How to Play Baccarat – Quick Reminder
Baccarat is a 100% luck-based card game where players don't do much other than place bets.
Baccarat, for the most part, is handled by the dealer. During each game, the dealer deals two cards on each side of the Baccarat table. One side is the Player, and the other is the Banker. You bet on either the Player, the Banker, or a tie (some Baccarat Tables also offer side bets).
The object is to bet on the side with a card combination closest to 9 but not above it. If neither side comes close or over 9, a third card is drawn (one for each side).
When the winning side is decided, the dealer handles the winning bets, collects the losses, reshuffles the cards, and a new round can begin. Baccarat is often considered a much more accessible version of Blackjack. For a deeper understanding of Baccarat rules, explore our earlier article.
What Are Baccarat Odds?
Odds show your chance to win or lose against the house (banker or dealer). Baccarat stands out in casinos because it has a tiny house edge—the casino's expected profit.
Breaking Down Baccarat Odds
- Banker Bet: 1.06% house edge. If you consider tie bets, the winning chance is around 51%.
- Player Bet: 1.24% house edge.
- Tie Bet: 14.36% house edge but promises bigger returns.
Baccarat Side Bets
How House Edge Works
Say you bet $100 on the player. The 1.24% house edge means you could earn $98.76 if you win. This is your bet minus the house's cut. So, you get back your $100 plus the $98.76, totaling $198.76.
For the banker bet, the profit on a $100 stake could be $98.94. But remember, banker bets usually pay slightly less at 0.95-to-1. So, the actual win might be around $93.99.
If you're feeling adventurous and go for the tie bet, the higher house edge means a $100 wager might net you an $85.64 profit. But they attract players with a tempting 8:1 payout because winning this bet is rare.
Player Bet Odds
You might be looking at Player and Banker bets and thinking each has a 50% chance of winnings. However, like all gambling games, there is always the house edge. Because of the house edge, the Player bet has a 44,6% chance of winning.
The payout for this bet is 1:1. The house edge is at a reasonably low 1,24%.
The Player Bet is a safe choice in a Baccarat game, but sometimes it's best to test your luck.
Banker Bet Odds
As previously mentioned, the Banker bet and the Player bet are different. They follow very similar rules and may seem to have the same payout. However, quite a few differences make the Banker bet more attractive.
First, the Banker bet has better odds of winning than the Player bet. The Banker has a 45,8% chance of winning, meaning it has a 0,9% chance than the Player. But why is that so? The Banker plays second, and during the drawing of a third card, the Banker has an advantage over the Player. You can read more about this in our Baccarat Strategy.
The Banker Bet is more profitable than the Player bet in that Casinos take a 5% commission for each Banker Bet won. However, even with this commission, the Banker Bet is still the optimal way to play and win at Baccarat.
As for the house edge, it's only 1,06%. Again, lower than the Player Bet house edge. Playing Baccarat and betting only on the Banker is one of the best strategies.
Tie Bet Odds
If you ask a seasoned Baccarat player about the tie bet, they will likely tell you to avoid it. Tie bets may have an attractive payout but have the worst odds and the most significant house edge out of all Baccarat bets. Other than that, even if a tie occurs, all Banker and Player Bets get returned to the players.
A tie bet has a payout of 8:1, but the chances of a tie happening are only 9,6%. Naturally, the house edge is through the roof at 14,36%. Baccarat payouts max out at 8:1, although some casinos pay 9:1.
A tie bet should only be placed if you feel lucky or want to burn some extra funds (we've all been there).
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Why does the Banker Bet have the best odds in Baccarat?
The biggest boon the Banker Bet has is when the third card is drawn. When both the player and the banker have a sum of 5 or lower, the third card is drawn to decide the winner.
First, the Player draws the card. Right here is where the Banker advantage comes into play. If the Player's third card is bad, the Banker wins (without drawing a third card). However, even if the Player gets a pretty good card, the Banker still has a chance to turn the game around.
Understanding Baccarat Odds with Different Decks
Baccarat is usually played with eight decks. But online, you might see one or six decks. Here's how the payouts and odds differ:
This is the most common at casinos. Odds and payouts here are close to the six-deck version: roughly 45.86% odds for banker bets and 44.62% for player bets.
Other Casino Games with better odds
Believe it or not, Baccarat offers the lowest house edge in almost any Casino game. Roulette may have similar bets that allow similar strategies, but the house edge is still higher than that of Baccarat.
The only game with better odds of winning than Baccarat is Blackjack which can sometimes go as low as 0,5%. In an eight-deck baccarat game, placing a bet on the banker's hand gives you the best winning probability at 45.86%. On the other hand, in an eight-deck blackjack game, the average win rate stands at 42.22%. So, your chances in baccarat can vary based on your betting choice.
Is Playing Baccarat Online different than playing Baccarat at brick-and-mortar casinos?
While playing both versions is similar, there are a few key differences. At a brick-and-mortar casino, you get the whole casino experience, with people cheering, the dealer handing the cards, and the stuffy casino air.
You can play online wherever you want if you have a good Internet connection. The games are also faster. You may only get part of the casino experience but still get the same game you know and love.
If you can't decide between the two, consider playing online Baccarat which almost all online casinos offer!
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