Baccarat is a great game for beginners since it only has three possible bets — on the player’s hand, on the banker’s hand, and on a tie. This means you can technically win every round, regardless of what cards you’re dealt. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to play baccarat and show you some of the most successful strategies you can employ to increase your odds.

How to Play Baccarat — Baccarat Rules

If you’ve never played the game, baccarat rules for when the players and the banker draw additional cards might seem overwhelming at first. But if you take a few minutes to understand the reasoning behind baccarat rules, you’ll quickly understand that baccarat is actually a simple and straightforward game.

In baccarat, the winning hand is the one that’s closest to 9. Face cards and 10s have a value of 0, Aces have a value of 1, and number cards have a value that corresponds to the number on the card. If the cards add up to more than nine, you subtract 10 from the total score. For example, a 7 and an 8 would be counted as 5 (15 – 10).

Before the cards are dealt, you set the chip size and choose to bet on the player, the banker, or on a tie. Alternatively, you can bet on either the player or the banker getting a pair, which isn’t as unlikely as you might think, given that the game is typically played using eight decks of cards.

The Best Baccarat Strategies

Now that you know how to play baccarat, we’ll take you through the best strategies. Many people who are learning to play baccarat are surprised by the fact that you can apply the same exact strategies that work on roulette. Additionally, there are a few strategies exclusive to baccarat that might help you leave the table with a profit. Here’s a quick overview of the most popular baccarat strategies to help you learn how to win baccarat:

The 1-3-2-6 System

This baccarat strategy requires you to select a unit (bet size) and follow the 1-3-2-6 string on a winning streak. Your initial bet is one unit — it can be $1, $5, or any other amount your determine. After a win, the following bet is three units, then two units, and finally six units. If you win at least two rounds in a row, you’ll earn two units of profit.

The drawback of this system is that you’ll break even if you win three rounds in a row but lose the fourth one. This can be mitigated by applying a different variant of the system (1-3-2-4), that replaces the final bet in the sequence to guarantee some profit if you lose the fourth round.

Pair Bets

This strategy demands that you ignore the player/banker bets and focus solely on pair bets. Given that they have an 11:1 payout, you only need to win a bet once every 11 rounds to break even. If you win more frequently than that, you’ll win a substantial sum.

One huge drawback of this strategy is that you have to correctly guess whether the player or the banker will be dealt a pair. Of course, you can bet on both pairs, but then you’d have to win one in five rounds for the strategy to pay off, which is highly unlikely.

The Three-Two System

When applying the three-two system, all you need to do is split your bet into five units. You place three units on the player/the banker and two units on a pair. You can alternate the bets between the player and the banker between the rounds — all that’s important is that you maintain the 3:2 ratio.

Flat Betting

Flat betting is the easiest baccarat strategy to implement, but simultaneously the that requires the most discipline. It involves choosing either the banker or the player and sticking with that bet regardless of the outcome of the following rounds. A game of baccarat is essentially a coin flip, so it’s typically better to stick to one side than to switch your bets and risk losing the coin flip every time.

We suggest betting on the banker, as it has a slightly higher chance of getting a winning hand, due to the rules for drawing the third card. Also, you should determine how many bets you’re willing to place beforehand, so you don’t end up trying to “win back” the money you lost and losing even more.

Betting Against a Streak

Given that both the player and the banker have roughly equal chances of winning any hand, as one side keeps winning multiple rounds in a row, the chances of them winning the next round are statistically lower. With this strategy, you should wait before either side gets three or more wins in a row, then bet on the other side.

For example, if a banker wins three rounds in a row, you should bet one unit on the player. If the banker wins again, you should double the bet on the player. You double the bet for as long as the winning streak is going since a single win will offset all your losses. The beauty of this baccarat strategy comes from the fact that if you correctly predict when the streak will end, you’ll generate a profit, but even if you don’t, you’ll break even (provided your budget allows you to double your bet after each loss).

Top 5 Tips on How to Win at Baccarat

Here are a few tips on how to win baccarat that will help further improve your chances:

1. Never Bet on a Tie

Betting on a tie is simply never worth it. Despite the chances of ties being relatively high at 9.6%, the payout for the tie bet is 8:1. This means that the house edge on a tie bet is 14.4%, so unless you’re the luckiest person on Earth, you’re bound to lose money on this bet.

2. Bet on the Banker Rather than on the Player

There’s a reason why players are required to pay a 5% commission on winning bets on the banker — it’s because the banker has slightly higher chances of winning every round. This is due to the rules regarding whether or not the third card is dealt to the player and the banker.

3. Skip a Round After the Banker Loses

In baccarat, you don’t have to bet on every round. In fact, it’s advised to skip one round after the banker loses. Statistically, the banker has the highest chance of getting a win streak. After a banker loss, wait for the results of the next round, then bet on the same result for the following round.

4. Don’t Play Other Variations of the Game Until You Learn Base Rules by Heart

There are quite a few variations of the baccarat game, such as Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque, that throw additional rules into the mix. It’s not a good idea to join these tables if you’ve never played baccarat before, as you likely won’t be able to follow what’s going on at the table.

5. Manage Your Gambling Budget

Before you join a baccarat table, set your budget limit. Regardless of the outcome of the session, don’t gamble more than you initially intended. Even if you’re on a large winning streak, it’s better to quit while you’re ahead than to keep playing and give back all the money you won to the casino.

Types of Baccarat Games to Play

After learning the basics of how to play baccarat, there are multiple popular versions of the game you can play at  online casino for real money. Here are the most common ones, including their main differences from the base game:

1. Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer variation of baccarat is popular in Europe, primarily in France. Rather than featuring a dealer, this variation lets players act as the banker. The banker is switched after every round, giving each player a chance to win big against fellow gamblers at the table.

2. Baccarat Banque

Baccarat Banque is similar to Chemin de Fer, but it’s only played with three decks. Additionally, rather than changing the banker each round, it gives players the option to challenge the banker. After winning the challenge, the player who won becomes the new banker.

3. Three-Card Baccarat

This version of the game features a single 52-card deck. Everyone is dealt three cards at the start of each round, instead of two. Additionally, there is a hand that’s stronger than 9, which is three face cards. In the event of a tie, the hand with more face cards wins.

4. Super Pan 9

Super Pan 9 only uses 36 cards, meaning all the face cards are removed. Both the banker and the player are dealt three cards, with the option of drawing an additional card to get as close to 9 as possible.

5. EZ Baccarat

As the name suggests, EZ baccarat is a simplified “easy” version of the base game. Both the player and the banker are only dealt two cards, and the hand closer to 9 wins. No additional cards are dealt. Additionally, there is no commission for winning a bet on the banker’s hand.

Baccarat Odds and Payouts

Baccarat’s house edge depends on the type of bet you’re placing, and it ranges from 1.06% on banker bets up to a whopping 14.4% on ties. Here’s a quick reference table of baccarat odds and payouts for the standard baccarat game that uses six decks:

Bet Type Odds Payout House Edge
Player Hand 44.6% 1:1 1.06%
Banker Hand 45.8% 0.95:1 1.24%
Player Pair 7.47% 11:1 11.25%
Banker Pair 7.47% 11:1 11.25%
Tie 9.6% 8:1 14.4%
Keep in mind that baccarat odds and payouts also change depending on the number of decks used. Some casinos opt to use six or eight decks, while others offer game variations that only use a single deck.

Playing Baccarat Online 

If you know how to play baccarat at a land casino, playing online baccarat isn’t that different. The majority of baccarat games at online casinos are played at Live Dealer tables and follow the standard game rules.

That said, there are dozens of different versions of online baccarat, so pay close attention to what table you’ve joined. If you join one of the tables with altered rules, you can always check said rules by pressing the “i” or the “?” button on the screen. This will open up a menu where you can read all about the baccarat odds, rules, and payouts for that specific game.

Baccarat Online Streamers

While streaming online gambling used to be extremely popular on Twitch, the site has enforced extremely strict rules in 2021, allowing streamers to only showcase games at casinos licensed in the US or other countries with robust customer protection.

All the big names in the scene, like Roshtein and DeuceAce, have continued streaming on the platform, but they mostly stream online slots. Still there are plenty of YouTube channels you can find that show you the basics of how to play baccarat while live streaming or through a recording.

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