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Baccarat Guide

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One of the most popular high roller games at land-based casinos is baccarat. This card game can be very simple or quite complicated, depending on which version you play. However, this game isn’t only for high rollers. If you want to play baccarat with lower stakes, online casinos are your best bet since you can always find tables offering this card game, even for casual players. To get you started, we at GoodLuckMate have created a complete guide to baccarat where we’ll tell you not only how to play the different versions of the game but also how you can maximize your chances of winning.


Baccarat Rules for Card Value

Baccarat is a card game in which all the cards are used, except the joker. Normally, the dealer’s shoe holds either 6 or 8 decks of cards. Each card has a point value:

  • Ace: Valued at 1 point
  • Cards 2 9: Valued at the face value of the card, so you get 2 – 9 points
  • 10, J, Q, & K: Valued at 0 points

Punto Banco – Player & Banker

In Punto Banco Baccarat, you’re playing a simple game of chance. Even though this is a card game, you don’t actually decide how to play a hand yourself because this is something determined by the game rules. The dealer at the table plays both the Banker and Player hands, since the way the hands are played is determined by the rules of the game. When you play, you can bet on either the Player or the Banker. New players often get confused by this and think that they can only bet on the Player hand, but it's not the case. In a way, the Banker hand in baccarat represents the casino.

Punto Banco rules

Let’s see how to play baccarat at your favorite online casino. As we mentioned, in Punto Banco, you don’t have a hand. The dealer at the table will deal two hands, one for the Player and one for the Banker. These hands don’t really represent the casino or you as a player; this is just what the hands are called. Before any cards are dealt, you can choose the hand you want to bet on. There’s no extra charge for betting on the Player, but betting on the Banker will usually cost you a 5% commission if you win.

In any case, there are three possible outcomes in Punto Banco Baccarat. Either the Player wins, the Banker wins, or the result of the round is a tie.

Baccarat Strategy & Odds

Baccarat odds are quite good for players since the house doesn’t have much of an edge, at least not for most bets. Betting on the Player hand will give the house an edge of 1.24%, while a bet on Banker only gives an edge of 1.06%. The real money for the casino is made from tie bets because these give the casino an edge of 14.4%. Since this is extremely high, some casinos choose to pay out tie bets at 9:1, lowering the house edge to 4.85%.

No Commission Baccarat

As with any major card game, new versions of the game are appearing with a few tweaks in the rules. This is also true for baccarat. An alternative version of Punto Banco is No Commission Baccarat, which has become a very popular online baccarat game at live casinos. This is a game where no commissions are required to place a bet on the Banker. However, every time you get an advantage of some sort in a new version of a game, you also get a disadvantage.

Mini Baccarat

Another version of Punto Banco Baccarat is Mini Baccarat. In reality, there aren’t many differences in how these games are played. The rules are the same, but Mini Baccarat is often played on a smaller table. The bets you can make on the table are smaller too. The minimum and maximum bets in Mini Baccarat are often targeted more towards casual players. At many casinos, the “real” baccarat tables can have minimum bets starting as high as several thousand euros, so if this is a bit more than you want to bet, Mini Baccarat could be the game for you.

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer is a baccarat game where there’s no house since both the Player and the Banker hands are played by actual players. For every game round, one player is the Banker and all other players are the Player. The Player is only one hand. One of the players is the representative for all players, and this person is actually playing the hand. The Banker designation goes counter-clockwise around the table, while the representative Player is determined by whoever makes the biggest bet.

Baccarat Banque

Baccarat Banque is another version of baccarat that’s closely related to Chemin de Fer Baccarat. There are two differences, though. First, the Banker will either be the first player at the table or the player with the highest bet, depending on the house rules. Second, there are two Player hands. The total number of players, not including the Banker, is 10. In addition, it’s also possible to bet behind if the 10 players at the table cannot, or will not, match the Banker’s bet.

Playing Baccarat at Online Casinos

Just like blackjack and roulette, there are two main ways to play baccarat at online casinos. The first is on RNG-powered mahcines, where the software generates the outcomes. You see virtual cards and a table, but this is all cosmetics. The other option is to play live baccarat at live dealer casinos. Here, the action happens in real time and it's streamed from dedicated studios.

Steven Ford
Steven Ford
Published: 17 Feb 2021
Updated: 13 Mar 2023
Steven is GoodLuckMate’s casino veteran, having started in the industry in 2007! Although he knows everything about online gambling, it’s sports betting that is his true passion. Additionally, he’s not only our go-to writer for casino reviews, but he’s also the one keeping the closest eye on iGaming companies, so he always knows what they are going to do next.

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