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PokerNews Baccarat Guide: How to Play & Win at Baccarat

It's got Vegas, Monte Carlo, and James Bond all wrapped into one package, but what is Baccarat all about - and how do you play?

Whether you know your way around a baccarat game already, or want to dip a toe into this classic casino game, the PokerNews Baccarat Guide is here for you!

Read on to find out the basics of playing baccarat as a beginner, taking your game to the next level with a baccarat strategy, and where to play baccarat online at a real money casino.

Start your Baccarat journey with PokerNews...

  • Learn more about how to play baccarat.
  • Find out where to play real money baccarat online and where to play for free.
  • See which casinos offer live dealer baccarat.

Latest Online Baccarat Bonuses

Even better than learning about baccarat, is starting off with a casino bonus to play for real! You can find the latest and best casino bonuses for playing baccarat at a real money casino in your location via the links below:

See even more online casino bonuses!

What is Baccarat?

Often seen as one of the more 'mysterious' casino games, baccarat is a card game played in a casino, between two people, 'the Player', and 'the Dealer'. It is often seen as a less popular game than the big hitters like Roulette and Blackjack, but it has the same origins in Renaissance Europe, with games played in both Italy and France from the 15th century onwards.

The most popular form of the game, Punto Banco, was developed in France following the legalization of gambling there in the early 20th century, and it's this version which is the closest to the modern game.

How Does Punto Banco Work?

Most baccarat games you will find at casinos in the US, Canada, UK and elsewhere in Europe, are in truth actually Punto Banco games. Punto banco pits the Player ('Punto'), against the Banker or Bank ('Banco') and the casino where the game is being played provides a Croupier to deal cards and to take responsibility for the playing out hands.

The playing of hands in punto banco is governed by fixed drawing rules, known as the 'Tableau'. The tableau dictates the rules of playing for both the Player and Banker if they aren't dealt a total of 8 or 9 in the first two cards.

We've outlined the Tableau of drawing rules in the table below:
Total of CardsPlayer's RuleBanker's Rule
2 or lessDraw a third cardDraw a third card.
3Draw a third cardDraw a third card unless the Player's third card is an 8.
4Draw a third cardDraw a third card if the Player's third card is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
5Draw a third cardDraw a third card if the Player's third card is 4, 5, 6, or 7.
6StandDraw a third card if the Player's third card is a 6 or 7.

How to Play Baccarat Online

In baccarat, the goal of the game is to successfully bet on the winning side, rather than betting on your own hand, as in many other casino card games. The three outcomes you can bet on are:

  • The Banker's Bet
  • The Player's Bet
  • A Tie Bet
The online version of baccarat is very similar to the game you would play in a casino, just with specific actions performed with a mouse click or swipe of the hand. You can click various buttons on the screen to determine actions and to make decisions about bets.

Two hands are dealt onscreen, one for the Player and one for the Banker. The cards are totaled to determine the value of each hand (shown as points, and if the total is a two-digit number, only the second digit is used (e.g. 9+3 = 12, total = 2 points). The person who gets closest to nine points wins the hand.

If both the Banker and Player have the same total, this is a Tie, and only bets on the Tie are paid out (other bets are returned to their respective players).

Baccarat on mobile

Baccarat Betting Strategy

When it comes to betting on Baccarat, the house edge favors betting on the Banker (1.06%), compared to the House Edge for the Player's bet (1.24%). That's all there is to it, more or less. However, you should also be familiar with all elements of managing your bankroll, exactly as you would for poker, resultado loteria federal, and other casino games. You should always remember that all casino games come with an element of chance, and therefore there is some variance in terms of the amount you'll win or lose, and your bankroll should reflect this variance.

Read more about how to play baccarat with our Baccarat Beginners Guide >

...and you can also watch the video below:

Best Sites to Play Online Baccarat for Real Money

Although baccarat is less widespread than resultado loteria federal and roulette, the online version of baccarat is still a great approximation plus it makes sense to practice online and learn the game that way, especially if you're a beginner.

Luckily if you want to start playing baccarat, there are more than a few online casinos that provide at least one game to play. Usually, these are found in the 'Casino Games' or 'Table Games' section of a casino site.

See the Top Sites to Play Real Money Baccarat >

You can check out the casino offers at our top recommended online casinos listed below, but it's also worth taking a moment to see our casino reviews, where we examine the offering from each of these providers.

Note, the casinos you see below will be determined by your location and whether or not real money gambling is licensed where you live.

Where to Play Online Baccarat for Free

If you're not quite ready to play with real money when playing baccarat, or maybe you live somewhere without legal online gambling, you can check out a free online games site. These sites, sometimes called 'social casinos', offer free-to-play casino games and slots where you play for fun.

In addition, some real money casinos will also allow new players to try out casino games, including baccarat, for free - either by way of a bonus or through a 'demo play' feature. So even if you're a baccarat beginner, it's still worth researching what online casinos have on offer.

Play Live Dealer Baccarat Games

Like many casino games, you have the option of playing baccarat with a live dealer. This is a great hybrid option if you like the idea of playing in live casino but also want the convenience and flexibility of playing at an online casino.

All of the top-rated online casinos that we recommend provide a live dealer casino category on their websites (and some also extend this to their mobile app). We'd always mention names like FanDuel Casino, PokerStars Casino, 888casino, bet365 Casino, and PartyCasino, if you're looking to get involved in live dealer baccarat in your location.

For Canadian players, we'd suggest taking a look at JackpotCity Casino and its exceptional live dealer casino. They provide an Ontario specific casino site and also a JackpotCity Casino platform for players residing elsewhere.

Read our full guide to Live Dealer Baccarat >

Baccarat FAQs

Can you play baccarat online?Yes, baccarat at an online casino works in much the same way as the live casino version, only you're playing against the online casino rather than a real person. Many of the actions you would take playing on a real baccarat table are replaced by clicking or tapping specific options on a screen, but the rules and your baccarat strategy would remain the same.
Can you win at baccarat?Although baccarat is a game of chance, by learning the rules and applying a strategy, you can increase your chances of winning at baccarat. However always be aware that the outcome is largely based on the cards you are dealt, and therefore, luck plays a big part in the outcome of a hand.
Can you play baccarat online for real money?Yes most real money online casinos offer a version of baccarat for casino players. There are usually fewer versions of baccarat than for resultado loteria federal or roulette, but you'll still be able to play an online version or with a live dealer.
What are the best online casinos for playing baccarat?Your choice of online casinos will be governed by your location, but our favorites include: FanDuel Casino, 888casino, JackpotCity Casino, bet3656 Casino, and PokerStars Casino.
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