Payout and RTP on Baccarat Game

Baccarat is among the most popular games played at land-based and online casinos today. The game, whose origins are thought to date back to the early 19th century or even as far back as the 15th century, is based on luck, not skill. Follow next lines to learn more about baccarat payout, house edge, RTP & baccarat odds.

One of the reasons why baccarat is so popular is because it has a very low house edge. What house edge refers to is the average amount of money the casino keeps over a long-term period of time. So, for example, if a game has a house edge of 5%, that means if someone keeps playing that game over a long period of time, around 5% of the total amount of money they’ve wagered on the game will go to the casino. Therefore, the lower the house edge, the better it is for the player. Baccarat house edge is one of the lowest amongst casino games.

There are three possible outcomes in any game of baccarat: the player’s hand wins, the banker’s hand wins or it’s a tie between the two. Bets may be placed on the player’s hand winning, the banker’s hand winning or a tie. The house edge for each of these for an eight-deck game is as follows: player’s hand at 1.24%, banker’s hand at 1.06% and tie at 14.36%. With a six-deck game, it’s mostly the same, except for a tie the house edge is 14.44% instead.

When playing baccarat, you may come across the term baccarat RTP, or ‘return to player percentage’. This is essentially the opposite of house edge; whereas baccarat house edge refers to the amount the house can expect to win back, baccarat RTP refers to how much the player or bettor can expect to win back. When it comes to deciding what baccarat games to play, look for games that have a really high return to player percentage or a really low house edge.

Rules of baccarat

Baccarat is a card comparing game where two hands are dealt and their value is compared. One of the hands is designated the player’s hand, while the other is designated the banker’s hand. Bettors can back and place bets on any one of the two hands and the number of hands dealt is kept at two regardless of how many bettors there are. With baccarat, it’s all about getting a hand with a total value as close to nine as possible - the player’s hand wins by having a hand valued at closer to nine than the banker’s and vice versa.

In baccarat, each card is worth a certain number of points. An ace is worth one point, while cards two to nine are all worth their face value, so a seven would be worth seven points, for example. Face cards, i.e. kings, queens and jacks, as well as tens aren’t worth anything at all.

If the total value of a hand is two digits, only the last digit is counted. So for example, if a hand has a three and a seven, that would make 10, whose last digit is zero - this hand would therefore be worthless. A hand with three and eight, on the other hand, would be worth one point since three and eight add up to 11 and the last digit of 11 is one. The most any single hand in baccarat can be worth is nine points.

Bets are placed and then cards are dealt, with both the player’s hand and the banker’s hand receiving two cards each. There are usually six or eight decks used in a game of baccarat and all cards are dealt face-up. Once the first four cards have been dealt, the value of each hand is determined. A ‘coup’ refers to a round of baccarat, i.e. both hands receiving two cards each for a total of four cards being dealt, though additional cards may be dealt depending on the value of the two hands.

If a hand totals eight or nine, this is called a ‘natural’. If neither the player’s hand nor the banker’s is a natural, the player or the banker may then be dealt a third card according to the set rules. If the player’s hand totals 0-5, a third card is dealt; if the hand totals 6-7, the player stands. If the player stands, the banker’s hand is dealt a third card, only if it totals 0-5; if the banker’s hand totals 6-7, it doesn’t receive a third card.

If the player’s hand receives a third card, there is a list of rules to determine whether the banker’s hand should then be dealt a third card or not. These rules are as follows:

  • If the player’s third card is a 2 or 3, the banker draws on 0-4 and stands on 5-7
  • If the player’s third card is a 4 or 5, the banker draws on 0-5 and stands on6-7
  • If the player’s third card is a 6 or 7, the banker draws on 0-6 and stands on 7
  • If the player’s third card is an 8, the banker draws on 0-2 and stands on 3-7
  • If the player’s third card is an ace, 10 or face card, the banker draws on 0-3 and stands on 4-7

Once any third cards have been dealt, the values of both hands are totalled and the winner is the hand with the closest value to nine; there is, of course, a chance the game will result in a tie. No hands are dealt any additional cards after the third.

One important thing to remember is that the player’s hand cards are always dealt first. Plus, once both hands have had their cards dealt, it’s the player’s hand that gets valued first. The banker’s hand is always determined and acted on after the player’s.

Playing strategy and tips - best odds

Baccarat is a game of luck and once you’ve placed your bet on either the player’s hand, the banker’s hand or a tie, everything’s out of your control. The game then proceeds with you unable to affect it in any way. So while there’s no detailed strategy focusing on gameplay as such, there are strategies to do with knowing what to bet on and when.

As previously mentioned, the baccarat house edge is 1.24% for the player’s hand, 1.06% for the banker’s hand and 14.36% for a tie. An obvious strategy to employ would be to only bet on the banker’s hand, since this has the best house edge of all the three possible bets – resulting in best baccarat odds for casino player. The reason the banker’s hand has a slightly higher house edge is because of the fact that the player’s hand is determined first, and then the banker’s.

With baccarat in land-based casinos, a popular strategy is to count cards. This involves keeping track of the value of the cards that have been dealt so far to gain a rough idea of what cards are left in the shoe. You do this by assigning numerical values to each of the cards and keeping a running total as the shoe is played out. The idea behind card counting is that if certain cards are drawn from the shoe, the house edge may go down, whereas if certain others are drawn from the shoe, the house edge may go up. With online blackjack, card counting is pointless. This is because instead of each hand being dealt from a shoe, there is no shoe as such and every new round of baccarat is automatically played with a new deck of cards.

It’s useful to know some general tips as well before you start playing baccarat. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you’re familiar with the game and how it works so you understand what’s going on. Be sure to check the minimum bets as they can be quite high compared to other casino games. If you happen to be on a winning streak, quit while you’re ahead as chances are you’ll lose sooner rather than later. Finally, of the three bets available, it’s the tie bet that has the highest house edge, so don’t bet on a tie unless you really want to.

Popular variants of baccarat

There are three main variants of baccarat:

  • Punto Banco
  • Chemin de Fer
  • Baccarat Banque

Punto Banco

Punto banco is the most common of the three and is the variant you’ll most often find at online casinos. Its rules are as explained above, with cards being dealt according to set rules. The ‘punto’ refers to the player, while the ‘banco’ refers to the banker. There are two variations of punto banco: the mini version and the midi version. Both of them are essentially smaller versions of baccarat; in land-based casinos they’re played at much smaller tables and they also have smaller minimum and maximum bets than the main version does. The key difference between mini and midi baccarat is that with mini baccarat, players don’t get to touch the cards, whereas with midi baccarat, they do. Of the two, mini baccarat is slightly more fast-paced since it’s all down to the croupier dealing the cards and turning them over. For both versions, the rest of the rules are the same as the standard baccarat rules.

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de fer gets players more involved, as they can shuffle and deal the cards themselves. One player is designated the banker and the role of banker shifts counterclockwise after each hand is played. Cards are dealt face-down and only the player who’s placed the largest bet can see them. What makes this variant unique is that it’s the only one where you can choose whether to draw an additional card or not, instead of having the rules make that decision for you. Chemin de fer originated in the late 19th century and its name is the French for ‘railway’ - it got its name because it was faster than the original baccarat game and the railway was at the time the fastest mode of transport.

Baccarat Banque

Baccarat banque is very similar to chemin de fer, though the key difference is to do with the role of the banker. Instead of numerous players taking on the role of the banker, in baccarat banque, whoever takes on the role of the banker does so until all of the cards in the shoe have been dealt. Both chemin de fer and baccarat banque usually use fewer decks than punto banco. In both of these variants, the player designated as the the banker is still free to bet on any one of the two hands; they don’t have to just bet on the banker’s hand.


What are the probabilities of each of the outcomes happening?

In standard eight-deck games of baccarat, chances are the player’s hand will win 44.62% of the time and the banker’s hand will win 45.85% of the time. As for a tie, that’s meant to happen 9.53% of the time. In accordance with this, the best bet to place is that the banker’s hand will win.

What are the baccarat odds?

The approximate odds for each of the three bets are as follows: for the player’s hand winning, it’s 5/4, for the banker’s hand winning it’s 6/5 and for a tie, it’s 9-1 or 8-1.

What’s the baccarat payout for the different bets?

The baccarat payout for the player’s hand winning is 100% of the player’s stake, while for the banker’s hand winning it’s typically 95% - this is because of the commission the casino usually takes (see below for more information). As for the tie bet, the payout is eight times the amount of the player’s stake.

What’s commission and how much is it?

In some baccarat games, the casino will take a small fee from every winning bet placed on the banker’s hand. This fee is typically 5% of the total amount staked, though sometimes it’s lower and some casinos don’t charge any commission at all. Even taking this into account, the banker’s bet still works out as the best one to make.

What’s the baccarat house edge like compared to other casino games?

The house edge for baccarat’s two main bets is just over 1%, which is considerably lower than other games. In comparison, three card poker has a house edge of 1.5%, while for single zero roulette it’s 2.5% and for slots it can vary from between less than 1% to around 10% depending on the slot. In fact, baccarat’s house edge is one of the lowest of all casino games.