Baccarat (Punto Banco) Rules
Baccarat, which is also known as Punto Banco, is one of the most popular games in any casino – from the floors of Macau to the online tables on CasinoSmash.
The game, which is played with either a six or eight deck shoe, is surprisingly simple as the object is to predict which of two hands – the Banker or the Player – will come closest to nine.
The game’s simplicity stems from the straightforward payout structure:
- Winning Player hand wagers are paid 1:1 or even money minus a 5% commission;
- Winning Banker hand wagers are paid even money minus a 5% commission;
- Winning tie wagers (also known as a Standoff) are paid 8 to 1.
The dealer begins by drawing four cards from the shoe facedown. The first and third cards goes to the Player hand, and the second and fourth cards to the Banker hand. The dealer then turns over both hands. Here are the card values in baccarat:
- 2-9 retain their face values.
- 10, Jack, Queen, and King all have values of zero (0).
- Aces have a value of one (1).
The goal is to add the total of each hand and come closest to a point count of nine. If either the Player hand or the Banker hand has a point count of eight or nine in the first two cards, it is called a natural and the hand is over.
If the total of the cards is a two-digit number, then the right digit is the point count of the hand. Here are a few examples:
- A hand of King-3-4 has a point count of seven (7).
- A hand of Queen-5 has a point count of five (5).
- A hand of 9-5-9 equals 23 which means the point count is the right digit, or three (3).
After the hands have been revealed, a third card may be made based upon the following:
|Player Hand Point Count||Third Card Decision|
|6 or 7||Stand|
|8 or 9||Natural, both Player and Banker Stand|
Depending on the Player’s Hand, the Banker hand draws as follows (top row signifies the Player’s Third Card Value:
|Banker Point Count||Player Stands||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9|
D = Draw
S = Stand
N = Natural
There really isn’t any strategy involved in baccarat, just decide the amount to wager and on which hand – the Player, Banker or tie – you’ll put your money. Everything after that is left to chance.