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Everything You Need to Know about Baccarat

September 1, 2020

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As it turns out, you don’t need to be a secret agent in a tuxedo to play baccarat — nor do you need mountains of cash to join in. Compared to many casino games, baccarat is actually quite simple, mostly because the dealer does all the work for you. All you need to do is place your bet. So order your martini shaken, not stirred, and let’s dive in.

Dealing the cards

In baccarat, there are two hands — the dealer’s hand and the player’s hand. Each hand has two cards placed face up. Unless you’re playing in the high roller suite in Vegas where there’s a lot of fanfare involved with dealing, the dealer will set all the cards on the table.

Before the cards are dealt, every player at the table places a bet on either the player’s hand or the dealer’s hand. You can also bet on a tie, but it’s not recommended because it almost never happens.

Calculating your score

Once the cards are dealt, you add the two cards in each hand. Cards one through nine are worth their face value, an Ace is worth one point, and face cards and 10 are worth zero points. If the value of your hand is two digits, you drop the first digit and that’s your score. So if you are dealt a five and a nine, you’d add them up to get 14 and drop the one, giving you a score of 4. The goal is to get a score as close to nine as possible.

If the dealer or player is initially dealt an eight or a nine, that is considered a natural win and the game ends. If neither hand is a natural win, a third card may be dealt for each hand. The player stays on a six or seven and draws a third card on an initial score of 0-5, but again, the dealer will do this for you, so there’s no need to do any work.

If a player doesn’t draw a card, the dealer draws on 0-5. If a player does draw a card, the rules on whether or not the dealer draws a card are a little more complex.

All players at the table will get a scorecard, which they can use to track player and dealer wins, as well as their bets and winnings.

Baccarat betting strategies

Whether playing baccarat at a table or video gaming terminal, the only thing you really need to worry about is betting. It’s important to note that the house has a slight advantage, so your best bet is always to bet on the dealer’s hand. For that reason, the bank’s hand pays 95% on dealer hands and even money on player hands, so if you bet $100, you’ll win $100. A tie pays 8-to-1, but they are so unlikely that it’s never wise to place that bet.


Ready to give baccarat a try? Let us know how it goes by leaving a comment below!

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