How To Play Baccarat

How To Play Baccarat

Published Date · March 8, 2019 · Last Updated · Dec. 11, 2023 ·Read Time · 5 mins

Tired of Roulette or Blackjack? Baccarat is offering a thrilling alternative! Popular from the  James Bond movies, whose principal character is a real enthusiast, Baccarat fascinates and intrigue players. Contrary to popular opinion, this card game from Italy was imported in our country from the 15th century by King Charles VIII who was a big fan. The name « baccarat » makes a reference to null points given by all figures or 10; and by the way, this is where the originality of this game lies. In fact, the rules of Baccarat is far from being like any other card game. It is a game of luck played with several 52-card decks and which involves different actors. It is paramount to understand the role that each player has around the casino table but we’ll get to that… After reading this detailed playing guide, playing baccarat will never have been that easy to understand!

But then, how does a Baccarat game take place?

Let’s get into it, starting with the protagonists.

Who’s who?


Baccarat is played with a banker (the croupier), a player (also called « punto ») and gamblers. At first, all players who came to the casino to bet are always gamblers, and only one of them will become the « punto » in charge of confronting the banker. In that perspective, the « punto » is designated after all bets have been placed. The « punto » is actually the one who made the biggest bet. They will occupy the most important role in the game as they will confront the banker in order to win the baccarat hand. Just like the banker, cards will be dealt to him and they will have to make decisions. In case of a draw, it’s the player who is sitting the closest to the banker who takes the role. If you are playing online baccarat, you will automatically be the punto.

But first, you need to bet.

How to bet at Baccarat?

At this stage, the banker is the main actor of the game. In reality, the game starts with the banker choosing the betting amount they wish to put at stake. This decision is very important at it will serve as a reference to gamblers. In fact, they won’t be able to go over that limit. Once it is defined, the player sitted at the banker’s right can start betting and so on for the other gamblers. At this stage, you need to know that the possible winnings will depend on the results (of course) but also on the amount you’ve just bet.

Gamblers can choose to bet on the banker’s hand, the player’s hand or a tie.

Regarding the betting amount : if you are a gambler, several options are possible, without being able to go over the initial bet amount set by the banker : 1° do a  « banco », which is betting the same amount as the banker, 2° choose to only bet a part of the banker’s bet (for example four 5th of their bet), 3° in the case where you are not the first gambler, you can choose to add on the bet of the previous gambler, for just a part of it or the whole thing (for example if the previous gambler has bet 2/5 of the banker’s bet, then you can bet 1/5, 2/5 or else 3/5).

Then the cards are dealt.

Once the bets are placed and the punto is has been chosen, the cards are dealt. Only 4 cards are drawn from the shoe. The punto receives the first and the third card of the shoe from the banker. The banker is given the second and fourth cards. Once dealing is over, cards are shown face up.

Each player can then have a glimpse at their game and start counting their hand’s value.

How do we count cards in Baccarat?


In a logical way, each card got a particular value. As we said previously, figures and tens don’t bring any points. Aces are worth one point and cards between 2 and 9 are worth their nominal value. E.g: 5 is worth 5 points. In addition, there is a rule called « minus 10 » which applies at baccarat when two cards go over 10 when you add them.  10 points are automatically removed from the total. For example, if one of the players get a 6 and an 8, the sum will be 4 (8+6 = 14 and 14-10 = 4).

Even if you’re just a beginner at this, as you can see it is quite an easy game. Baccarat is not very difficult to master; you just need to keep in mind the ins and outs of the rules in order to elaborate a real strategy. This is why this game is so fascinating!

But what is the goal of Baccarat?

Here we are going to talk about the end game.

One digit symbolizes the whole governing principle of the game: number 9. In truth, baccarat’s winner is the one who guesses which hand is the closest to 9 points without getting passed this score. From this point, whether it is the banker or the punto who got this score, they will win.

Furthermore, this game’s specific resides in the fact that each of the payers gets the opportunity to draw a third card. The punto can do it only if after the card counting phase, their hand’s score is 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 points. As far as the banker is concerned, they can receive a third card if their initial hand’s score is 0, 1 our2. When it’s 3, 4, 5 or 6, additional rules apply. When the hand is worth 3 points, they can receive a third card if the punto’s third card’s worth 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 9 points.

When the hand is worth 4 points, they can receive a third card if the punto’s third card’s worth 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 points.

When the hand is worth 5 points, they can receive a third card if the punto’s third card’s worth 4, 5, 6 or 7 points.

When the hand is worth 6 points, they can receive a third card if the punto’s third card’s worth à 6 ou 7 points.

There also is the possibility of getting a draw, when both the punto’s and banker’s hands have the same value. Moreover, if there are pairs involved, the bet can be multiplied given the results.

Finally, what are the yields at Baccarat?

After all cards are dealt, you just need to count the value of each hand in order to determine who is the winner, that is to say which one of the punto or the banker got the closest value to number 9.

On that point, you need to know that :

  • When a gambler has bet on the winning hand, the ratio is 2 to 1.
  • The best yielding the most money is « Draw » (8 against 1)
  • If the bet was on the banker, and this one wins, a 5% commission must be handed over to the bank.

Let’s gamble! And good luck!



Michael Oltra