A Beginner's Guide to Baccarat: How to Play and How to Win

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Baccarat is one of the classiest casino games – so classy it features James Bond in movies such as Casino Royale. Baccarat's low house edge and simple rules make it one of the most enjoyable games of luck and strategy for online casino players, and ideal for both beginners and advanced casino players.

Baccarat Betting Options for Beginners

Baccarat is a classic Las Vegas style duel between 'The Player' and the 'The Banker' and can be played in online casinos with beginner stakes as low as $0.10. Advanced players can progress to stakes as high as $500.00.

You can bet on three simple outcomes in each round: Player Win, Tie, or Banker Win. Each bet has a different payout level:

  • Player 1/1
  • Banker 1/1 (minus 5% commission)
  • Tie 8/1

Baccarat Scoring Rules

The aim of Baccarat is to bet on the hand that gets as close as possible to 9. Scores range from 0-9 thanks to the card values and special score rule explained below:

  • Cards two through nine are face value
  • 10, jack, queen and king cards have a value of zero
  • Ace is worth one

Special Baccarat scoring rule: The scoring in Baccarat is interesting and gives the deal a bit of a twist. Hand scores only count the right hand digit; for example, 4 and 8-12, but the 10 is removed to create a score of 2!

Playing Baccarat Rounds for Beginners

After you've placed a bet, every round of Baccarat sees the Player and Banker draw two cards. The hand scores dictate whether more cards need to be drawn by either side:

  • Player and Banker rule: If either of the Player or the Banker has a score of 8 or 9 then they have a 'natural hand'. The outcome of the round is decided without more drawing.
  • Player only hand rules: If the Player's score is 0-5 then they will always be dealt a third card. If their hand is 6 or 7 then they always stand.
  • Dealer only hand rules: If the Banker's hand is zero, 1 or 2 then they will always receive a third card. If the Banker's hand is a 7 then they will always stand (even if the Player takes a third card). However, if the Player stands with 6 or 7, then Banker takes another card if their score is 0-5.
  • Lastly, if the Banker's score is 3-6 then they mirror the Player's move (either standing or drawing a third card).

While this might sound a bit confusing, remember that the gameplay in online Baccarat is automated; simply make your bet and watch the round unfold.

Baccarat Strategy for Beginners

Baccarat is technically a game based on luck, but much like roulette, there are endless strategies available that can create winning sessions. Your best option is to test different strategies and systems to analyse the results using small stakes or free Baccarat bonuses.

It's worth knowing that the Banker bet has an edge of just 1.06%, which makes it one of the most player-friendly casino bets in existence! The Player bet also has a small casino edge of 1.24%. While the Tie has a nice 8/1 payout, its house advantage of 14.36% means it takes real luck to consistently predict it happening. Most strategies are built around betting on the Dealer and/or Player.

The most famous and simplest Baccarat system is the Martingale strategy, in which the Player bets using progressively doubled stakes until a winner creates a one unit profit. In theory the Martingale system can work wonders – but it can also blow your bank. It's important to consider when to cut your losses when using systems and to be aware of the risks.

Combined with good luck and a touch of intuition, Baccarat can deliver a mix of relaxed casino class and plenty of winning sessions. Baccarat is very simple for beginners to get going with. Simply choose your bet size and then decide whether you're with the Player or the Banker, then let the round unfold.

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