The basics and how to play baccarat
Baccarat or Punto Banco is usually
played in a separate casino area. The playing table is about
the size of a craps table with three casino dealers and
up to 12 or 14 players.
There are just two principal bets
to make: banker or player - Banco or Punto, plus the rarely
used Standoff. Some casinos let the players deal the cards
in turn and others have a casino dealer to deal the cards.
In online Baccarat the cards are dealt automatically by
a virtual dealer. Each player, including the player dealing,
may bet on either Punto or Banco but it is customary for
the dealer to bet on Banco. Players may opt not to deal,
passing the 'Shoe' to the next player. The shoe remains
with one player as long as the Bank wins. If Punto wins,
the shoe passes on to the next player.
Two hands are dealt and you bet which
one will win, or that they will tie. It is just like betting
on Black or Red at roulette, and the payoff is even money,
1:1 (except for the standoff, which pays 8-1 or 9-1). The
only difference between the Banco and Punto bet is a win
on Banco will cost you 5% commission or tax levied by the
casino - the in-built advantage.
The reason for taxing the Banco is
because it has been established that over an 8-deck cards
play on average the Banco will win three to four hands more
than the Punto. Each hand consists of a minimum of two and
a maximum of three cards. The person dealing will put two
cards, face down, tucked under the shoe, and give the player
with the largest bet on Punto the other two cards, face
The Punto player then looks at the
cards and gives them back to the player who is dealing.
Then the player who is dealing will turn over the cards
of both hands while one of the casino dealers will announce
the results and the winner.
If either hand has a total of 8 or
9 (nine is the highest), then it is called a 'Natural' and
no more cards are dealt. If it is not a natural, then depending
on the value of each hand the casino dealer may instruct
the card dealer to deal a third card. The decision when
to deal a third card follows precise set rules used by all
Once dealing is completed, the hand
with the highest count wins. The paying casino dealers will
collect the losing bets first and then pay the winning ones.
The player who actually deals the cards is not responsible
for the payouts. He is just like any other player, playing
against the casino.
Baccarat is played from a six-deck
or an eight-deck shoe. All face cards and 10s have no value.
Cards less than 10 are counted at face value, Aces are worth
1. Suits don't matter. Only single digit values are valid.
Any count that reaches a double digit drops the left digit.
15 is counted as 5 and 25 is also counted as 5.
To start, the players bet either
on Banco or Punto or Standoff. The card dealer gives two
cards each; first to the player and then the banker. The
object of the game is to bet on the hand that you think
will have the highest total value.
A third card may be dealt to either
or both the player (Punto) and the bank (Banco) based on
the following three-card-rules. It is not necessary to learn
these rules to play, they are compulsory decisions and therefore
automatic. Only on rare occasions a mistake is made:
If either the player or the bank
have a total of 8 or 9 on the first two cards no further
cards are drawn. The resulting hand is called a natural
and the hand is over.
If the player's total is less than or equal to 5 the player's
hand draws a third card.
If the player does not draw a third card, then the bank's
hand stands on 6 or more and takes a third card on a total
of 5 or less. If the player does take a third card then
the Bank's third-card-rule below will determine if the bank
takes a third card.
If the bank's total is 2 or less
then bank draws a card, regardless of what the players third
If the banks total is 3 then the bank draws a third card
unless the players third card was an 8.
If the banks total is 4 then the bank draws a third card
unless the players third card was a 0, 1, 8, or 9.
If the banks total is 5 then the bank draws a third card
if the players third card was 4, 5, 6, or 7.
If the banks total is 6 then the bank draws a third card
if the players third card was a 6 or 7.
If the banks total is 7 then the bank stands.
Banker (Banco) 1.17%
Player (Punto) 1.36%
Tie (Standoff) 14.12% at 8:1 payout
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