How Do You Play Live Dealer Baccarat?
To keep things simple: in baccarat, you’re wagering on a round of cards between you and the dealer (the “banker”) – highest hand wins. Each card has a certain number of points allocated, and there are “drawing rules” that dictate both the player’s & banker’s behaviour.
Each game of baccarat has either three or four mains stages: placing bets, the deal, instant win, and the 3rd card rule, if applicable.
Live Dealer Baccarat Betting
Each hand of live dealer baccarat begins with a round of betting. At the start of each hand, you can wager on one of three options:
- You believe the player will finish with the higher score
- You believe the banker will finish with the higher score
- You believe the player and banker will tie (note: our experts do not recommend this bet type.)
The Deal in Live Dealer Baccarat
After bets are placed, the banker gives the player and banker two face-up cards each. Each hand’s score is determined by adding up the value of each card:
- Tens and face cards are worth zero (0)
- Aces are worth one point (1)
- All other cards are worth their rank, e.g. a 6 is worth six points.
The goal is to finish with a score as close to nine as possible. However, the value of a hand can’t exceed nine points and only the last digit in a score counts. For example, if a hand totals 14 points, it’s only worth four points.
Once the initial value of each hand is determined, the game continues as per the drawing rules.
Instant Win in Live Dealer Baccarat
The instant win rule takes effect if either the player or the banker are dealt an initial hand that totals 8 or 9 points exactly – called a “natural”. If this happens, that player automatically wins the hand.
If not, the game continues per the drawing rules.
Live Dealer Baccarat Drawing Rules
While both the player and banker are dealt two cards, there are several baccarat rules where a third card is dealt. The player goes first, then the banker proceeds based on the player’s results.
Drawing Rules for the Player
- If the player’s two-card hand has a value of 0-5, the player will receive a third card.
- If the player has 6 or 7, the player stands, taking no more cards.
Drawing Rules for the Banker
If the player stands, then the dealer will follow the same drawing rules as the player: if their hand is worth 0-5 they’ll take a third card, and will standing with 6 or 7.
If the player hits, the banker will choose whether to take a third card depending on the banker’s score:
|Dealer’s Total Points||Rule|
|2 or less||Banker draws|
|3||Banker draws, unless player’s third card was an 8|
|4||Banker draws, if the player’s third card was a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7|
|5||Banker draws, if the player’s third card was a 4, 5, 6 or 7|
|6||Banker draws, if the player’s third card was a 6 or 7|
Note: Similar to blackjack, the baccarat shoe contains six to eight standard playing card decks.