Even though Baccarat is not as present in people’s minds as Poker or Blackjack, it is still one of those classic games that can always be found in online and land-based casinos.
Moreover, it has its own reputation as James Bond’s favorite game. 007 even played it in the final showdown with the villain of the original Casino Royale novel.
Just like Roulette, Baccarat (the T is silent) has originated in France. However, it is also argued to have come from Italy more than 600 years ago, even before the famous wheel-based classic itself. Apart from it though, rules of Baccarat are far simpler. The game is easy-to-play and fairly enjoyable.
Basic Baccarat Rules
When it comes to actually playing the game in an online casino, all the player has to do is place the bets and watch as the dealer does all the busywork.
This is not traditional Baccarat, where the players draw their hands themselves, but the Punto Banco version. It’s also known as North American Baccarat and is used in most online casinos, but more on that later.
Baccarat Game Flow
Game’s layout is fairly simple, with three fields for bets: Player bet, Bank (Dealer) bet and a Tie.
The player can bet on any of the fields, betting on whether they or the dealer will win. The dealer draws the cards for both themselves and the player. He draws two cards for each and stands or draws another card, depending on the score.
No one gets more than three cards per round.
Here are the main game actions:
- Goal. Get the score as close to 9 as possible.
- Bets. The player can bet on the player winning, dealer winning or on a tie.
- Card Values. Cards of 2-9 have their face value, 10, J, Q and K have zero value and Ace is 1.
- Payout. Player bet pays even, dealer bet pays 0.95:1 and ties pay 9:1.
- Tie. If the tie was not bet on, it is a push.
The following are the actions that are taken depending on the score at hand:
- 1-5. Another card is drawn.
- 6-9. Stand.
- 8-9. Natural — player automatically wins, stand.
- 10 and higher. 10 is subtracted and the cards are drawn in accordance with the previous rules.
- 0-2. Draws.
- 3-6. Draws only if the player stands.
- 7-9. Stands.
Once again, this is how the game works, but nothing is required on the part of the player except for betting.
As you can see, the rules are pretty straightforward. It’s quite simple to play and easy to follow unless the dealer draws the cards too fast! However, one of the key questions of any casino game is the payout. So how much would the player get for a lucky gamble?
- Player win 1:1
- Bank win 0.95:1
- Tie 9:1 (8:1 in other casinos)
Despite the chance of the tie being slimmer than the other options, the payout for such a victory will certainly be rewarding. What might be unusual in the payout is the proportion for winning the Bank bet.
This is due to the rules in traditional casinos, where the house takes 5% off of your win if you bet on the bank. Such payout is retained in online casinos as well.
In addition to the basic player and banker bets, baccarat also supports a wide variety of side bets, including Bellagio Match, 3-Card Six, and Super 6.
How is Punto Banco Different from Baccarat?
There are multiple Baccarat variants. The most common are the classic Baccarat and the North American version, also known as Punto Banco.
Punto (means “player”) Banco (stands for “Bank”) is the simplified version of Baccarat. The player bets only on the desired bet, while all the actions are made by the dealer. In other words, this is the version with the rules described above. The only exception in the original Baccarat is that the players can draw or stand on their own.
We covered the North American rules in the first place as it is the most popular one. That’s the version that almost all land-based and online casinos adopt. Most popular providers of Baccarat games are NetEnt, Betsoft Gaming and Evolution.
Interestingly enough, the most lucrative casino game in Macau is called Punto Banco.
All in all, playing Baccarat will not only get you to try out a new game but will introduce you to one of the casino classics! Head over to our game catalog to play Baccarat online.