With a few helpful reminders and some useful tips, even new players can be successful and win at baccarat. The rules of the game are quite strict but not difficult for players to learn.

The Objective of Baccarat

The goal in the game of baccarat is to create a hand of two or three cards that have a total value of nine or as close to nine as possible. Players are only required to make one decision in baccarat since everything else is dictated by the rules of the game and handled by the dealers. There are two winning 'natural' hands in baccarat; two cards that add up to nine points is a perfect hand, while two cards that add up to eight points is second-best and also considered a 'natural'. If a player gets a natural in their first pair of cards, they win. If no one gets a natural in the first round, the players must draw a third card to determine the winner. There are no winners on tie bets, unless a player has bet on a tie.

Point Values and Scoring

In the game of baccarat, Aces are worth one point; face cards like kings, queens and jacks are worth ten points; each of the other cards is counted at face value. When a player's point total reaches more 10 or above, the first number is ignored and the second digit is the player's score. So, if the player's hand totals 17, such as would occur with a Jack and a seven, the one is ignored and the player's score would be an even seven. A 10 and a nine, on the other hand, would be a natural since in a score of 19, the one is ignored and the player's score is an even nine.

The basics of baccarat are quite simple to grasp, but mastering the game is a different story altogether. With a bit of practice, players of any skill level can become proficient enough at baccarat to enjoy the game completely.