The rules of baccarat are basic and simple to follow. Once you
learn it's easy to remember and you can feel completely comfortable
sitting at any baccarat table or mini baccarat table at the casino, or playing online.
If you're learning the simple (yet non-intuitive) baccarat rules for
the first time you should download a free software package from
one of the many online casinos out there and play along. Many offer
unlimited free play. We have a number of downloads available on this site which include a selection of online casino packages and a few tutorial style baccarat programs. I have honestly found it easier to learn, and easier to teach, by simply downloading a game from a real casino (one which offers free play of course) and reading along while messing with the software. The tutorial style software available for baccarat often overcomplicates the learning process and tends to leave you feeling more confused than ever.
As the player you are given the choice of either betting on the
banker hand winning, the player hand winning, or a tie between the two. Two
cards are dealt to the player and the banker. If the hand you're
betting on wins, you win even money. Even money bets are 1 to 1,
meaning if you bet five dollars, you're paid back the five plus
five more, so your profit is equal to your bet. If you bet on a
tie and it turns out to be one, you're paid 8 to 1. Meaning if you
bet 5 dollars on a tie and win, you're paid back your five, plus
40 dollars more.
The goal of your two-card hand is to try and have a total that
is close to 9. Tens and face cards count as zero, with the exception
of the ace, which is worth 1. Cards 2 thru 9 are worth their face
value. The simplicity of baccarat rules reflects the simplicity
of the scoring and goal itself. There is really only one tricky
part: although there is no such thing as a 'busting hand' as in
blackjack, when your initial card total is a two digit number, the
first digit is dropped. Say you are dealt a pair of sevens - the
total is 14, but the count is set to 4, as the leading 1 is arbitrarily
If the first two cards of a hand total 8 or 9 the hand is declared a 'natural' and wins (unless there is a tie between two naturals). If either hand is a natural, both hands stand, the natural hand wins. If the total is not a natural win on either hand, another card is drawn for each hand to determine the winner. Winning banker hands are usually taxed 5% by the casinos. Remember, anybody can be the banker, not always a casino employee. This hint is enough to gain an advantage in baccarat, because you know if the casinos take a cut of just one hand, that one hand probably has a good chance of winning.
Something the other baccarat rules pages on the Internet aren't likely to offer as info is this interesting tidbit: even with the 5% cut taken from winning on a banker hand bet, there is still an advantage to betting on the banker. The advantage is slim, in the area 0.18%, but in the world of gambling that's really not that small. So from reading this page you should have picked up enough about baccarat rules to play a game. It may still be a good idea to try it online first, and within minutes you'll feel comfortable enough to play anywhere. There aren't many rules, and the baccarat rules that do exist are fairly simple, they just differ from other games you may have played at the casino, so may take a little getting used to.