Baccarat Variants

All You Need To Know About The Variants & How To Use Them

Baccarat is the most popular casino game in the world. It’s played in over 100 countries and casinos globally. The rules are simple, but the game can be difficult to master. There are many baccarat variants, most of which have different odds of winning and different strategies involved.

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Baccarat has become more prominent throughout the world over the past several decades. Many different game variants exist, but they all share similar traits and rules.

The basic gameplay involves two to eight players and uses a standard 52-card deck. Although certain variations have different rules, the deck can be French or Spanish.

Baccarat Rules

Baccarat is played with three to eight decks of cards. It’s played against the banker, who deals with the cards and doesn’t have to follow any rules.

Players can bet on the total value of their cards or whether their hand will beat the banker’s hand. Some players bet by placing chips on one of three areas: Player, Banker, or Tie.

The following rules apply to the player:

  • If you want to stay in the game, you must place a bet equal in size to at least that of the previous bet before you when you want to stay in. You can say “pass” if you don’t want to place the minimum bet.
  • You must always keep at least one hand in play unless you decide to leave the table and not play anymore. The dealer will ask if you want to stay in on your last hand and then start dealing hands for players who stay in on their first hand with a new amount of money equal to your bet.
  • If you are dealt an ace and a 10 (the baccarat), it counts as 11 points, and you lose immediately because it beats everything except an 11 (the natural).

Baccarat Strategy

There are several different baccarat strategies, but they can be grouped into five main categories: player-card counting, bankroll management, knowing when to bet low and high, equipment maintenance and proper cleaning, and knowing when to play at a table with a lower minimum bet.

Baccarat has many different types of bets you can make. Some of them include:

  • The player card is higher than the banker’s card (tie)
  • The player card is lower than the banker’s card (tie)
  • The player cards are tied (the same value)
  • You’re betting against the house

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de fer, also known as Shimmy, or Chernay, is a card popular baccarat variant. The game is played between two to 12 players at a kidney-shaped table by playing two or three cards. If a player’s hand total goes beyond 9 points, the first digit of the sum of the cards played is ignored.

So if the player has 4 cards totalling 14 points, they would be awarded four points. The A-1 (Ace) can be used as either one or eleven (again 1); number cards are worth their face value; and picture cards are worth ten points (which equals 0). The house edge for Chemin de Fer is around 1%.

Punto Banco 

Punto Banco is another popular baccarat variant. Unlike Chemin de Fer, where players bet against one another, Punto Banco is a game where players bet against the dealer.

Punto Banco, like blackjack, also uses two decks of cards and gives the player a total of four hands from which to choose. The main difference is that in Punto Banco, you are betting on the total value of your hand against the banker’s hand rather than betting on individual hands.

The name accurately describes the two opposing sides: punto – meaning “player” and banco – standing for “bank”. The game’s objective is to reach nine or closest to nine before the other side does and before going exceeding nine.

The total value of a hand consists of the first two cards drawn by the player, and if the total is a two-digit number, ten is subtracted.   For example, if the player drew a 6 and an 8, their hand would be valued at four points: 6+8=14 – 10 = 4. The house edge in Punto Banco is around 1.36%.

Baccarat Banque 

Baccarat Banque is a variation of baccarat, the card game. In Baccarat Banque, only one player will be designated as the dealer during a single game. That player will be responsible for dealing with all players, drawing cards themselves or having other players draw from their hands.

This differs from Chemin de Fer, where each player gets a chance to deal with themselves and play both as the dealer and as a player. The house edge for this variant is 1.06%.

No Commission Baccarat 

In Non-Commission Baccarat (NCB), bets are placed against the banker, who has an edge of 1.061% over a player wagering on the Banker. However, when you bet on the Banker, and he wins, you only get paid 50% of your bet amount.

EZ Baccarat 

When regular baccarat games are played, the house has much better odds of winning than players. The conventional baccarat game has an unequal distribution of winning hands between the Player Line and Dealer Line wagers.

The EZ Baccarat variant eliminates that inequality by barring a specific winning Bank hand and distributing its value to the Player Line and the Dealer Line wagers. The house edge for this variant is 1.24%.

European Baccarat 

In European Baccarat, the banker can always request a third card. This is called a “soft hand,” and the decision of whether to ask for another card rests solely with the banker, not with other players. Other players have no opportunity to bet when this happens, so the player who made the most recent bet is automatically awarded any winnings. The house edge for this variant is 1.24%.

American Baccarat 

American Baccarat is a game in which two players wager on the outcome of a hand. The game aims to bet on which hand will have a higher total at the end of the round – the Player or Banker. Players can bet both on themselves and against themselves, while the Banker bets only on himself, with no option to bet against himself.

The player and banker are each dealt two cards (which are hidden from view) from a total of eight decks shuffled together into a shoe. In most casinos, each player and the banker are given one additional card for three cards each. The house edge is 1.06%.

Baccarat Squeeze 

What makes Baccarat Squeeze different from the classic version of Baccarat? The dealer in Baccarat Squeeze deals each card face down, so players don’t know if they have a winning hand or not until after the last card has been played. This added element of surprise makes for an exciting twist on a familiar game.

Dragon Tiger 

Dragon Tiger is a two-card gambling game. It is the simplest form of baccarat, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to win. In this game, two cards are drawn, one to the Dragon and one to the Tiger.

Players bet on which card will be higher. They can also place proposition bets on specific cards, including, for example, betting that the Dragon will draw a 10 or that the Tiger will draw an 8 or that three 10s will be drawn in total. The house edge for this variant is 3.73%.

Baccarat Tables 

Baccarat tables are tables used in the game of baccarat. Baccarat is a game played between two players and a dealer, who keeps track of the score and handles the cards. The game is played with a deck of cards shuffled by the player or dealer. The game’s object is to have a hand closer to 9 than 6.

Big Table Baccarat 

Big table baccarat is a type of casino gambling played on a much larger table than traditional baccarat and may be subject to different rules. Big table baccarat usually uses more cards, ranging from six to eight or even more. This table typically seats about 14 players.

The dealer uses multiple decks of cards, and the players can choose to use all of the decks. Sometimes, players can also decide whether to play with either one or two hands. A bigger table means more places for players to sit down at the gaming table.

The biggest difference between big table baccarat and traditional baccarat is the bet’s size. Big table baccarat bets are made with chips, not money, unlike conventional baccarat. Players place their bets on the table’s edge marked as betting spots. This allows other players to easily see what bets have been made and how much each person has wagered.

Mini Baccarat 

Mini-Baccarat was derived from the original Baccarat in the 18th century.

The game consists of eight decks of cards, and as many as seven people may play at once. The cards are shuffled by the dealer and then reshuffled and placed in a box called a shoe. There are no options on drawing or standing.

The game’s object is to come as close to the number nine as possible without going over. Face cards and tens, or any combination of cards totalling ten, count as zero. The ace counts as one, the deuce counts as two, etc.

Midi Baccarat 

Midi baccarat is typically played before or after a meal on the casino floor or at a social gathering. The box it comes in safely fits into most purse or pocket sizes. The card deck comes with two types of 54-card decks featuring different pictures: one deck has pictures of petite birds dressed in formal attire, while another features birds in casual dress. This allows players to choose their preferred deck colour and bird style.

The biggest difference between midi baccarat and other card games is that instead of playing against each other, players play against the house. The objective is to reach a score as close to zero as possible; the player who first reaches this goal wins the round and will have their winnings paid out by the dealer at that time.

Which Baccarat Variation Should You Choose?

The reason bankers hand baccarat is the best variant to choose is that it has an excellent house edge. It is the only variant in baccarat with an automatic winner, a player. With other variants such as Player or Tie, the game will either have a tie or a draw because both players have to have equal cards or none at all.

The banker’s hand has a house edge of 1.06%, which is relatively better than other variants such as Tie and Player (1.24% and 0.40%, respectively). The banker hand also has the highest chance of winning, at 97%. Because of this, it’s more preferable to play the banker’s hand baccarat variant than other variants when playing at casinos.

Most people would think it’s not advisable to play banker hand Baccarat variant because they believe the game might be rigged when played with a croupier instead of an automatic dealer like in European casinos. However, this isn’t true since every game in every casino has been tested by independent laboratories and found to be truly random—and no human being can be perfect all the time anyway!

The banker’s hand rules in baccarat are as follows:

  • A player can score between 0 and 9 points, depending on how many hands they need to get a total of 8.
  • A player always needs two cards to open a hand but can re-draw only once.
  • A player draws additional cards until they have at least 8 or draws a card totalling 7 or less.

After the draw, the player either stands (if satisfied with the total) or continues drawing cards until they are satisfied with the final total. This is known as doubling down. If a player doubles down, then they can draw one more time, but they lose if it results in a total of 7 or fewer.

Odds

  • Banker’s Hand: 45.8%
  • Player’s Hand: 44.6%
  • Tie: 9.6%

Payouts

The payout for this variant is calculated as follows:

  1. Calculate the house edge for traditional baccarat (the standard way).
  1. Calculate the house edge for the proposed variant.
  1. For each bet, calculate the probability of winning for each player. The player with a higher likelihood of winning will be the dealer. If the players have an equal likelihood of winning, the player who is dealt two cards first will be the dealer.

Determine whether there is a tie in step three above. There will be no dealer if there is a tie, and all bets lose.

  1. Repeat steps two and three on a per-bet basis until all bets are resolved.

Baccarat Variants with the Lowest House Edge 

HOUSE EDGE FOR DIFFERENT VARIANTS
No Commission BaccaratEZ Baccarat4% Commission Baccarat6-Deck Baccarat
1.46%1.02%0.60%Small = 5.27% house edgeBig = 4.35%Either Pair = 14.54%Perfect Pair = 17.07%

Baccarat Variations that Payout the Most 

The Baccarat Variations with the highest payout is:

Baccarat Chemin de Fer – The Baccarat Chemin de Fer Variations table has the most favourable payout percentage of any of the variations of Baccarat, at an average rate of around 98% to 99%. This is higher than the payout on European rules at 97% and the American rules at 96%.

The Best Variants to Try When you’re new to Casino 

Baccarat has become a popular casino game for a number of reasons. It’s fun, easy to play, and can be played online or in a brick-and-mortar casino. But if you’ve never played before, you may wonder which variations of the game are best. Here are three popular baccarat variants to try when you’re new to casinos:

1) Punto Banco: This is the most common form of baccarat and involves three cards dealt face up to each player at the beginning of each hand. The goal here is to get a total of nine points on your cards (a “natural”).

2) Baccarat Chemin de Fer: In this version, seven cards are dealt face-up to each player, and then one card face down to the dealer. The goal is to reach a total of nine points on your cards before the dealer does.

3) Mini baccarat: This version is usually available online because it requires only one deck of cards instead of two. The game gets easier with one pack making it perfect for someone starting.

Types of Baccarat to play if you’re a pro 

When you’ve mastered the basic baccarat variants, it’s time to venture out into the world of more complex games. This list includes some of the best baccarat variants to try if you’re a pro:

Baccarat Banco: A classic game that requires gamers to memorize and execute moves quickly and make quick decisions during gameplay. It is a game that relies on speed and skills, and luck.

Jacks or Better Poker: A variant of poker played with jacks or better, which increases your chances of winning. The best part? This game can be played using a standard deck of cards; no need for anything else!

Pai Gow: Another variation of poker requires players to create hands using seven cards from a single deck, this time using special rules that reduce the risk of losing. Those familiar with Texas Hold’em will find this challenging but entertaining nonetheless.

Baccarat Chemin de Fer: A French baccarat variant where players play against the house instead of each other. This game is suitable for those who like games with high levels of interaction with the dealer.

Baccarat Variations You Should Avoid 

Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games globally, but unfortunately, many people don’t know more than one type. Most of these variants have little to no house edge, which means you can make money off them if you know how to play. Here’s a list of some of the baccarat variants you should avoid getting the best odds:

Baccarat Banque

This game is similar to Baccarat Chemin de Fer, except it’s played with six decks of cards and a betting limit. This means that any cards dealt later in the shoe will be rarer and more valuable, so this game will certainly have a poor return rate for players.

Baccarat Banque is also a known favourite among card counters, so it can be difficult to find games where you can bet freely and make a lot of money.

Baccarat Banque Royale

This game has a house edge of 2.8%, making it an excellent choice for players who want good odds while still playing a fun game. It shares similarities with Chemin de Fer, but it also has unique quirks. You’ll notice that the rules are slightly different from most baccarat, which could confuse you.

Frequently asked questions

The only difference is that in Mini-Baccarat, both hands can be at 9 or 10. The rest of the rules are unchanged—if either hand is exactly 9 or 10, then that person automatically wins; otherwise, whichever hand is closest to 9 wins.
A natural 9 in baccarat is the hand with the highest possible value in a baccarat game. The hand consists of a player's first two cards, the first of which must be an 8, 9, or 10, and the second must be a 2 or 3.
This depends on the type of player you are. With so many variants, you should be able to find a Baccarat type perfect for you. Check out our guide to see and compare different variants.