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Baccarat is a game that many people are intimidated by, which is a shame because it’s really not that difficult to learn. In fact, it’s one of the easiest casino games to play. With that in mind, this beginner’s guide will help you master the fundamentals of baccarat. Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or a complete beginner, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know to start playing baccarat and winning.

Introduction to Baccarat

Baccarat is a classic card game that originated in Italy in the 15th century. Despite its rich history, the game remains relatively straightforward to play. It involves two main parties: the ‘Banker’ and the ‘Player’. The game’s objective is simple – bet on the hand you believe will have a total point closest to nine. Betting in baccarat is distinctive, as you have the option to bet on your own hand, the banker’s hand, or a tie. In the subsequent sections of this guide, we will delve into the intricacies of the game, explaining the rules, strategies, and tips to enhance your gameplay and potentially increase your winning odds.

The Basic Rules of Baccarat

In Baccarat, cards 2-9 are worth their face value, while 10s and face cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings) hold no value and are worth zero. An ace is worth one point. The total of the hand is the rightmost digit of the sum of its cards. For instance, a hand consisting of a 2 and 3 is worth 5, but a hand consisting of a 6 and 7, which totals 13, is worth 3 (since you only consider the rightmost digit).

Baccarat begins with two cards being dealt to both the Player and the Banker. If the Player or the Banker has a total of 8 or 9 on the initial deal, it is called a ‘natural’, and the round ends. If not, the game’s play depends on the player’s hand and rules if a third card is drawn. These rules, referred to as the ‘tableau’, will be discussed in detail in the next section.

It’s essential to remember that in Baccarat, unlike many other card games, players do not participate in deciding whether to draw a third card or not. This decision is entirely dictated by the rules of the game. Lastly, bets on the Player and the Banker are paid out at 1:1, but there is a 5% commission on Banker bets, making the net payout on such bets 0.95 to 1.

Understanding the Odds

When it comes to baccarat, there are three bets you can make: on the player, on the banker, and on a tie. The odds of the player winning are slightly less than the odds of the banker winning, and the odds of a tie are much lower. This means that the banker bet is the best bet to make, as it has the highest chance of winning. However, you’ll need to pay a commission on banker bets, so keep that in mind when placing your bets.

Example of Baccarat Odds

Let’s illustrate this with an example. Suppose you have ₦100 and you decide to play Baccarat. You choose to bet on the Banker every time because of the slightly better odds. After 50 rounds, the outcomes are as follows: the Banker wins 27 times, the Player wins 17 times, and there’s a tie 6 times.

Given the 5% commission, your total payout for the Banker’s wins is 0.95 * ₦27 = ₦25.65. You lose ₦17 from the Player’s wins, and the ties do not affect your stack. Therefore, your total stack after 50 rounds is ₦100 (initial amount) + ₦25.65 (from wins) – ₦17 (from losses) = £108.65.

So, despite the commission on the Banker’s bet, you’re still able to make a small profit by consistently betting on the Banker, the option with the highest odds of winning. This highlights the importance of understanding the game’s odds when making your betting decisions in Baccarat.

Betting Strategies

There are several betting strategies you can use in baccarat, but the most popular is the Martingale system, in which you double your bet every time you lose. This strategy can be risky, so it’s important to use it carefully.

Applying the Martingale System in Baccarat

The Martingale System is a progressive betting strategy that is often employed in Baccarat. The system is based on the premise of doubling your bet each time you lose, with the idea that a victory will eventually recover all previous losses plus a profit equal to the original bet. Therefore, if you start with a ₦100 bet and lose, your next bet should be ₦200. If you lose again, your next bet should be ₦400, and so on. Theoretically, as long as the player has infinite wealth and time, they are assured a profit equal to their original bet. This strategy is often employed by players who are comfortable taking risks and have a sufficient bankroll to back up their bets.

Other Betting Strategies in Baccarat

While the Martingale System is one popular method, there are several other strategies that players can utilise when playing Baccarat. Some prefer the Paroli system, a positive progression betting system where the player doubles their bet after each win, rather than a loss. This strategy is less risky as it’s based on the principle of increasing bets while on a winning streak and reducing them during a losing streak.

Another method is the 1-3-2-6 system, which involves adjusting the bet based on the outcome of the previous hand. After a win, the player progresses to the next number in the sequence. However, after a loss, the player returns to the beginning and starts again.

There is also the Fibonacci system, a negative progression strategy where the player follows the Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.). The bet is increased by moving one step forward in the sequence for a losing bet and two steps backward for a winning one.

Remember, no strategy provides a guaranteed win, and each comes with its own level of risk. It’s crucial to understand them thoroughly and choose the one that suits your style and bankroll.

Live vs. Online Baccarat

Baccarat is a game that can be played both live and online. Live baccarat is played in a casino, and you’ll be able to see the dealer and the other players. Online baccarat, on the other hand, is played on a computer or mobile device and uses random number generators to determine the outcome of the game. While both versions of the game offer their own benefits and drawbacks, many players prefer the convenience of online baccarat.

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Tips for Success

Lastly, here are some tips to help you succeed in baccarat:

  1. Know the Rules: Understanding the rules of Baccarat is crucial to your success at the game. Make sure you’re familiar with the basics, such as the goal of the game and the values of the cards.
  2. Manage Your Bankroll: Baccarat is a game of chance, and it’s important to remember that losses can occur. Set a budget for yourself before you start playing and stick to it.
  3. Take Breaks: Continuous gaming can lead to fatigue, which might affect your decision-making skills. Don’t forget to take short breaks to refresh yourself.
  4. Understand the Bets: Not all bets in Baccarat have the same chances of winning. Familiarise yourself with the odds of each bet and make informed decisions accordingly.
  5. Practice: Like any other game, practice can improve your skills. Consider playing online versions of the game to practice and improve your understanding of Baccarat.

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Remember, Baccarat is meant to be fun, so always play responsibly!


Baccarat may seem intimidating at first, but once you understand the basics, it’s actually quite a simple game to play. Whether you prefer live or online baccarat, just remember to play responsibly and within your budget. With these tips and strategies in mind, you’ll be on your way to mastering the fundamentals of baccarat and hopefully winning big.

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