How To Play Baccarat: Step by Step Guide | LeoVegas Casino

How to Play Baccarat Online: A Beginner’s Guide

Baccarat - Your grandmother’s French crystal or the popular casino game? Let’s tackle this live casino game in this blog post! We’ll take you through the ins and outs of this classic game with a simple and thorough guide on how to play online baccarat for beginners. Scroll down, and you’ll be ready to play in no time!

Table of Content:


How to play Baccarat - Step by Step

Here is a short step-by-step guide on how to play baccarat:

  • Place Your Bets
  • Deal the Cards
  • Calculate the Scores
  • Determine if a Third Card is Needed
  • Draw the Third Card (optional)
  • Compare the scores

Basic Rules of Baccarat

Although baccarat may seem as difficult to understand as it is to pronounce (it’s BA-KUH-RAA, in case you were wondering), this live casino game is much less complex than you might think! Each game has several rounds where players start by placing their bets. A player can bet one of the following:

  • Player’s Hand
  • Banker’s Hand
  • Tie (Tie Bet)

These terms may be confusing for beginners trying to understand the game's mechanics. There are no individual hands in baccarat online - anyone at the table can bet on either of two hands; the Player’s Hand and the banker's hand or the Banker’s Hand.

Once all bets have been placed, four cards are drawn by the dealer; two cards go to the Player’s Hand and another two to the Banker’s Hand. If the Player’s Hand value ranges between 0 and 5, the dealer draws a third card for the Player’s Hand (this is determined by Third Card Rules, which we’ll explore further on).

The drawn card determines whether another card is drawn for the Banker’s Hand. However, no more cards are drawn for either hand if the Player’s Hand is 6 or 7. The rules of the game state that up to three cards can be drawn for either the Player's or Banker’s Hand.

Did you know? The modern version of Baccarat is thought to have originated in 15th-century Italy, with the first official set of rules being devised by a man named Felix Falguiere. Falguire played the original game with a deck of Tarot cards.

Third Card Rules

When playing Baccarat, once the dealer has drawn two cards to the Player’s Hand and two cards to the Banker’s Hand, if neither of the pair totals at eight or nine, a third card may be dealt - subject to the total value of the Player’s Hand, scenarios where a third card may be dealt are referred to as third card rules - understanding these scenarios will give you a better grasp on how baccarat is played.

When the Player’s Hand stays at two cards, the Banker’s Hand follows the same rules: if the hand value ranges from 0-5, then the third card is required; if the hand value is at 6 or 7 then it will stand. This is best illustrated in the baccarat chart:

Baccarat Third Card Rules Player

Baccarat Third Card Rule Banker

First, the dealer locates the Player’s third card in the top row of the above chart. After that, the dealer must determine the Banker’s Hand with the left column. From here, the dealer uses the left column and top right row to decide whether to draw or stand, as represented in our chart by D and S.

If the chart tells the dealer to Draw, Banker draws the third card. However, no more cards are required if the chart reveals a Stand.

Baccarat Cards Values

Baccarat uses four, six or eight cards, each with a different value. Knowing the card values in this popular card game is important, as this can help you become more familiar and play to win.

As with most card games, baccarat uses a series of decks of 52 cards that are shuffled numerous times. Every deck of 52 cards is split into four suits as follows:

  • 13 Clubs
  • 13 Diamonds
  • 13 Hearts
  • 13 Spades

Each suit of cards dealt out contains an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, and numbered cards from 2 to 10. In baccarat the cards are valued as follows:

  • Ace - 1
  • King, Queen, Jack, 10 - 0
  • 2 - 9 - Face value

Baccarat Hand Values

If you’re new to baccarat, you may find the way hand values are worked out somewhat unusually, however, once you grasp this, you’ll find it’s quite simple. Referring to the above table, you’ll notice that some hands are valued at 0. This is common if a hand holds Kings, Queens, Jacks or 10s. However, the main reason for this would be a hand value that exceeds 9.

Moreover, when the hand value surpasses 9, the first digit of the number is dropped. Let’s illustrate this with an example:

A hand is made up of a Queen (0), a Nine of Hearts (9), and an Ace (1) - the card values add up to 10, however, since the first digit is dropped we are left with a hand value of 0.

Did you know? The name Baccarat is believed to originate from the old italian word for zero, “baccara” - hence the game being named after the worst hand you could be dealt.

Baccarat Chips

If you’ve played live casino games before, you’ll know that chips are used to reflect your stake. These can be seen on the bottom of your screen and have specific colours representing monetary value. These may vary between casino providers, so clarifying your chip values before placing any bets is a good rule of thumb. As a game, Baccarat provides a relatively low chip value ranging from as low as $1 to $50.


This one’s for our strategic players and comes in handy if you like to plan ahead! Scorecards record previous round outcomes, which may be helpful when deciding which hand to place your bet on. You can find them at the bottom of the baccarat table, sorted by colour:

  • Blue Circle - Win from the Player’s Hand
  • Red Circle - Win from the Banker’s Hand
  • Green Circle - Win from a Tie

Scorecards are split into two categories, Bead Road and Big Road, which can be viewed on the left and right of your screen respectively.

The Bead Road is displayed on the top left corner and lists the earliest win, with each recent result following within the same column.

The Big Road can be seen on the right and lists winning streaks, whereby each column reflects successive wins from a placed bet.

Did you know? Players in land-based casinos track their gameplay themselves, using good old-fashioned pen and paper to mark down results. Lucky for us online casinos do all the work for you with Scorecards!

Play Baccarat at LeoVegas Live Casino

You’ve made it to the end of this beginner’s guide to online baccarat. Congratulations! You’re ready to have a seat at the LeoVegas Live Casino table and test your skills. Then head over to the Live Baccarat Lobby and delve into the fun!

Baccarat Rules FAQ

How is baccarat played?

Baccarat game is much easier to understand than blackjack or poker. First, place your bet on a banker, Player or Tie. Then the cards are dealt, and the hand closest to a value of 9 wins.

Is baccarat a game of skill or luck?

Baccarat is based mostly on luck compared to other casino card games since players’ decisions are limited.

Where did baccarat come from?

According to historians, baccarat originated in Italy in the 1400s. Felix Falguiere, or Falguierein invented the game, which he termed “baccara.” Baccara is the Italian word for zero. Because all the face cards and tens were worth 0, he gave the game its name.

What is a commission in baccarat?

A 5% commission is taken on winning bets on the Banker’s hand.

Should I place tie bets in baccarat?

When choosing to bet on the players, the dealer, or a tie in baccarat, the tie bet has the biggest house edge, making it the least likely to occur.

Should I bet on the banker in baccarat?

The banker bet has the best winning odds and a 5% commission on the payout.

What are the drawing rules for the third card in baccarat?

The banker draws a third card if the Player’s hand value ranges from zero to five after the cards are dealt. Check the baccarat chart above to learn when the third card is drawn.

What are the main baccarat variations?

The most popular variations of baccarat in online casinos are Punto Banco, Mini Baccarat, and No Commission Baccarat tables. There is also a Chemin de fer baccarat variant, however, it is not available in online casinos.

How many decks are used in baccarat?

Usually, baccarat is played with six to eight decks.

When both the banker and a player have a 6 after the initial deal, is it considered a draw?

Yes, since both the Player and banker do not draw additional cards.

Can I count cards in baccarat?

Some card techniques can be used in baccarat, however, in general, and are considered less effective compared to card counting in blackjack.

What is the house edge in baccarat?

The house edge is 1.06% when betting on the Banker’s hand and 1.24% on the Player’s hand.

The house edge when betting on a tie is 14.4%. Despite the large payouts, there is a small probability that this bet will win.

What is a natural win in baccarat?

In baccarat, a natural win is a two-card hand totalling 8 or 9, for either the Player or the banker.

What are the main side bets in baccarat?

The main side bets in baccarat are the perfect pair and dragon bonus. Check out more about baccarat side bets in our guide!

What kind of baccarat does James Bond play?

In the novels, James Bond plays Chemin de fer baccarat which is mostly played in land-based casinos in France.

Read more about baccarat in our guides: