How to Deal Baccarat

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2022-09-05

The game of Baccarat is essentially the same whether playing online or in a VIP room at that casino resort. The idea is to predict the winning hand between the player and the banker's hands. A push/tie is also a possible scenario. So, without any further ado, below is how baccarat cards work and how to deal Baccarat!

How to Deal Baccarat

How to Play Baccarat

When playing baccarat online, begin by finding an empty table before presenting cash to the dealer.  Remember that the dealer can't take anything from your hand. So, when ready, drop your money on the table, and you'll receive playing chips to start playing. 

Now it's time to choose the betting position. As said initially, you can bet on either the banker or player positions. Note that the house dealer isn't necessarily the banker and you, the player. These are just names for the sides.

The game's objective

The game's objective is to get close to 9 with the cards you're dealt without busting. In short, if the banker or the player has 8 or 9 (also called natural), no more cards are drawn, and the side in question wins. The dealer will then collect all the cards, and a new round begins. 

A tie in Baccarat

It's also worth noting that if the total for both sides is the same, the game ends in a tie. Put simply, neither the banker nor the player will lose or win the bet. 

For more on how to play barracarat

The Third Card Rule in Baccarat Main Bets

Before diving any deeper into the game of baccarat, comes a gentle reminder that baccarat rules dictate where the player's side starts. So, if you choose the player's side and create a natural, the game ends, and another round begins. The player's hand also stands if the points total is 7 or 6. But if the player's points total is between 0 and 5, another card is drawn unless the banker side has a natural.

What about the banker's third card rules? Now, this is where things get complex, because the banker goes last. If the banker's hand value is 0, 1, or 2, another card is dealt unless the player's side shows a natural. Also, the banker gets an extra card if the player's third card is 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 9. They stand if the player's third card is 8. Not that all the sides get a maximum of 3 cards. 

Below is the complete overview of the banker's hand third card rules:

  • 0-1-2: banker draws a card regardless of the player's third card. 
  • 3: banker draws a card if the player's third card is 8.
  • 4: banker draws if the player gets an extra 2-3-4-5-6-7.
  • 5: banker draws if the player gets an extra 4-5-6-7.
  • 6: banker draws if the player gets an extra 6-7.
  • 7: banker stands.

The 'wicked' 5% house commission

The best thing about playing baccarat is that the game offers one of the juiciest house edges. If you bet on the banker's side, you enjoy a lowly 1.09% house edge. On the other hand, the player's side maxes out at 1.24%, with the tie bet being the highest at 14.36%. So stay away from the tie bet if you want to survive in baccarat.

But why do players prefer the player's side despite the higher house edge? First, the banker side has a hit frequency of 50.6% compared to the player's 49.3% if you factor out a tie. Although there is no significant difference, the 5% commission on the house on all bankers' bet wins makes it unattractive. The commission can be higher or lower, depending on the casino. And, of course, even small margins like a 0.10% difference can affect your bankroll in the long run.

For further reading, here is a Baccarat Guide to Help You Win More Consistently

Most common Baccarat side bets

Besides making the game more interesting, baccarat side bets also make it more rewarding to play. It's common knowledge that most side bets come with bigger odds. So, without dilly-dallying around, below are some common baccarat side bets:

  • All black or red: this standard side bet is about predicting that the side you choose will have purely red cards (hearts and diamonds) or black cards (spades and clubs). The payout is 22:1 and 24:1, respectively.
  • Lucky bonus: If you correctly predict that the winning banker hand will have a 6, you enjoy a massive 18:1 payout. 
  • Royal match: This bet is commonplace in land-based casinos. Predicting that the opening hand will have a king and queen gives you a 75:1 payout. 
  • Super 6: If the winning banker side creates a total of 6, the payout is 12:1. 
  • Double 8: As the name hints, this side bet wins if you predict that both opening hands will have an 8. The payout is 15:1. 
  • Dragon Bonus: In this bet, you'll have to predict that the natural will win by a specific margin. Note that the higher the margin, the bigger the payout. Also, the bet loses if it's three points or less. 
  • Dragon 7: If the banker's hand wins with three cards worth 7, this bet gives you a payout of 40:1. 
  • Perfect pair: Sometimes, you can have a pair of similar ranks. If this happens, the payout is 25:1 if it's the same suit or 5:1 of a varying suit.

Conclusion

There's nothing complicated about playing baccarat. It's, in fact, one of the few games that don't require special knowledge to play. But always remember that it's a luck-based game. So, play for fun and with a bankroll.

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