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Have you ever watched James Bond play baccarat in Casino Royale and wondered what the game was about? Baccarat is a popular card game played in casinos worldwide, known for its elegance and simplicity. It was even considered by Forbes as the “biggest gambling game.”

In baccarat, players bet on who will win each round – either the player or the banker. The croupier deals two cards each and draws another card based on predetermined rules if needed. Punto Banco is the most common version of baccarat played in North America, while Chemin de Fer is more prevalent in Europe.

Baccarat has been featured in pop culture as well as historical events. Did you know that during World War II, Ian Fleming (the author of James Bond) worked for British Naval Intelligence and helped plan Operation Goldeneye? The operation aimed to sabotage German efforts to disrupt Allied supply lines by targeting their baccarat tables.

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Baccarat History:

Just like the history of slot machines, the game of Baccarat has a rich and interesting history. Its history dates back to the Middle Ages in Italy, where it was originally played with tarot cards under the name “Tarrochi.” It underwent transformations over time and eventually became the Baccarat game we know today.

During the 19th century, Baccarat gained widespread popularity in France. It became especially favored among members of high society, who would frequently gather in exclusive private clubs to enjoy the game. In France, this version of Baccarat is referred to as “Chemin de Fer.”

Renowned for its association with luxury and glamour, Baccarat has earned the title of the “game of kings.” This distinction is largely due to its historical connections to royalty. Additionally, Baccarat holds a significant place in popular culture, often making appearances in James Bond movies as a fixture in casinos.


Baccarat Rules:

Assigning Point Values to Cards

Baccarat is a card game that is played with six or eight decks of cards. Each of the cards in Baccarat has a point value assigned to it. The cards numbered 2 through 9 are worth their face value, while the Ace is worth one point. The King, Queen, Jack, and 10 are all considered to be worth zero points.

Betting on the Player or Banker’s Hand Winning

In Baccarat, players bet on either the player’s hand or the banker’s hand winning. They can also bet on a tie between the two hands. The objective of the game is for players to predict which hand will have a total value closest to nine.

The Highest Possible Hand Value is Nine

The highest possible hand value in Baccarat is nine points. If a player or banker has a total of more than nine points, then the first digit of their total score is dropped. For example, if a player has an eight and a five for a total of thirteen points, then their score would be three.

Third Card Rule

If neither the player nor the banker has an eight or nine after receiving their initial two-card hands, then additional rules come into play regarding whether each side gets another card drawn from the deck. This third card rule varies depending on whether you’re playing baccarat banque (also known as deux tableaux) or baccarat chemin de fer (also known as chemmy).

Baccarat Banque: both sides can draw an extra card if they choose to do so; however, there are limits based on how many cards have already been drawn by both sides.

Baccarat Chemin De Fer: only one additional card may be drawn by either side depending on specific conditions outlined in advance before play begins.


Baccarat Drawing Rules:

In baccarat, the player’s goal is to get a hand value as close to nine as possible. If their hand value is less than or equal to five, they are allowed to draw a third card. For example, if the player has a total of three and the banker has a total of eight, the player can choose to draw another card.

The banker’s drawing rules in baccarat are more complex than those of the player. The banker will draw based on their own hand value and whether the player drew a third card. Here are some examples:

  • If the banker’s hand value is two or less, they must draw another card.
  • If the banker’s hand value is three, they will draw another card unless the player’s third card was an eight.
  • If the banker’s hand value is four, they will draw another card if the player drew a third card that was two through seven.
  • If the banker’s hand value is five, they will draw another card if the player drew a third card that was four through seven.
  • If the banker’s hand value is six, they will draw another card if the player drew a third card that was six or seven.


Specific Rules Determine When Each Party Must Draw

Baccarat has specific rules for when each party must draw. These rules help keep gameplay fair and consistent. Here are some additional details about these rules:

  • If neither party draws on their first two cards (a natural), then no further cards are drawn.
  • If either party draws an eight or nine on their first two cards (a natural), then no further cards are drawn.
  • If either party draws a total of eight or nine with their first two cards, then no further cards are drawn.


Baccarat Table Odds:

Betting on the Banker

Baccarat is a popular casino game that has been around for centuries. It’s a game of chance, where players wager on either the banker or player to have a hand closest to nine. Betting on the banker has slightly better odds than betting on the player.

The house edge for betting on the banker is 1.06%, while it’s 1.24% for betting on the player. This means that if you bet $100 on the banker and win, you’ll receive $98 in winnings, while if you bet $100 on the player and win, you’ll receive $100 in winnings.


Ties have higher payouts but lower odds of occurring. The payout for a tie bet is usually 8:1 or 9:1, depending on the casino. However, ties only occur about 9% of the time in games.

It’s important to note that some casinos offer a “tie” bet with even money payouts instead of higher payouts. In this case, it’s best to avoid making this type of wager as it has a much higher house edge than other bets.

Yet, it’s important to remember that while the payout for a tie might be attractive, the house edge on such bets is usually much higher, meaning the casino still makes a significant profit over the long term.

Therefore, many experienced players often avoid placing tie bets due to their riskiness and unfavorable odds.

Commission Fees

Commission fees are taken from banker bets because they have better odds of winning than player bets. Usually, casinos take a commission fee of 5% from all banker bets won.

This means that if you bet $100 on the banker and win, you’ll receive $95 in winnings after paying out the commission fee.


Baccarat Variations:


Mini-Baccarat is a popular variation of baccarat that is played on a smaller table and with fewer players. The game is fast-paced, making it ideal for those who prefer a quicker gambling experience. In this version, the croupier/dealer handles all of the cards, and players can only place wagers on the player or banker’s hand.

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer is another popular variation that originated in France. Unlike other versions, players take turns being the banker in this game. The banker has the option to draw an additional card if they choose to do so, making it more challenging for players to predict the outcome.

When the croupier calls for a “new banker” in Baccarat Chemin de Fer, the shoe, and thus the role of the banker, is passed clockwise around the table. This unique dynamic adds an element of strategy and excitement to the game.

Punto Banco

Punto Banco is one of the most widely played variations of baccarat in North America and Europe. In this version, there are strict drawing rules that determine when each hand must draw an additional card. This makes it easier for novice players to understand and enjoy.

The rules may differ between variations such as drawing rules or the number of decks used. Some variations may be more popular in certain regions than others due to cultural differences or preferences among high rollers.

It’s essential to understand which version you’re playing so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly. Whether you’re playing Mini-Baccarat or Chemin de Fer, knowing how many decks are being used and what additional cards might come into play can help you make informed decisions about your wagers.


Baccarat Strategies:

Grasp the Variants

Baccarat comes in different forms – Punto Banco, Baccarat Banque, and Chemin de Fer. Familiarize yourself with the rules and peculiarities of each variant. In Punto Banco, the casino always banks the game, while in Baccarat Banque and Chemin de Fer, the banker role can change.

Place Your Bets on the Banker

You can bet on the player’s side, the banker’s side, or a tie. Betting on the banker’s side in Punto Banco, for instance, gives you a slightly higher probability of winning (50.68%) if the game goes to a decision. Remember, winning banker bets often incur a 5% commission for the house.

Steer Clear of ‘Tie’ Bets

High rollers might be tempted by the large payouts that come with tie bets, often 8:1 or 9:1, but this is a risky strategy. The house edge on tie bets is typically around 14.36%, significantly higher than that on player or banker bets. While tie bets can offer a thrill, they’re best avoided if you want to play strategically.

Stay Consistent with Your Strategy

The game can be unpredictable, and it’s easy to want to shift strategies, especially during a losing streak. Despite this, sticking to your strategy is key. Don’t try to chase losses or adjust your bet with the expectation of a win – that’s known as the Gambler’s Fallacy.

Manage Your Bankroll

Proper money management is crucial in all forms of gambling, and Baccarat is no different. Before you sit at the Baccarat table, establish a clear budget for yourself. This should be an amount you’re fully prepared and able to lose. Set limits for yourself and stick to them, as responsible gambling is an essential part of maintaining enjoyment in the game.

Don’t Rely on Past Results

Each round of Baccarat, regardless of the number of decks used, is independent of the one before. Whether you’re playing Punto Banco, Baccarat Banque, or Chemin de Fer, the chances are always reset for each round. Betting based on previous results is a misconception.

Limit Your Play Time

Baccarat games can be quick and intense. Consider setting a specific number of rounds to play before you start. If you’re the new banker in a game of Baccarat Banque or Chemin de Fer, remember, short sessions are typically more beneficial.

Understand the Score

In Baccarat, the aim is to get as close to a score of nine as possible. Familiarize yourself with how to add up your score, and when the rules stipulate drawing additional cards. In certain situations, the player or the banker may be required to draw an additional card.



In conclusion, baccarat is a popular card game that has been enjoyed for centuries. With simple rules and drawing procedures, it’s easy to learn and play. The odds of winning at a table are favorable compared to many other casino games, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced players alike.

There are several variations of the game available, each with its own unique set of rules, bets, and strategies. It’s important to understand the differences between them before playing to ensure you’re making informed decisions.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, some general tips can help increase your chances of winning. These include managing your bankroll effectively, avoiding tie bets, and understanding the drawing rules.

Overall, baccarat is an exciting game that offers plenty of opportunities for entertainment and potential profits. Whether you’re looking for a fun night out or hoping to win big, give this game a try at your nearest casino.

Charisse is a content contributor for Kika Casino. With a passion for audience experience and a focus on reliability, Charisse delivers fact-checked articles covering industry news and gaming tips.