In the original "Casino Royale," James Bond was playing baccarat, not Texas Hold 'Em. (Image via Bond)

Baccarat, Once a Relic of the Card-Game World, Is on the Upswing

Often overlooked, the high-stakes game of baccarat is enjoying a resurgence, and it’s time you learn to play it.

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Often overlooked, the high-stakes game of baccarat is enjoying a resurgence, and it’s time you learn to play it.

Did you know that in the original “Casino Royale” the high-stakes card game that James Bond plays with Le Chiffre wasn’t Texas Hold’em but was, in fact, baccarat? Baccarat used to be seen as an exclusive game, only fit for royalty and the upper classes. However, the heyday of this card game was many moons ago, and it was deemed too old-fashioned for the modern “James Bond” audience.

Recently though, baccarat has had something of a revival. Online gaming has introduced a new generation to a game that can be just as thrilling as poker. The draw for many players is that baccarat tends to be a high stakes game with high limits, meaning there is the potential for huge winnings.

The Aim of the Game

The aim of the game is for the cards in your hand to equal nine, or be as close to nine as possible. The dealer will deal two cards, face up, to both the player and the dealer. Prior to the deal, the player will have to decide whose hand they are going to bet on. This is where the game gets unique.

In baccarat, you can either bet on your hand to win or the dealer’s hand to win, or you can bet on a tie. You have no way of knowing whose hand will win because you won’t have seen any cards at this point. This is also where the game is exciting. The thrill of placing a bet based on blind luck is as tempting as it is risky.

How to Play Baccarat

Once the cards have been dealt, the value of the hand will be calculated. In baccarat, the king, queen and jack cards are considered to be zero, meaning they have no value. Ace has a value of one and all the other cards retain their own numerical value. If a player is dealt an 8 and an ace, for example, the win with what’s called a “natural win” because their cards have hit the value of nine. Any hand where the first two cards add up to nine is considered a natural win.

If a natural win doesn’t occur, then the player with the closest value to the number nine will win the round. This can be calculated in different ways. If a player has been dealt a three and a two, they will be dealt a third card in order to try and get closer to nine. If a player has been dealt a five and two, the value is seven and the player will hold.

If a player is dealt any two cards that, when added together, make a value higher than 10, then the second number is considered to be the final value of the hand. Confused? Yes, it’s confusing! So, if you are dealt a seven and a nine, for example, these two cards add up to 16 — this would make the value of your hand six.

The player is only given a third card if the dealer’s hand has a value of less than eight. Once the player has been dealt a third card, the value of the player’s hand will then determine whether or not the dealer will be able to draw a third card. This is where the game gets a little complicated, and it will be worth your while to put in some study time before you play.

Practice Makes Perfect

We also recommend that you play a few rounds of RNG baccarat before sitting down at a high-stakes table, because although this game requires a certain amount of luck to win, there are also various strategies that you can employ to enhance your chances of winning.

Check out for some helpful hints regarding strategy, and also where to find the best mobile baccarat games to practice on.

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