Made famous by James Bond, baccarat looks kind of intimidating and confusing when staring at the table, but it couldn’t be simpler. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player, read our guide and learn more on the following:

  • Discover the basic rules of baccarat
  • Most popular variations of the game
  • Which wager has the biggest payout
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Online baccarat is a fantastic way to build up bankroll over a long period of time and helps you hit your wagering requirements to tap into your welcome bonus.

How to Play Baccarat

How to Play Baccarat

You might be a bit stuck when trying to choose which variation of baccarat you want to play, so to be on the safe side, steer clear of the variations outside of Baccarat Banque, Chemin de Fer, and Punto Banco. Before you start playing, remember to set a betting limit and be strict with yourself about walking away if you must.

Once you’re up against the dealer, the aim of the game is to get as close to nine as possible with your two or three cards. You bet on either the player or banker winning, or a tie. Its low house edge makes it a firm favourite amongst high rollers.

You should almost always bet on the banker. Even though the house takes a 5% commission, you’re still more likely to walk away with profit. Our top tip would be to never bet on the tie. It’s highly unlikely and the house edge is a staggering 14.4%!


  • Baccarat is now available to a much wider demographic due to the wonders of the internet, but how did the once-elitist game originate, and where?
  • It’s been around for so long that it’s hard to pinpoint from where it came exactly. The Chinese have laid a claim to it due to its similar scoring system to Pai Gow and bygone games.
  • For others, it’s from 15th century Italy’s folklore tale of the virgin bride whose fate was decided upon by the roll of a dice and how a man used this to inspire the game. By 1500, French aristocracy were playing Chemin de Fer which quickly made its way across the channel, where, of course, the British had to rebrand it. Subsequently, Punto Banco started to spread across the Anglophone world.

Most Popular Baccarat Variations

There’s not a lot that a good strategy can do for you in this game given the house edge being so low anyway. Let’s take a look at the three main variations and how you can up your chances in each of them.

  • Punto Banco is the most widely played across the Americas, Australasia, the UK, Scandinavia, and Macau, and is often simply referred to as “baccarat”. The dealer is always banker in this version and that’s where your bet should always go - the banker.
  • Chemin de Fer is the French take on the classic and involves the players playing amongst themselves and taking turns to be the banker. The banker decides how much to wager against each player, called a ‘punter’. The banker then goes head to head against the punter with the highest bet. If the punter wins, the wager is won back by each player plus a payout from the house, and the banker position shifts anti-clockwise. If the banker wins, all wagers go into the bank and the banker remains. In a tie, wagers remain the same for the next hand. Best bet in this is to be the dealer.
  • Baccarat Banque is another version widely played in France and the banker will remain the same for the duration of the three decks being dealt. If they run out of money or energy they can of course retire. The next banker is determined by a highest bid coming from the punters for the position. And like the Chemin de Fer version, playing dealer is the best position to be in of Baccarat Banque, Chemin de Fer, and Punto Banco.

The 3 Main Wagers: Which Has the Biggest Payout?

In baccarat you wager on who will win with their cards. With only three things to wager on, let’s have a look at what they each are.

  • Banker. Considered the safest bet and carrying the lowest house edge, even with the 5% commission taken by the house the 19 to 20 payout is a good chance to win.
  • Player. This is your next best bet. With a house edge of 1.24% compared to the banker’s 1.04%, it’s not quite as safe but if you’ve got a strong hand it’ll payout.
  • Tie. This is the least favoured bet to make in a game of baccarat. The house edge hikes up to 14.4% because it’s so unlikely to happen. You stand to suffer big losses.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The aim of the game is to get a hand as close to nine as possible. Either bet on your own hand or the dealer’s. If you surpass this, you’ll subtract 10, e.g. if you got 12, minus 10 and you have two.
  • Yes! Most established online casinos understand player needs, therefore, ensure they offer a mobile-compatible platform - be it a browser or an app - for a gaming experience as high quality as when using a desktop. Many modern mobile devices, including iOS and Android, will be supported.
  • In regular baccarat your cards are dealt by a random number generator, whereas in live baccarat, a real deck of cards is dealt by a croupier and live-streamed to your device. There’s no advantage to either version, it’s all a matter of preference.
  • The three main variations are Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer, and Baccarat en Banque, with the rules for each baccarat form varying. Scroll up this page for more details about how each variation works.
  • Yes, of course. If you’re new to the game or looking to have some safe, sensible fun, playing free games is ideal. Find them on most reputable casino sites.