Baccarat Guide to learn the rules of the game

In any casino, whether land-based or online, Baccarat is very likely to be one of the card games available to play. If you’re a casual casino-goer just looking for some fun, then a simple and easy card game like Baccarat is the one for you. The Baccarat rules are easy enough to learn and it won’t take long for you to master!

In this easy and illustrated guide to playing Baccarat, you’ll learn the ins and outs of the game, as well as some strategies to help you win! Before you even think about playing though, you need to understand the fundamentals of Baccarat: what exactly is it, and how do you play?


The History of Baccarat

As previously mentioned, Baccarat is a simple card game popular in most casinos. Granted, it’s not as well-known as Poker or even Blackjack, but it’s a good place to start for casino-goers on the prowl for a game that requires less strategizing and brain work.

There are conflicting accounts as to the origins of Baccarat and how it became popular. While some sources date its origin all the way back to 15th century Italy, many others will agree that it gained popularity thanks to the 19th-century French nobility. Since casino gambling wasn’t legal yet at the time, Baccarat was mostly played in their private gambling rooms. One particular incident referred to as the royal baccarat scandal or the Tranby Croft affair in 1891 is probably what pushed Baccarat into the eye of the public. From the name itself, it involved then Prince of Wales (and who would be the future King Edward VII) catching a friend of his, lieutenant-colonel Sir William Gordon-Cumming, cheating while playing Baccarat together.

In more recent references, James Bond has played a significant role in making Baccarat even more popular. In the original novels, Bond’s favorite game is a variation of Baccarat called chemin-de-fer. There are many references to the game in the novels, as well as in TV and film adaptations. Though it was most popular in the Casino Royale novel, it was unfortunately replaced with Poker in the novel’s 2006 movie adaptation due to the poker boom ongoing at that time.

Understanding Baccarat Basics

Unlike Poker where you are playing your hand against other players, in Baccarat you’re always playing against the house. There are only three possible outcomes in every round of Baccarat: “Player”, “Banker”, or “Tie”. Essentially, you’re betting on only two hands: the Player’s and the Banker’s (i.e. the Dealer’s). The goal of Baccarat is to correctly bet on whose hand will have a higher value at the end of the round - or if their values are equal, in which case those who bet on “Tie” will win.

All cards have corresponding numerical values. Two to Nine cards are face value, while a 10, Jack, Queen, and King are given are a value of zero. The Ace card has a value of one.

The winning hand is determined by adding the values of the cards in both hands; the hand with a higher total value wins! If the hand dealt totals more than nine, then simply drop the tens value; the hand value is the digit in the ones place. For example: In this case, the total of both cards is 17, or 7. Once you’ve computed the total for both the Player and Banker, you’ll know who won and whether you’re getting a payout! The Baccarat payout rate differs per casino but in general, betting on the Player or Banker will give a 1:1 payout, while winning on a Tie will give either an 8:1 or 9:1 payout.