How to Play Three-Card Baccarat | LeoVegas

How to Play Three Card Baccarat

Whether you're starting out with three-card baccarat or an expert player looking to refresh your fundamentals, you've come to the right place. Here at LeoVegas, we want to make sure that you’ll get the most out of your time here. That’s why we've put together this handy guide to a game that continues to grow in popularity

So, if you want to know a little more about the game and the rules of how to play baccarat, or just need a slight refresher on the game's odds, we’re here to help.


What is Three-Card Baccarat?

Designed to be a faster-paced version of the baccarat which comes from Europe, this new variation is believed to have first appeared in Asia, specifically in Macau.

As we said, you’re meant to play this at a faster pace by using half of the cards that are used in the traditional game. So, instead of using six cards, you only play with, as the name of the game suggests, three cards.

With these changes, three-card baccarat quickly adopted the name 'mini baccarat'. This variation has become popular because the rules are also simpler, making it easier to learn. Plus, it’s faster to play too.

So what are the rules of three-card baccarat and how do you win?

Three-Card Baccarat Rules

Lots of people find this game to be simpler and easier to learn than other variants, especially for beginners. So, let's take a look at how to play.

To start with, two sides are involved when playing three-card baccarat. The first is you, the player. The second is the dealer, also known as the banker. Your aim as the player is to have a higher value from your cards than the banker.

Each side is then dealt three cards, each with its numerical value assigned. The value of the cards is as follows:

  • Tens and Face Cards (Jack, Queen and King) = 0 points
  • Aces = 1 point
  • Number Cards = The value shown on the card (Two would be worth 2 points, Five is 5 points, etc.)

To win, the value of your cards has to be higher than that of the banker, much like in blackjack. However, the highest value you can have in your hand is nine. So, you might be wondering what happens when you have three cards that are worth more than nine points?

Well, once the value of your cards surpasses nine, the score basically resets itself. Or to put it in an easier way to understand, you would take 10 points off every time you surpass nine points. For example, if you were dealt a five, three and a seven, you would have 15 points. You would then take away 10 points, leaving you with a score of five points.

If both sides end up with the same points, then the game is usually a tie and neither side wins. Although some variations of the game do have alternative rules that would determine a winner, such as which side has the most face cards. So, always check the rules of the game you are playing to make sure.

Three-Card Baccarat Odds and Payouts

When it comes to playing three-card baccarat, it helps to know what the odds and payouts are for bets placed on the game. There are two types of bets you can play as well: the first is betting on the main game and the second is side bets that don't necessarily rely on the end result. Let's take a look at both.

Main Game Bets

There are three main ways the game pays out in three-card baccarat. Firstly, you have your bet as the player, this is essentially betting on the hand you are playing. The payout is 1:1, so if you wagered $10 on your game and won, you'd get $20 back in return ($10 in winnings and your $10 bet).

The second way the game can pay out is only available in some variations of the game and involves placing a bet that backs the banker to win. This also pays out at the same odds of 1:1, but you'd then have to hope that your hand loses, which does sound counterintuitive.

The final way the game pays out is if both your and the banker's hands come to the same total value. In this instance, if you back either yourself or the banker to win, you will push the bet, which means you'll get your bet back. However, if you want to bet on there being a tie then the game pays out at a ratio of 8:1. This means if you bet $10, you'll get $90 back ($80 winnings plus your $10 bet).

Side Bets

There are a variety of baccarat side bets available in certain versions of three-card baccarat. One of the most popular is betting on you being dealt a pair (on your first two cards) or a three-of-a-kind. This is usually allowed when the game is played with multiple decks of cards.

If you get an unsuited pair (a Three of Diamonds and Spades) the bet pays out at 7:1, with a suited pair (2x Three of Diamonds) paying out at 15:1. If you manage to land an unsuited three-of-a-kind (a Three of Diamonds, Spades and Hearts) it would pay out at 50:1. A suited three-of-a-kind (3x Three of Diamonds) pays out at a ratio of 500:1.

Three-Card Baccarat Tips and Strategies

Due to three-card baccarat being a game of luck with the fate of your hand being dealt to you from a shuffled deck of cards, there is no tip or strategy that we can give you that increases your chance of winning. Because if there was, it wouldn't be a game available to play at an online casino.

However, we can offer some ways to make the most of your time playing three-card baccarat at LeoVegas:

Learn How to Play

First up, go over the rules of the game and make sure you know them. Knowledge is power after all, and the more you know, the better informed your decisions about playing will be. You can also do this by playing demo versions of three-card baccarat which are free play, before committing to playing three-card baccarat with real money.

Next up, make sure to manage your bankroll when playing. Naturally, you'll be hoping to win, it's important to set a budget you can afford to lose and not go over that budget. This is because playing games should be fun, and being responsible keeps it that way.

Another tip is to avoid placing a bet on a tie when it's an available option. While the odds may seem better, this is because it is less likely to happen than either hand winning.

And finally, take advantage of any available promotions. You can find these on the LeoVegas offers page, and can offer you things like a deposit match bonus, giving you extra funds to play with. It's a great way to enhance your gaming experience and make the most of your time playing three-card baccarat.

Three-Card Baccarat FAQ

How is Three-Card Baccarat Different from Traditional Baccarat?

The biggest difference between both versions of the game is that three-card baccarat is played with fewer cards, and it players faster too.

How Many Cards Are Used on Three-Card Baccarat?

This really depends on the variation of the game that you are playing. Many standard versions of the game are played with a single deck of 52 cards. However, some variations can be played with multiple decks to allow side bets to be placed as well.

Does Classic Baccarat Have Better Odds Compared to the Three-Card Version?

The odds for both games are very similar, although three-card baccarat does have a higher house edge than that of the traditional version. In traditional baccarat, the house edge on the player's hand winning is 1.24%, whereas in three-card baccarat the house edge is 1.36%.

How to Win in Three-Card Baccarat?

The aim of winning in three-card baccarat is for your hand to have a higher value than that of the banker. The maximum score available is nine, so the closer you get to that value, the higher your chance of winning. But it’s considered a tie if the dealer gets the same value as you.

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