Las Vegas Baccarat Guide | LeoVegas

How to Play Baccarat in Las Vegas

Las Vegas was founded way back in 1905. Baccarat has roots in much earlier years, potentially as far back as the 15th century. Yet, despite time, distance, and the oceans between them, this storied pair would come together on the Nevada sands, in around 1959.

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Las Vegas baccarat tables work just like their online variant. The difference is that there may be only a single rule set available - Punto Banco. This form of baccarat asks the player to guess whether the player or banker will win, or the game will tie.

That’s not to say that creativity has vacated the Strip. Variants such as Mini and Midi baccarat have a following in land-based casinos so we’ll introduce you to those today.

Let’s start at the beginning, with baccarat 101. Alternatively, leap straight into action by visiting our table games section.

Las Vegas Baccarat Rules

As we’ve hinted at already, each game of Punto Banco can go one of three ways. The player simply needs to place a bet on one of these outcomes. This bet will always be determined by your bankroll, something we’ll come to shortly.

The role of banker always goes to the dealer in Punto Banco, something that distinguishes it from other variants of baccarat like Chemin de Fer, where anybody can serve as a banker. This means that the action in Punto Banco is short and simple, and there are no decisions to be made.

The dealer and the player are dealt two cards each, in Las Vegas baccarat, both face-up, from a shoe of eight decks. The winner is the person with the value closest to 9. That’s basically it for Punto Banco - but there are a few extra rules that switch up the gameplay.

For example, baccarat uses the same hit-or-stand mechanic as blackjack. A value of 8 or 9 on either side forces the player and dealer to stand, while a player hand worth less than 5 must hit, thus receiving a third card. The dealer will also hit with a 5 or less if the player stands.

The good news is that, unlike blackjack, the action in Punto Banco is automatic. You’re not going to be standing when you should’ve hit - and you don’t need a basic strategy. Of course, these quirks are always easier to understand in practice so use the demo modes in our online baccarat games to your advantage.

Baccarat Variations

Traditional Baccarat

The most traditional form of baccarat, codified in the late 19th century, is known as Baccarat Banque. It's rare today, even in its native Europe, but its unusual rules offer a contrast to the simplicity of Punto Banco.

Baccarat Banque uses two tables and includes an initial 'challenge' round, in which a player can duel for the banker's stake right there and then, regardless of how many other players are at the table. All they have to do is say "banco".

Don’t be alarmed by all these terms. At a casino, you're unlikely to ever hear the words Baccarat Banque, Punto Banco, or Chemin de Fer ever again. It’s safe to assume that all land-based establishments in North America are playing Punto Banco.

Punto Banco has some things in common with 3 card poker, in that it’s a dealer vs. player game that’s been modified for casino play. There’s no skill involved, it’s over quickly, and the only thing required is a bet on the deal. Put another way, it’s an easier version of a classic game.

One thing you should be aware of is the side bet. These vary hugely from casino to casino but, essentially, side bets allow the player to make bets on things outside the usual rules of the game. This might be something like the combined total of all four cards drawn, or a bet on a total of 9 appearing in either hand (a ‘natural’).

Mini Baccarat

Everything is smaller in Mini Baccarat, including the table and how much you’re allowed to bet. It’s also a much faster game.


It’s, perhaps, best to think of Midi and Midi Baccarat as on a sliding speed and difficulty scale up to the ‘bigger’ versions of the game. So, Midi is smaller and faster than Punto Banco - but not quite as tiny and electric as Mini Baccarat.

How much does it Cost to play Baccarat in Las Vegas?

The term ‘bankroll’ is thrown around a lot in casino circles, not least because it will determine the quality of your experience in Las Vegas or, indeed, online. Your bankroll is how much money you set aside to play games like baccarat or slots. There’s no single answer to questions about bankrolls, as each person’s financial situation is unique. You always want to play sensibly and within your means and be prepared to walk away when the experience is no longer enjoyable.

Players on Reddit suggest a bankroll for a full day’s play at between $500 - $2,000 but, as minimum bets start at $5 in some places, going up to about $25, there are no restrictions on who can play baccarat in Las Vegas. As a rule of thumb, the cost of any game increases with proximity to the Strip, the heart of Las Vegas’ gambling community.

Las Vegas Baccarat Table Limits

There are about 50 casinos on the Strip and nearby Fremont Street, combined. The highest max bet for baccarat is $30,000 at Cosmopolitan, closely followed by $25,000 at Caesars Palace, Palazzo, and Venetian, which sets the lowest minimum bet of the quartet at $25.

On the low end of the scale, you can play for $5 at South Point, Boulder Station, and El Cortez. These all have maximum bet limits in the low thousands.

Tips for Playing Baccarat in Las Vegas

Your chances of winning in any casino game are influenced by the house edge, a term that describes how much commission the casino takes from your bet. This ranges from 1.06% on a banker bet to 14.36% on a tie. The player bet has an edge of 1.24%.

Already, we can see that the tie bet is ill-advised, while the banker bet (51% chance) is the best choice overall. Yet, while the banker bet is the safest, it also has the lowest payout potential. You can probably guess what the most rewarding outcome is, at 8:1 but with a low 9.52% chance of succeeding - the tie bet.

Betting in baccarat ultimately comes down to a balance of risk vs reward. Like bankroll management, a player’s decision to push one way or another is highly personal.

Related to all this is the concept of baccarat strategies. Now, we've already mentioned that Punto Banco is an entirely luck-based experience (and that's still true) but it is possible to bet in ways that protect your bankroll. Remember, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed win at a casino.

Players of roulette might be familiar with terms like Martingale, d’Alembert, Fibonacci, Labouchere, and Paroli, strategies that task the player with doubling up on a loss to recoup tokens faster (Martingale) or betting according to sequences of numbers (Fibonacci).

These all work in baccarat, too. The problem is, they offer no guarantees of success - and the perils associated with doubling on a loss are plain to see.

Where to Play Baccarat in Las Vegas

Despite its lengthy history, baccarat’s popularity in Las Vegas is a modern thing. The game didn’t take off in the States until after the millennium, despite a huge presence in other parts of the world. In Macau, for example, a former Portuguese colony in China, taxes from baccarat represent almost 90% of total gaming income.

You'll find the usual suspects on lists of the best baccarat casinos in Las Vegas, namely Caesars ($25-$200 min bet), Aria ($50-$500), Bellagio ($25-$500), and Gold Coast, where hands can be played for just $10. The game isn’t rare by any means, though, so you’ll find it at places as diverse as Hard Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Wynn, and The D.

Las Vegas Baccarat FAQs

Can you play baccarat in Vegas?

Absolutely. Along with slots, blackjack, and roulette, baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in Las Vegas. Play it on the Strip or head off-Strip for lower minimum bet values.

Why is baccarat so famous?

Part of baccarat's fame comes from its longevity. It's been around for hundreds of years. It can also be an easy, quick, and inexpensive casino game.

What are the odds on baccarat in Las Vegas?

In the Punto Banco version of baccarat, the odds are 1.06% on a banker bet, 1.24% on a player bet, and 14.36% on a tie bet.

What should I wear to play baccarat in Las Vegas?

Casinos generally operate a smart casual or formal dress code, which effectively eliminates things like t-shirts, shorts, jeans, sportswear, and sneakers.

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