The Beginner-Friendly Guide to Online Baccarat

The Beginner-Friendly Guide to Online Baccarat

How to Play Baccarat: A Complete Overview

Learn how to play baccarat and find the best online casinos in which to do it with The Casino Wizard's complete guide to baccarat, one of the world's most popular casino card games. Here, you'll find everything you need to know about the rules of the game, how to play it, the best strategies you can use, and plays that you should avoid at all costs!

  • You can bet on the banker, the player, the tie, or place side bets.
  • Banker bets give you the best odds of winning money playing baccarat.
  • Tie bets are the most favorable to the casino.
  • Baccarat strategies are useful for banker and player bets.
  • Pattern spotting doesn't help you predict possible results in a game of baccarat.

Rules of Baccarat: Must-Know Beginner Rules

Baccarat is very straightforward and, as a beginner, you can bet on the outcome by simply using your logic depending on the hand that the dealer has as well as which cards the player is dealt.

In baccarat, you can bet on either the player (yourself), the dealer, or the tie.

  • Player bets pay 1 to 1 and come with a 1.24% house edge.
  • Banker bets pay 1 to 1 and only have a 1.06% house edge, but the casino takes a 5% commission on your wins.
  • Tie bets pay 8 to 1 but have a 14.36% house edge.

icon Expert Tip
You'll be better off avoiding tie bets altogether, given their higher house edge.

Betting on Baccarat

Once the game starts, the dealer will proceed to add a couple of cards on the table. One of the cards goes to the banker (which is the dealer himself, or the house) and the other card goes to the player.

Once that happens, you will have to place your bets. More cards will be drawn after bets have been placed.

The dealer always goes last and has more aggressive drawing rules, which is what gives their hand a higher average return rate - and why the casino charges a commission on bets palced on the dealer.

how to play baccarat - betting guide
On a game of baccarat, you can either bet on the player, the banker, or the tie.

Baccarat Side Betting

The simplicity of baccarat can lead to boredom after a few rounds if you’re one of those who enjoy variety when playing. That’s why many online casinos offer different types of bets apart from the aforementioned three which we’ll call “side bets”. 

how to play baccarat - side bets
Baccarat tables offer different types of side bets.

Let's take a look at the most common types of baccarat side bets, and let's see that are their respective payouts to help you get a better idea of each. There are over 20 different types of baccarat side bets, and these vary from game to game. However, you'll find these at most online casinos and live baccarat online casino tables:

BetHow to WinPayoutHouse Edge
Player PairFirst two cards of the player form a pair11:110.36%
Banker PairFirst two cards of the banker form a pair11:110.36%
Perfect PairFirst two cards of either player or banker form a pair25:113.03%
Either PairFirst dealt card of the player and banker form a pair5:113.71%
Big5+ cards on the board2:14.35%
SmallNeither player or banker get dealt a third card3:25.27%

Baccarat Additional Draws

In most baccarat hands, four cards are dealt in total. Two cards go to the player, whilst another two go to the dealer.

However, there are certain instances in which additional cards must be drawn. Player and banker could get extra cards depending on hand values. These are all the scenarios where additional draws are needed:

  • Whenever the player has a hand worth 5 or less, a third card will always be dealt to them
  • There’s a similar rule that also applies to the banker – if the banker has a hand worth 2 or less, they get an additional card; regardless of which card is the player’s third.
  • However, if the banker’s hand is worth a total of 3, they will only draw a third card if the player’s third card isn’t worth 8.
  • If the banker has a 4 with their two cards, they will only get an extra card if the player has one of the following cards as their third: 0, 1, 8, or 9.
  • The banker will draw an extra card if their hand has a total value of 5 and the player’s third card is one of the following: 4, 5, 6, or 7.
  • The banker will only draw on a 6 if the player’s third card is a 6 or a 7.
  • If the banker has a 7, the banker will always stand. The banker cannot draw on a 7 in any fair baccarat game.

The dealer does all the work for you, which is why baccarat is such a noob-friendly game. You just need to be aware of how the rules work if you wish to place informed bets.

baccarat betting
An example of a baccarat hand where both player and banker got dealt an additional card

There are betting systems that rely on consistency rather than on betting smartly. These are often the best systems to be used by beginners. Read on to find the best baccarat strategies!

Baccarat Card Values

In baccarat, all cards have a face value. However, unlike blackjack, symbols have a total value of 0 instead of 10. You will need to make your bets based on this.

The ace has a value of 1 regardless of the value of your hand. It’s not a variable value – the ace will ALWAYS be worth 1.

Your main goal when playing baccarat is to get your hand to 9, or as close to 9 as possible, without exceeding it. Always remember the card values when placing your bets.

Baccarat Player Hand Explained

Considering drawing rules, the player has a total chance of winning of 44.62%. That’s less than a percentile lower than the chances of winning than the dealer, but alas, the dealer (or banker) will always have better odds than the player.

You may still want to bet on the player to mix things up, but betting systems are often more reliable if applied to banker bets only, considering the larger odds of winning.

Baccarat Banker Hand Explained

Winning on a banker bet has odds of 45.8%. Whenever you bet on the banker to win and they do, you will get the same amount of money than you would get from a player bet. However, 5% of your money would have to return to the casino as a premium for betting on the banker win.

Banker bets are really safe and these should be your go-to bets if you’re unsure of what to do. Even with the 5% commission, these bets are more convenient for the player. The commission is existent in all forms of baccarat, except No Commission Baccarat found in modern online casinos.

No Commission Baccarat has different rules when it comes to banker bet payouts. You'll be paid based on the value of the banker's cards, not on whether they win or not!

Betting on a Tie

A tie bet pays 8 to 1.

Betting on a tie gives you a ton of money, should you happen to guess it correctly. The problem with betting on a tie is that the outcome is highly unlikely to occur, which is why many players stay away from tie bets when playing baccarat.

icon Casino Wizard Tip
Don't bet on the tie. Your odds of winning are very low, and the amount of money that you'd lose in the long term is much more likely to be substantially higher than if you'd bet on the player or banker.

Ties occur in 9.53% of all rounds in a regular game of baccarat. This unlikelihood of occurring is what makes it almost nonsensical to bet on a tie – the house has an edge of 14.36%, meaning that you could expect to lose over $14 per every $100 that you bet if you only bet on the tie. 

Basic Baccarat Odds – What Each of Your Bets Bring

Baccarat odds are pretty straightforward if you look at the house edge of each type of bet. This game provides you with very good odds that get pretty close to what you get in blackjack. Take a look at our handy house edge and payout table:

BetOddsPayoutHouse Edge
Banker Bet45.86%0.95 to 11.06%
Player Bet44.62%1 to 11.24%
Tie Bet9.52%8 to 114.36%

You can look at our full guide to baccarat statistics for more information.

Baccarat Pattern Spotting

Pattern spotting is the art of keeping track of which cards have been dealt in the game, to see which outcome has been more positive, and therefore bet on the hands that have been dealt the most.

Pattern spotting is a reflection of the gambler's fallacy, and we only recommend doing it for fun. The statistical odds of cards showing up will always be the same regardless of previous hands. Pattern spotting and card counting are not related in any way.

pattern spotting baccarat tutorial
A pattern spotting sheet where the player keeps track of banker, player, and tie wins

Land-based casinos actually give you sheets to keep track of the game. Casinos never give you anything that makes the game more advantageous for you. Instead, look at our baccarat strategies to get a better understanding of how to win.

These aren't really strategies and do more harm than good. Our online casino table games guide could help you get a better understanding of pattern spotting and whether it works.

Baccarat Betting Systems – Don’t Fall Victim to Spotting and Use Proven Methods

Betting systems allow you to formulate a clear betting pattern that takes advantage of the game's odds to try to maximize your profits, generally at the expense of additional risks. You can make a killing in winnings if you stick to progressive betting systems or negative progression systems.

icon Expert Tip
Most betting systems rely on making bets to cover your losses. Tread lightly.

Since these systems rely on bets that grow exponentially larger until you win or lose, there is a good chance of losing all of your money if you don't know when to stop. Betting systems tend to work very well for game sessions, but every win statistically improves your chances of losing, too!

There are four types of betting systems that could work perfectly in baccarat. Let’s take a quick overview of them all, so you can determine which one to pick.

Martingale

The Martingale system is a negative progression system, which means that you will increase your bets every single time that you lose one. It gives you really good odds of winning money in the short term.

This system works by placing bets on the player or the banker – never on the tie.

It's a basic system: you will start betting at a certain value and double your bets whenever you lose. If you win, go back to the original value of the first bet. Rinse and repeat.

Let’s say, for example, that you place a bet of €10 on the banker to win. 

However, the player losses or there’s a tie. In such cases, you’ll want to place another bet, this time doubling the amount of your original stake, making it worth a total of €20.

If you lose again, increase it to €40. Rinse and repeat until you win. Once you do, go back to the original value of €10.

The base value of your first bet will depend on your budget. The Martingale system adapts perfectly to all sorts of budgets, which allows you to play and win money at your pace as well as to your liking. It’s a fantastic method for beginners.

The Martingale system is one of our favorite betting systems, and it is wildly popular in blackjat, roulette, and baccarat

Fibonacci

This low-risk method consists of betting based on the Fibonacci sequence, where each number of the sequence is a sum of the previous two. Let's use the base sequence for easier understanding: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377.

With this sequence, the method would work as follows:

  • You would start betting $1, and make your bet one number to the right if you lose. A second bet would also have a value of $1. If you lose, the third bet would have a value of $3, and so on.
  • When you lose, you can either go back to square one and bet $1 again, or just go back one number to the left. The latter implies a larger risk, though.

Much like the Martingale system, this is a negative progression system in which you will increase your bets as you lose. However, the first time that you lose, your bet will remain the same. The Fibonacci system doesn’t increase the bets on doubles or triples. Instead, the method consists of utilizing the Golden Rule to increase each bet according to the outcome of the last one.

This system is much less aggressive than other betting methods. It aims to recoup losses and increase winnings over a longer period of time.

You can use this system with banker or player bets. Take a look at this graphic example for even easier understanding.

baccarat tutorial - fibonacci system 1
A starting bet of $1, based on the previously mentioned sequence
baccarat tutorial - fibonacci system 2
After losing the first bet, we'd move one number to the right: a second bet of $1 is placed
baccarat tutorial - fibonacci system 3
Another loss means betting on another number to the right. This time, you'd bet $2
baccarat tutorial - fibonacci system 4
One more loss moves the bet a further number to the right: you'd have to bet $3
baccarat tutorial - fibonacci system 5
You win! Now, we move one number to the left: we're back at a $2 bet.

Labouchere

With this system, you will have to start by setting a base value of money that you wish to win. Let’s say, for this example’s sake, that you want to win a total of €150. In that case, you will have to divide that number into various smaller numbers of your choosing.

Let’s divide 150, our base number, the following way: 20, 20, 10, 10, 30, 30, 10, 10, 10. Now that you’ve divided it, you will have to start by adding the rightmost number and the leftmost number. In this case, the total would be 30 (€30).

how does baccarat work - strategies labouchere 1
An initial Labouchere system bet based on the provided sequence. We'd bet 20+10

If you win the bet, then you would go on to remove the two numbers from the list. It would look like this: 20, 10, 10, 30, 30, 10, 10.

If you lose the bet, you will have to add the new number to the rightmost part of your list and start the system again. The list, according to our example, would look like this: 20, 20, 10, 10, 30, 30, 10, 10, 10, 30. Your next bet should be 20 + 30, which would be €50.

how does baccarat work - strategies labouchere 2
Our second bet with the same sequence if the first one were to lose. We'd bet 20 + 30

Keep in mind that the Labouchere system is pretty risky when using it in baccarat, but it’s a fun method to use as it keeps you adding and removing numbers as well as paying attention to what happens on the table.

We recommend using this system with either player or banker bets. The Labouchere system is another extremely popular system, very common in roulette. 

Paroli

Much like in other systems, you will have to designate a number that will be your original stake. To keep things simple, we’ll make our example with the number 1. As such, your first bet should be equal to $1. If you lose, you bet $1 again. If you win, you bet $2. If you win again, you bet $4. You go back to betting $1 whenever you lose.

Double your bet when you win, bet less when you lose. This is why this system is also called the "Reverse Martingale".

paroli system baccarat
A $1 bet to kickstart your Paroli system bet on a baccarat table

The Paroli system is, by far, one of the best betting systems for positive players out there. If you love to add more value to each winning bet, then you’ll want to give this system a try. It has been around for almost half a millennium, as it has been used in gambling games for much longer than online casinos have existed.

Pattern Spotting Baccarat Strategies: Do They Work?

Baccarat strategies are based on statistics and chances, whilst pattern spotting is pure superstition. If you want to play with strategies or have a semblance of a plan, the best thing you can do is utilize the strategies and systems that we've mentioned.

icon Casino Wizard Tip
Only use pattern spotting sheets for fun. They will not increase your odds of winning by any means.

These systems might not give you flawless winning odds, but they do a much better job of doing it than those pattern spotting sheets. Pattern spotting sheets are not proven methods by any means and they do nothing but give you a false sense of security when gambling in baccarat tables.

Online Baccarat Versions & Variations

There are over five different versions of baccarat that are considered to be very popular in most of the world’s online casinos, both in virtual and live casino formats. They all have very similar rules. If you know how to play “base” baccarat, then you’ll have a strong grasp of what to do in all versions of the game. The most common baccarat game is often known as “Punto Banco”.

These are some baccarat versions found in modern online casinos:

  • Punto Banco
  • Banque Baccarat
  • Chemin De Fer
  • Mini Baccarat
  • No Commission Baccarat
  • Dragon Tiger Baccarat

Baccarat RTP & Odds: Maximize the Game's Return Rate!

One of the best things about the game of baccarat is that the RTP is extremely high. The RTP, or "Return to Player", represents the amount of money that the casino expects to pay players. Baccarat has better odds than roulette and poker.

  • Playing baccarat solely betting on the banker gives the game an RTP of 98.94%
  • Playing baccarat solely betting on the player gives the game an RTP of 98.76%
  • Tie bets and other side bets have a higher house edge; placing them will theoretically reduce the game's RTP.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anything about baccarat – you have very good odds of winning if you solely focus on placing bets on the banker.

How to Play Baccarat and Win: Baccarat Strategies & Tips

As it occurs with every casino game, your luck will determine how profitable the game will be for you. Still, there are some fantastic tips that we can give you to help you reduce the house edge and put it as much in your favor as possible.

None of these tips is anything that a pro player doesn’t know, but one thing’s for sure: they will do a world of difference to a newcomer if they properly apply them.

Betting on the Ties and Why You Might Be Better Off Not Doing It

When the banker and the player have similar starting cards, you might be extremely tempted to bet on the tie. However, betting on the tie is by far one of the worst things you can do in Baccarat. Your odds of winning are very low – it’s pretty much like when you decide to split 10s in blackjack.

icon Casino Wizard Tip
Only place tie bets if you know what you're doing. Newcomers should avoid them at all costs.

The risk that comes with a tie bet is simply not worth it.

Put Limits on Yourself – The Game Can Drain Your Balance

This advice applies to almost all types of online casino games, but we can’t help but repeat it given how useful it has proven to be for us: set wagering and playtime limits for yourself.

Even though all casino players should follow this advice, those who spend their time playing baccarat are even more prone to the consequence of not putting limits on themselves. We’ve been playing the game for years and its quick pace can still be a problem: it's easy to get carried away when rounds and bets come and go quicker than in blackjack or roulette.

Here are a couple of limit tips:

  • Take advantage of responsible gambling tools to prevent going over budget;
  • Create a budget for yourself and stick to it. Use our bankroll casino management guide to get an idea of how to create one;
  • Set time limits for your baccarat sessions. Shorter limits will prevent large monetary losses in bad luck streaks.

Thoroughly Understand the Rules

Strategies, pattern spotting, card counting; the list of ways to get better odds at the game could go on for days. However, the one “trick” that you should use to overcome negative odds and become better at the game is to simply read the rules, play baccarat, and keep going until you master every aspect of the game.

This online baccarat guide is the best first step that you can take towards learning the ups and downs of the game, but don’t settle for reading. Here are a couple of tips that'll prove useful:

  • Use the "Demo Mode" option available in virtual baccarat games to try the game without betting real money. Practice until you're comfortable enough to play with your cash.
  • Take advantage of casino bonuses to play the game for free and earn real money. Most casino bonuses aren't available to be spent on table games, but some are.

Take Advantage of Banker Bets

Knowing when to bet on the dealer (aka the banker) could go a long way into helping you win more money playing baccarat. The house always has the edge, but it does help a lot that you can actually bet on the banker to win.

That’s one of the best ways for players to play it “safe” and get better odds of winning. The only problem with betting on the banker is that you have to leave a percentage of your money on the house.

Don’t be discouraged by that, though: the lower payout still makes these bets better than player bets.

Spotting Doesn't Work – Understanding the Game Does

We really can’t stress this enough – avoid using pattern spotting strategies altogether.

You will often read about apparent systems that tend to work more often than not, but these are only subject to sheer luck. You cannot expect these systems to provide you with better odds because they aren’t based on anything related to statistics – they’re pure speculation, superstition, and are based on the infamous gambler's fallacy.

Baccarat Demo - PlayFor Free

Try our free demo of the Baccarat video slot to familiarize yourself with the game.

The Best Baccarat Casinos & Bonuses

There’s no better way to play baccarat than using money that the best online casinos give you for free. Playing in reliable online casinos will allow you to enjoy the world's most profitable and noob-friendly casino card game from wherever you are.

Ads disclosure
1 125% up to 1 BTC + 150 Free Spins Claim bonus
2 Up to $500 / 5 BTC + 180 Free Spins Claim bonus
3 Up to 10 BTC + 1,400 Free Spins Claim bonus

Strategize and Win at the Best Baccarat Tables

There are some absolutely brilliant baccarat tables on the internet. Using your recently-learned wits and tips will allow you to get the best possible outcome whilst playing in any of them. Do remember, though, that none of the strategies and the things that you’ve learned here are flawless.

There’s always a margin of error. Choosing the right baccarat game, such as the ones offered in the casinos that we've recommended, goes hand-in-hand with knowing how to play the game in your quest to make a profit playing baccarat online.

Visit the best casinos to play baccarat online and use your knew-found knowledge to win!

Last updated  May 22, 2024

Frequently asked questions

You can bet on the banker, the player, or the tie. You can also place side bets of different values, depending on each baccarat table.

You can play free baccarat in most online casinos. Use the free trial option to give the game a go without paying real money.

You can play online baccarat by placing a bet, as well as side bets. You will be paid based on the odds of your bet occuring.

Share this article

About the author

Marco

Marco

Chief Content Writer

Marco

Chief Content Writer

Marco is an experienced casino writer with more than half a decade of gambling-related work on his back. He took a keen interest in gambling as a young adult and started writing expert content for the casino and sports betting niche in 2015. Now, he specializes in online slots, table games, and sports betting – producing well-researched content on all fronts of the iGaming world.

More about Marco