Baccarat is an exciting game of pure chance. While it’s portrayed as formal and elegant in the movies – James Bond’s favourite! – it’s actually an easy, slow-paced game that’s great for new players; there’s no strategy or skill needed. Plus, Baccarat offers some of the best odds in the casino.

How to play?

Place your bets on either the Player or the Banker’s hand. To bet both hands will have the same total, place your bet in the égalité box. Two hands of two cards each are dealt to both the Player and the Banker.If the first two cards dealt total 8 or 9 for the Player or Banker, this is a natural win and the game is over Otherwise, the player stands on 6 or 7 or draws a third card if their total is 0 – 5.

How to Bet on Baccarat?

Player hand

One thing which can be confusing about baccarat is the drawing of a third card. But keep in mind: this is not a matter of strategy, these decisions are all covered by game rules and actioned by the dealer. So as a player you could simply ‘go with the flow’ – but it’s always a good idea to have some understanding of what may happen.

When a player’s hand totals 0 to 5, or equals 10, a third card is drawn. If the total is 6 or 7, the action is known as a ‘stand’, which means no third card is drawn. Totals of 8 or 9 are described as ‘naturals’, and here too no third card can be drawn.

Total for First Two CardsAction
1-2-3-4-5-10Draw a Card
8-9Neutral – Stand

Banker hand

The rules for a banker hand follow similar principles but are a little more detailed. Once again, the dealer is responsible for applying these rules and thus will announce the action to be taken.

Total for First Two CardsDraw on Player’s Third CardStand on Player’s Third Card
8-0Neutral – Stand
2000-1-2Always Draw

Top tips to play baccarat

  • The banker is your best bet: Because the bank wins just over 50% of games, this should always be your go-to bet. And the fact that 5% commission is charged to reduce the benefits to the player simply confirms this.
  • Follow the bank – until it loses: You should always watch for winning streaks, and statistically speaking, the bank will usually get the most. When this happens, bet with the bank – just don’t be over-aggressive.
  • Keep going with banker until it losses:We are looking to capitalize on streaks and the bet that will have the (slightly) better chance for a streak will be the Banker. If you find that the Banker does go on a streak from your first bet then keep betting it.Do keep in mind, however, that the fact a streak has occurred is no indication that it will continue to occur (meaning don’t be too aggressive with your betting amounts). You still face a house edge on every bet you make and you can’t bet your way out of such an edge.
  • Tie bets do now count: In this recommended style of play all Tie bets are invisible — they don’t count; they are simply a pause in the action. If the sequence goes Banker, Banker, Tie, you treat the Tie as if it did not occur. You would therefore continue to bet Banker.
  • Practice good stake management: Though baccarat has an advantageous house edge, its win/lose ratio makes it a coin flip. So look to follow bank streaks as suggested, but always monitor your outlay. Staking 10 units for each wager with a limit of 200 units per session (followed by a complete break) is a wise schedule to follow.

Baccarat is a fun game. If you have a friendly table you can get in some socializing as well. And remember, don’t make the tie bet; it may pay well, but you’ll rarely win it!

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