Full Baccarat table

Let’s explore beyond the big three table games: blackjack, craps, and roulette!  In this article, we’ll learn how to play baccarat.  This great card game became popular because it was the favourite casino game of James Bond.  Even though James Bond is a fictional character, the pleasures of playing baccarat are anything but fictional!

Punto Banco

The luxurious casino surroundings for baccarat or Punto Banco as it is often called in the movies fed the common sense that only true high rollers were welcome at the baccarat table.  This is not so, of course, and it is especially not the case at Springbok online casino for South Africa.

Easy to Learn

Another common misconception of baccarat is that it is just a different version of blackjack.  Many players who would probably love to play baccarat but prefer the games that are based more on luck than on complexities of skill are drawn away from baccarat because they think that basic strategy in baccarat may be as hard to master as basic strategy in blackjack.

This is not the case at all!  In fact, basic baccarat strategy is very easy to learn.  The easy gameplay makes it a great online casino game for when you just want to relax and not make a lot of decisions.

Three Bets; Three Choices

In baccarat, you decide before the hand which of three bets you want to make.  You can bet on the “player” which in most cases means betting on yourself.  In baccarat, you can even bet on the dealer which means that you can bet on the “house” and if the house wins, you win!

You can also bet on a tie.  In baccarat, a tie is not a push; if you have bet on a tie, you win and your payout will be quite substantial.


The dealer deals two cards to each player and then two cards to herself.  The object in baccarat is to get as close to 9 points as possible.

Both the player and the banker have the option to draw one more card.  There is no strategy regarding the third card draws.  They are set out in the rules themselves.  At this point, we won’t delineate the rules that control third card draws.  We’ll cover them later.

House Edge

The house edge if you bet on the player to win is 1.24% and the house edge for bets on the dealer to win are 1.06%.  It would seem clear that it’s always slightly better to bet on the dealer to win!  The bet on a tie, by the way, has a house edge of over 14 % so even though you get paid at an 8-1 rate for winning this particular bet, in the long run, you’ll lose 14% of your money betting on a tie.

If you like games of chance, then baccarat can be a fun alternative to all the other games of chance you can play at the casino.  In fact, the return to player rate in baccarat is often higher than in other games of pure chance.  Similarly, people who like to play roulette and generally bet the even money bets are also often tempted to place a large amount on a one-time try at a single number coming up.

This is not necessarily a bad idea as, if you have stayed with 1-1 bets all along in roulette and you win a little, you can add a great extra element of excitement by placing your winnings on a single spin.

Bet on Dealer

Most baccarat players realize that the difference in the house edge between betting on the player or betting on the dealer is quite negligible so, in order to add some excitement to the game, they alternate between betting on the player and betting on the dealer.

If you’re playing baccarat just to increase your chances of winning, you should always bet on the dealer to win!  This is amazingly counter-intuitive but that is part of the entertainment value of baccarat.

Value of Baccarat as Preparation for Blackjack

Baccarat is a great game to play for pure fun and it is also a great game to play to train your mind to think quickly.  It helps you to become comfortable thinking out of the box since the best bet from the statistical standpoint is to bet against yourself!  If you bet against yourself, and you lose, you win!

This is as counter-intuitive an approach to online casino gaming as there is.  In no other game do you hope to win by losing!

Baccarat also allows you to practice computing quickly.  Since all hands with ten or more points subtract ten from the total in order to reach a single digit total, baccarat helps you get used to quick calculations.

This skill will help you in poker, video poker, and blackjack.  It can be a simple way to train yourself to count cards in blackjack!


An 8 or 9 point count after two cards are both called a natural and the holder of that point total wins unless the other also has the same number which results in a push or one has 8 points and the other has 9 points.  In that case, 9 points always wins.

Rules for Drawing a Third Card

The player has no decision to make.  The player’s hand always stands with a point count of 6 or 7 points and takes a card with a point count of 0 to 5.  Of course, 8 or 9 points are a natural and will usually win the hand for the player.

After the player takes a card, the dealer may or may not take a third card.  This decision is also determined by the rules.  If the dealer has 0, 1, or 2 points it must take a card even if the player stood with 6 or 7 points.  If the dealer has 7 points, she too must stand.  If the player doesn’t take a card, the dealer stands on 6 and 7 and takes a card on point counts from 0 through 5.

If the player took a card, the dealer’s next move is entirely determined by the third card the player received.   


We feel that baccarat deserves a much bigger following.  So, come over to Springbok and play baccarat for the fun and excitement of winning whilst losing!