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Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a card game where you bet on the Banker or Player hand with the aim of winning by getting a total closest to nine. Two cards are dealt to each hand and a third one is sometimes drawn.

The house edge is low and the Tie bet pays eight to one, so most serious players stick with Banker or Player. But before you start playing, there are six baccarat tips to keep in mind.

Game rules

Baccarat is a casino card game played with a banker and a player. The cards are dealt from a shoe, and the players wager on whether the Banker hand will win, the Player hand will win, or if there will be a tie. The value of a hand is determined by the sum of its cards, with only the rightmost digit counted. In baccarat, the value of a hand that totals 8 or 9 is called a “natural” and wins. If the two hands don’t produce a natural, further cards are drawn to determine the winner.

Players who correctly forecast a winning Player or Banker hand qualify for a payout of 1:1. However, those who wager on a winning Tie bet must pay a 5% commission, which reduces the payout odds to 19-to-20. The game’s rules are simple and easy to understand. The game uses a six- or eight-deck shoe, and all cards equal their face values. Aces equal one, and picture cards equal zero points. All other cards are worth their numeric values.


The payouts on baccarat bets vary from casino to casino and depend on the odds and house edge. However, the game is a low-risk wager for players who follow proper bankroll management. Staking ten units for each round and stopping play at the first sign of loss is an effective strategy.

Unlike blackjack, the face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) have no point value in a baccarat hand, while the remaining cards are worth their numeric value. If a player’s total is over nine, they must subtract ten or drop the first numeral to get the true value of their hand.

Some baccarat tables offer side bets that pay out if the Banker or Player win with a pair of cards. One popular bet is the ’Royal 9’ which pays 40:1. Other side bets include the ’Big and Small Pair’ and a ’Tiger Pair’. The ’Tiger Pair’ is also known as the ‘Mini Royal’ and pays 250:1 in commission-free casinos.


Baccarat is a game of chance, but there are many variations to the game that can make it more enjoyable. Some variations offer lower house edges, more betting options, or faster gameplay. Players can choose the variation that suits their preferences and skill level.

The goal of baccarat is to wager on which hand has the highest total value. The player or banker hand wins when the final digit of the number of pips (the dots on a card that represent clubs, hearts, diamonds, and spades) is closest to nine. The hand that has the most face cards also wins.

One baccarat variation is EZ Baccarat, which follows the same dealing rules as standard baccarat and allows you to bet on either the banker or player hands. Another variation is Grand Baccarat No Commission, which doesn’t deduct the house commission from winning banker bets. This version also offers a bonus if you win on a three-card 7 hand.


Like many of today’s casino games, the exact origins of baccarat are unclear. However, a number of theories have emerged. One is that it developed from a medieval game, while another is that it evolved from an Etruscan legend. The latter tells of a ritual in which a young blond virgin was asked to throw a nine-sided dice. If she rolled an eight or nine, then she would become a priestess. A six or seven, however, meant that she lost her religious credentials and would be forced to walk into the sea.

Whatever its origins, the game quickly became popular in Europe and was favored by nobility because it required little skill. It reached the United States in the late nineteenth century, where a New York Times article from 1871 mentions a “baccarat board.”

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