Guide to Playing Real Money Baccarat Games

The favourite of James Bond, Baccarat may be a luck-based game, but there’s still things you need to know. This guide is packed full of tips and advice to get you started, including the best baccarat casinos online at which to play.

Party Casino

18+. New depositors only. UK residents only. Minimum deposit £10. Free Spins are valid only on Starburst and expire in 7 days. Excludes deposits made via Skrill and Neteller.  

Betway Casino

£250 BONUS
18+. New customers only. Opt-in required. 100% Match Bonus up to £250 on 1st deposit of £20+. Additional bonuses of up to £250 on 2nd deposit of £20+ and up to £500 on 3rd deposit of £20+. 50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements. Credit Card, Debit Card & PayPal deposits only. Irregular gameplay may invalidate your bonus. Full T&C’s apply.

888 Casino

£300 BONUS
18+. New customers only. £88 is granted in FreePlay (FP). FP must be claimed within 48hrs of receiving the email and expires after 14 days. FP wins are credited as bonus and capped at £15, exc. JP win. Bonus wins are capped at £500. To withdraw bonus & related wins, wager 30x (bonus amount) within 90days. Withdrawal restrictions & full T&C’s apply.

Casumo Casino

18+. New UK customers only. Opt-in required. 30 free spins on Book of Dead game upon registration with NO wagering requirements or deposit required for spins AND 100% deposit bonus up to £300: Min deposit £10 and 30x wagering requirements apply on bonus (game weighting applies). Max bet applies. Full T&Cs apply.

Betfair Casino

18+. New UK&IRL Customers only. Min deposit £10. Deposits made with e-wallets are not valid for this promo. Bonus wagering x35 on eligible games. Winnings from bonus capped at £500. Full T&Cs apply.

LeoVegas Casino

18+. New eligible UK players only. Select Casino offer on sign-up and deposit. 4 deposits of £10, £20, £50, £100 matched with a bonus cash offer of same value (14 day expiry). 35x real money cash wagering (within 30 days) on eligible games before bonus cash is credited. Spins credited upon deposits; under £50 =10 Spins, £50 or over =25 Spins; on Book of Dead only (3 day expiry, winnings paid in cash). Play Responsibly. Full T&C’s apply.

Mr Play Casino

18+. New customers only. Applies only to new depositing players. Min deposit £10. Wagering requirement apply 35x. Offer valid for 24hr. 100 spins includes 3 deposit. Full T&C’s apply.

Royal Panda Casino

18+, first deposit only, T&Cs apply. Opt-in required. Deposits with Skrill, PayPal, Neteller and Paysafecard not eligible. Casino bonus: min. £10, max. £100. Bonus/free spins winnings wagering requirement: x35. Max. bonus bet: £5, can vary. Free sports bet: min. deposit and stake £20 (min. odds 2.0). Credited after all qualifying bets settled.

Winstar Casino

18+. New customers only. Opt-in required. First two deposits only. Maximum bonus is £250, plus 100 bonus spins. Bonus spins valid on select slots. Wagering Requirement of 45x Bonus Amount. Max bet £5 per bet. Max conversion £1,000. Neteller / Skrill deposits not permitted. Bonuses expires after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.

32Red Casino

£150 BONUS
18+. New customers only. Min. £10 deposit. 50x wagering, game contributions vary, max. stake applies. 7 day expiry. Full T&C’s apply.
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Baccarat Basics

Baccarat is a card game played between dealer and player, with quite a strict set of rules. There are three variants of baccarat- punto banco, baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque. The typical version played by most casinos and online casinos is punto banco, also called ‘North American baccarat’.

Punto banco baccarat is purely a game of chance. There is no skill element involved, as the outcome of each game is decided by the cards as they are revealed. There is a list of rules which the game must follow, a kind of automated program. With each round or ‘coup’, either the player or banker will win, or there will be a tie.

The cards in baccarat have a point value, with the cards 2 to 9 having their usual value, tens, jacks and queen are worth 0 points and aces are worth 1. If double figures are reached by adding cards together, the rightmost value is used, so a 13 becomes a 3. This means the maximum is 9. The term ‘punto’ refers to the player and ‘banco’ the banker, but these designations are not literally controlled by player and dealer, they are just representatives of the rules. With each coup, two cards are dealt to player and banker with the hopes of getting a total of 8 or 9. Should no resolution be found, more cards are dealt according to strict rules.

Baccarat is not quite as common as other online casino games, but the best casinos will host at least one version. These can vary slightly in rules and appearance.

How to Play Baccarat Like an Expert

Stick to these three simple principles and you will be playing baccarat like a pro in no time:

Who has the edge

With standard baccarat, unfortunately there’s little a player can do to moderate victory or failure. The game plays itself out with little input from the player, who can only bet on the banker, player or a tie. In essence, this is a coin toss, though house edge reduces the chances a little.

Banker bet payout

Typically a banker bet pays out 5% less than a player bet to even things out. The player bet is 1 to 1, while the banker is 19 to 20. However, the player bet has a slightly higher house edge than the banker bet.

Avoid the tie bet

The tie bet is usually 8 to 1 and it’s difficult to hit, so most players avoid it unless feeling very lucky.

Baccarat Rules

Punto banco baccarat follows a set of rules known as the ‘tableau’. The banker and player are each drawn two cards, adding the totals together to get a score, reducing double figures by only using the rightmost digit. If either banker or player has 8 or 9 (a ‘natural’), they win- if they both have it, it’s a tie.

Should neither have 8 or 9, the game follows the rules of the tableau to see what happens next. The player’s rule is checked first, then the banker’s. If the player has an initial total of 0-5, he draws a third card. If the total is 6 or 7, he stands. If the player stands, the banker follows the same rules, drawing on 0-5 and standing on 6-7.

However, if the player drew a third card, the banker has a more complex action:

  • If Player drew a 2 or 3, Banker draws with 0–4 and stands with 5–7
  • If Player drew a 4 or 5, Banker draws with 0–5 and stands with 6–7
  • If Player drew a 6 or 7, Banker draws with 0–6 and stands with 7
  • If Player drew an 8, Banker draws with 0–2 and stands with 3–7
  • If Player drew an ace, 9, 10, or face-card, the Banker draws with 0–3 and stands with 4–7

Depending on the casino, in the event of a tie, current bets may remain in place for the next round or they may be reset.

Baccarat Strategies

Improving your chances is difficult with baccarat, since the base punto banco game does not have any player input. However, there are players who swear by using certain betting strategies which help to control how much is being risked. For example, the 1-3-2-4 strategy is recommended, but as with any, there’s no guarantee of success and players must still be willing to risk all money wagered.

The strategy is simple- place the first bet, if it succeeds then place the second. Continue up to the fourth. If a bet fails at any point, start again from the first. The first bet is a single unit, so this might be a bet of £5.

The second bet is three units, so this would be £15. The third is two units, therefore £10. The fourth is four units, which is £20 in this example. The idea is that if the first two bets land, even if the third fails, the player has a profit.

When playing chemin de fer, the generally agreed strategy is to hit on a score of 0 to 4 and stand on a 6 and 7. On a 5, the player can essentially play at random.

Types of Baccarat

There are several variations on baccarat, both historical and modern.

Super 6 or Punto 2000 is a version where even money is paid on winning banker bets instead of 19 to 20, except when the banker wins with 6, when only 50% of the bet is paid. This has a higher house edge on the banker bet but it’s faster to play.

Chemin de fer is named after the railway because it’s a quicker version of baccarat. A player is designated banker and this changes each round. The banker places a wager and the players have the option to ‘go bank’ and match it, or place their own wagers.

The banker gets two cards as normal but the other two are held in common by the other players. One player is chosen to decide if a third card is drawn, adding an element of choice to the game.

Baccarat Banque is similar to chemin de fer, but the bank stays with one player and the players are dealt cards as two groups, split into two sides, around the chosen banker. Each side wins or loses by the cards dealt to them as a group. Players may choose when to draw a card.

You want to win at Baccarat? Try our top Baccarat Tips

  • Accept that the game is guided by chance and bet accordingly.
  • Research betting strategies.
  • Bet on the banker as the player bet has a higher house edge.
  • In chemin de fer, hit on a 0-4 and stand on a 6 or 7.

History of Baccarat

Baccarat has a disputed origin, but it seems to have appeared in the 19th century. Some sources believe that it was originally named ‘baccara’ and came to France from Italy, as early as the 15th century, by soldiers returning from the Franco-Italian War.

The term ‘baccara’ means zero and seems to refer to the face cards having 0 value in this game. Some attribute the creation of the game to a man named Felix Falguiere. The original game had four different dealers, each player could be the banker and players could get against each other.

In France, the game became a favourite of King Charles VIII and took off among the aristocracy. Much later in England, the game was popularised by Ian Fleming’s portrayal of it in the James Bond novels. It is believed that punto banco baccarat began in Cuba, catching on as that version of the game spread to mainland America.

Though it never became a common casino game played by the public, it is considered a high-class game played by VIPs, for amazingly high stakes.

Baccarat Glossary

Betting on the result of a baccarat game to be a banker win. This will have a 5% commission.
A round of baccarat.
The cards King, Queen and Jack, which are word 0 in baccarat.
The set of cards a player is holding, also the name for a constructed combination of cards.
Scoring an 8 or 9 from the first two cards in punto banco.
Baccarat cards are sometimes manipulated using a wooden board called a palette.
Betting on the result of a baccarat game to be a player win. This has a higher house edge.
The most common form of baccarat, meaning ‘player – banker’.
A device used by the casino to deal cards in table games, most notably blackjack.
French for ‘board’, this is the set of rules that baccarat follows.
An Italian precursor to baccarat.
To discard a number of cards at the beginning of the shoe.
This version of baccarat allows players to make some choice regarding the card draw. Also called ‘chemmy’ or ‘shimmy’.
In chemin de fer, asking for another card. Players can also stand and take no more cards.
The built-in advantage that casinos have across all of their games, making it possible for the casinos to stay in business and make profit.
The ‘big one’ or the best hand in baccarat, a natural totalling 9.
The ‘little one’, a natural hand totalling 8.
A smaller, faster way to play the game, usually with lower stakes.
A bet that neither wins nor loses. This is typically held over to the next round.
Betting on the result of a baccarat game to be a tie. This usually pays 8 to 1 or 9 to 1.

Top 10 Best Online Baccarat Casinos 2019

RankBrandOfferPlay Now
1stParty Casino120 FREE SPINSPlay Now
2ndBetway Casino£250 BONUSPlay Now
3rd888 Casino£300 BONUSPlay Now
4thCasumo Casino £300 BONUS + 30 FREE SPINSPlay Now
5thBetfair CasinoPLAY WITH £60 ON £10 DEPOSITPlay Now
6thLeoVegas Casino£400 BONUS + 100 FREE SPINSPlay Now
7thMr Play Casino£200 BONUS + 100 FREE SPINSPlay Now
8thRoyal Panda Casino£100 BONUS + 10 FREE SPINSPlay Now
9thWinstar Casino£250 BONUS + 100 FREE SPINSPlay Now
10th32Red Casino£150 BONUSPlay Now