The game of Baccarat is played throughout casinos worldwide, including online casinos because the game is very enjoyable and simple to play. Check out our beginner guide to Baccarat Rules and Strategies.
If you have always wanted to know how to play baccarat and win, then this is the guide that you need to read.
You won’t just learn all the basics of baccarat rules and strategies, you will also understand how to play baccarat and win your bets before the dealer has started dealing the cards.
Now, the game of baccarat is played throughout casinos worldwide, including online casinos because the game is enjoyable. Baccarat is one of the simplest casino games you can play. It is flashy and exciting while keeping its simple concept and avoiding any overstated complicators. The strategies to Baccarat are much simpler than other games, but if you are keen to test the waters with something a little harder like counting cards in Blackjack – we have a great casino guide for playing Blackjack.
The game has enjoyed its affinity with appearances in big-time movies like the James Bond series. The true charm of playing baccarat is that the game is widely played from Melbourne to Sydney, to the Cotai Strip in Macau, the high stakes rooms of Monte Carlo or the smaller-baccarat tables of Las Vegas.
Playing baccarat online has the same exciting gameplay, with the added incentive of online bonuses. When signing up to an online casino like the reputable casinos we recommend, you can learn to play without super complicated guides and strategies. You can even practice our simple strategies while you get better too – even playing with fake money so that you don’t risk your real money!
What Is Baccarat?
Baccarat is the number one casino game in the world and brings with it a touch of mystery.
The history of baccarat is traced back to the tempting gambling salons throughout Italy and France, but over the last thirty years baccarat has boomed in popularity in Australia, Asia and the USA; the game has brought droves of players logging into online casinos and filing into tables at land-based casinos.
How popular is baccarat you ask? Since Macau overthrew Vegas as the Casino meccas heavyweight back in 2006 – the 40 casinos in Macau made approximately 88% of their combined $33.2 billion (USD) purely from games of baccarat!
These same trends are appearing in casinos worldwide, and many of the players in Vegas still to this day don’t even know the proper rules for Baccarat, but it is equating to 18% of Vegas casino wins.
How To Play Baccarat
What is the draw? baccarat feeds on the fantasy of casino gambling. It’s a fast-hitting, glitz and glamour game that doesn’t revolve around tricks, hits, or stands like playing blackjack.
The game of baccarat does not require any skill, just good luck and playing with the heart of the cards. This doesn’t mean that there are no strategies to increase your chance for a sweet payout.
The cards get shuffled, placed into the dealing shoe and then it’s a ride down thrill-hill. The game of baccarat is based on pre-determined rules, so many players believe that their luck can flow through to the dealing shoe. As a player, you choose whether to bet on the ‘player’ or to bet on the ‘banker’ hand. From there it’s back and forth with excitement and anxiety as the dealer takes care of the rest.
The object of winning baccarat is the player aiming to draw a two-card hand with a value closer to 9 than the hand of the dealer, which is also known as the banker. If the cards in your hand total higher than 9, the first digit is dropped (if you are confused, just consider it like removing a value of 10 from the total value). So, if your hand consisted of a 6 and 8, this would result in a 14, which is dropped to a 4 (because you remove the first digit of the total value).
Cards 2-9 count as their original value, while tens, jacks, queens, and kings count for 0 and Aces count as a 1.
A 9 is the highest hand you can have in a game of baccarat – which is known as a ‘natural’ win. If your hand values 9 the round is over, and the bets can be worked out. The second highest value hand is a 10 and an 8 – which is known as a natural 8 (yes, the names are very original…).
Unlike playing blackjack, you are not able to go over or ‘bust’. The dealer must hit based on the outcome of the cards and their pre-determined set of rules, as the dealer has a fixed set of rules which decide whether a third card is drawn (we will get into this later). So as a player, all you must do is pick a hand, and pick how big or small you wish to bet!
Types Of Bets In Baccarat
Now that you know how to play baccarat, it is time that we look at some juicy tips for baccarat strategy when betting and how to improve on your strategy to avoid making simple, yet rookie errors.
As baccarat is simple, its betting is simple too, utilising 3 types of bets:
- The Banker bet
- The Player bet
- The Tie bet
These 3 baccarat bets are similar – but betting on one of them will make you look like a boofhead. It really is Buckley’s chance of a win happening, so do everyone a favour and don’t even consider it.
The Banker Bet
The house edge on the banker bet is 1.06%; the player must also pay a 5% commission to the banker on every winning bet.
The Player Bet
The house edge on the player bet is slightly higher at 1.24% but it has essentially the same odds as the banker bet because of the commission paid to the dealer.
The tie bet gives you Buckley’s chance. The house edge on a tie bet is 14.36%. The payout might be attractive, but no one should ever place a tie bet, because the odds of winning are very low.
Baccarat Strategy Tips To Improve Your Winning
Although the game of baccarat is simple to understand, and the bets are easy to follow, the following tips should be used to maximise your advantage at scoring consistent wins.
Don’t Look For Patterns
New players to baccarat will often overlook this baccarat strategy. Some veteran players believe that to win the game of baccarat, you must look for patterns and keep track of these patterns appearing.
A growing trend at casino baccarat tables is that the results for games are being tracked and displayed to players; meaning that the winning outcomes of bets for banker, player or tie are being shown to players. Do not take notice of this information as casinos are using this data to influence player decisions on betting.
In baccarat, the odds of winning can be likened to betting on the flip of a coin landing as heads or tails. It is hard to influence the outcome; a successful winning hot streak or cold streak is largely the result of luck.
As the result of each game is separate to the last, and although you can try your best to determine the outcome – it is impossible to come up with a sure-fire method for winning.
Just have fun! Don’t stress out over any potential patterns. You will find that you enjoy the game of baccarat more if you spend more time in the moment and don’t overthink each hand.
Play Smart Bets
With only three bets to choose from, and only two that are actually worth considering – you might be thinking which bet is better: player or banker?
Since a banker bet faces a 5% tax to the house, this might seem unattractive for new players. However, the banker bet is the safer bet to make despite this house tax – statistically speaking.
The banker bet has a lower house edge, therefore in the long term, the payout will be better as over time the banker will typically win 50.68% versus 49.32% on the player bet. This might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but this small fraction will translate to a steady gain over time.
Tie Bet – Don’t Even Go There
Straight up honesty – the tie bet is the worst bet that you can make playing baccarat.
The payout for a tie bet might look tempting; however, it would require a tremendous amount of luck to land it because it only pays off 9% of the time.
Obviously, if the stars align and you do manage to pull off this one, the payout is very rewarding (varies from 8:1 to 9:1). We suggest that you just forget about tarnishing your winnings by placing a tie bet. Unless you can foresee the future, it will just never turn out well for you.
Play In Moderation
Most baccarat players will typically find that they have short winning streaks and then a turn to a cold streak, which can result in big losses if you don’t play briefly. Baccarat is the opposite of blackjack, in the sense that blackjack can provide patient players lucrative streaks. Think of baccarat as a sprint and not a marathon, the trick to winning big money is to land in a lucrative streak and ride it for as long as possible.
Play in moderation and avoid getting too greedy and to bail out before things take a turn for the worse. It is best to keep your baccarat playing to short sessions, particularly if you keep switching between your player and banker bets.
We suggest that you follow a general guide of, sitting down to play for 15 minutes and then walk away before things get too ugly. Don’t fall in love with one table, switch to another table if you have to – just keep it short and sweet.
Trust Your Gut
This is an understated issue that tends to affect veteran players mostly. Once you have become comfortable playing baccarat you may think that you have a reliable strategy that brings you consistent payouts over the long term.
Don’t think like this. Trust your gut. Science can only do so much, and a little bit of uncertainty can be a good thing. At the end of the day, playing baccarat and making bets based on gut feelings and hunches are what makes the game and gambling so fun.
It is better to just ignore the tracking of previous outcomes and streaks, and just go with your gut feeling. It won’t affect your chances of winning or losing so you may as well enjoy yourself to the fullest! If you overthink, you will usually find yourself becoming a loser.
Pay Attention To Each Table
Although most baccarat tables collect a 5% commission on banker bets, do not assume that this is standard practice for every casino.
Firstly, some advice for life that you have likely heard before – never assume anything, because if you assume you will make an ‘ass’ of ‘u’ and ‘me’.
Make sure that you pay attention to every baccarat table, as some casinos have been known to collect commissions as high as 10% and even 20% on banker bet wins! Make sure that you also check out the rules and minimum bets listed on each table. If you do decide to do the unthinkable and place a tie bet, check the payout table for each of the 3 bets – as a similar problem can be found with tie bet payouts being different.
Most casinos offer 8:1 or 9:1 payout for tie bets, however, some casinos have been known to place sneaky low-ball payouts at 6:1 or lower around the casino.
It is best practice to get into a habit of checking these key points on all games that you play. This is because a casino that has changed tie bet payouts, will likely have changed other aspects of their baccarat tables too.
Less Is Better
This tip does not apply to playing baccarat online, as the digital game uses random number generator algorithms and not physical cards. However, consider the shoe for a standard baccarat table – which generally consists of 8 standard card decks.
If you are switched on, you will know that fewer cards in a shoe mean you have a better chance of drawing higher value cards.
Although this is not an easy thing to find, there are baccarat tables that use fewer decks than the standard shoe – between 4 and 6 decks. A smaller shoe is an opportunity for talented and experienced players to count cards and predict with great accuracy; the outcome of upcoming hands.
This is known around the game, and the elite players who can count cards when playing baccarat call this technique “edge-sorting”. The most famous player who used this technique for overwhelming advantages over the house is Phil Ivey. Phil managed to win over $20 million USD at two world class casinos by using the “edge-sorting” technique playing baccarat.
Competition For Casinos Means Opportunity For Players
Following on from tip 6, always look out for competition. Whether it is in the online gaming space (which is so highly competitive these days that casinos are constantly offering free bets and big match-bonuses), or scoping out commission tax for banker bets – the popularity of baccarat means that the higher volume of casinos are all fighting for the same amount of players.
In your local casino, it may not be hard to find a baccarat table that takes a smaller percentage of commission from banker bet wins. Even a casino offering a 4% commission tax (a measly 1% difference to the accepted norm), is a considerable difference in the long term.
Think about it this way, if you are playing at a casino with a 5% commission tax and you win $5,000 – your commission tax on this amount would be $250 to the casino. If you were playing baccarat on a table with a 1% less commission tax (so 4%), you would owe only $200 to the casino.
This small difference in commission could be a big difference in your overall cash; that $50 difference could pay for half of your hotel cost for the night out.
What is interesting is that because there is so much competition in the higher population casino areas (like Las Vegas or Macau), it is much more common that baccarat tables will reduce the commission rate considerably. Some casinos will even offer no-commission on banker bets – but be weary of this, as things will not always be as good as they seem. Some of these no-commission casinos payout half the standard amount when you place a banker bet and win on a 6.
Playing Baccarat Online
Casino gambling is either a yay or nay for many players.
Some players enjoy the vibe of going to the casino and being amongst the lights and sounds, whereas other players like that they can play casually in their own home. The beauty of playing baccarat is that the game really is exciting online and offline.
The only difference between playing online or offline is that online, the dealer is drawing digital cards from an unlimited card shoe. Now, this does not make the game harder or more difficult to learn, it just means that you cannot live the “edge-sorting” life.
In fact, playing online has many benefits over playing in casinos. Playing online gives you an opportunity to practice as much as you like, by playing with fake money. You can, and you should, make the most of the instant play versions of games – as they allow you to practice without risking your cash. This free play mode is available on all games! So if you have always wanted to play the pokies, blackjack, craps or even keno, but don’t know the rules – use this to learn and practice your strategy!
You can improve your skills playing baccarat today, for free at many of the online casinos that we recommend. Simply register an account and get started in minutes! You can channel your inner James Bond, and don’t worry – we even recommend busting out the tuxedo or evening gown for playing at home too.
The best part of playing baccarat online is that you don’t have to leave the house. You can score decent payouts while ripping into a box of chicken crimpy shapes. Once you are signed up with one of the reputable online casinos that we recommend will also get access to hundreds of other casino games and get insider access to their fair dinkum promos and bonuses!