Baccarat is a card game developed in France. It originated as a casino game where you played against the house, but when gambling was outlawed in France the game was turned into a private home-game where one of the players had to assume the role of bank. Eventually, the French ban was lifted, and baccarat turned back into a casino game. Today, baccarat is played in casinos world wide and is especially popular among high rollers. Many casinos have special baccarat rooms for high rollers, where they can wager huge amounts in privacy.
You can play baccarat or punto banco in almost all online casinos. Punto banco is a simplified version of Baccarat. Click the link if you want to see a list of online casinos that offer a good selection of baccarat games.
Baccarat is usually played with six or eight decks shuffled together, but there are exceptions so always check the specific table you wish to play at. It is for instance possible to find casinos that offer single deck baccarat.
The standard 52 card deck is used for baccarat. No jokers or other wild cards are used.
In a game of baccarat, you don’t have a private hand and you don’t get to make any decisions regarding the cards. There are two hands placed on the table: Punto and Banco. At the start of a new round, before any cards are dealt, you can make three different wagers:
- Wager on a Punto win.
- Wager on a Banco win.
- Wager on a tie between Punto and Banco (this bet is called Egalité).
The point system
- Ace 1 point
- King 0 points
- Queen 0 points
- Jack 0 points
- Ten 0 points
- Nine 9 points
- Eight 8 points
- Seven 7 points
- Six 6 points
- Five 5 points
- Four 4 points
- Three 3 points
- Two 2 points
What is this hand worth?
To find out what a hand is worth, you add the value of the individual cards together.
Example: A hand consisting of a five and a two is worth 5 + 2 = 7 points. The suits are of no consequence in baccarat.
If you end up with a point value that exceeds nine, the rightmost digit determines the hand value.
Example: You see a hand consisting of a nine and a five. 9 + 5 = 14 points. This hand is worth 4 points, since 4 is the rightmost digit.
Which hand is best?
The best possible hand in baccarat is worth 9 points. (This is also the highest point value possible.)
The closer to 9 points, the better the hand. A 7 point hand is better than a 6 point hand, but will be beaten by an 8 point hand, and so on.
What can I win?
- If you bet on Punto and the Punto hand beats the Banco hand, you are paid 1:1 on your wager.
- If you bet on Banco and the Banco hand beats the Punto hand, you are paid 19:20 on your wager. (The casino takes a 5% rake here, that is why you’re not getting paid 1:1 on a Banco win.)
- If you bet on Egalité and there is a tie between Punto and Banco, you are paid 8:1 on your wager.
N.B! Always check the specific paytable at the table you wish to play at.