How to Play Baccarat Like a Pro


Baccarat is that James Bond-esque card game you see high-rollers playing in Las Vegas. While the table game has a mystique that may be intimidating to the casual casino goer, it’s actually very simple to play. The rules are straightforward and easy to understand, and a few tips can help you enjoy this classic card game like a pro.

The first tip is to be aware of the house edge in baccarat. Intelligent players know to avoid the Tie bet, which has a 14.1 percent edge in favor of the casino. This is easily the biggest mistake that many new baccarat players make. By focusing on the Banker and Player bets and ignoring the tie bet, you can reduce your losses and increase your winning chances.

A round of baccarat begins when the dealer deals two cards face up to each of the gaming spaces at the table. These are called the “player space” and the “banker space.” The players bet on which hand will win before the cards are dealt. If a third card is drawn, the winner is determined by which hand has a total closest to nine.

If you’re not a fan of betting on a player or banker, try one of the specialty baccarat games available at DraftKings. These variants offer a different feel to the game, and some are even themed around holidays like Lunar New Year.

Another way to improve your baccarat experience is to track trends and patterns as you play. For example, if you notice the player or banker is on a streak, making a bet on that side can be profitable. Similarly, if you see the player or banker has won a few rounds in a row, consider adding more money to your bets.

During the course of a round, the dealer will draw four cards to form the player and banker hands. The first two cards are used for the player hand, while the last two are used for the banker hand. The player and banker hands are then compared, and the wagers are paid out based on the results of the hands.

In baccarat, all numbers are worth their numerical value, except for ten. A pair of eights is worth sixteen, while a pair of sevens is worth fifteen. Face cards (Jack, Queen and King) have values of zero, while aces have a value of one.

Depending on the establishment and platform, some baccarat games offer a variety of additional side bets. These bets are placed before the game starts, and their odds vary by establishment and platform. Some examples include the Player Pair bet, which pays out 11:1 odds, and the Banker Pair bet, which offers slightly longer odds of 8 to 1. The Player Win and Banker Win bets both pay out even money, and a Banker win includes a standard 5% commission by the establishment. The Tie bet, however, offers a much larger return, but is far riskier to place than either of the other two bets.