Baccarat (or Punto Banco) is a fun, simple casino game with very few decisions. There are only three bets you can make – Player, Banker or Standoff. In online baccarat, the cards are dealt automatically by the casino software virtual dealer and the game begins with players choosing to bet on one or more of these three options.
Then two hands are dealt, a Player's hand and a Banker's hand. Both bets are paid at even money (1:1) and a Standoff winning wager is paid at 8:1. If you win on Banker, the house will take 5% commission and therein lies the house edge.
Baccarat is usually played with a six-deck shoe. All picture cards and 10's have a point value of zero (0). All other cards are at face value, with Aces being worth 1 point. In Baccarat, only single digit totals are valid – if a hand count reaches or passes 10, the left digit is dropped. For example, a 9 and a 7 gives the point value of 16 – the 1 is dropped, giving the hand a point value of 6.
The object of this casino game is to bet on the hand you think will have the highest total point count following completion of the Third Card Rules. You must bet prior to any cards being dealt out. 9 is the highest point count a baccarat hand can have at the completion of cards being dealt.
Two cards are dealt to both Player and Banker to begin the game. A third card may be dealt to either Player or Banker based on the following Third Card Rules:
Player's Third Card Rules:
- If either the Player or the Banker have a total of 8 or 9 (a Natural hand) on the first two cards, no further cards are drawn. The hand is over and the Natural hand declared the winner, or the higher Natural hand if both Player and Banker are Natural.
- If the Player's point count is less than or equal to 5, the Player's hand draws a third card.
- If the Player's hand is not dealt a third card, then the Banker's hand stands on 6 or more and takes a third card on a total of 5 or less. If the Player does take a third card, then the Banker's Third Card Rules will determine whether or not a third card is dealt to the Banker's hand.
Banker's Third Card Rules:
- If the Banker's point count is 2, a third card is dealt, regardless of what the Player's third card is.
- If the Banker's total is 3, a third card is dealt, unless the Player's third card was an 8.
- If the Banker's point count is 4, a third card is dealt, unless the Player's third card was a 0, 1, 8 or 9.
- If the Banker's total is 5, a third card is dealt if the Player's third card was 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the Banker's total is 6, a third card is dealt if the Player's third card was a 6 or 7.
- If the Banker's total is 7, then the Banker stands.
Baccarat offers fun and easy casino gameplay. Without any complicated baccarat strategy decisions, you can wager with ease. The house advantage is very small (around 1%), so it's basically an even money game. The Third Card Rules are a little complicated, but there is no need to learn any of them to play online baccarat, as the virtual casino dealer will deal the hands according to the Baccarat rules while you sit back and enjoy the excitement!