Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a simple game with only three basic bets: Banker, Player, and Tie. The goal is to predict which hand will come closest to nine. Tens, jacks, and queens count as zero; aces equal one.

Smart Players use a betting strategy to balance losses and wins over time. The D’Alembert strategy increases bets after winning rounds but decreases them after a loss.


Baccarat is among the world’s oldest card games and has a complex history. Its origin is unknown but some people suggest it could be based on non-card games like the Chinese Pai Gow poker or even the ancient Roman vestal virgin test. The nines score in the game may be linked to humanity’s affinity for the number – there are nine influencers in Indian astrology, Xibalba the underworld of Mayan belief has nine levels and in ancient Egypt it was customary to wear garments with nine stripes.

The baccarat that we play today was likely created in the 19th century in France where it became extremely popular. Its reputation for high stakes and class lingers to this day in Casinos around the world. The game travelled to England and South America before Tommy Renzoni brought it to the US in the 1950s.


Baccarat is played on a customized table that can accommodate up to 14 players. Casinos typically use six to eight decks of cards, which are kept in a box known as the shoe. Picture cards and tens count as zero, while all other values are added together and divided by two to get the value of the hand. Aces count as one.

If the Player or Banker hand has a total of nine on the first deal, it’s considered a natural and wins the round. If neither hand has a total of nine, the game ends in a tie.

Like other casino games, baccarat can be a profitable game when you set limits on your losses and make smart betting decisions. A common strategy is to bet on the Banker consistently, which can reduce your risk and increase your payouts.


There are three main betting options in baccarat: on the Player, on the Banker, and on a Tie. Each bet has its own payout rules and odds. Using a strategy such as the Martingale can help you maximize profits while minimizing losses.

Whether you’re playing online or in the casino, you’ll need to know how to calculate the value of a hand. Picture cards and tens count as zero points, while numbered cards have their face value. Only the rightmost digit of the total counts, so a 10- and 6-card hand is worth eight points, while a 5- and 2-card hand is worth nine points.

Aside from these basic bets, you can also place side bets with higher payouts. A popular bet is a ’Big and Small’, which pays out 9:1 on a winning bet.


There are several baccarat variations that tweak the game’s rules and gameplay. While the main goal remains to form a hand totaling as close to nine as possible, these variants offer players new and exciting betting options.

One of the most popular baccarat variations is Punto Banco. This version of the game is quicker and easier for beginners to play. It also uses only two decks of shuffled playing cards.

Another variation is Baccarat Squeeze. This variant offers the same gameplay as the original version, but with added tactile fun. Players get to bend, fold and twist the cards while they are being revealed as part of a ritual that adds excitement and anticipation to the game. Players can still bet on the Player, Banker or Tie.


Whether you’re playing online baccarat or at the casino, table etiquette is important. Good manners will not only keep your gaming experience respectful, but they’ll also show that you care about the game and its traditions.

Players should always follow the dealer’s instructions, even if they disagree with them. It’s also a good idea to read the rules and hand signals before playing. In addition, it’s best to avoid making side conversations around the table. This can distract other players and cause unnecessary delays.

It’s considered poor etiquette to join a baccarat table while the game is in session. If you’re invited to sit, you should wait until the game is over before attempting to place bets. Doing so could be interpreted as an attempt to cheat.