How to Play Mini Baccarat

Last modified: November 6, 2019

There is often a lot of confusion from players surrounding the card game of Mini Baccarat. If you have never heard of this casino game before, you might be asking yourself several questions, such as what is it? How do you play it? How do you win? Fortunately for you, we’ve covered all of the vital information you’ll need to get started.

What is Mini Baccarat?

At first glance, Mini Baccarat might seem incredibly similar to the standard version of Baccarat or Punto Banco, which is played the most in the United States and the UK. However, there are a few differences that distinguish one game from the other.

Firstly, as the name implies Mini Baccarat is a smaller version of Punto Banco Baccarat. This means that there are fewer croupiers involved in the game and the player isn’t allowed to pick up the cards. Instead of three croupiers, there is just one. The croupier will act as both the banker as well as the dealer. In a brick and mortar casino players can walk right up and play without having to jump through any hoops to start playing.

The second main difference is that it has a lower minimum stake when compared to standard Baccarat. This is what makes it really appealing to newer players, it also gives players with a smaller bankroll an entry point for playing at a Baccarat casino.

How to Play Mini Baccarat

The aim of Mini Baccarat is simple. Place a wager on what you think the outcome of the game will be. You can place a wager on a banker win, a player win or a tie. The dealer will then carry out the game, with the aim being to get the closest hand to a total of 9. That’s the basic premise of playing Baccarat.

The Mini Baccarat rules are quite easy to understand, both the player and dealer are dealt two cards each for their hand. The dealer carries out all of the moves, the player has no input. Then depending on the scores that each hand has, the dealer might stand or he might deal another card. Once the dealer makes these decisions, the banker will announce the winner.

There are differences in the rules depending on the variation of Baccarat that you’re playing. For most versions, Mini Baccarat included, the only real rule you need to watch out for is if the player or banker has an 8 or 9 from their first two cards. When this happens then the third card isn’t dealt for that hand.

Card Values

The card values for Mini Baccarat are extremely simple to follow. The Ace is worth 1. The 2 to 9 cards are all worth their face values. The ten and picture cards all have a value of zero. If the total of the hand is worth more than 9, then you remove the first ‘decimal’ number from the total. For example, a total of 17 would be worth 7.

Winning Strategy

How to win at Mini Baccarat is quite a difficult question to answer. This is because the Baccarat rules state that the player doesn’t have any input on the hands played. So this means that you can’t have an influence on the game to decrease the house edge, like in Blackjack. However, it is possible to increase your chances of winning.

The first thing to consider when you set a Mini Baccarat strategy should be to avoid the tie bet. It might pay out the best odds, but it is also the least likely to happen. Avoiding this bet will give you a better chance of winning in the long term through smaller but more regular wins.

The second tip for a strong Mini Baccarat strategy is to bet on the banker. The banker gives the highest chance of winning on every hand, so the banker is statistically the best bet to take.

Bear in mind that these betting strategies can also be applied to the standard Baccarat game and would definitely give you an advantage at winning the game.

Betting strategy

The house edge for Mini Baccarat is quite low. It usually uses a six deck card shoe, but if it uses more or fewer decks this can impact on the house edge very slightly. For a six deck card shoe there is a house edge of 1.06% when you bet on the banker.

The player has a house edge of 1.24% and a tie has 14.44%. This means the best bet is definitely the banker, although it is close between the banker and player. There is a 45% chance of the banker winning each hand, although if you don’t take the tie into account then the banker has slightly over 50% chance of winning.

Conclusion

Before you start to play Mini Baccarat it’s important to know the Baccarat rules. Make sure you’re fully up to speed with how to play the game, then when you start to play stick to your strategy. If you enjoy Mini Baccarat then you might also enjoy another variation of Baccarat such as Punto Banco. There is lots of fun to be had from this game and after all, it’s James Bond’s favourite game for a reason!

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