At LeoVegas, our mission statement is to be the King of Casino, and in order to do that, we strive to host some of the best available table games. One of those popular games is, of course, baccarat. A staple in many land-based and live casino environments, the baccarat game is all about choosing which hand you think will win, whether that is the banker's hand, the dealer's hand or whether it's a draw.
However, before you play baccarat online, one of the key elements will be learning how to play baccarat; this includes the rules which will be involved within many online baccarat games, such as how to potentially place a winning bet and what casino baccarat games are on offer in a controlled live casino environment.
Place a bet at your favourite felt table and enjoy baccarat betting at LeoVegas, where you can find many variants of the game that are played with multiple decks of cards, so there is always the chance you can win big. But before you start, here we’ll give you all the information you need on how to play baccarat.
There are a few different versions of baccarat, some of which are games from different regions of the world which take elements from the original. But the basics across the majority of them are the same.
The main version played in many online casino venues is “punto banco”, and that's what many people simply refer to as “baccarat”.
Within this game, players bet on the outcome before four cards are dealt onto the baccarat table, two cards for each hand, one labelled as ‘player's hand’ and the other labelled as ‘banker's hand’.
The aim of the game is to successfully predict the game results, namely the winning hand that will achieve a value that is closest to 9.
Hand values are different in baccarat to what they are in other live casino games, as different cards will either not be used or will combine to make the total.
The value of a hand is the combined total of all cards, but if the total is a two-digit number, you drop the left-hand digit. For example, a hand of 6 and 8 creates a total of 14, which would be a 4 in baccarat. Cards from Ace to 9 are worth face value (with an Ace being worth 1), while 10s and Face Cards are worth 0 if you follow traditional baccarat rules.
As with many table games, including Dragon Tiger Live, the options for players to place wagers on will be laid out in front of you. There are different segments on the table specifically designed for player bets. In fact, there are three bets in total that players can make. These are a banker win, a player win or a tie.
Players who wish to take a note out of the book of James Bond simply place chips of their desired value into the corresponding section, wagering on the three possible game results, in which the Banker wins, the Player wins, or a Tie.
There are also a few specialist side bets that players can wager on, but these don’t appear as standard in every game of baccarat and can vary between each version with our Live Baccarat Collection, and so we won’t cover them here.
As you learn how to play baccarat, you'll become more aware of the different bets on offer in the game, and although both the player and banker bets are on offer to players, you'll need to know all of them in more detail.
Player Bets You should place a player bet if you believe the player hand will win the round of baccarat outright. If you’re correct in your prediction, this bet pays out at 1/1. There is also an additional bet which can be placed on the player hand, which is the player pair, and this is betting on whether the first cards dealt will be a pair.
Banker Bets The banker bet is similar to the player bet. If the banker's hand wins, it pays 1/1, but it is actually slightly more likely than the player bet. To combat this, you will generally be charged a 5% commission by the casino on any winning banker bet, although not in LeoVegas’ No Commission Baccarat.
Tie Bet If the final value of both the banker and the player hands get the same points, it is a Tie. Winning bets on this outcome pay at 8/1 or 9/1, depending on the version of the game. If this bet wins, it means neither the player nor the banker hand is higher.
There’s no need for players to know the third card rules, as they’re pre-determined by the rules of the game, and the dealer will automatically adhere to these instructions. Players don’t have any agency or input, and the rules won’t change between casinos. However, for curious players, we’ll explain in a bit more detail. The third card will only be drawn in certain situations - never on an 8 or a 9 - and is dependent on the hand values in play.
Player's Hand The player hand will draw a third card if the initial total is between 0 and 5, but will automatically stand on any other total value. It also doesn’t matter if the player is “beating” the banker's hand 4-2, for example, the rule of the third card will always apply.
Banker's Hand The third card rule for the banker hand is more complex than for the player hand. Here is a brief summary of these rules:
The banker will draw a third card if the total is 0, 1, or 2.
If a player draws a third card, the banker draws a third card if the initial banker hand is 3 and the player third card hand value is anything other than an 8.
If the banker hand is a 4, a third card is drawn if the player third card hand value is between 2 and 7.
If the banker hand is a 5, a third card is drawn if the player third card hand value is between 4 and 7.
The banker hand will only add a third card if the player third card hand value is 6 or 7.
Baccarat Unlike ‘blackjack’, which refers to the best possible hand, the name of this game actually refers to the lowest scoring hand value possible, that of zero.
Burning Between games and after shuffling, between three and six cards are discarded.
La Grand Natural (Natural Win) This is the best hand in baccarat and refers to a two-card hand that totals 9. This is also called a natural win.
La Petit Natural This is the second based hand in baccarat, a hand that totals 8.
Punto Banco Punto Banco is an alternative name for the standard version of baccarat.
Baccarat is a game of luck, and there is no player input during the game. All the actions for hands are pre-determined, rather than allowing players to choose whether they want a third card or not.
The banker bet is often considered the best to play in baccarat due to the lower house edge. However, 5% of wins will generally be paid as commission to the casino, so it levels the playing field somewhat.
Part of the draw of baccarat is the fact that neither hand can go bust, as the winner is determined by the points value of the cards drawn. However, if the first two cards in the hand total a double-digit number, the first digit will always be eliminated.
###Does Baccarat Require Skill? Part of the draw for players is that baccarat requires very little skill as it's a simple guessing game. Other than being able to place a chosen wager on the corresponding area on the casino table, players need to let the game unfold.
Baccarat chemin de fer is the original version of baccarat which has now been adapted to the version used in modern American casinos and online casinos.
Baccarat is one of the most played live casino games at LeoVegas, and as such, we have a diversity of variants of the game like Speed Baccarat, where you can now put what you’ve learned in this guide into practice is you so wish.