Winning at Baccarat and How to Play Baccarat

Bodog Mobile BaccaratBaccarat is one of the oldest casino games believed to have been first introduced in Italy during the in the late 1400’s. At casinos, especially those in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, the baccarat tables are generally placed off in a high-class Asian dealer pit or in some roped-off section. You’ll often find players sitting at this table with large score cards and double color pens, the casino provides, jotting down notes and tracking bets. This is quite a lot of hoopla for a game that requires no skill. In fact, baccarat is often described as the “heads or tails” of casino games.

How to play Baccarat

In baccarat, cards are dealt to two different hands called the player hand and the banker hand. It is important we note player does not mean a casino guest and banker does not mean the house. These are simply the names assigned to each hand. A player may bet on banker, player or tie. When the hand is complete the banker will have a score between 0 and 9 and the player will also have a score between 0-9. If the outcome is a tie banker and player bets are pushed and ties are paid out, either at 9-to-1 or 8-to-1 depending on odds the casino offered. If the banker has a higher score then all player bets lose and banker bets are paid even money less commission, likewise if the player hand is higher then banker hands lose while the player hand is paid even money.

Baccarat Commission: In Baccarat winning banker bets are charged 5% commission because banker bets win more often. A lot of players mistakenly feel the player bet is better because no commission in charged when actually the house advantage on a player bet is 1.36% as opposed to 1.17% on a banker bet.

Betfair Casino is the only casino we know of which offers a form of Baccarat with no house edge (sorry USA player not accepted). They accomplish this by cutting the banker player commission down to just 2.75%. So at Betfair Casino all winning banker bets are paid at true odds with no advantage to the casino. You can use this Special Betfair Link, to get a £5 no deposit required bonus to test their online casino games.

The Baccarat Deal and Scoring

It is not important to understand how this works. We’ve already explained what a player needs to know to sit down and play at a baccarat table. The entire deal and scoring is all automated, so if you don’t understand it that’s okay. However for those who would like to understand the game here is how the dealing and scoring work.

Baccarat starts with each the player and the banker hand being dealt two cards. Aces are worth 1 point, Face cards are worth 0 points, and other cards are worth their face value. In baccarat the possible scores are 0-9. When a hand totals to to two digits, say for example: 4c+9s =13, then only the second digit is used. In this example of 13 the score would be three.

The Baccarat Draw: Once the two cards are dealt we then determine if either hand will draw one additional card. To determine if there is a draw first we look to see if there is a natural hand on the table. If either the player of the banker hand totals eight or nine this hand is called a natural, there will be no further draws for either hand.

When the player draws: The player will always draw a third card on scores of 0-5, except for when the banker has an eight or a nine.

When the banker draws: When the banker will draw often depends on what the player drew for a third card. Of course no draw takes place if the player hand is eight or nine as this is a natural and ends the round. Here are the banker third card drawing rules.

Bankers first two cards score 0-2, they’ll always draw a third card.
Bankers first two cards score 3, they’ll draw a third card in nearly all circumstances except when a player drew a third card which was an eight.
Bankers first two cards score 4. They’ll draw a third card if either the player stood on six or seven -or- if the player drew a third card that had a value of 2-7.
Bankers first two cards score 5. They’ll draw a third card if either the player stood on six or seven –or- if the player drew a third card that had a value of 4-7.
Bankers first two cards score 6. The only time a banker will take an additional card is if the player took a third card which equaled six or seven.
Banker will always stand on a starting hand of seven and will of course always stand on natural hands.

Once again it is not important you remember how this works as the game is really as simple as choosing heads or tails.

Baccarat Martingale System

If you’re not familiar with it we strongly encourage you to read our page Martingale Betting System, and then to avoid it when playing Baccarat. The reasons here is that in Baccarat streaks occur more often than in other games and therefore the risk of ruin will be higher.

To give an idea of the house probability of a player bet losing a certain number of times in a row (ignoring ties) here is a chart:

4 in a row 1 in 15
5 in a row 1 in 30
6 in a row 1 in 59
7 in a row 1 in 116
8 in a row 1 in 229
9 in a row 1 in 452
10 in a row 1 in 891


If you do some simple math you’ll soon see that a doubling system is not a smart idea in Baccarat. To give an example let’s say you’re using the $1 base bet and are prepared to double up to 9 times. This is $1, $2, $4, $8, $16, $32, $64, $128, $256. You’ll need a $511 bankroll to do this, that’s the amount you’d lose if you happen to run into a streak where a player bet loses nine times in a row. Now each time you’re successful you’ll win back all your losses for that series plus $1. Most feel this is a good system but when looking at the chart above you’ll see, each 452 times you attempt this on average one time will result in losing $511 and 451 times will result in winning $1. While this system is generally successful in the short term, over the long haul it’s a large loser.

If you do insist on using a Martingale Baccarat doubling system most players will suggest using baccarat score card to look for trends. For example if over the past eight results read, 2-P, 2-B, 2-P, 2-B, than the next bet would be P (player). There is no mathematical evidence to support such as system and the math side of us wants to break it down and debunk it, however what we’ll say is casinos are generally filled with nice dressed, high stakes Asian whales who believe strongly in such systems.

Baccarat Bonus Offers

Perhaps the best advice we can give you in baccarat is to avoid betting the Tie. This is a sucker with over a 14% house edge at most casinos. The second best advice we can give you is to take advantage of bonuses. Below are the two casinos we know of that offer bonuses to Baccarat players, most restrict it due to Baccarat having a very low house edge.

Bet365 (No USA) – Baccarat bets count as 25% their value toward clearing the Bet365 Casino 100% up to $200 sign up bonus which has a 20 time rollover, as well as their 100% up to $1,000 bonus which has a 30 time rollover. To learn more or to get started playing online Baccarat visit Bet365 Casino.

Bodog (USA Welcome) – offers a 10% instant cash bonus which requires only a 15 time rollover on bonus plus deposit amount. Bodog is the only casino we know of that gives 100% rollover credit for Baccarat play. To get started, visit the Bodog Casino website.

To learn more about other casino games continue navigating our website.

© 2010 Online Casino - All Rights Reserved.