Online baccarat for beginners

Baccarat is a popular game at casinos across the world. The exciting and straightforward gameplay makes it enjoyable for players of all skill levels. And if you don't know how it works yet, you've come to the very right place.

In this guide, we'll be giving you insights on how to play baccarat, including the game rules, strategies, and more. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

A brief history of baccarat

Baccarat is a card game that has its roots in the Italian card game baccara. The name baccarat comes from the Italian word for zero. Its meaning in the context of the game is simply that all tens and picture cards have a value of 0.

Baccarat found its way to Las Vegas in 1959. Tommy Renzoni, an expert gambler, is to thank for its success because he allegedly convinced the Sands Casino to give it a try. From its introduction in 1959, baccarat quickly became a major casino attraction in Las Vegas and Macau.

Today, baccarat can be enjoyed at land-based casinos around the world and at most online casino sites. While it might not be as widely known as roulette and blackjack, it's favored by many players thanks to its simple gameplay.

How to play baccarat

Playing a game of baccarat is very easy. Players begin by placing their bets on the result of the game: player (wins), banker (wins), or a tie. Even if there are many players on the table, there is only one player hand as it is a card game played between two hands: player and banker.

After the bets are placed, the dealer hands out two cards for the banker's hand and two for the player's hand. The dealer will place the cards facing up, making them visible for everyone to see.

The dealer then checks to see if the total sum of cards on the banker's or player's hand equals 8 or 9. If a hand equals 8 or 9, that hand wins the game. Landing a combined sum of 8 or 9 is called a natural.

The game ends in a tie if the sum of cards for the banker's and the player's hand have the same numeric value. If a natural does not occur and the game is not a tie, the dealer will hand out more cards until there is a winner.

It might sound a bit confusing at first, but you'll quickly get a hang of the gameplay. Put simply, all you need to do is predict whether the player or banker hand will win (or if there will be a tie).

Before you play with real money, we suggest you try the free baccarat game at Casino Universe. With free online baccarat, you can get familiar with the game and practice your skills before putting any real money on the line.

Baccarat card rules

Baccarat is played using normal decks of 52 cards (no jokers) and all cards have a point value. The value of cards 2 through 9 equals their face value, and aces equal 1 point. But 10 and all picture cards equal 0 points. In other words, the highest-ranking card is 9.

If a hand total goes over 9 and into double digits, only the second digit of the unit is used. This means that, for example, a hand of 8 and 7 (equaling 15) gives 5 points. This also means that the highest possible hand value in baccarat is 9.

Online baccarat vs. land-based versions of the game

While online baccarat games generally feature the same rules and gameplay as the land-based versions they are inspired by, there are some differences to be aware of.

At land-based casinos, baccarat can be quite a lively game with players and spectators gathering around the table to watch the game unfold and applaud. When playing online, you won't be able to get the exact same feeling, although live dealer versions of the game can be quite lively.

On the other hand, the biggest perk of playing online baccarat is that you won't have to leave the comfort of your own home. This results in a significantly more relaxing and flexible gaming experience where you can play whenever and wherever you wish.

Online, you'll also find a wide variety of different game versions to try out. Baccarat can be played virtually or live, with different rules and twists added to newer versions. This is why it is recommended to try a few different games for free before spending real money so that you can find your favorite to play for real.


How does baccarat work?

Baccarat is a game of pure chance in which you bet on the result of the game. You can bet on the player hand (to win), the banker (to win), or a tie. Bets must be placed before the game round begins and pay out according to their probability.

Is baccarat easy to play?

Yes, it is. Baccarat is a game of chance with few (standard) betting options, so anyone can learn it quickly. Nevertheless, we recommend you try some free versions of the game before playing for real money.

Can I win real money playing baccarat?

Yes, you can. You can play baccarat for real money at both online and land-based casinos where, if you win, you will get a payout according to your bet size and the odds.