Baccarat Basics

Baccarat is a card game that relies on luck. It is a game that players can only play within their own limits. It is recommended to set a budget before playing and stick to it.

The first two cards determine if the player or banker will draw a third card. A hand with a value of 8 or 9 is called a “natural” and does not require any further cards to be drawn.

Game rules

Baccarat rules can be a bit confusing, and there are a few things to keep in mind when playing the game. One important rule is that winning a hand does not affect the outcome of the next hand. Players must wait for the dealer to pay their winning wagers. This is done to ensure that all wagers are paid out in order and not mixed up.

Once the player and banker each receive two cards, they must compare them to see which hand has a total closest to nine. Each hand’s total is determined by the ones digit. In the case of a tie, a commission is sometimes paid out on the winning bet.

While baccarat has been played in casinos from sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, it remains a casino game that’s shrouded in mystery. This is partly because it requires a minimum bet of $20-$25, which is quite high for many players.


Baccarat offers a simple gameplay that is based on chance, making it an ideal choice for players who prefer games with low house edges. However, the lack of complexity in this game can make it feel a bit bland. This is why some baccarat enthusiasts try to spice things up by using side bets.

Depending on the establishment and platform, some side bets in baccarat can pay out up to nine times the initial wager. Some of the most popular bets include Player Pair and Banker Pair, which both pay out if the first two cards dealt to either the player or banker are a pair.

To maximise your profits in baccarat, you should practise good stake management. You can do this by starting small bets and increasing them when you win. It is also a good idea to set staking limits before you start playing. This will help you control your losses and win streaks.


There are a few different payouts available in baccarat. A winning Player or Banker bet pays out even money (with no commission) and a win on a Tie results in a payout of 8:1. There are also a few side bets that offer higher payouts, such as the Big and Small or the Tiger Pair. These side bets pay based on the poker value of the first two cards in the Banker and Player hands. A winning nine in these side bets is worth eight points, but a total above 9 requires dropping the first digit.

Edge sorting became a hot topic in baccarat after Phil Ivey won millions from casinos that denied him payouts for his bets. While edge sorting is not illegal, it is important to know the rules of the game before betting cash. In addition, you should always play at a casino that offers fair odds and return to player percentages.


There are many baccarat variations, but most have very little effect on the overall game rules. One notable variation is Squeeze Baccarat, which allows players to bend, twist and squeeze the cards as they’re dealt. This is an optional ritual that doesn’t affect the outcome of the game, but adds tactile fun for players.

Another popular variant is European baccarat, which has a low house edge on both the banker and player sides of the bet. The game follows the same rules as classic baccarat, except that all face cards are worth zero and the Ace is worth one point. In addition, totals above nine require dropping the first digit.

EZ baccarat is another variation that offers even money on winning banker and player bets, without charging the house the 5% commission it usually charges on banker bets. It also features an additional side bet called Dragon 7 and Panda 8. This bet pays 40-to-1 instead of pushing when the banker wins with a three-card seven.