Baccarat Rules for Beginners: Every Term Explained

If you’re a Baccarat beginner, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by this game. But at its heart, Baccarat has straightforward rules that are easy to learn. Scroll below, and we’ll break down everything you need to know.

Baccarat Rules for Beginners: Every Term Explained

Baccarat is the most glamorous game in any casino. But some of its aspects can confuse newcomers.

Don’t be intimidated – once you learn the tricky parts, this game’s rules are easy to understand. Read this comprehensive guide, and we’ll get you up and running quickly.

How Do I Win At Baccarat?

To win at Baccarat, you must correctly predict the outcome of a round. There are three options – Banco/Banker, Player, or Tie. After that, the dealer will deal out the Banco/Banker and the Player hands. If your horse gets the highest score (as close to 9 as possible), you win!

The amount won depends on who you choose. The Player bet pays 1:1, the Banco/Banker pays 1:1 (minus a ~5% commission), and the Tie pays 8:1.

Key Baccarat Terms

If you’re new to Baccarat, its terms can be confusing. As you encounter them, look them up in our handy table:

Term What It Means
💰 Bankroll Money set aside for playing baccarat.
♠️ Baccarat The name of this game and the worst possible hand (baccarat means zero in Italian).)
💲 Banco Refers to the Banker, both as a bet and the dealer. Pays out 1:1, but the house takes a 5% commission from winnings.
💵 Commission A 5% fee charged by the house on Banco profits.
➕ Draw Taking a third card to improve the Players or the Banco/Bankers baccarat hand.
🃏 Face Card Jacks, Queens, or Kings and Tens (10). All have a value of zero in baccarat.
🏠 House Edge The advantage the casino has over players. Assume the house edge is 2%. If you wager $1/hand over 100 rounds, the house will (on average) make a $2 profit over that span. However, due to short-term luck, players could turn a profit over the same period.
😮 Natural A hand worth 8 or 9 points. A Natural is the best hand in baccarat, so it automatically wins the round for the Banco/Banker or the Player.
😎 Player A bet on the player hand to win, pays out 1:1 with no commission.
🃔 🃕 Punto Banco A popular baccarat variant invented in Argentina in the 1950s.
🪑️ ⬆️ Stand When the Banco/Banker or Player refuses additional cards. Unlike blackjack, this action is automatically done according to game rules.
👔 Tie Betting that both the Player and Banco/Banker will get the same score. Pays out 8:1.

How Are Baccarat Hands Scored?

Let’s start with number cards (2-9). These are worth face value, so if you have the 4 of diamonds, that card is worth 4 points. What about Aces? In baccarat, these cards are worth one point. And lastly, face cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings, and 10s) are worth zero points.

After the first two cards are dealt, add them together to get your score. But if you get a score of 10 or greater, drop the first digit. So, for example, if you have a 7 and a 5, you’d subtract the “1” from 12, giving you a score of 2.

Why Should I Bet On The Banker In Baccarat?

The Banco/Banker has a better chance of winning than the Player. Why is this? Because the Banco/Banker has position on the Player. By knowing the Player’s final score, the Banco/Banker can play perfectly according to a complex set of drawing rules.

Now, it’s true the house charges a commission on Banco/Banker wins. But even when you account for these losses, this bet still has a slimmer house edge than the Player.

Baccarat Vs. Blackjack – Which Has Better Odds?

Blackjack has a friendlier house edge (as low as 0.45%) on paper. But to achieve this mark, you must find an online casino that offers single-deck Blackjack, And even then, you must hit, stand, split, and double down correctly in every single hand.

Now, Baccarat has a house edge of 1.06% if you bet on the Banker exclusively. That may be higher than Blackjack’s theoretical house edge, but in Baccarat, decisions are non-existent.

So if you’re looking for an easy game with a low house advantage, Baccarat might be right for you.

Can Baccarat Be Beaten?

In real-world casinos, it’s possible to beat baccarat. This is because you can reliably predict coming cards in future rounds by edge sorting (examining the backs of cards for irregularities).

But in online Baccarat, this is not possible. And despite what boosters of Baccarat systems claim, you cannot outrun this game’s math in the long run. However, it is possible to win in the short-term.

How Do I Play Baccarat?

Now that we’ve reviewed the rules, key terms and answered common questions, let’s walk through a baccarat round together.

  1. Place your bets. After the dealer clears the baccarat table from the previous round, place your wager. Usually, you have three options – the Banco/Banker, the Player, or the Tie. However, in some games, side bets on Banco/Player Pairs may be available.
  2. Cards are dealt. The dealer deals two cards to the Banco/Banker and the Player. The dealer then announces the value of each hand.
  3. Third cards (when necessary) are dealt. If neither the Banco/Banker nor the Player has a natural (an 8 or 9 point hand), the dealer deals a third card per game rules.
  4. Showdown. The dealer declares the winner (Banco/Banker, Player, or Tie), then pays out the winners.
Head of Content

Internationally renowned author Henri Ojala has spent more than a decade mastering the ins and outs of the gambling industry, focusing on online poker, sports betting, and casino games. With over 10 years of experience in the gambling industry, he is a respected expert in various forms. Henri shares his extensive knowledge of strategies, odds, and risk management, earning him recognition as an authority in the online casino field.