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Baccarat, also known as Punto Banco, is usually played in a separate area from other casino games. Baccarat has its origins in Italy and get its name from baccarat, meaning zero, which is the value assigned to all face cards and tens.

How to Play Baccarat

The baccarat table is about the size of a craps table with three dealers and up to 14 players.

A Baccarat table
Example of a baccarat table.
To play baccarat, two hands are always dealt; the bank's hand and the player's hand and each are dealt two cards. Depending on the value of the hand, a third card may be dealt.

To bet, you have two choices, banker or player - banco or punto. The cards are dealt by a dealer, but in some casino, the players will take turn dealing the cards. Players may opt not to dealt and pass the shoe. As long and the bank wins the shoe stays with the same player. When the player wins, the shoe is passed to the next player.

Two hands are dealt and players will bet on which hand will win or tie. Betting is similar to betting at roulette, when you bet on red or black. The payoff is always 1 to 1. If you win, betting on the bank, it will cost you a 5% commission. This makes up for the casino advantage of 5%. Although, the actual house advantage is usually about .18% If the player wins on a draw bet, then they are paid 8 to 1 or 9 to 1, depending on the casino.

The object of the game is to beat the dealers hand and get as close to 9 as possible. If you go over ten, then 10 is subtracted from the total. Aces count as 1, 2 through 9 count as their value. 10s and face cards count as zero.

Players receive no more than 3 cards in a hand. If the bank or the player receive 8 or higher with the first two cards, then no more cards are dealt. The bank must draw when they have three and the player stands with a six or seven, or draws anything but a face card or an eight.

The bank draws if they have four and the player's hand stands on six or seven, or if the player draws any card between two and seven inclusive.

If the bank has five and the player stands on a six or a seven, of it he draws any card between four and seven inclusive, then the bank draws. The bank also draws if they have six and the player draws a six or a seven. If the bank or player has an 8 or 9, both must immediately turn over their cards. If neither has a natural (8 or 9), then it's the players turn. If the player has 5 or less then they must take another card, unless the banker has a natural and will stand on 6 and 7.

Baccarat is not a simple as some casino games and might take a little getting used to. Anyone who wants to learn how to play baccarat would be wise to watch a game in action. Of course, your other option is to play baccarat for free and see these rules in play.


Baccarat is a game of luck. This is because both the bank and the player play baccarat with a fixed set of rules. The house always has advantage in every play of baccarat. Some systems have been applied to baccarat with some success.

One system provides for large returns for smaller bets:

- To begin bet just one dollar. If you win add another dollar, making the second bet a total of three dollars.

- Winning the second bet makes 6 dollars on the table. Take back four, making the third bet two dollars.

- If the player wins on the third bet, then add two more dollars to make six dollars on the fourth bet.

- If the player wins on the fourth bet, then they collect 12 dollars, ten of which is pure profit.

This system is based on the fact that the game pays out even money and will work on any casino game that pays out 1 to 1. This system also only works in the short term. Remember, casinos always win in the long run.

Although betting on a tie pays 8 to 1, considering the rules and inherent house advantage, most consider this to be one of the worst bets in the casino

If the commission paid when betting on the bank is 5% or less it's wise to bet with the dealer. If the commission is higher than 5% then it's wise to bet with the player.