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How to Play Baccarat: A Guide to Rules and Strategies


Jul 3, 2023

How To Play Baccarat

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to play Baccarat, where we unravel the mysteries and intricacies of this captivating casino game. Whether you're a curious beginner or an experienced player looking to refine your skills, we've got you covered. 

In this article, we will walk you through the fundamental rules of Baccarat, demystify the terminology, and equip you with a solid understanding of the strategies that can enhance your chances of success. So, grab a seat at the virtual table, prepare to immerse yourself in the world of Baccarat, and let us be your trusted guide on this exciting journey.

How to Play Baccarat?

Some of the most sought-after games on a casino floor are baccarat games. They are engaging and don't require a lot of effort. Playing online baccarat games isn't complicated at all - it is a two-handed game with very straightforward rules, so you will be able to master them in no time.

Baccarat is an exciting and fast game because it only has three outcomes:

  • Player win

  • Banker win

  • Tie

You can bet on either the Player's or Banker's hand before the cards are dealt. There is also a third option of the Tie bet but we’ll talk more about that later in the guide.

To help you understand the game better, let's break it down into a table layout, dealer's job, betting areas, and commission.

Baccarat Table

Baccarat TableBaccarat tables might look like they have a lot of sections on them. However, once you start playing, you will get a handle on it pretty quickly.

One baccarat table can accommodate up to 7 or even 14 players, depending on the variation you play but no matter the number of players seated, only two hands will be dealt; the Player’s and the Banker’s. 

On the table, you will notice a clear separation between where the cards are dealt for the Player's hand and Banker's hand. You will need to place your bets in the form of chips on your selected choice before the cards are dealt but do take note that the dealer doesn't distribute any cards to the players. Cards will be dealt onto the table in its respective section.


The dealer's main responsibility is to deal cards right after all players are done placing bets. Since there can be more than ten people at one table, the dealer will be located at the center of the table in such a way that every player can see the cards.

In a live setting, dealers usually assist players in adding the value of the cards up so that there is no mistake made. When playing baccarat online, the system or a dealer will take care of it, too.

Three Betting Area

There are very limited options in baccarat which makes the game intriguing and fast.

You will notice three options, particularly the Tie, the Banker, and the Player. Note that you only bet either on the Player's hand or the Banker's hand. Most people ignore the Tie bet because it is the least favourable of all. Beginners should also refrain from betting on the Tie.


The commission is only taken from the winning bets on the Banker's hand. The reason behind it is that the Banker's hand is considered the most favourable. The 5% of the total amount is taken only when the player is ready to pay before leaving the game.

To keep the baccarat table organised and in order, every player has a dedicated number. So when it is your turn to pay, you will see your number.

Playing baccarat online, the system runs the commission box automatically.

No Commission Baccarat

No Commission Baccarat GamesThere is the option of choosing to play No Commission Baccarat at Natural8. What this means is that Player and Banker both payout 1:1. There is one big difference in this variant though. If the banker hand wins with a value of 6, the payout is reduced to 0.5:1. This means that you will only win 50% of your bet if you made a wager on the Banker and win with a 6. 

In No Commission Baccarat you will also have the option to make a bet on Super 6 which pays out 12:1. Placing a bet here means you are predicting that the Banker WINS on 6.

Baccarat Rules: Cards and Points

Here, you will learn the answer to the essential question, "How to play baccarat?" - Surely, after this explanation, you can confidently enrol in your first baccarat game at the Natural8 casino.

There is no complication with cards since punters only bet with chips, choosing one of the sides; Player or Banker. It is the dealer who you should pay attention to.

A dealer will deal the cards to two sides: Player and Banker. Two cards are dealt on both sides and the winning side is the one that has the total value closest to 9 which is the highest value in Baccarat. If the total value of the cards is higher than 9, for example 12 or 25, then the first number is dropped and the result would be 2 or 5 respectively. 

The three outcomes are slightly different when it comes to rewards. Imagine you bet 20$, you can expect:

  • to win 20$ minus the commission on Banker's hand;

  • to win 20$ without reductions on the Player's hand;

  • to be paid 8 to 1 if the round ends on a tie.

Baccarat has a few exceptions worth noting.

Natural Win

Baccarat Player Wins With Natural 9One of them is the natural win. You recognise the winning bets when the value of two first cards is either 8 or 9. Whether it is the Player's hand or the Banker's hand, the game is complete, bets are paid out, and a new game begins.

Tie Bets

If risking gives you adrenaline, you may place a bet on the Tie. The tie is only won when the Player and Banker have the same number of points at the end of the game. Clearly, it is the most challenging bet out of all but also the best paid one. The total amount of bets put on both the Player and Banker are refunded.

So, why is it not in favour of experienced players? The reason is that it has the highest house edge of all bets. The fact that it takes such a substantial chunk of your winnings abstains many players from betting on it.

Third Card

Normally, each side is dealt two cards. If a Player's hand or Banker's hand has an 8 or 9, it is an instant win. In certain circumstances, the third card is dealt as well.

Player's Rules

  • If the Player's hand is a total of 0 to 5, the Player draws a card.

  • If the Player's hand is a total of 6 to 7, the Player stands.

  • It can happen that the Player stands even when holding a total of 8, while the banker has 9.

Banker's Rules

The banker draws the third card only when the Player's side has a certain value of cards. The banker draws a third card when its total amount is 0, 1, and 2, and when the Player has below 5.

The banker will also draw a third card in these scenarios:

Banker’s Total Player’s Third Card Action Required
3 Any card except 8 Banker draws
4 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Banker draws
5 4, 5, 6, 7 Banker draws
6 6, 7 Banker draws

The exclusion is when Banker has 7 or higher and will stand, regardless of what the Player has. Looking at the third card rules, it is obvious that the Banker has a clear advantage which explains the Banker side commission of 5% for every win on its side.

Card Values

Natural 9 in a Baccarat GameThe last thing on the list is to learn how you can calculate card points to keep up with the game. The value of cards is quite different from other casino games like poker.

The cards with values shown on them equal their number. For example, 2 equals 2, and 9 remains 9. An ace equals 1 point only. The cards with no value at all are 10, jack, queen, and king. 

Let's practice! Imagine the dealer deals cards, and you see:

  • The Player's hand is jack and ace;

  • The banker's hand is 9 and 2.

The winner is ..... no one! It is a tie. This is because the Player's hand equals 1 (jack = 0 and ace = 1), while Banker has 11. If you remember, there cannot be a number higher than 9, and the first number is removed, so we are left with 1.

What Are the Odds of Baccarat?

Bet Odds House Edge
Banker 0.458597 1.06%
Player 0.446247 1.24%
Tie 0.095156 14.36%
Banker Pair 0.074699 10.36%
Player Pair 0.074699 10.36%
Perfect Pair 0.033450

Baccarat is a popular side game choice of avid poker players, and it being quick and easy to learn aren't the main reasons. The other reason why so many players seek it out is the lowest house edge. As was mentioned earlier, the commission of Banker's win is 5% of the bet that is already included in the 1.06% of the Banker's house edge.

The Player's house edge is slightly bigger at about 1.24%. The Tie bets have the largest chunk of the house edge compared to other bets. Therefore, the Tie bet isn't preferred by frequent bettors.

The House Edge is a term used to describe the mathematical advantage that the casino has over you as you play over time. The house edge tells you how much each game pays out on average over its lifespan and which games offer players the best returns on their bets. This advantage is the product of the games themselves and not set by individual casinos. So no matter what or where you choose to play, if you're betting on casino games, you can't escape the house edge.

Wrapping Up

Let's sum up how to play Baccarat online. Get your wallet ready and allocate only the money you can allow yourself to spend. Join a table in Natural8, and place a bet of any amount on either Player or Banker (we would discourage you from betting on the Tie as a beginner). Wait for the dealer to deal the cards, do the math, and cash out the winnings!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a 'natural' in Baccarat?

A: A natural is a hand made out of TWO cards with a total value of 8 or 9. 

Q: Can I place a bet after the first two cards are dealt?

A: No. For Baccarat, all bets have to be placed before the cards are dealt. 

Q: Can I place a bet on both the Banker and the Player?

A: No. You may only place a bet on either the Banker or the Player but you may bet on a Tie outcome at any time even if you have an existing bet on a side.

Q: What is No Commission Baccarat?

A: Baccarat tables generally take a 5% commission from wins that are a result of a bet on the Banker. No Commission Baccarat does not take any commission for wins on both Player and Banker but if a Banker wins with a 6 the payout is 0.5:1.