Baccarat (Baccara) | Bovada
Join the rich and famous for a round of baccarat – an elegant card game that’s typically played by high rollers. Despite the prestige surrounding the game, it’s quite simple; you bet on one of three random outcomes: a Banker win, a Player win or a Tie. Who will get a higher score: the Banker or the Player? Or maybe they’ll tie for a 9-1 payout. The result of each round is visually represented with color-coded beads at the side of the screen, so you can quickly see who’s been dominant and adjust your bets accordingly.
Baccarat Game Rules
How to Play Baccarat
- First choose whether to bet on the Player, the Banker, a Tie or a combination of all three by placing chips ($1, $5, $25, $100 and $500 – the maximum wager is $500) on the marked circles on the table and clicking the “Deal” button. Both the Player and the Banker will then receive two cards.
- Victory goes to the party with the highest total hand value. If both hands are tied, it is considered a loss unless you bet on a tie. The total is decided by adding up the cards that make up each party’s hand. If the totals reach the double digit range, only the second number counts as the value of the hand. Example 1: 7 + 7 = 14. The Baccarat result is 4. Example 2: King (zero) + 6 = 6. The Baccarat result is six.
- The Player always plays first and receives a third card if the two-card total falls between zero and five.
- The Banker can also receive extra cards. If the Banker’s hand value is equal to seven, eight or nine, the Banker will stand. If the Banker’s hand value is equal to zero, one or two, the Banker draws another card. If the hand total falls between three and six, the Banker draws a card according to the chart below:
- The suit of a card has no bearing or value.
- Cards 2 to 9 have face value.
- 10’s, jacks, queens, and kings are worth zero.
- Aces are worth 1.
- Add the values of each card in the hand, and if the value is two digits, drop the first digit to determine the score.
- For example, 7 + 7 = 14 results in a value of 4 when you drop the first digit.
Wagers and Payouts
- You can bet on Player, Banker, Tie or any combination of the three.
- The hand with the highest total wins.
- Player pays 1-1.
- Banker pays 1-1 minus a 5% commission*. Example a $5 wager pays $4.75 for a total of $9.75.
- If you wager on a Tie and there is in fact a tie, you’ll receive a 9-1 payout.
*The commission is 5% of the bet and is rounded up to the next quarter. For example, a minimum bet of $6 would deduct a $0.50 commission. 5% of $6 = 30 cents, but since the commission is rounded up to the next 25 cents; the commission is actually 50 cents. 5% of $11 = $0.55 makes the actual commission $0.75.
A Brief History of Baccarat
With a history dating back to the 1400’s, Baccarat is one of the oldest card games still played in casinos today. The word “baccara” is Italian for zero, which is the value of tens and face cards in the game. Although the origins of the game are still up for debate, it’s believed to be invented by the Italian gambler Felix Falguerein, who used a deck of Tarot cards in the initial design. The Tarot cards were later replaced with a standard 52-card deck.
The game grew in popularity when it made its way from Italy to France, where it became known as Chemin de Fer, and not long after, an offshoot called Baccarat en Banque started. For a period of time, the game was exclusive to French nobility, which is why it has traditionally been associated with high rollers. The game spread through Europe, and different countries developed their own versions of the popular game.
America was first introduced to Baccarat in the late 19th century, but the game struggled to gain popularity because of the prevalence of Blackjack. Baccarat made its way down south to Cuba, where it found a following and a new name: Punto Banco.
A casino player and writer by the name of Tommy Renzoni brought the game from Cuba to Las Vegas, where it finally stuck. Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels definitely helped the game gain popularity. The plot of Casino Royale (published in 1953) has Bond defeat his nemesis through a high rollers Chemin de Fer game in Northern France. The full-length version even comes with a set of rules on how to play the game.
As the game caught on, more variants were created, including the very popular Mini Baccarat, which was created to cater to players with an average bankroll. As suggested by the name, Mini Baccarat lowers the betting minimums and reduces the baccarat table to the size of a seven-seat blackjack table. The traditional (non mini) game can be played with up to 12 or 14 players.
The Punto Banco version is the standard in North America and allows players to bet on either the banker, the player, or a tie. The game is simple enough; everything from 2s to 9s are taken at face value, aces are worth 1, and as previously mentioned 10s and face cards are worth zero. When you bet on either the banker, player, or tie, you’re betting on who will have a hand closer to 9 or if the result will be a tie.
Each player is dealt two cards, and the value of the hand is the sum of both cards – as long as the value is under 10. If the score is 10 or above, simply drop the first digit to obtain the score. For example, if the banker gets a 6 and an 8, the score is 14. Drop the 1-digit, and the banker is left with a score of 4. For more information on how to play Baccarat, check out the table games section at Bovada Casino.
Guide to Playing Baccarat
Ever since James Bond familiarized North America with Baccarat in the 1962 film Dr. No, Baccarat has been associated with high rollers. Unless you’re playing Mini Baccarat, Big Table Baccarat typically comes with high table minimums and a dress code.
Fortunately, when playing online, you can wear what you want and play for as little as $1 a round. Another bonus for playing online is that you never have to be “dealer”. At physical casinos, players take turns being dealer and follow a set of steps to complete the round.
The steps you must follow when playing online are reduced to three: bet on the Player, bet on the Banker, and bet on the Tie (you can bet one, two or all three). You’re betting on who you think will get a hand closer to Nine, or if both the Player and Banker will tie (note – you are neither the player nor banker, you’re a betting bystander).
Two to Nine: Face Value
Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings: 0 points
Aces: 1 point
On the baccarat table, you’ll see the three bets (Tie, Banker, Player). Click the option you want to bet on, and then click on the chips; you can bet between $1 and $500 per round. After making your bets, hit “Deal”. Two cards will be dealt to the Player and two cards will be dealt to the Banker.
In baccarat, no hand has a score over 9 points. If the hand value is 10 or above, the first digit is removed. For example, if the Player has a Five and an Eight, the hand value is 13. Remove the first digit (the 1), and you’ll have a score of 3.
Because you’re neither the Banker nor the Player, additional cards are systematically added to the hand.
- If the Player’s hand is between 0 and 5, another card is drawn.
- If the Banker’s hand is between 0 and 2, another card is drawn.
- If the Banker’s hand is between 3 and 6, his move depends on the Player’s Draw card. The game guide has a chart that illustrates each move.
The Banker’s more complex position offers a slight advantage – about 1.1% house edge. The Player bet has a slightly higher house edge at 1.2%, and the Tie has the highest house edge at 14.4%. The payouts reflect the probabilities.
Player Wins Pay Even Money
Banker Wins Pay Even Money – 5% Commission
Tie Wins Pay 9:1
Now that you know the baccarat basics, see how you like it by trying a few rounds at Bovada Casino in Practice Mode. Can you get on board with Bond’s favorite casino game?
Baccarat Basics: Drawing and Standing Rules
Baccarat is without a doubt one of the most popular casino play games ever invented. Like most casino play games, there have been some changes over the past 200 years or so. When Napoleon was still in charge of France, people were playing a three-person casino game called baccarat banque. This was soon followed by a two-player game play called chemin de fer, which James Bond famously plays in the Ian Fleming novels and early films. Today, when you play online Baccarat at Bovada Casino for real money, you’re playing a newer game play called punto banco that was first developed in Cuba in the 1940s, but still a fun play at any casino, online or live.
The great thing about punto banco is how easy it is to play live or online. You don’t even need to know all the game rules to play Baccarat for real money; you can simply place your play bet on either the Player (punto) or the baccarat Banker (banco) to have the better hand, or you can bet on the Tie. All the game dealing and drawing is done automatically, based on pre-determined rules – no decisions required, online or live. However, if you want to increase your baccarat enjoyment of this great casino game, this online Baccarat guide will show you how the rules for drawing work, so you can better follow along while you play Baccarat online at Bovada.
Keeping Score in Baccarat
First, a quick reminder how this baccarat game works, for those of you just learning how to play Baccarat. It’s a bit like Blackjack, but the goal is to get as close to nine points as possible instead of 21. Like Blackjack, there is no rule differences between online and live. Players and the baccarat Banker each receive two cards face-up from the standard 52-card deck; a six-deck play shoe is used at Bovada Casino, compared to the eight-deck play shoe you’ll find at most live casinos. Aces are worth one point in Baccarat, Kings through Tens are worth zero, and all other casino cards are worth face value.
Unlike Blackjack, it’s impossible to go bust in Baccarat, live or online. The highest possible score is nine points; if players’ two play cards add up to more than that, simply ignore the number in the “tens” column and look only at the number in the “ones” column. For example, if players’ get dealt a Six and a Seven, the score isn’t 13, but 3. This might take a little getting used to at first, but it shouldn’t take long to get the hang of it after several games at Bovada’s online casino.
Drawing a Third Card
Here’s another thing that makes Baccarat so simple: Players and the Banker can only draw one more card, instead of multiple cards like Blackjack. Whether or not a third card is drawn depends mainly on what score you and the Banker have with their first two cards. If either of them is dealt 8 or 9 (also known as a “natural”), no more cards are drawn – either the better hand wins, or it’s a Tie at any live or online casino.
Things get a bit more complicated if neither the Player nor Banker is dealt a natural. First, we look at the Player’s score. If it’s 6 or 7, the Player will stand; if it’s 5 or less, the Player will draw a third card. That’s easy enough to remember. Then it’s the baccarat Banker’s turn, and this is where the tableau comes in. The tableau (French for “table”) is a chart that shows you all the possible draws for the casino Banker, based on what their score is after the first two cards have been dealt – and the Player’s third card. Here’s an example, with the letter S for “stand” and the letter D for “draw.”
One find a version of this tableau in the online game description to the left of one’s display when one goes to play Baccarat at Bovada Casino. These are also used at live casinos to help patrons keep up with the action. All one has to do is find the baccarat Banker’s score on the left, then stay on that row and look to the right for the Player’s score. If there’s a D in that space (or some other indicator), the Banker draws a third card. That’s all there is to it; once all of the cards have been dealt, the scores are added up and the winning bets get paid out for real money.
Of course, if you really want to get the most out of your online Baccarat play experience, it will help if you memorize the drawing rules for both the Player and the baccarat Banker. The online tableau is a great reference tool, but it’s not easy to memorize as a chart. Instead, try the following list, presented in order of the Banker’s score from lowest to highest:
- 0-2: Draw
- 3: Draw if Player is dealt 0-7 or 9
- 4: Draw if Player is dealt 2-7
- 5: Draw if Player is dealt 4-7
- 6: Draw if Player is dealt 6-7
- 7: Stand
As you can see, the baccarat Banker draws less often as their score increases, which makes sense – the further away you are from nine points, the more likely you should be to draw a third card. Knowing that will make it easier for you to remember the drawing rules for Baccarat. Once you have them down pat, you can ignore the tableau entirely and focus on the cards as they’re being dealt, which will improve your enjoyment of the baccarat game.
Position Is Power
Understanding the order of the draw (you first, then Banker) will also help you understand the real money payouts for Baccarat games. If you bet on the Player and win, you get paid out at even money. If you bet on the Banker and win, you get even money minus a 5% commission. So why bet on the baccarat Banker? Because they have a better chance of winning than the Player at any casino, live or online. The baccarat Banker doesn’t have to draw until the Player acts, which is a considerable advantage; just like in poker, the baccarat Banker has position over the Player.
You can see how important this advantage is when you look at the house edge for these two bets: With a six-deck shoe, it’s 1.24% for the Player bet, and 1.06% for the baccarat Banker bet. Being aware of this difference makes it easier for you to get the most value out of your betting patterns, and we’re more than happy to let you know about it – yet another reason Bovada’s online casino is the best site to play Baccarat online.
Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, give Baccarat a spin today for free using the “Practice Play” mode at Bovada’s online casino. Consult the online game play description and the tableau as required to help you learn the drawing rules, then switch to Real Play mode and put your real money down once you’re ready. The more you practice, the more you’ll learn, and the more you’ll enjoy the game. Good luck when you play Bovada’s online casino games for real money.
How to Play Baccarat Guide
Online Baccarat Guide
Whether you’re an experienced player at Bovada Casino, or you’re just dropping in for the first time, you’ve probably heard about Baccarat – thanks to James Bond. But let’s forget about our favorite secret agent and look at the game itself. Our Baccarat guide will show you how to get started playing this highly entertaining game; we’ll give you some Baccarat strategy tips along the way, and we’ll take a deep dive into the Baccarat odds while we’re at it. As you’ll see, Baccarat gives you some of the best odds you’ll find at any casino.
Origins of Baccarat
Baccarat has been around for so long, we might never know its true origin story – but it appears we have either Italy or France to thank for this great game. A man named Felix Falguerein (or perhaps Felix Falguiere) is credited with inventing Baccarat sometime during the 1400s. Whether Falguerein was an Italian gambler or a French croupier is up for debate. Most accounts place him in Italy, where he’s said to have created Baccarat using a deck of Tarot cards to play an old Etruscan ritual from around 800-900 BCE.
The ritual in question involved the ascension of women into the priesthood. Candidates were required to throw dice to see if they’d be chosen; a roll of 8 or 9 would allow the lucky winner to become the next priestess. A roll of 6 or 7 would grant the woman permission to enter the temple. Five or worse, and she’d be forced to jump off a cliff. Falguerein’s version was presumably more forgiving to people who didn’t get a high score.
Whether or not Baccarat was invented in Italy, it soon appeared in France, where King Charles VIII is said to have brought the game to his court during the First Italian War of 1494–98. You had to be pretty well off to play Baccarat back then; the game would eventually spread throughout European aristocracy, spurred on by the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) and other international conflicts. If Baccarat seems like a really fancy game at the live casinos, this is probably why.
With so many possible origins, it’s no wonder that different versions of Baccarat kept popping up. The version still played in France today is called chemin de fer (meaning “railroad”), and it’s the game that James Bond played in the books and movies. There’s also a game called baccarat banque, aka baccarat à deux tableaux (“at two tables”), which you can still find in France and elsewhere in Europe. But the Baccarat game we play today in the United States is called punto banco, and it’s a much more recent invention, with roots in 1950s Argentina.
How to Play Baccarat
Here’s the thing about learning how to play Baccarat, punto banco style: Once you learn the rules, that’s all there is to it. The other variants we’ve mentioned give players the opportunity to act as the Dealer, who’s known as the Banker in this game. You can bet on any of the other players at the table, or you can bet on the Banker. There are enough decisions to be made in these versions that you can, in theory, find an edge and become a professional Baccarat player – and maybe even bankrupt a few super-villains along the way.
The “North American” version of Baccarat is a different animal. This is a standard table game where it’s just you versus the Banker; if you play at a live casino, the other players around the table aren’t your enemies, they’re also playing against the Banker, much like they do at the Blackjack tables. In fact, there are quite a few similarities between Baccarat and Blackjack, starting with the basic rules.
After you place your bet (anywhere between $1 and $500 at Bovada Casino), you and the Banker each receive two cards, face-up. While the general idea in Blackjack is to make as close to 21 as possible, in Baccarat, the best hand you can make is a 9 – just like that Etruscan ritual with the would-be priestesses. Aces are worth one point in Baccarat, Tens and face cards are worth zero, and everything else is face value.
When you add up the values of your cards in Baccarat, your score can be anywhere between 0 and 9. There’s no going bust; if you have more than 9 points, you simply ignore whatever digit is in the “tens” column and focus on the digit in the “ones” column. For example, if your two Baccarat cards are a Nine and an Eight, which add up to 17, your score is 7. If you have an Eight and a Three (totaling 11), your score is 1.
Ideally, your two cards will add up to either 8 or 9. You won’t enter the priesthood, but if either you or the Banker get dealt an 8 or 9 in Baccarat, that’s called a natural hand, and the round is over. Either you or the Banker has the winning hand at this point. If neither you nor the Banker has an 8 or 9 after receiving two cards, then a third and final card is drawn under certain conditions. It depends on what your score and the Banker’s score is. All draws are decided automatically, using the standard Baccarat tableau as a reference. You can see this tableau by checking out the game description for Baccarat at Bovada Casino.
Since everything is done automatically for you at Bovada, you don’t actually have to memorize the tableau – but you might want to anyway, if you’re curious about the game and you think you’d like to try it out at a live venue. One other important thing about Baccarat: You have three betting options to choose from. You can bet on yourself (the Player) or the Banker, or you can bet on the hand ending in a Tie. Each outcome has its own odds and payouts, so you’ll definitely want to put these different bets in your memory bank.
Here’s the breakdown: Winning bets on the Player pay out at even money. Winning bets on the Banker pay 1:1 minus a 5% commission. And winning bets on the Tie pay out at a handsome 9:1. If you play Baccarat live, you’ll probably only get 8:1 on your Tie wager – yet another reason to play Baccarat online at Bovada.
It might seem like you should always bet on the Tie given these payouts, but the odds of that bet winning are relatively small: 9.53%. The Player will win 44.62% of the time, and the Banker will win the other 45.85%. Since there are no decisions other than which bet to make, it’s easy enough to figure out the Baccarat odds with a little math, and once you know the odds, you can figure out the house edge for each bet.
There’s one other piece of information you need first: How many decks are being used? Baccarat is typically played with either six or eight decks in the shoe, or sometimes just one handled by the Banker. Bovada uses six decks, which creates a slightly higher house edge on the Tie than an eight-deck shoe, since there are fewer cards in the shoe that will leave the Player and Banker with the same score. Crunch the numbers, and you’ll get the following house edges at Bovada:
Dealing of Cards
At the start of every Baccarat hand, the Player will receive a card, then the Banker, then the Player, then the Banker again. The Player draws first if a third card is required, then the Banker. Cards are shuffled automatically between hands.
Types of Hands
There’s nothing particularly complicated about what hands you can make in Baccarat – you’ll score anywhere between 0 and 9 inclusive.
Top Three Advanced Winning Strategies
Without any decisions to make other than betting on the Player, Banker or Tie, there’s no real strategy for how to win Baccarat in the long run. But these three tips will help you get you the most value out of your game during any one session:
- Respect the house edges. If maximizing your return is important to you, always bet on the Banker when you play Baccarat. If you’re looking for more variety, keeping the above house edges in mind, bet on the Player almost as often as the Banker, and sprinkle in some Tie bets, too.
- Manage your bankroll. Divide your roll into at least 100 units, and bet one unit per hand only. Stick with that bet size at all times. More advanced players can plan their sessions to last a certain length of time, on average, by doing some math with the house edges and the number of hands they typically play per hour, then choosing an appropriate bet size to meet their targets.
- Have fun. Baccarat is meant to be played for entertainment, not as a source of income. Play only when you feel like it – and of course, never play with money you can’t afford to lose.
Now that you know everything you need to know about Baccarat, from its murky origins to the specific rules and game play for punto banco, let’s see what you’re made of. Try some play money hands for free at Bovada Casino using the Practice Play mode. Then take your game to the next level and play some real-money Baccarat.