Complete Strategy Guide to Playing Baccarat

Mixed Image of a Book a Baccarat Table and a Casino Background

Baccarat is one of the best games in the casino for players of every experience level. It’s easy to play and offers a low house edge when you compare it to most other games. You only need to know one thing to use the best possible strategy, and the rules are so simple that anyone can play.

Baccarat tables used to be hidden in the high roller areas, requiring large bankrolls and bets to even get a seat at the table. But now you can play the same game in most casinos at the mini baccarat or midi baccarat tables. You can also play baccarat at most online casinos.

When I’m looking for a game with a low house edge and simple strategy, baccarat is my first choice. I prefer to play online because it offers a few advantages over land based baccarat play. I’ll share these advantages with you below.

How to Play Baccarat

Baccarat is the easiest game in the casino to play. You simply exchange your money for chips, get a seat at the table, and place a wager. The casino personnel running the game take care of everything else.

If you happen to be playing at a traditional baccarat table, the casino gives you a chance to deal the cards every once in a while, but you can pass on this option. When you play baccarat at a mini or midi table, you have a dealer, much like at a blackjack table.

The main way to tell the difference between a regular baccarat table and one of the other games is a regular baccarat table is much larger.

Mini and midi baccarat tables are the same size as blackjack tables. For the purposes of this ultimate baccarat strategy shortcut guide, mini and mid baccarat are the same.

Once you place a bet, the casino dealer deals two hands, one for the baker and one for the player, and then he or she resolves the hand. The dealer collects losing wagers and pays winning bets. All you have to do is make a bet and relax. You’re going to learn more about the betting options in the next section.

3 Betting Options and Strategy

Casino games like slot machines are designed in a way that doesn’t allow you to alter the outcome or house edge. It doesn’t matter how you spin the reels, because the long term house edge is the same.

Other games give you options which alter the house edge. When you have options, it gives you the opportunity to use strategy. Your goal and the casino’s goal is the same; to win more than you lose.

Casino games are designed to win more than they lose, so most players lose more than they win. But this doesn’t mean you should lose more than you have to. You should always use the best possible strategy to lower the house edge.

Sometimes the best strategy is complicated. The best strategy for blackjack and poker is hard, but the best strategy players have a chance to overcome the house edge. Baccarat offers one of the simplest strategies of all casino games.

To understand what the best baccarat strategy is, you need to know a little more about the three betting options.

Group of Happy People Playing Baccarat

A bet on the banker hand has a house edge of 1.06%. All winning banker bets must pay a commission, which is usually 5%. The house edge of 1.06% already accounts for this commission, and the dealer takes care of collecting it.

A bet on the player hand has a house edge of 1.24%. You don’t pay a commission on winning player hand bets.

The third betting option at the baccarat table is on a tie between the banker and player hands. The house edge varies based on the payout amount, but this is the worst bet on the table. You should never make the tie bet, because the house edge is worse than most slot machines.

Some baccarat tables also offer a side bet of some sort. Side bets come in different shapes and sizes and are called different things, but they all have one thing in common. All baccarat side bets have a high house edge and should be avoided.

Now that you know about the available baccarat wagers, can you guess what the best strategy option is?

The best and only baccarat strategy you need to use is always bet on the banker hand. I realize this sounds simple, and that’s because it is simple. This is the only strategy you need to keep the house edge low.

The Advantages of Playing Online Baccarat

Playing baccarat in a land based casino and an online casino offers the same basic game play. You place a bet and let the casino take care of everything else. So why do I recommend playing baccarat online?

In a land based casino you don’t have any control over the ace of play.

You can leave the table, but as long as you’re sitting at the table playing, the pace of the game is in the control of the dealer.

When you play baccarat online you can play as fast or as slow as you want. This is important because in any game with a built in house edge like baccarat, the faster you play the more you lose.

You can also make smaller bets when you play online baccarat. The table minimum in land based casinos is usually $10 or $20 per hand. In most online casinos the minimum bet per hand is $5 or less, with some offering minimums as low as $1.

The advantage of playing online baccarat that I like is the availability of a bonus at many online casinos. You can get a bonus on your deposit, which gives you a higher bankroll to play with. When you combine a bonus, simple game play, easy strategy, and the ability to play as fast or as slow as you want, it’s clear that online baccarat offers a better playing experience than land based baccarat.

How to Get Started Right Now

No ultimate strategy shortcut guide is complete without a step by step tutorial. Here’s a step by step baccarat guide that guarantees that you play with the lowest house edge and lets you get started immediately.

  1. Find an online casino that offers baccarat and a deposit bonus. You can use any of the trusted casinos listed on this site.
  2. Sign up for an account at your chosen online casino.
  3. Make a deposit and collect your bonus.
  4. Open the baccarat table.
  5. Make a table minimum wager on the banker hand.
  6. Play for as long as you wish. Remember that the more you play the more you lose, so don’t play as fast as you can. Take your time and enjoy the experience and your bankroll will last longer.

That’s all there is to playing baccarat using the best strategy. You’re always going to play with lowest house edge, and this gives you the best chance to win some of your playing sessions and makes your bankroll last as long as possible.

Closeup of a Baccarat Hand

If you want to play baccarat in a land based casino, here are the steps you need to follow.

  1. Go to the casino and find the baccarat table.
  2. You can exchange your cash for chips at the cashier cage before going to the table, but most casinos allow you to make the exchange at the table before you start playing.
  3. Place the table minimum wager on the banker space.
  4. Sit back, relax, and let the dealer take care of everything else.


Baccarat is one of my favorite casino games. It has a lower house edge than slot machines, most table games, and most video poker machines. It’s also so easy to play that anyone can play like a pro using this guide.

Anytime I take a new gambler to the casino we start at the baccarat table. Once I explain that all they have to do is bet on the banker and the dealer takes care of everything else, it makes it the perfect game to introduce someone to casino gambling.

If you’re willing to give online casinos a try, you can play with a bigger bankroll and lower minimum bets, and you still have the same betting options available. Always bet on the banker hand and play at a slower pace and online baccarat offers many advantage that you can’t find in a land based casino.