You can say that Baccarat is one of the oldest card games that are still played to this day, along with blackjack. In fact, some claim that it is even older, starting out in the 15th century in Italy. Early versions had players betting against each other with the one with the highest score declared winner. Then, along with colonists, baccarat reached South America, and later North America. There it finally got its modern ruleset, becoming the game that many know and love. Punto Banco is one of the most popular versions of baccarat in the US nowadays, especially the online one. In fact, it is so popular in the States, that it became a default ruleset for baccarat games there. Of course, it is still possible to find versions that follow European rules, if you desire so.


Hows and Whys of Baccarat

As Punto Banco is the most popular version of baccarat in the Americas, we will tell you about its rules. Players place their bets on one of two hands, with each hand having two cards. The first hand is designated as the “banker” hand, while the second one is designated as “player”. However, that designation is not tied to either banker or player. Players betting on the game can place their wager on either a banker’s win, player’s win, or a tie between them.

While in blackjack player tries to come the closest they can to 21 without crossing that threshold, in baccarat, players wager on which one of the hands will come the closest to or equal to 9, “banker”, or “player”. Tie, while also a viable bet, happens much rarer, as it requires players to have equal hands.

So, how wagers work? Well, unless players bet on the tie, they seek to put their wager on the hand that is closer to 9. Unlike blackjack, if the player has a sum over 9, it doesn’t annul the entire hand, but the score is counted by the right digit of the points’ sum. Face cards also don’t have a value in points. So, for example, if you have a hand of 14, then you will have 4 points.

If the hand of either the “bank” or “player” has a total of 8 or 9, then the game ends, and bets are distributed. However, if the hand equals five, it is given an additional card, while not getting any if the hand is 6 or 7. If no winner emerges, then the rules get more complicated for the “banker hand”:

  • If the banker has only two points in its hands, then they draw another card, no matter what the player hand has.
  • If that same hand consists of 3 points, then it draws another card, unless the player hand has received an eight as their third card.
  • With 4 points, the banker’s hand draws another card unless the player has a third card between 2 and 7.
  • With 5 points, a banker will get a card unless the player has one between 4 and 7.
  • WIth 6 points, the banker draws another card unless the player has a card between 6 and 7.
  • And if its third card is 7, the banker will not draw another card.

Baccarat Strategies to Use

To fully enjoy the game itself, and to win some money, you will need to have a strategy for your playthrough. After all, while cards are following that element of Lady Luck, they also heavily rely on skill and analytics. In addition to that, you will need to learn as much as possible about the casino you are planning to spend some time with it. A major step in the developing of your own winning strategy is money management. It allows you not only to maximize your profits but to minimize your losses as well. After all, it isn’t good if you’ve lost everything you have and won some meager change. In addition to that, you will need an advice on the correct betting strategy, and on targets of their placing.

Here are some baccarat money management tips for you:

  • Have a separate gambling account. It is good advice for any kind of gambling, and not just for baccarat. There you should only put money that you will not miss in case of your loss, and that you can safely spend on whatever hobbies you have without a need to worry about basics.
  • Find and use a baccarat card-counting method that suits you. It is pretty self-explanatory, card-counting can help you to stack the odds in your favor, and allow you to have a better winning chance.
  • Use a betting system. For example, use a Paroli one. By using it, you double a bet when you win, and return to the starting bet if you lose. Or, failing that, you can use a 1-3-2-6 system, which works by betting one unit on the first hand, three on the second one, two on the third, and six on the fourth one. That way, you will get money from shorter winning streaks, while not getting into debt.

How and Where to Find the Best Online Baccarat

Well, the best way to find the game that you like the best and which is the best suited for your needs, is to check out casinos in your area. Almost all of them should have baccarat in some way or form. Once you’ve found the game that you desire, you should also check out the casino’s payout rates, house edge, pay limits, and rule tweaks. All of that plays an important role in whether you should or shouldn’t play there. All of that and more you can find in our casino review section, which you can check out the next time you wonder what casino to choose.