Baccarat is a card game with Medieval roots. It grew out of a game named tarrochi, which was played with the type of card deck that we today call tarot. Modern baccarat is played with the French deck of cards, i.e. a deck comprised of 12 hearts, 12 spades, 12 diamonds and 12 clubs. The number of decks shuffled together for a baccarat session varies, with one deck, six decks or eight decks being the three most common configurations online as well as offline.
Several different types of baccarat exists, including Baccarat Banque, Baccarat à Deux Tableaux and Baccarat Chemin de Fer. Baccarat à Deux Tableaux simply means that the dealer is dealing hands for two tables simultaneously. This version is popular in Monaco. Baccarat Chemin de Fer is a type of baccarat developed for private gambling when public gambling was outlawed in France. This type of baccarat is exceedingly rare today.
Baccarat is the ancestor of Punto Banco. You can find out more about Punto Banco on our Punto Banco page.
During a round of baccarat, the dealer will place two hands on the table. One hand is called Punto and the other Banco. Before the dealing starts, you can bet on which hand you think will win: Puntor or Banco. If you think that there will be a tie between the two hands, you bet on Egalité.
You do not get to make any decisions regarding the two hands. They are dealt according to strict rules with no room for personal decisions from players or the dealer.
In baccarat, the cards in the span 1-9 are worth their numerical value. Cards in the span 10 – King are worth zero points.
- King 0 points
- Queen 0 points
- Jack 0 points
- Ten 0 points
- 9 9 points
- 8 8 points
- 7 7 points
- 6 6 points
- 5 5 points
- 4 4 points
- 3 3 points
- 2 2 points
- Ace 1 point
What is this hand worth?
You calculate the point value of a baccarat hand by adding together the point value of the individual cards it is comprised of. If the result exceeds 9 points, only the rightmost digit counts.
Example #1: A hand consists of a king and a seven. 0 points + 7 points = 7 points.
Example #2: A hand consists of a seven and a nine. 7 points + 9 points = 16 points. Since only the rightmost digit counts, this hand is worth 6 points.
Which hand wins?
The best possible hand in baccarat is hand worth 9 points. When two hands are compared, the one closest to 9 points win.
Example: Punto’s hand consists of a king and a seven. 0 points + 7 points = 7 points. Banco’s hand consists of a seven and a nine. 7 points + 9 points = 16 points. Since only the rightmost digit counts, this hand is worth 6 points. In this scenario, Punto wins, because 7 is closer to 9 than what 6 is.