Baccarat rules explained

Baccarat is a sophisticated, yet simple, casino game. Baccarat is a card game played with a regular 52-card deck. Baccarat is purely a game of chance, with no skill required. Contrary to what many people believe, baccarat rules are very easy to learn.

The vast majority of players are unfamiliar with the rules of baccarat, as the game doesn’t enjoy the popularity of roulette, blackjack, poker and other casino games. On this page we have explained the rules of baccarat, for those who are interested in learning this beautiful game. Asides from the game rules, this article also includes background information about the game.

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Baccarat history

Baccarat is an age-old casino game. It is believed that baccarat was first introduced to casinos around the beginning of the fifteenth century. Both France and Italy claim to have invented the game, although it’s unlikely that this dispute will ever be truly settled. Baccarat means ‘zero’ in both Italian and French. To begin with, baccarat was played with tarot cards.

In the past, Baccarat was also known as 'basset' or 'faro', although these names are no longer used. There are three variants of the baccarat game, each with its own rules. The game of baccarat as we know it now is called 'Punto Banco' or 'North American baccarat'.

Baccarat game rules explained

Baccarat’s rules are easy to understand. Baccarat doesn’t require any particular skills or tactics. It’s purely a game of chance. Baccarat requires very little involvement from the player – all he or she has to do is choose one of the following three outcomes:
  • Tie
  • Banker/dealer wins
  • Player wins

Players place their bets on the banker, player or tie sections of the table. Once their bet has been placed, the game begins. The player and dealer are given two cards each. When the player or dealer has eight or nine points, the game finishes. According to the rules, the hand with the most points (the closest to nine) wins. If neither the payer nor the dealer has eight or nine points, a final card is drawn to decide the round.

This is how the third-card rule affects both the player and the dealer.

The player:

  • The player draws a third card if his two-card total is less than five.
  • The player does not draw an extra card if his two-card total is less than eight or nine.

The dealer:

  • When the player doesn’t draw a third card, the dealer will only draw a third card if his or her two-card total is no higher than five.
  • If the dealer’s two-card total is eight or nine, he won’t draw a card.
  • If the dealer’s two-card total is seven, the dealer stands.
  • If the player draws a third card, the dealer will only draw a third card if:
    • The dealer’s two-card total is two or less.
    • The dealer’s two-card total is three, and the third card of the player isn’t an eight.
    • The dealer’s two-card total is four, and the player’s third card isn’t a zero, a one, an eight or a nine.
    • The dealer’s two-card total is a five, and the player’s third card is a four, a five, a six or a seven.
    • The dealer’s two-card total is six, and the player’s third card is a six or a seven.

Payouts:

Here is a list of the payouts, according to the type of bet and outcome:
  • A wager on the player will pay even money (1:1).
  • A wager on the dealer will pay even money, but taxed at 5%.
  • A wager on a tie pays 8:1.
  • In the event of a draw, the wager will be refunded.
Now that you have read our baccarat rules guide, you should be able to play baccarat successfully online. Please visit our game rules section for more game rule guides. We wish you the best of luck when playing baccarat online.

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Learn rules of other casino games: Backgammon
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