Baccarat for Beginners: A Complete Guide

Most casinos - online and off - have a host of card games you can try. One of the more popular examples of these is baccarat. Plenty of people like this one because all they need to do is to guess which of the two hands is going to be the winner.

Of course, there's a little more you should know about it before you play. So, settle in and let's get some more info.

Know the value of the playing cards

There are three possibilities here. The aces are worth a point each. All cards from two to nine are worth their own number, so a two is worth two points, and so on. All picture cards count as zero, as do the number 10 cards.

What's the maximum score?

You might think that being dealt two cards worth nine points each would give a score of 18. That's not the case. The highest score you can get in baccarat is nine points, so if any card total is worth more than nine points, you get rid of the first number. So, in this example, your hand would be worth eight points.

How to place a bet on baccarat

The table has three possible bets (another reason why baccarat is great for beginners). There is a bet for the banker's hand (the dealer), another bet for the player's hand, and a final bet for a tie. So, you're guessing whether the banker's hand or your hand is going to be the winner. If you think there will be a tie, you bet on that instead.

How the game is played

The dealer starts with a card for the player, followed by a card for themselves. Then they repeat the process, so each party has two cards. Eight or nine points scored by either party at this stage is a win and ends the round. In some cases, a third card might be drawn. For example, if the player's hand is between zero and five points this will happen. It can occur in certain other scenarios as well.

The idea is that the winning hand will be the one closest to nine points. Bets that win on the outcome of the banker's hand require a 5% commission, but this won't happen for the player's hand.

Which bets should you make in baccarat?

The odds of winning a tie are way lower than the odds of winning by backing the banker's hand or the player's hand, so we'd avoid betting on that. The banker's hand is slightly more likely to win than the player's hand, so that's the hand you should bet on. It has a smaller house edge compared to the player's hand. We're talking a tiny amount, less than 0.25%, but it's worth considering.

Your best approach is to load a demo game to see how it works. However, with no real skill involved in baccarat, you can see why beginner card players love it.