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How to Play Baccarat – Master Baccarat Rules in Minutes

Baccarat is a fairly easy game to play, and it’s available at all major online casinos. If you’ve ever wondered how to play baccarat, this page will provide you with all the information you need, from the basic rules to tips and tricks that pro baccarat players use.

Though it may look confusing at first, baccarat is one of the most simple table games you can play. Once you read through this overview, you will have a strong understanding of baccarat’s basic rules. With this guide, you’ll not only know how to play baccarat; you’ll be able to play with confidence.


Objective of Baccarat

In baccarat, you (the player) and the dealer (the banker) have the same objective. Your goal (and the dealer’s) is to have a hand that totals as close to 9 as possible.

You are not limited to betting on yourself to win. You can bet on yourself, the banker, or a tie. When you’re first learning how to play baccarat, remember that you are betting on a winner, not your own hand. If your hand doesn’t beat the banker’s you can still win as long as you’ve placed the right bet!

Card Values in Baccarat

The first step to understanding baccarat is familiarizing yourself with the points system. Each card has a specific value. You add the values together to determine how many points your hand (or the banker’s) is worth.

Here are the point values for each type of card in baccarat:

How to Add Up Points

In baccarat, you add up the values for each card in your hand to determine your total. Each player (including the banker) is given two cards to begin the hand. If your cards add up to a double-digit total, you only use the second digit to determine the score. For example:

How to Play Baccarat: Rules and Steps

Now that you’re familiar with the objective and scoring, you can learn how to play baccarat. Below are the basic rules of baccarat. Once you are familiar with them, you’ll be ready for some of the more complex rules included later in this guide.

Player Hand and Banker Hand Rules

When you’re first learning how to play baccarat, this can be one of the more complex ideas to understand. The point value of the first two cards in your hand determine whether you stand (meaning you do not receive a third card). You cannot choose whether you stand or draw a card. This is always determined by the rules of the game.

When the Player Stands

The player always “plays” first. In other words, you will always stand or draw before the dealer takes his turn.

If your first 2 cards total 6 or 7, you stand. With a total of 8 or 9, you do not draw because this is a natural win. However, if you have a 6, 7, 8, or 9, the dealer moves on to his hand.

When the Dealer Stands

The dealer stands on a 7, 8, or 9.

When Is a Third Card Drawn?

During your first few games playing baccarat, you’ll see that sometimes there is no immediate winner and third card must be drawn. There are very specific scenarios that dictate when a third card is needed and who must draw it. Here’s a breakdown:

When the Player Draws a Third Card

If the dealer doesn’t hit a natural win and your 2-card hand totals 0-5, you will receive a third card.

A player hand totaling 6 or 7 means the dealer must then draw a third card, and that’s where things get a bit more complex.

When the Dealer Draws a Third Card

The player always goes first. This means that unless you draw a natural win, you’ll either stand or draw a third card before the dealer takes his turn:

If the player doesn’t draw a third card, the banker stays on a 6 or 7.

If the player doesn’t draw a third card, the banker draws on a total of 0-5.

If you draw a third card, the banker acts according to the chart below:

Baccarat Etiquette

As you get up to speed with how to play baccarat, you’ll encounter a few versions of the game. Players are generally friendly, especially on mini-baccarat tables (which we cover below). But it’s helpful to keep a few things in mind to keep baccarat fun for everyone involved.

In mini-baccarat, which is recommended for beginners, do not touch your cards. The dealer will handle them and dole out third cards when necessary. The hands will all be played face up, so you won’t need to worry about when to draw or stand.

Big baccarat is slightly different and there’s more etiquette to consider. Typically, you’ll want to wait until a game ends before taking a seat, and it is common courtesy to acknowledge the other players at the table. Mini-baccarat is friendly to new players, so we recommend playing at those tables before moving up to Big baccarat.

When you’re playing at a casino, having learned how to play baccarat and win, remember that the house takes a 5% commission when you win a bet on the banker. Always pay this out before you leave the table. If you want to learn more about how commission works in baccarat and how it affects your payouts, familiarize yourself with the odds of baccarat before you play as well.

Most casinos have score sheets available. Use them to keep the game going and make a smoother baccarat experience for everyone.


How to Play Mini-Baccarat and Midi-Baccarat

At casinos, you will often find a typical large baccarat table with space for 12-14 players. You may also encounter a smaller table with 5-6 spots for mini-baccarat or a midi-baccarat table for up to 9 people.

That’s not the only difference between the variations. Mini-baccarat usually is a lower-stakes version of the game, making it the ideal choice if you’re in the early stages of learning how to play baccarat. Midi-baccarat will usually be found on high-limit tables.

What also sets midi-baccarat apart is that in this version of the game, players are allowed to handle the cards themselves, something which is a no-go on other baccarat variants.

Ultimately, both mini-baccarat and midi-baccarat tend to be easier for new players to big up and can be used as stepping stones to standard baccarat. The rules are basically the same apart from these minor differences.

Final Rules to Remember for Baccarat

As you can see, it’s quite easy to learn how to play baccarat. The rules and gameplay are easy to grasp, and baccarat can only be as complex as you want it to be. Still, keep the following rules in mind:

  • In baccarat, you bet on who will win instead of betting on your own hand.

  • Suits don’t matter. Only the cards’ point values matter.

  • 9 is the magic number! The hand closest to 9 wins.

  • If your first two cards total 8 or 9, that’s a natural win.

  • The player always goes first, then the banker.

  • Third cards are drawn automatically. You don’t choose when to draw.

Practice Baccarat by Playing for Free Online

Of course, the best way to learn how to play baccarat is to actually try it! Now that you’re familiar with the rules and gameplay, you can cement your baccarat knowledge by playing the game risk-free on VegasSlotsOnline.

Join Our Top Baccarat Casinos and Play for Real Money

When you’re ready to put your newfound baccarat knowledge to the test, you can head to one of our top online casinos. These are the best sites that offer real money baccarat, especially now that you know how to play. Our recommended sites offer a range of baccarat games (some will have helpful in-game tips to help you learn how to play mini-baccarat), including live dealer casino baccarat.

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How to Play Baccarat FAQ