How to Play Baccarat | A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Written by: Sadonna Price , Expert in Online Casinos and Poker

Online baccarat is a thrilling yet simple game loved by most US gamblers. The goal is to bet whether the Player’s or Banker’s hand will win or that the game will result in a tie.

But if you’ve never played before, I’m here to help. In this in-depth guide, I will explain how to play baccarat step by step and provide strategy tips to improve your odds of winning.

Table of Contents

Steps & Tips to Become a Baccarat Genius

How to Play Baccarat

In baccarat, the goal is to predict which of the two hands (the Player’s or the Banker’s) will win.

The hand that is closer to 9 points gets the payout.

Follow this step-by-step baccarat guide to learn how to play in no time.

Learn the Value of Each Card

I recommend learning the card values and some baccarat terms first, as this is usually the most confusing part for beginners.

Baccarat Game Hand Values
  • Tens and face cards (King, Queen, Jack) are worth 0 points.
  • Aces are worth 1 point.
  • Other cards are worth their number value (2-9).

Know the Game Layout

The second step in learning to play baccarat online is understanding the game’s elements.

As you can see in the illustration below, the chip stacks and the shoe (where the cards come from) are at the top of the screen.

At the bottom, you’ll find your controls, which indicate how much money you can bet, and buttons to Rebet, Deal, and Undo.

In the middle, you get a spot for the Player’s and Banker’s hand; below that, you will get the betting options.

Baccarat Game Table Setup

Baccarat Bets

Remember that you can make any of these bets before the cards are dealt:

  • You can bet on the Player’s hand
  • You can bet on the Banker’s hand to win
  • Or bet on a tie

Place a Bet

Choose to bet on the Player, the Banker, or a Tie. You can bet on only one option per hand.

To do this, pick how much you want to bet and click on the part of the table that shows the kind of bet you want.

Your best options are the Player and Banker bets, which have roughly the same house edge. The Banker’s hand has better odds, but you have to pay a 5% commission on wins. The player hand odds are not as good.

You can see in the example below that I bet $5 to the Banker’s hand.

Baccarat Bet on Banker's Hand

Deal the Cards & Add the Points

The next step is to click on “Deal.” The player’s and Banker’s hands each receive two cards, dealt face-up.

In the example below, you can see that the Player’s hand is a King and a 4. At the same time, the Banker’s hand is 5 and 3.

Then, the game automatically adds up the points of both card sets to determine which is closer to 9.

In this case, the winner is the Banker’s hand, which has 8 points, four more than the Player’s. This is called a natural win.

Cards Dealt Baccarat Online

A quick note before we continue: If the sum of the two cards is more than 10, the second digit is counted as the hand’s value.

For example, if a hand has a 9 and 7, it would be 16, but as it takes only the last number, it becomes a hand of 6 points.

Check if the Player Gets a Third Card

As in blackjack, there are times when it is necessary to add a third card.

The Player draws first in any hand of baccarat. If the hand is between 0 and 5, the Player bet gets a third card. If it’s between 6 and 9, it doesn’t.

The Player bet has a house edge of 1.52%. When you bet on the Player’s hand, follow the baccarat rules chart below.

Baccarat Game Players Hand Rules Chart

Player Hand & Third Card

  • A third card is always drawn if the Player’s hand is 0 through 5.
  • No third card is drawn if the Player’s hand is 6 or 7. The Banker might draw a third card in this scenario.
  • If either the Player’s or Banker’s hands are 8 or 9, neither hand receives a third card. The winner of the hand is determined immediately.

Learn When the Banker Gets a Third Card

The banker bet rules follow the same actions. However, they are more complicated because they depend on the hand value the Player is holding. To help, we’ve created this baccarat rules chart.

While the software automatically plays the hand for you in an online baccarat game, you’ll enjoy the game more if you know why you received a card.

The Banker bet has a house edge of 0.79%, but you must pay a 5% commission on winning hands.

Baccarat Game Bankers Hand Rules Chart

Banker’s Hand & Third Card

  • If the hand is 0, 1, or 2, the Banker always hits if the Player hits.
  • Whenever the Banker’s hand is 3, the Banker hits unless the Player’s hand is 8.
  • If the Banker’s hand is 4, the Banker hits on a 2 through 7 but stands on 0, 1, 8, or 9.
  • If it is a 5, the Banker hits on a 4 through 7 but stands on a 0, 1, 2, 3, 8, or 9.
  • Whenever the hand is a 6, the Banker hits only when the Player’s hand is a 6 or 7.

Get to Know the Tie Bet Rules

The tie bet wins if the Player’s hand and Banker’s hand tie. This is relatively rare but has the biggest payout in baccarat. Unfortunately, the house edge is over 15%, making this a sucker bet.

Example of a Bet Tie in Baccarat

Baccarat Hand’s House Edge & Payouts

If you want to play Baccarat for real money, know that payouts vary according to the number of decks used in the shoe. The more decks used, the higher the house edge.

The differences are most considerable between one-deck and multi-deck baccarat. The table below shows the house edge according to the three most popular forms.


Strategy Tips to Win

Baccarat strategy is minimal, though wise players should be familiar with money management, the drawbacks to progressive betting, and the dangers of tie bets.

Baccarat cheats, like edge-sorting, cannot be employed against casino software, so players need to be aware that specific strategies in baccarat do not apply.

  • Avoid Progressive Betting

    Progressive betting increases the chances you’ll lose a lot of money. Martingale bet techniques and baccarat pattern strategies stipulate exponential bets, so the risk of losing your whole bankroll is much larger.
  • Stay Away from the Tie Bet

    The Tie bet is a sucker bet, worse than the house edge on any slot machine you’ve ever played.

    Never make the tie bet because you’ll lose ten times more money consistently betting on this proposition. Learn about other baccarat terms and definitions.
  • Always Bet on the Banker

    If you want a one-step strategy for baccarat betting, always make the Banker bet. The house edge is smaller despite the commission paid to the casino.
  • Avoid Making Bets Based on Previous Hands

    Results from previous hands do not affect the future; some players like to keep track of prior outcomes on baccarat scoreboards to decide their next move.

    Please don’t do that.
  • Bankroll Management

    Players can stretch their bankroll by using money management techniques, limiting losses, and maximizing winnings.

    Money management doesn’t give players the edge over the casinos; it throttles your betting to an amount that lengthens your gaming sessions.

Money Management Example (Using $100 Bankroll)

Experts suggest 3% to 10% bets are the best range, depending on your preference or aversion to risk. I recommend stipulating wagers of $3.00, $5.00, and $10.00 with a $100 bankroll.

  • 3% Wagered Each Hand @ 1.06% = 3,143 hands before losing your bankroll.
  • 5% Wagered Each Hand @ 1.06% = 1,886 hands before losing your bankroll.
  • 10% Wagered Each Hand @ 1.06% = 943 hands before losing your bankroll.

Practice Your Skills for Free

Are you ready to put your newfound knowledge to the test? Play baccarat for free and get a better feel of the game before trying the real thing!

Game Variations

Baccarat is a popular casino card game, which is why a few game variations have been created and distributed. Check out some of the other baccarat versions below.

  • Baccarat Gold
  • Lucky Draw Baccarat
  • Live Super 6 Baccarat
  • Mini Baccarat

Best Baccarat Online Casinos

The following table highlights the best online casinos to play baccarat. Each site has been reviewed for safety, game fairness, and trusted payment methods.

1 Wild Casino Logo BONUS 100% up to $5,000 # of BACCARAT GAMES 5 Play Now
2 Bovada Casino Logo BONUS 125% up to $3,750 # of BACCARAT GAMES 2 Play Now
3 Super Slots Logo BONUS 250% up to $6,000 # of BACCARAT GAMES 5 Play Now
4 Red Dog Casino Logo BONUS $8,000 Welcome Bonus # of BACCARAT GAMES 6 Play Now
5 BetUS Logo BONUS 150% up to $3,000 # of BACCARAT GAMES 3 Play Now

And Finally… It’s Game Time!

Baccarat is a simple game that gives players better odds of winning than most card games out there. I hope you enjoyed my guide and refer back to it when it’s time to play.

Remember to have fun, and please, start betting on the Banker. Good luck!

Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price Expert in Online Casinos and Poker

Sadonna is a gambling content writer and former professional poker player that loves using her creativity to provide insight into the most interesting aspects of the casino world.

Learn More About Sadonna