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Learn to play baccarat step by step

The objective in playing baccarat is to bet on the hand that gets as close to nine as possible. As the game is based on luck, players actually have very little to do beyond picking the hand they’d like to wager on. We've given a quick walkthrough of the gameplay below:

  • 1

    Join a table

    Once you’ve found a suitable casino where you can play baccarat online for free, it’s time to load up a table where you can hone your skills.

  • 2

    Pick a hand

    Decide how much practice currency you’d like to wager and place your bet on the banker hand, player hand, or tie, along with any side bets.

  • 3

    Cards are dealt

    Both the player and the banker receive two cards, with Aces worth 1 and face cards worth 0, which combine to make hands with a value between zero and nine.

  • 4

    More cards can be dealt

    Depending on the value of each hand, the player and/or the banker may receive a third card to finish up – see our how to play baccarat page for more information on all the specifics.

  • 5

    One hand wins

    The hand with the value closest to nine – determined by eliminating the first digit of any double digit hand values – wins the game, and the round comes to a close.

Which baccarat games are the most popular?

Punto banco, baccarat banque and chemin der fer are the three most popular varieties when you’re playing baccarat online free or for real money. You’ll also find several different variations out there, with changes to the rules affecting everything from the player’s agency to the pace of the game. It’s worth trying a few different variations to see which you prefer.

Below, we detail some of the most popular forms of baccarat (free, online, and offline) as well as their core rule changes:

Punto banco

When most people talk about baccarat, they’re talking about the rules of the game as they’re played in punto banco: players can bet on the player hand, banker hand, or tie. The hand that scores closest to nine wins the round.

Best online baccarat software providers

If you’re on the hunt for the best free online baccarat game, you’ll want to check out a few different software providers. Although the rules might not change too much, you’ll notice some differences in graphics and gameplay depending on which provider you’re playing with:

Microgaming

Microgaming

Founded in 1994, Microgaming introduced its first version of Baccarat five years later in 1999. Their version of the game may be straightforward, but it’s still great to look at.

NetEnt

NetEnt

Since launching Baccarat Pro in 2011, NetEnt has added several other baccarat variants (including live dealer games) to its game library.

Evolution

Evolution

Best known for their live dealer games, Evolution (also known as Evolution Gaming) now offers a range of baccarat titles such as: Peek Baccarat Live, Golden Wealth Baccarat, and Dragon Tiger.

BetSoft

BetSoft

It may have been around for a while, but BetSoft’s rendition of baccarat looks as good and performs as well as it always has, and uses the standard ruleset.

IGT

IGT

In addition to providing electronic table games (including baccarat) for brick and mortar casinos, IGT offers a simple but effective solution for online gamers.

Play’n GO

Play’n GO

Branded as Mini-Baccarat (see above for more information on this distinction), Play’n GO offers a version of the game that looks great and performs very smoothly.

Novomatic

Novomatic

Released in 2017, Novomatic’s rendition of baccarat is one of the newer versions on the market. It’s been iterated on a bunch since its humble origins, making it a fine choice.

Free online baccarat FAQ

Can I play baccarat free online?

Yes, alongside the free baccarat games on this page, many of the top casino sites will allow you to use their games in demo mode, effectively offering players a baccarat simulator that doesn’t cost a dime. Free baccarat is a great way to get a feel for the rules of the game if you want to practice or aren’t ready to use real money yet.

Can I play live baccarat for free online?

Unfortunately, you’ll struggle to find any versions of live baccarat online free play. This makes sense, as live casinos need to pay their dealers and don’t make any money on free games. You can, however, get pretty close to free live baccarat by playing with bonus cash.

Who has better odds in baccarat?

The banker. This hand has a slightly lower house edge and better odds of victory than the player hand. This explains why it pays out at a lower rate than the player hand – usually 0.95:1. Despite the commission charged on the banker hand, it remains the best bet in baccarat.

What is a free hand in baccarat?

A free hand at the baccarat table usually refers to a hand dealt without betting, and may be requested by players who are looking for patterns or employing a strategy. Of course, when you’re playing free baccarat online, you can safely consider every hand a free hand.

Is baccarat purely luck?

In short, yes. The game’s odds are comparable to betting on the flip of a coin. Although some players spend a lot of time exercising superstitions, using baccarat strategies, or trying to identify patterns between rounds. Unfortunately, there’s no sure-fire way to know what will happen next.

What are the different types of baccarat online games?

There’s a variety of different types of baccarat out there – Punto Banco and Chemin de Fer being the most popular – each with their own minor, or sometimes not so minor, rule changes.

When you’re playing a free baccarat game online it will usually be Punto Banco, but try to make a note of which variety you’re playing.

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Alexander Korsager

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Alexander Korsager has been immersed in online casinos and iGaming for over 10 years, making him a dynamic General Manager at Casino.org. He uses his vast knowledge of the industry to create content across key global markets.