Baccarat Basics


Baccarat is a game of chance. Players bet on which of two hands – the Banker hand and the Player hand – will win. The winning hand is the one closest to nine points.

During the course of the round, a third card may be drawn. Depending on the rules of your venue, a third card can either help or hurt you.

Game rules

A game of baccarat starts with players placing their chips in the Player, Banker or Tie betting areas. The game is resolved when both the Player and Banker receive two cards, and whoever has a total closest to nine wins.

The winning hand is the one that has a sum of digits closest to nine when all the pips (the dots on the playing card) are added up, with the value of face cards and aces counting as zero points. Players should also be aware of the rules on when to draw a third card.

There are a few advanced baccarat betting systems that can help players improve their chances of winning. These strategies involve progressively increasing or reducing your bet size after each win or loss. This type of strategy is similar to the Martingale system, which many people recognize from other table games like roulette and craps. The system is based on the principle that you should always bet more than you lose, which will eventually result in a bigger profit.


Baccarat side bets can add a bit of flair to this moderately simple game. Nonetheless, they are not designed to improve the player’s odds of winning. In fact, they are usually more like a heads or tails bet and don’t require any strategic thinking.

They do, however, offer a larger payout for the winner than the loser and can be a fun addition to the game. Players should carefully consider these bets before placing them. They should also be aware of any relevant state or federal taxes.

The most common baccarat side bet is the big and small, which wins when either the player or banker gets a three-card hand worth eight. This bet pays out at 1:1, while the three-card six side wager has a much lower payout of 8:1. Baccarat betting strategies often involve positive or negative progression systems. These systems encourage the player to increase their bet size after each win and decrease it after each loss.


Baccarat is a game of chance, but players can develop a variety of betting strategies to improve their odds of winning. These betting systems can include positive and negative progressions, as well as strategies like the Martingale strategy. These betting systems increase the size of a player’s bet after each win and decrease it after a loss.

In normal baccarat, the winning banker hand pays out 1 to 1. However, players must pay a 5% commission on their winnings. This lowers the house edge to 1.24% for those who wager on the banker.

A winning Player hand will qualify for a payout of 1 to 1. The player’s winnings can also be multiplied by Lightning Cards. These are cards that are dealt during the player’s hand and are able to give a huge payout. This is similar to the bonus round in online blackjack. Lightning Card payouts range from 2x to 8x. This is the best way to increase your payouts in baccarat.


Baccarat offers more variety than many gamblers realize. While the game has a long history and is popular in land-based casinos, online variations exist as well. These vary in terms of rules and side bets and can affect the house edge.

The squeezing variation has also gained popularity in live dealer games, although it does not affect the core game rules or bet payouts. Its main purpose is to add perceived excitement and fun. However, players are still advised to set win goals and loss limits to avoid losing too much money.

Another baccarat variation that has become increasingly popular is the European version called Baccarat en Banque. It uses six decks and involves more player participation than the standard game. The player that places the highest wager acts as the banker in each round. The winnings for a banker hand are paid out minus a 5% commission to the casino. This game variant has a 1.06% house edge when compared to a standard baccarat game with rule 6. Known as Super6 baccarat, it is played in some online casinos.