Become a Master of Baccarat in Less than 3 Minutes
An analysis of 190 studies carried out by Marc Brysbaert of Ghent University found that the average adult reads 238 words per minute. This means that in the next roughly 700 words, you will learn all you need to start playing online baccarat. Ready, Set, Go!
The Basics of Baccarat
In this article, we will be discussing the standard commission version of Punto Banco baccarat found at online casinos. The aim of the game is incredibly straightforward. You are simply betting on which of two hand positions will have a total closer to 9 once all the cards are dealt.
The game involves two positions competing against each other, the “Player” and the “Banker”. However, these are just labels, meaning that it is possible for you to bet on either of them, not just “Player”. They could actually be called anything. Furthermore, it is also possible to bet on a Tie.
In baccarat, the cards are dealt from multiple decks, normally either 6 or 8. Before a round starts, you simply need to place your chips on the relevant betting position. That is, in fact, the only player interaction in the entire game; the dealer will take care of the rest.
The First Two Cards
The game flow is actually very straightforward. After you have placed your bets, the dealer deals two cards face-up to each position (player first, then dealer). What happens next depends on the hand values, which is what we shall explain next.
Baccarat Hand Values
In baccarat, cards have the following values:
- Aces are worth 1 point.
- Cards from 2 to 9 are worth their face value.
- 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings have no value; they are worth 0 points.
The total value of a hand is calculated by adding the value of all the cards in that hand. If the sum exceeds 9 points, only the last digit is used. For example, a hand consisting of a 7 and an 8 (which adds up to 15) is worth 5 points.
After the First Two Cards
Once the first two cards are dealt, if either position has a total of 8 or 9 points, then it is called a ‘natural’ and that position wins.
If there is no natural, then a third card may be dealt. These rules are a little complicated, and you don’t actually need to understand them as the dealer will take care of it. However, here they are:
- For the Player – A third card is drawn if the total points from the first two cards are 5 or less. If the player has 6 or 7 points, the hand stands and does not receive a third card.
- For the Banker – If the player stands, the banker draws a third card when holding 0 to 5 points and stands with 6 or 7 points. If the player draws a third card, the banker’s action depends on the value of the player’s third card and the banker’s own total points, as guided by a predefined set of rules.
The hand totals are then calculated and winning bets are paid out.
Baccarat Payouts are very simple. A winning Player bet pays even money, a winning Banker bet pays even money minus a 5% commission (this is because the third card rule statistically favors the banker), and a winning Tie bet pays 8:1 or 9:1, depending on the version of the game.
Quick Baccarat Strategy Tips
Here are some basic strategy tips to get you started:
- Only bet on the Banker – The reason there is a commission on banker bets is that it is statistically most likely to win.
- Don’t bet on a Tie – The house edge is enormous.
25 Seconds to Go
According to the average reading speed research by Brysbaert, you should be about 2 minutes and 35 seconds into this guide and now equipped with all the knowledge you need to start playing baccarat. Next, you should find a game you can play in demo mode, start practicing, and then try your luck at your favorite baccarat online casino.