Casino live baccarat is a relatively straightforward game. Players simply choose a side to bet on – the Banker or Player side. Bettors can also predict a tie, although this bet rarely pays out. The objective is to choose a side that creates a hand value of 8 or 9 (natural) with the two dealt cards on each side.
But it's common for neither side to create a natural with the first two cards in live casino baccarat. If that happens, players draw an extra card. But some rules govern how players draw the third card. Read on to learn!
In baccarat, different rules determine how the Banker and Player side behave in case neither side hits a natural. But don't get it all wrong. These are simply the procedure to ensure that there is a winning side in this live casino game. Remember that the game ends after the third card is drawn hence the importance of learning the third-card rule.
After two cards are dealt to both sides face-down, baccarat rules dictate that the Player side goes first. No hard feelings, but that's just how this card game works. So, if the Player doesn't hit a natural, you must determine your next move.
First, they stand if the hand value is a 7 or 6. This means the Player doesn't get an extra card, and the Banker side will reveal their combination. But if the Player's hand has a value of 0 to 5, they get an additional card.
But sometimes, both sides can draw a natural. If this happens, the round becomes a tie or push. But wait, a natural of 9 is better than a natural of 8. Therefore, the highest value hand wins.
The third card rule on the Banker side is more complicated and exciting. That's because the Banker is the next to play after the Player has revealed their cards. This can make the experience a bit gut-wrenching.
That said, the Banker stands if they reveal a hand total of 7 or 6. In addition, the Banker gets an extra card to play if their hand total is anything between 0 and 5. It sounds like a stalemate, right?
If the Player gets a third card and the Banker has 2 or less, they receive another card regardless of the Player's third card value. Also, the Banker gets another card if they have a hand value of 3 unless the other side has a natural.
It doesn't stop there. If the Banker's total hand value is 4, they draw another card if the Player's extra card is 2-3-4-5-6-7. The Banker also stands if their total hand value is 7.
To avoid further confusion, here is a table illustrating how the third card rule works with the Banker's hand:
| Banker's total | Player's third card total | Banker's action | | --- | --- | --- | | 0 to 2 | Anything | Draw a card | | 3 | Anything but 8 | Draw a card | | 4 | 2 to 7 | Draw a card | | 5 | 4 to 7 | Draw a card | | 6 | 6 or 7 | Draw a card | | 7 | Anything | Stand |
This is a question that most novice live dealer baccarat players struggle to answer. Consider this; the Player's hand is the first to go and the most likely to draw an additional card. That's because the Player side will likely get a 0 because King, Queen, Jack, and 10 counts as zero in baccarat. In short, the Banker only makes a move after learning what is on the other side.
In addition, the probability of winning the Banker bet is higher than the Player bet. The Banker has a 45.8% chance of winning compared to 44.6% on the Player side. Although this might not matter much to the naked eye, it will determine how many wins you have in the long run.
But don't dismiss the Player bet too quickly. The 1.24% house edge is one of the lowest in any live baccarat casino. In addition, the casino will take a 5% commission on all your Banker bet wins. This is how the best live casinos make their money.