Baccarat for Beginners

Baccarat is a traditional table casino game that is found at brick-and-mortar venues. The game is hugely popular among gamblers and today is widely available at traditional casino venues in the UK and at online casinos too. If you’re looking to learn how to play Baccarat or simply want some more information on how the game works online, you’ve come to the right place. In our Baccarat for beginners page here, we’ll discuss how Baccarat works, the different betting options, the various strategies available, and where you can play the popular casino game too. Just keep on reading to discover more!

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An Introduction to Baccarat

There have been plenty of debates regarding the origin of Baccarat. Although the game was reportedly created in Italy by a name named Felix Falguiere, the game rose to prominence in the 19th century where Baccarat was popular among the French nobility. In the early 1900s, the game was played in private gambling rooms, with Baccarat Banque Baccarat being the popular variation of the game back then. Around the 1940s in Havana, the game developed into the house-banked game it’s known as today and quickly became popular around the world. It’s also made its way to online casinos, both in the United Kingdom and internationally too.

In short, Baccarat is a game of comparing cards. In it, players are required to compare their cards with the dealer’s and must achieve the higher hand combination to win. The game is simple and easy to learn, which is why it’s become so popular among gamblers. Baccarat only has three possible outcomes; the player wins, the banker wins or there’s a tie.

There are multiple variations of Baccarat, all of which have varying rules and gameplay mechanics, although at their core they all remain card comparing games. All of these variations are available at brick-and-mortar casinos and at online casinos across the UK. You can learn more about playing the standard version of Baccarat, along with all of its unique variations, by reading on.

Did You Know? The Chemin de Fer variation of baccarat is James Bond’s favourite casino game. The fictional secret agent, created by Ian Fleming for his series of novels, plays the game in several books including Casino Royale. The game has also been featured in several James Bond films such as On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Thunderball, GoldenEye, Casino Royale, Dr. No and For Your Eyes Online.

How To Play Baccarat

The standard version of Baccarat is known as Punto Banco, which is widely available around the world both off and online. The aim of the game is to make a hand combination of two or three cards that are as close to the number nine without going over it.

Baccarat is generally played with eight decks of 52 cards and to reach the total number of nine, all cards are given a numerical value which you must memorise before playing. Cards numbered one to nine are taken at face value, but other cards are given different numerical values:

  • Aces: Valued at one.
  • Jack, Queen, King and 10 cards: Valued at either ten or zero points depending on the game.

Now, you’ve probably noticed that combining some of the numerical cards or picture cards worth 10 will push you well over the goal of nine. If this happens, and it’s likely that it will, the first digit of your double-digit number is dropped to give you a number under the value of nine.

For example, if you were dealt two cards totalling the number 15, you would drop the left digit (The 1) to be left with a value of five.

When playing, you’ll need to add the values of each of your cards together to create your total combination. Your aim is to ensure your win depending on what you’ve bet on and use your cards effectively to do this.

Playing Baccarat At A Casino

Before a game of Baccarat starts, you will need to wager on the outcome of the game, selecting either yourself, the dealer or opting for a tie, although this tends to happen less often. Once your bet has been made, the dealer will deal two randomly selected cards face-down to you and themselves. Once the cards have been dealt, they are turned face-up and the dealer announces the total of each hand. After this is done, one of several things can happen:

  • If the player’s or dealer’s hand totals eight or nine, known as a ‘natural’, they automatically win UNLESS the competitor holds the same combination
  • If the player’s or dealer’s hand totals eight and the other’s nine, the player with the hand totalling nine automatically wins

If the above doesn’t occur when the hand combinations are announced, a third card can be dealt to both the dealer and the layer under specific instances. They include:

  • If the player’s hand totals six or above, no third card is dealt and the highest hand combination wins
  • If the player’s hand totals five or below, a third card is dealt
  • A banker is only dealt a third card when their hand totals 0-3 or when the banker’s hand totals 4-6 and the player’s hand totals at certain other numbers

A fourth card cannot be dealt during baccarat and a winner must be announced by the dealer. Winnings are paid out depending on what you wagered on and the payout ratios differ depending on the game.

Note: Before you start playing any casino games for real money we suggest that you first practice. Most casinos today allow users to play for free to learn the rules and gameplay. However, it’s important to remember that you cannot win any money when you’re playing free casino games.

What Are The Rules Of Baccarat Online?

Baccarat online plays exactly the same way as the games found at brick-and-mortar venues. The only difference in Baccarat online is that rather than playing against a real dealer, you play against a computer and an RNG (Random Number Generator), which determines the outcome of each game and the cards that are drawn. RNGs are present in all online casino games, including slots, Roulette, and Blackjack too.

When playing Baccarat online, everything will be done for you. When you open the game for the first time, you’ll be required to place down casino chips of various values to denote your bet. Once you’ve placed your bet, the cards will be drawn automatically, with their values displayed on-screen.

Following the rules we mentioned above, a third card may be drawn. Once all valid cards have been drawn and the winner announced, you will be given two options; ‘rebet’ or ‘new bet’, allowing you to either rebet your initial bet or start anew with a fresh bet. The game then continues for as long as you’d like.

Baccarat online is very simple to play and easy to learn, which is one of the reasons it’s become such a huge hit too. What’s more, the game’s lifelike visuals and graphics provide you with a very authentic casino experience.

What Are The Betting Options In Online Baccarat?

Now you know a little about how online Baccarat works, it’s time to learn more about the different betting options available. When playing, you will have three main betting options; betting on the player, betting on the dealer or betting on a tie. In short, you’re usually betting that either the player or the dealer will have a better hand combination since they’re more likely to occur.

Sometimes neither the player nor the dealer wins in Baccarat and the game ends in a tie. When this happens, the bets are returned to both the dealer and the player and a new game begins.

Alongside the three main bets, there are several side bets. They include player pair in which you bet that the player receives two identical cards, banker pair in which you bet that the dealer receives two identical cards, an either pair in which the player and dealer both receive the same first card, a perfect pair in which the first two cards received by the dealer are identical, and there are several others too.

Baccarat Casino – Where Can You Play Baccarat Online?

Since Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games around, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to discover that Baccarat and its numerous variations are widely available at online casinos in the UK. In fact, almost all online casinos offer some form of Baccarat, but since there are so many websites, it can be difficult finding the best online casino for you to play at.

Luckily for you, we have years of casino experience and know exactly which online casinos are worth registering with to play Baccarat and more. Take a look at our recommendations below:

PlayOJO Casino

PlayOJO Baccarat

PlayOJO Casino is one of the most popular online casinos in the United Kingdom and one of the best Baccarat casino sites. Known as the “fair” casino, the website is praised for its no wagering welcome bonus, its large selection of games, and its daily promotions for long-term players too. If you’d like to discover more about PlayOJO, we suggest you take a look at our PlayOJO review here.

Genesis Casino

Genesis Baccarat

The space-themed Genesis Casino is another great Baccarat casino. The website offers a choice of one of two welcome promotions and it is home to a gigantic selection of casino games, including video slots, live casino, and table games like Baccarat online. More information can be found in our Genesis Casino review.


SpinRider Baccarat

SpinRider is an online casino from operator White Hat Gaming Limited, one of the biggest in the UK. This Baccarat casino is known for its gigantic welcome package and for its slew of high-quality games, and yes, that multiple variations of Baccarat. If you’d like to find out what the welcome package is and what else you can expect here, make sure to check out our SpinRider review.

LeoVegas Casino

LeoVegas Baccarat

LeoVegas is a roaring online casino that offers new users a no deposit bonus and a choice between several deposit welcome bonuses. In addition to that, the Baccarat casino is home to a wide catalogue of games as well as a sports betting service too.  More details about the lion-themed online casino can be found in our LeoVegas review.

Casumo Casino

Casumo Baccarat

Our final recommendation for the best Baccarat casino is Casumo. This bright and colourful casino website is giving all new users a generous welcome bonus along with a gigantic portfolio of content to select from. More details about why Casumo is a great option can be found in our Casumo review.

Now, all of the online casinos we’ve mentioned here all offer Baccarat online and are all licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, which means they’re completely safe for you to register with and play at. If none of the casinos we’ve mentioned here appeal to you, it’s worth taking a look at our reviews page where you should be able to find something that meets your preferences and needs.

Baccarat Variations

As already mentioned, there are several popular variations of Baccarat that all feature different rules and gameplay mechanics. The standard version of online Baccarat tends to be based on the Punto Banco variation, which was created in Argentina. This version of Baccarat follows the traditional rules but there are some slight differences. For example, in classic Baccarat, the player is required to decide whether or not to take a third card, while in Punto Banco, the player is automatically given a third card under the specific conditions we mentioned above.

Other popular online Baccarat variations include Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque. You can learn all about the other variations of Baccarat by reading on.

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer is the French variation of baccarat and while it follows similar rules, there are several key differences. This variation uses six decks and generally involves a group of players who each take a turn in becoming the banker. One user is selected to play on behalf of all the other players and must make a decision regarding the dealing of a third card.

When the game starts, the user acting as the banker will place a maximum wager and players around the table will then wager against the banker, though their stake cannot exceed the banker’s limit. The player who stakes the highest will act on behalf of all the other players.

After this, the banker will deal four cards, two each for the banker and player. The totals are announced and if neither player achieves a ‘natural’, they’re both given the option to take an additional card. After both players have made their decisions about a third card, the winner is announced and winnings are paid out accordingly. Once the game is finished, a new player will become the banker and so on.

Baccarat Banque

Baccarat Banque is a popular European variation of baccarat which plays similarly to Chemin de Fer, albeit with three standard decks. The main difference between the two is that in Baccarat Banque, one player will be selected as dealer at the beginning of each round, rather than players automatically taking it in turns, and the dealer must remain so until they’ve exhausted their funds, cannot continue as dealer or until the shoe has been completed.

The player who puts the biggest stake in Baccarat Banque is designated as the banker and the dealer is required to deal three hands; two for the players on the left and right-hand side of the Baccarat table and one for themselves. The dealer can only bet on their cards and players can only bet on player hands, either the right-hand side, the left-hand side or both at the same time.

When betting, players cannot exceed the total stake set by the dealer, but players are allowed to challenge the dealer’s position by announcing “Go Bank” and proposing a stake equal to the dealer’s. If the player is successful, they can take on the role of the dealer but if they fail, they can only challenge the dealer three times before losing their challenging rights.

Once all bets have been made, the cards will be dealt. Like with Chemin de Fer, players are required to decide whether or not to take a third card. If players land a ‘Natural’ combination, the cards must be immediately exposed. Similarly, if a third card is dealt, that must be immediately exposed too. All winnings and losses are then credited as required.

Live Baccarat

In addition to all of the above variations, there is another type of Baccarat, live Baccarat. This version of Baccarat uses real-life dealers who are streamed to you directly over the internet. The dealers can be interacted with via a messaging service, along with other players participating in the game.

Generally speaking, live Baccarat follows all of the traditional rules and plays similarly to Punto Banco, wherein third cards are automatically dealt. The main difference between live Baccarat and ordinary online casino Baccarat is that live dealers are in charge of dealing cards rather than an RNG. However, the game has a similar interface to traditional online casino titles, requiring you to place chips down on the Baccarat table and his ‘rebet’ and ‘bet’ buttons to get the game going.

Now, it’s important to note that there are different variations of live Baccarat. For example, there’s Speed Baccarat, a faster-paced version of traditional online Baccarat, and there is also Baccarat Squeeze, a game that follows all of the traditional rules but changes how dealers reveal cards. For example, rather than outright revealing them, the dealer will slowly pull back the card, effectively “squeezing” them, to reveal their numeral.

Note: It’s important to understand that not all of the variations mentioned above can be found at online casinos. While most of the online Baccarat variations we’ve listed can be found at casino sites, the titles available will depend entirely on the online casino. We suggest you search through the website before registering with it so you know exactly what you’re being offered.

Baccarat Strategies

Like most other casino games, there are some Baccarat strategies that you can use to help boost your chance at making a win. Now, it’s important to understand that these Baccarat strategies will not guarantee you a win, but they can improve your chances. The most common Baccarat strategies include:

  • The 1-3-2-4 Strategy
  • The One-Sided Strategy
  • The Martingale Strategy

If you’d like to know how each of these strategies work, just keep reading on.

The 1-3-2-4 Strategy

The 1-3-2-4 strategy is one of the most popular Baccarat strategies and it requires you to select a value for your bet and then multiply that by the numbers in the 1-3-2-4 strategy sequence. For example, if you decide to bet £10, your first bet will be £10, followed by a £30 bet, then a £20 bet, and then a £40 bet. When using this Baccarat strategy, you only move up the sequence when you make a win. If you make a loss, you always go back to the beginning of the sequence.

The aim of this Baccarat strategy is for you to move along the sequence and recoup any losses you make. However, it’s important to understand that this strategy can quickly become expensive as you move higher up the strategy’s sequence, so you should try and keep to a relatively low stake.

The One-Sided Strategy

The one-sided Baccarat strategy is another popular strategy, and one that many people enjoy using with live Baccarat. When using this strategy, you essentially select “one side” of the Baccarat table and stick with it. For example, sticking with the player or with the dealer. Since there’s a chance that either side can win, it’s thought that by sticking to one side you will have a chance to make wins in the long term. Just remember, if you employ this Baccarat strategy you will need to suffer through lots of potential losses and must try and keep your bankroll at breakeven.

The Martingale Strategy

The final Baccarat strategy that we can recommend is the Martingale strategy, which is also hugely popular with Roulette games, such as both American and European Roulette. When playing with this strategy, you simply double your bet on every loss so that you always have a chance at making back your wins. When you win, you return to your initial bet. However, it’s important to note that to be successful with this strategy, you will need to have made a series of wins and must play for the long term.

As mentioned, all of these strategies can be used on Baccarat. However, it’s important to note that this strategy can quickly become expensive, so it’s important to think of a stake that works for you over multiple rounds and one that won’t run through all of your funds.

Baccarat Online Tips

If you are looking to play Baccarat online, we have a series of tips that can help boost your enjoyment of the game. Just take a look at our best Baccarat online tips below.

#1 – Manage Your Bets

Baccarat is a rather fast-paced game, and this is even more true when playing unique variations like Speed Baccarat. With this in mind, it’s important to manage your bets to prevent yourself from overspending or from betting too much.

#2 – Try Some Of The Baccarat Strategies

If you’re going to play Baccarat, it may be worth trying out some of the strategies we’ve mentioned on this page, as they can potentially boost your chance at making wins or at least provide you with some guidance in how to play if you’re new to the game.

#3 – Try Different Variations Of Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the most simple casino games around, which is great for new players. However, long-term players have found that they can sometimes get bored due to the game’s simplicity, and if so, we suggest you try out the different variations of Baccarat, including live Baccarat, in order to remain interested and have fun.

#4 – Be Careful About Your Bets

When playing, make sure you remain vigilant about your bets. Don’t be afraid to follow your instinct and change your bets if you feel you need to. What’s more, it may be a good idea to avoid placing bets on ties since they rarely happen when playing. Try to focus on betting on the player or the dealer as these outcomes are far more common.

#5 – Play At A Licensed Online Casino

If you decide to play Baccarat online, you’ll need to ensure that you play at a licensed online casino by the UK Gambling Commission. Doing so will ensure that you are given fair games to play and that you and your personal information are all kept safe. Finally, casinos licensed by the UKGC are required to follow responsible gambling guidelines, which means you will be given tools to manage your time, spending, and losses, and they will be part of the GamSTOP self-exclusion service, allowing you to ban yourself from gambling sites.

If you follow all of these online Baccarat tips, we’re confident that you’ll have fun and enjoy yourself while also keeping safe and secure when gambling.

Questions & Answers (FAQ)

What is Baccarat?

In short, Baccarat is a game of comparing cards. When playing this casino classic, you’ll need to bet on whether you or the dealer has a better hand combination.

How do you play Baccarat?

When playing Baccarat, you will be dealt cards and will have to combine their value to make a total value as close to the number nine as possible without going over it. More details can be found in our Baccarat guide.

Are there different versions of Baccarat?

Yep! Like with most casino games, there are different versions of Baccarat, all of which can be played at both brick-and-mortar and online casinos. These different versions can have varying game rules so it’s important to check the game’s rules so you know how to play.

Are there any Baccarat promotions?

Unfortunately, there are no specific Baccarat promotions available at UK casinos. However, most online casinos offer welcome bonuses to new users which can be used on Baccarat games depending on terms and conditions of a bonus, so make sure you check them before claiming anything!

What Baccarat strategy is the best to use?

As we’ve mentioned in our Baccarat guide, strategies are not 100% effective and will not guarantee a win, but they can make the game more interesting and potentially help you make more wins. We suggest you read through the different Baccarat strategies we covered in our guide and find one that interests you the most.