The Game of Baccarat – The Odds and Payouts

First-time Westerners may pooh-pooh the idea of luck & fate in Asian culture, but standing in a baccarat pit in Macau is a real eye-opener. Besides the requisite tuxedo-clad James Bond, baccarat is one of the most popular casino games for high-rollers.

Bets can be placed on either the Player or Banker hand, though the best bet is to avoid betting on ties. The house advantage is high and the game can be frustrating.

Game rules

The game of baccarat (also known as Punto Banco) is an enjoyable and popular casino card game that has become increasingly popular. It brings in $1.2 billion a year to Nevada casinos, and is also played worldwide. The game’s simple rules, fast pace, and cinematic touches have made it a hit among casino players. However, it is essential to understand the game’s odds and payouts.

Point values in baccarat are calculated differently from other card games. Picture cards and tens are worth zero points, while all other cards have numeric value. When a hand’s value hits double digits, the first digit is dropped. For example, a hand totaling 16 plays as 5.

The Banker’s and Player’s hands are compared when the deck has been dealt. A winning Player or Banker bet qualifies for a 1:1 payout. A winning Tie bet pays 8 to 1. The 5% commission on winning player and banker bets reduces the paytable odds to 19 to 20.


One of the best strategies for playing baccarat is to determine your budget and set spending limits before starting. This will prevent you from getting carried away by the excitement of winning and losing money and increase your chances of leaving the casino with some profits in your pocket. Also, try to avoid placing tie bets because they are risky and can drain your bankroll quickly.

Besides the bets on Banker and Player, baccarat players can place side bets as well. These bets have lower house edges but offer higher payouts. These bets include the Dragon Bonus, Colour Match, Easy Six, and Perfect Pairs.

Another popular betting system for baccarat is the Martingale system. This strategy works for all casino games that pay even money and is based on the theory that historical returns and asset prices tend to revert to their long-term average. It is important to note, however, that the Martingale system is not foolproof and can lead to huge losses if you do not control your bankroll.


The payouts in baccarat are determined by the house edge and how much the player wins. Players can use different betting strategies to increase their winning chances and maximize the money they win. These strategies can be classified as positive or negative progression systems. The former encourages bettors to increase their wager size after every win and reduce it after each loss. The latter is the opposite and discourages players from chasing losing streaks.

In addition to the main betting options, baccarat side bets also have their own paytables. The most popular of these is the Banker bet, which pays 1 to 1. However, players should be aware that a 5% commission will be deducted from their winning bets.

Some baccarat variations feature the Dragon Bonus side bet, which enables players to make a wager on either the Player or Banker hand. This bet will only win if the winning side wins by a large margin or is a natural win.


The game of baccarat has many variations and has a lot more to offer than most gamblers realize. These variations have different rules, payouts, and even side bets. While these variations may not be able to change the house edge, they can increase the fun factor and add some variety to the game.

The most popular baccarat variation is Punto Banco, which is played in most American casinos. The game is based on classic baccarat, but with the addition of eight decks of cards. The casino collects a 5% commission on banker wins and players get a return on their bets in the event of a tie.

Another variation is Mini Baccarat, which is played on a smaller table than standard baccarat tables and uses only six decks of cards. This version is less formal and appeals to beginners. This version is also called EZ Baccarat in the US and is a great choice for players with limited bankrolls.