Full Guide on How to Play Baccarat Online and the Rules of Baccarat

how to play baccarat

Baccarat is a simple and fast paced game that has been played for more than 500 years. It offers easy entertainment and one of the best chances of winning at a casino as the RTP is very high – up to 98.76%. In recent years, Baccarat has also become one of those games where players can chase life changing winnings as modern versions of Baccarat allow for more than 1 million to be won from just a one-pound/euro/dollar stake.

While it’s true that the game is easy to enjoy, it is also true that it has some complex elements that often make players refrain from trying it out. To make sense of these elements, we have created the following guide where we are thoroughly explaining the rules of Baccarat. You’ll also be able to read about different game variations that exist online and how to play Baccarat if you would like to chase that £1 million win.

These Are the Ground Rules of Baccarat – How to Play the Original Game

Baccarat is a game that is played with eight full decks of 52 cards. In these decks each and every card is assigned a value – the following ones:

card values in Baccarat

In other words, all aces are worth 1 point; all 10s and face cards 0 points; and all cards from 2 – 9 the same amount of points as their numerical face values.

There are three different betting options in the game which are known as “Player”, “Banker” and “Tie”. Don’t confuse Player with yourself or any other players as it has nothing to do with people. This is just a name that this betting option has been given.

The table on which Baccarat is played is split into two sides where one of these sides is the Player and one is the Banker. On each and every game round – after the bets have been placed – two cards will be dealt on the Player side and two cards on the Banker side. It could look like this:

Player and Banker sides cards

Once dealt, the points that the cards represent are added together. This means that in our example the Player side got 7 points (2 + 5) and the banker side only 6 (0 + 6). Unless it’s a tie where both of the sides end up with the same number of points, the side with the highest ones is the one that wins. In other words, if we placed a bet on the Player side, we would have won in this particular example.

So far everything’s been pretty straight forward. However, the rules of Baccarat do get a bit tricker as there are two more things that you need to know about. To cover the first one, let’s take another example of a game round where card values exceed 10 points:

baccarat betting, player vs bank

Now, logic would tell us that the Player ended up with 18 points (9 + 9) and the Banker with 12 (8 + 4). However, in Baccarat the value of a hand can never exceed 9 points. Whenever one of the sides hit 10 or more, the tens digit is removed. So, in this example the Player actually got 8 points and the Banker 2. 

This Baccarat rule may seem pointless at first, but it’s a very important one for the game. You see, in addition to the two dealt cards, there is a third one that is sometimes added to the Player, or the Banker, or both. This is where playing Baccarat gets complicated and most people don’t understand how to.  

The Player receiving a third card is solely based on the value of the first two that are dealt on the Player side. However, when it comes to the Banker, a third card is based both on the value of the first two cards that are dealt on the Banker side, as well as the value of the third card that is possibly given to the Player.

For instance, a Player will always receive a third card when the first two have a value of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. This would also be the case for the Banker whenever a third card isn’t dealt to the player. When one is, the Banker will not receive a third card when it has been dealt an initial value of 4 and the Player’s third card is valued at 0, 1, 8 or 9.

Now, this is just one of many examples of the Banker not receiving a third card. Quite complex, right? Luckily, it’s possible to create tables that give you a really nice overview of these odd Baccarat rules. These tables tell you exactly when the Player and the Banker will receive a third card. Let’s have a look at them!

Player Receiving a Third Card in Baccarat
Value of First Two Cards
Third Card Dealt?
0
Yes
1
Yes
2
Yes
3
Yes
4
Yes
5
Yes
6
No
7
No
8
No
9
No
When to receieve the 3rd card in baccarat

Before we move on to a final example of a more complex game round, there’s one last rule of Baccarat that you must know about. When the Player is dealt a value of 8 or 9 on its initial two cards, the Banker will never receive a third card no matter what the value of the first two cards are on the Banker side.

Here is a final example of a game round in Baccarat:

baccarat player vs banker 2

On the first two cards that were dealt in this game round, the Player ended up with a value of 3 (0 + 3) and the Banker also with a value of 3 (8 + 5 – 10). Looking at the above table for the Player, we can see that a third card will be dealt when the first two add up to 3 points. So let’s have a look at the third card:

baccarat player vs banker 3

The 4 of Diamonds was dealt. This means that the player ended up with a total value of 7 (4 + 0 + 3). Now, if we look at the above table for the Banker, we can see that this side should receive a third card as well.

The Banker got a value of 3 on the first two cards and when this value is matched with the Player receiving a third card that’s a 4, a third card should be dealt to the Banker. As you can see in the table, this would not have been the case if the third card dealt to the Player was an 8.

Now let’s have a look at the third card dealt to the Banker:

baccarat player vs banker 4

The 6 of Clubs was added. This means that the Banker ended up beating the Player as the total score of Banker ended up at 9 (8 + 5 + 6 – 10).

Summarization of the Turn Order in Baccarat

Now that you know the rules of Baccarat, let’s have a quick recap of the order in which the game is played:  

  1. Two cards are dealt to both the Player and the Banker
  2. The value of the Player’s hand is noted
  3. A third card is dealt to the Player if eligible
  4. The value of the Banker’s hand is noted
  5. If a third card is given to the Player, the value of that card is noted
  6. A third card is dealt to the Banker if eligible
  7. The value of the Player’s and Banker’s hands are compared

Payouts and Odds for the Banker, Player and Tie

play baccarat

The original game of Baccarat is definitely not known for its massive payouts. In similarity to Blackjack, the odds of winning are high and therefore the payouts on a single game round are very limited. As we’ve already covered, you can bet and win on the Player, the Banker or a Tie. These three options have the following odds and payouts:

Payouts and Odds in Baccarat
Betting Option:
Player
Banker
Tie
Payout:
1:1
0.95:1
8:1
Odds:
44.60%
45.80%
9.60%

While a maximum win of 9 times your stake (8:1) may not be much, you should note that this is only for the original game of Baccarat. If you’re playing it online there are not only side bets to be found, but also game variations that come with unique Baccarat rules that allow you to win a lot more.

How to Play Baccarat Online – Side Bets and Unique Game Variations

As you may or may not already know, playing Baccarat online is super simple as more less every internet casino is offering the game. You can either play it in a virtual environment where it’s you against the computer or in a live casino where real dealers are interacting with you. The latter option is what most players prefer as this is the real deal – like visiting a land-based casino.  

In addition to the ground rules of the game, there are many ways in how Baccarat can be played over the internet. There are several game variations of it and while it’s true that most of these are similar, they come with side bets that can make the experience totally different – a lot more exciting. There’s also one particular variation of Baccarat that stands out for its amazing innovation and potential to pay out life changing winnings.

If you’re interested in taking the Baccarat experience to the next level, let us have a look at what the side bets and game variations have to offer!

Side Bets in Online Baccarat – More Ways of Winning More

Depending on the version that you are playing, the side bets in Baccarat may vary a bit. There are many game developers in the online casino industry and to attract players they try to do things differently. For instance, some side bets will only be available on live Baccarat provided by Evolution Gaming, while others will only be available on live Baccarat provided by Playtech. With that being said, those that are common to come across include the following ones: 

  • Player Pair (3♠, 3♥)
    Here you are betting on the Player being dealt a pair on its two first cards.
  • Banker Pair (K♥, K♣)
    Here you are betting on the Banker being dealt a pair on its two first cards.
  • Perfect Pair (7♦, 7♦)
    A bet that is won if the Player or Banker, or both of them is dealt a pair of the same suit on the first two cards.
  • Either Pair
    A bet that wins if either the Player or the Banker is dealt a pair on the first two cards.
  • Player Bonus
    This is a bet that wins if the Player wins by 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 points on a hand that isn’t a natural (natural = a value of 8 or 9 on the first two cards). The bet is also won (but pays less) when the Player is dealt a natural. 
  • Banker Bonus
    This is a bet that wins if the Banker wins by 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 points on a hand that isn’t a natural (natural = a value of 8 or 9 on the first two cards). The bet is also won (but pays less) when the Banker is dealt a natural. 
  • Suited Tie (2♣, 4♣ vs. 5♣, A♣)
    This bet is won when the Player and Banker ends up with same value (a Tie occurs) and the suit of the cards are the same.
  • Big
    Here you are placing a bet that is won if the total number of cards that are dealt in the game round is either 5 or 6.
  • Small
    Here you are placing a bet that is won if the total number of cards that are dealt in the game round is 4.
  • Egalite Extra
    With this you are betting on a specific tie between the Player and the Banker. For instance, that the tie will have a value of 5 or 9.

Now that we’ve explained how Baccarat is played with side bets, let us have a look at the most exciting part – the payouts of them!

Side Bet Payouts in Online Baccarat
Side Bet
Hand Combination
Payout
Extra Payout
Player Pair
-
11:1
-
Banker Pair
-
11:1
-
Perfect Pair
-
25:1 for one pair
200:1 for two pair
Either Pair
-
5:1
-
Suited Tie
-
50:1
-
Player / Banker Bonus
Win by 9 points
30:1
-
Win by 8 points
10:1
-
-
Win by 7 points
6:1
-
-
Win by 6 points
4:1
-
-
Win by 5 points
2:1
-
-
Win by 4 points
1:1
-
-
Natural win
1:1
-
-
Natural tie
Money back
-
-
Big
-
0.54:1
-
Small
-
1.5:1
-
Egalite Extra
Tie of 0
150:1
-
Tie of 1
215:1
-
-
Tie of 2
220:1
-
-
Tie of 3
200:1
-
-
Tie of 4
120:1
-
-
Tie of 5
110:1
-
-
Tie of 6
45:1
-
-
Tie of 7
45:1
-
-
Tie of 8
80:1
-
-
Tie of 9
80:1
-
-

As you can see, there’s a lot more money to be made from a game round of Baccarat if you include a couple of side bets. It gets even better though if you choose to play the unique game of Lightning Baccarat which Evolution Gaming has created. This one could make you a millionaire. Sounds interesting? Let us have a look at how this Baccarat version is played!

How to Play Lightning Baccarat – A Unique Experience With Massive Potential

Found in the live casino platform of Evolution Gaming, the unique Baccarat version of Lightning Baccarat may look like any other Baccarat at first. The basic rules are the same and so are the ground payouts for the Player and the Banker, with a slight change for a Tie (5:1). You will quickly notice a difference though.

On every game round, five random cards that are covered in lightning will appear on the screen. Each of these cards will have a multiplier attached to them, which can be x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x7 or x8. Now if you win a game round with one or several of these cards included, your payout will be increased by the corresponding multiplier. Let’s illustrate this with an example where we bet on the Player:

The above are the randomly dealt lightning cards for the game round. As the 3 of Diamonds have been given the highest multiplier, we’re hoping that this will be dealt on the Player side. Let’s have a look:

baccarat player vs banker 4

We hit the jackpot! Not only did we win with the Player ending up with a score of 8 against the Banker’s 6 and not only did we win with our hoped-for 3 of Diamonds. We also won with the 5 of Clubs in the hand.
This means that our initial payout, which would have been 1:1, is not only boosted to 8:1 thanks to the 3 of Diamonds. It is boosted all the way up to 48:1.

This is because all multipliers multiply with each other in Lightning Baccarat. So, in this case, the x8 from the 3 of Diamonds is multiplied by the x6 from the 6 of Clubs, which adds up to a multiplier of x48. Now imagine if this would have been a tie instead, which we would have bet on. The initial payout of 5:1 would then have been boosted by a factor of 48 and ended up at 240 times the stake. It gets better though.

The maximum win that one can get from betting on the Player or Banker in Lightning Baccarat is 512:1. This happens when the win occurs with three lightning cards that have all been dealt a multiplier of x8. Simply because 8 * 8 * 8 = 512. A x512 multiplier is added to the initial payout of 1:1.

This may sound like a lot, but it’s only peanuts compared to the potential of a tie. As a tie can include three cards on the Banker side and three cards on the Player side, there’s a possibility for six cards showing up – all of them which could match the lightning card multipliers. Imagine this scenario:

The above lightning cards are now followed by this:

baccarat player vs banker 5

This game round ends up in a tie where all six cards are matching the lightning cards. This means that the multiplier that will boost the initial 5:1 payout for a tie will be x8 * x3 * x8 * x3 * x6 = x3,456. Now, when we add this massive multiplier to the 5:1 payout, we get 17,280:1. A win of more than 15,000 times the stake! That’s insane potential, right?

The rules of Lightning Baccarat allow the game to pay even more though. If all of the above lightning card multipliers would have been x8, the win would have been over 1,3 million times the stake. This is the maximum that can be won in the game. Even though it is extremely rare for this occurrence to happen, it would make anyone filthy rich.

You may be wondering how Lightning Baccarat can have such an incredible potential compared to how normal Baccarat is played. This is due to a lightning fee of 20% which is charged on all bets. In other words, when you’re playing Lightning Baccarat, you’re paying 20% more for each bet that you make.

The RTP and Volatility (Variance) of Baccarat

Now that we have covered how Baccarat is to be played if you want to have a chance at the big prizes, let us have a look at an important aspect of these; RTP and Volatility (which is also known as Variance).

As you may or may not know, RTP stands for Return to Player and is a value that shows you how much you are expected to win in the long run. It’s a value that is crucial to understand if you want to maximize your chances of becoming profitable when playing Baccarat and other casino games.

For instance, if you’re playing Baccarat with an RTP of 98%, you are expected to receive £98 back for every £100 that you bet. With the same logic, an RTP of 92% would be expected to yield you £92 in winnings if you bet £100. In the long run that is.

You may be wondering how you can play Baccarat with different RTPs. Shouldn’t it always be the same? Well, the fact of the matter is that different variations of the game can have slightly different RTPs. More importantly though are the side bets which are totally different from the main game of Baccarat.

When you’re playing Baccarat in its original form and only bet on the Player or the Banker, the RTP will be around 98.6%. However, if you include side bets the RTP could be lowered all the way down to 86.3%. Let’s have a closer look at this with the help of the below RTP table:

List of RTP Values in Baccarat Bets
Baccarat Bet
RTP
Player
98.76%
Banker
98.59%
Tie
94.51%
Player Pair
89.64%
Banker Pair
89.64%
Perfect Pair
91.95%
Either Pair
86.29%
Suited Tie
86.02%
Player Bonus
97.35%
Banker Bonus
90.63%
Big
95.65%
Small
94.72%
Egalite Extra
87.55% - 93.61%

Do note that the RTP values of the above bets may be different in different versions of Baccarat.

When it comes to the volatility and variance of Baccarat, this is something that explains your risk versus reward. If the volatility is low, there won’t be any sudden drops in your balance, but you won’t experience any spikes either. If it is high, on the other hand, you could quickly lose a lot of money or quickly win a lot.

If you only play the main game and follow the basic rules of Baccarat, the volatility will be very low. Simply because the expected payback percentage (RTP) is high and a bet on the Player or Banker comes with a win chance of about 45%. In other words, if you bet on the Player or the Banker, you are expected to win twice your bet every other hand.

Because of this, your balance isn’t likely to move much at all, thus the variance is low. The volatility does become a bit higher if you choose to bet on a tie as winning a tie only happens once every 10th game round on average. Your balance would fluctuate considerably more. However, it would still be considered as a low variance play style.

Should you, on the other hand, place a side bet such like a suited tie, the volatility would sky rocket. The chance of winning such a bet is only about 1 in 60. You would be likely to experience huge drops in your balance which would be somewhat compensated by a big, big win on every 60th game round on average.  

So, to sum it up, the volatility in Baccarat is initially very low with little to no risk of your balance suddenly dropping, but with certain side bets it could become very high. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy the game, but how you want to play Baccarat is all up to you. 

With these last words we’re ending this guide which we hope have answered your question on how to play Baccarat and the rules of the game. Now it’s time to put knowledge into practice and visit an online casino to play the game at.

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