Learn All About Baccarat and Discover Why It’s James Bond’s Favorite Casino Game!Published January 2, 2022 by Elana K
Baccarat may be known as James Bond's favorite casino game, but you don't need to be James Bond to enjoy playing it! In this comprehensive guide, you'll learn how to play baccarat and become familiar with several popular betting strategies.
Baccarat may be known as James Bond's favorite casino game, but you don't need to be James Bond to enjoy playing it! In fact, baccarat is one of the most popular table games at land-based and online casinos around the world. If you’re not familiar with it, there's no better time than now to get acquainted. Read on to learn how to play baccarat and discover several strategies to help you increase your chances of winning.
How to Play Baccarat
Baccarat is one of the simpler online casino card games. The goal of the game is to bet correctly on the hand of the banker or the player. The hand that’s closest to the number 9 wins. Cards 2-9 are worth their face value, while 10-King are worth 0. Aces are worth 1. The game is played with 3-8 standard 52-card decks that are shuffled together by a machine.
The dealer deals 2 hands: one for the banker and one for the player. (Although it’s called the player’s hand, it’s not necessarily you—you are the bettor who is placing wagers on which of the hands will be closest to 9.)
Before the dealer deals, you can bet on 3 possible outcomes: that the player will win, the banker will win, or they will tie. Then the dealer deals the cards face up, 2 for the player and 2 for the banker. If the dealt cards add up to more than 9, the dealer adds the 2 values together and drops the first digit to get the value. For example, if you receive a hand of 8 and 6, the value totals 14. You drop the 1 and are left with a value of 4.
Top Baccarat Casinos
The Third Card
In some cases, a third card can be dealt with. If the player or banker gets an 8 or 9 value from the first 2 cards, it’s considered a natural win, and a third card isn’t dealt. Similarly, if the player has a card value of 6 or 7, they stand and don’t get a third card. If the player doesn’t need that third card, the banker also stands with a 6 or 7 card value.
For better or worse, there are rules regarding when the player and banker stand. These rules might seem complicated in the beginning, but fortunately, it’s the dealer who needs to remember them, not you. Of course, as you get more experience with baccarat, you’ll remember these rules as well.
Regarding the third card:
If the player gets a 9, 10, face card, or ace as their third card, the banker must draw a third card if they have a value between 0 and 3. If the banker has a value between 4 and 7, they stand.
If the player gets an 8 as their third card, the Banker draws with a value of 0-2 and stands with a value of 3-7.
If the player draws a 6 or 7 as their third card, the Banker draws for 0-6 and stands for 7.
If the player draws a 4 or 5 as their third card, the Banker draws for 0-5 and stands for 6-7.
If the player draws a 2 or 3 as their third card, the Banker draws with a value of 0-4 and stands with a value of 5-7.
Baccarat Bet Payouts
If you bet on the player and they win, you get a payout equal to 100% of your bet. If you bet on the banker and they win, you get 95% of your bet. A tie pays out 8:1.
If you bet on the player or banker and a tie results, you don’t win or lose anything (and if you bet on a tie, you win with 8:1 odds).
Baccarat Betting Strategies
While baccarat is a game of almost entirely luck, there are certain strategies you can implement to boost your chances of winnings.
Many gambling experts recommend not betting on a tie outcome, despite the high odds. Because even though you get high odds as a bettor, the house has an even greater advantage for this type of bet: 14.36%.
By comparison, bets made on the banker have a house edge of only 1.06%. Player bets have a house advantage of 1.24%, slightly higher than the banker but nowhere near the house edge for tie bets.
In terms of RTP, banker bets have the highest at 98.94%. In theory, this means that if you place 100 bets of $1 each, you should get back $98.94. The RTP for player bets is 98.76% and 85.64% for tie bets.
Betting on the Banker
The most popular, and simplest, baccarat strategy is to always bet on the banker—even though bets payout 95% and not 100%. The reasoning behind this strategy is that the banker, statistically, wins more than the player. Even with the 95% payout the banker still has the advantage.
Since it can get pretty boring to always bet on the banker, players who prefer more dynamic action might be tempted to try other betting strategies. The Martingale strategy can be used for baccarat and other casino games. It calls for doubling your bet after every loss. For example, if you bet $20 on a hand and lose, on the next hand you should bet $40.
If you keep losing, you should keep doubling the bet—which can be risky and pricey. If you win, you should revert back to your original bet. The idea behind Martingale is to minimize your losses, so that even if you lose a few times consecutively when you win you make it all back plus more.
The Fibonacci strategy is another betting system that can be applied to baccarat and other casino games. In this strategy, you use the famous Fibonacci sequence of numbers to dictate your bets: 1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 – 34 – 55 – 89 – 144 – 233 – 377 – 610 – 987, etc. For every bet you lose, you increase your bet to the next number in the sequence. If you win, go back to betting your original bet.
The Paroli system is the opposite of Martingale—it says you should double your bet after every win. If you lose, you should stay with or go back to your original bet. If you win three times in a row, you should consider that a successful round and start over again with your original bet (or call it a day and cash out).
Similar to Martingale but less risky, the D’Alembert system says that you should increase your betting unit by 1 after each loss. You decide what your betting unit is—the simplest is $1. If you bet $1 and lose, you would increase your next bet by $1. If you win, decrease your betting amount by 1 unit.
Baccarat is a straightforward and fun casino game—so fun, that even the renowned international spy James Bond prefers it over all others. While there are several strategies that you can implement when playing, you can also just go with your gut—since it’s a game of chance, you never know when you’ll get lucky.
Many online casinos offer the option to play baccarat for free, which is a great way to try out different strategies and see which one works best for you. When you’re ready, you can move on to real-money games and see if lady luck smiles upon you as she does on 007.