccarat is key to enjoying the game:

  • Player Bet: You bet that the Player’s hand will be closer to 9. This bet pays 1:1.
  • Banker Bet: You bet that the Banker’s hand will win. It also pays 1:1 but usually comes with a 5% commission on wins due to its slightly higher odds of winning.
  • Tie Bet: This is a bet that both the Player and Banker hands will have the same value. Tie bets typically offer higher payouts, such as 8:1, but they also come with a significantly higher house edge.

Payouts and House Edge

Each bet type has its own payout and house edge:

  • The Player bet has a house edge of about 1.24%.
  • The Banker bet, even with the commission, has a lower house edge of about 1.06%.
  • The Tie bet, while tempting with its higher payout, has a much higher house edge of over 14%.

With these rules and betting options in mind, you’re now equipped to start a game of Baccarat. Remember, the game is largely about chance and prediction, so while strategies can guide your betting decisions, the outcome largely depends on luck.

3. Basic Strategies for Beginners

While Baccarat is largely a game of chance, a few basic strategies can help beginners make more informed decisions and enjoy the game more. This section will provide you with foundational strategies to enhance your Baccarat experience.

Betting Strategies

  1. Bet on the Banker: One of the simplest and most effective strategies for beginners is to consistently bet on the Banker. Despite the commission, the Banker bet has the lowest house edge and is statistically more likely to win than the other bets.
  2. Avoid the Tie Bet: Although the Tie bet offers an attractive payout, it’s not a prudent choice for a strategy-focused player. The high house edge makes it a risky bet. It’s more beneficial to stick to the Player and Banker bets.
  3. Follow the Shoe: This strategy involves betting on the outcome that won the previous hand. If the Banker won the last game, you bet on the Banker for the next one, and vice versa. It’s based on the assumption that winning outcomes can be streaky.
  4. Money Management: Set a budget before you start playing and stick to it. It’s also wise to set a winning goal and a loss limit. Once you hit your goal or limit, step away from the game. This discipline will help you enjoy the game without risking more than you can afford to lose.

Practical Playing Tips

  1. Familiarize Yourself with the Rules: While you don’t need to make decisions regarding the drawing of the third card, understanding when and why it happens will enhance your appreciation of the game and help you follow the action more closely.
  2. Play Online Baccarat: Online Baccarat can be a great way to learn. Many online casinos offer free or low-stake games, allowing you to practice without significant financial risk.
  3. Stay Disciplined: Baccarat is fast-paced, and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Remember to take breaks, stick to your strategy, and don’t chase losses.
  4. Learn from Each Game: Each hand in Baccarat is an opportunity to observe and learn. Pay attention to how often the Banker or Player wins and the frequency of ties. This experience will make you more comfortable and confident over time.

By applying these basic strategies and tips, you’ll be in a better position to approach Baccarat games with confidence and a clear understanding. Remember, the most important strategy is to enjoy the game and the unique thrill it offers.


In this guide, we’ve shown that Baccarat is elegant yet simple. It’s perfect for all casino goers, from experienced ones to first-timers. By grasping the basic rules, game flow, and easy strategies, beginners can soon become confident players. They’re then ready to dive into the thrilling and exciting world of Baccarat.

Remember, the key to Baccarat lies in its simplicity. The game’s charm is not in complex strategies or intricate rules but in the sheer pleasure of the gamble and the elegance of its tradition. Whether you are betting on the Banker, the Player, or daring for a Tie, each round is a new opportunity to experience the classic thrill that has made Baccarat a beloved game for centuries.

As you embark on your Baccarat journey, keep in mind the importance of responsible gambling. Set your limits, adhere to your strategies, and never forget that the primary goal of playing Baccarat, or any casino game, is to enjoy the experience. With the insights and tips provided in this guide, you are now well-equipped to approach the Baccarat table with confidence and a better understanding of the game.

We encourage you to try your hand at this timeless game, whether in a physical casino or through online platforms. Baccarat offers not just a chance to win but also an experience filled with suspense, strategy, and a touch of glamour. Enjoy the game, and may luck be on your side!

Here is a selection of top-rated casinos that offer an impressive variety of Baccarat to enjoy: 22Bet Casino, 1xBet Casino, Betwinner Casino , Viggoslots Casino, Playfina Casino, King Billy Casino, Mozzart Casino, Pin-up Casino & 20 Bet Casino.

New Casinos
Join Sugar Casino today for an unbeatable online gaming experience, complete with fast payouts, generous bonuses, and 24/7 support, ensuring non-stop excitement and ample opportunities to win big!
Dive into unparalleled excitement with top-tier game developers, innovative game categories, and the chance for big wins – all at Vegadream Casino, where every player's fantasy becomes a reality.
Explore WunderWins Casino for a dynamic blend of over 2,500 games, innovative fantasy sports, and exclusive live dealer action from top software giants.
Simsino Casino offers a rich gaming experience with over 3,000 games including slots, table games, and a live casino. Dive into top titles and win big!
CasinoChan elevates your gaming journey with exclusive bonuses, ensuring that your adventure is both rewarding and exciting. Join the CasinoChan community now and embark on an unparalleled gaming adventure, where endless fun and potential winnings are just a click away
PlayAmo Casino offers an impressive array of over 3,500 games from 68 studios, excelling in slots, table games, and live dealer options. Its user-friendly interface, combined with 24/7 customer support and detailed FAQs, enhances the gaming experience. Ideal for both new and seasoned players, PlayAmo stands as a dynamic and accessible online casino choice.