Beginners Guide To Baccarat

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Baccarat is one of the oldest and most popular casino games in the world, and dominates the casinos particularly in Macau, China. The game is both simple to learn and to play, and with just three possible outcomes, the game is based almost solely on luck. Baccarat, also known as Punto Banco, is featured in many James Bond films, and the novels, as Bond’s favourite casino game, and although it seems serious and attracts a lot of the high-rollers in a casino, it really is as simple as betting on the flip of coin.

If you’re looking for an easy transition from the slots and the roulette table to a card game, then Baccarat is the perfect solution for you. We’ve put together a beginner’s guide to baccarat to help you get started on this fantastic casino game.

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When it comes to baccarat, there are several variants that have been developed, particularly by online casinos in recent years. Traditionally, there were three types of baccarat – Punto Banco, Chemin De Fer and Baccarat Banque. While some of these have fixed structures, and some are flexible, the basics of the game are relatively the same. The only difference between Punto Banco and some other variations, is that the other variations allow players to make more choices – making it more of a game of skill. However, Punto Banco, possibly the most common form of baccarat, is simply a game of a chance.

Punto banco, is the most popular form of baccarat and is played in the majority of casinos across the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Finland and Macau.

004-Beginners Guide to Baccarat 1-6_The Basics-minThe game is played on a specific rounded baccarat table and the cards are dealt through a shoe. The shoe generally holds eight decks of cards. The player uses chips to bet on three outcomes in the game: the player wins, the banker wins or a tie. ­­­

There are three types of baccarat tables that you can play the popular casino game on:

Big Table Baccarat – This game is often roped off from other games in a bricks and mortar casino, and the table minimums are often high. The deal will rotate around the table, and if a player does not want to deal they may pass to the next player. Simply, unlike the other two games, players are also allowed to deal alongside the casino dealers.

Mini Baccarat – The rules are the same as big table baccarat, but the dealer turns over all of the cards making the game much faster.

Midi Baccarat – This game is the same as mini baccarat, but the size of the table is larger, and the tables are often placed away from the main casino floor, in high-limit rooms.

The Punto Banco form of baccarat is the simplest form of card game both in the best online casinos, and in a bricks and mortar casino. This guide covers the basics of Punto Banco, so you’re prepared when you hit the casino online or out and about.

Card Values

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There are usually eight decks of cards that are used, and the cards are given point values: Ace = 1, 2-9 = face value, 10 & face cards = 0. Using eight decks means it is almost impossible for a player to card-count, or use any other mathematical/probability strategy as the game is simply a game of chance. Card values are as follows:

  • Ace = 1 Point
  • 2 = 2 Points
  • 3 = 3 Points
  • 4 = 4 Points
  • 5 = 5 Points
  • 6 = 6 Points
  • 7 = 7 Points
  • 8 = 8 Points
  • 9 = 9 Points
  • 10 = 0 Points
  • Jack = 0 Points
  • King = 0 Points
  • Queen = 0 Points

Baccarat, in its simplest form, is a comparing card game between two hands – the player and the banker and there are just three possible outcomes in the game: the player wins, the banker wins and there’s a tie. Simply, whoever has the highest score wins, and the highest possible hand value in a game of baccarat is 9. Punto Banco is strictly a game of chance, with no skill or strategy, as each players’ moves are forced by the cards the player is dealt.


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Play begins by all players betting either on the player, banker or a tie. This is the only betting that is done in the game, and you simply bet on whether you think the banker’s hand will win, the player will win or there will be a tie. This is also the only choice that is made in the game, when playing Punto Banco, as the rest of the game follows a structured set of rules.

Once all bets are down, the dealer gives two cards each to the player and the banker. The score of the hand is the right digit on the total of the cards. For example:

If a player has been dealt an 8 and a 7, this totals 15 and the score is 5.

If a player is dealt a 9 and a 3, the total is 12, meaning the score is 2.

If a player’s hand totals less than six, a third card is dealt, and play moves onto the banker’s hand. There are various rules regarding the dealing of a third card in a hand, but that is not something you need to know – the dealer will automatically deal depending on the rules of the table.

5 More Things To Keep In Mind

007-Beginners Guide to Baccarat 1-6_5 things-minAs with all beginners’ guides, they will only get you so far. If you want to learn who to play baccarat it is best to log in online or visit your local casino and get practicing. If you’re looking for the best casinos offering you the best deals for players online playing baccarat, you can find them here at Best Deal Casinos today. Good luck!

If you are looking to start playing baccarat, here are five more things to keep in mind:

  • As with all casino games, the winning odds are in favour of the banker with a house edge on almost all baccarat games being no lower than 1 percent. If in doubt, bet on the banker.
  • Don’t get carried away trying to learn all of the reasons for a third card – the dealer will always give you a third card if it is needed within the rules of the table.
  • Remember that Punto Banco is not the only forms of baccarat. This guide covers Punto Banco, so if you find another form of baccarat such as Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque that you want to try out, keep in mind that you will have more decision making to do.
  • Forget your mathematics and probability, live baccarat is a game of pure chance – trying to card count will just be a waste of your time, and if you get caught you will probably be ejected from the table, if not the casino.
  • Practice makes perfect!

Please check out our other guides, including guides on Bingo, Craps, Keno & Blackjack.

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