Baccarat Card & Hand Values

Dealer reveals banker and player cards at the baccarat table.

Baccarat is one of those classic casino games that are simpler to play than you might think. The gameplay consists of baccarat card values that are largely based on the classic values that we see in games like blackjack, but with some differences that you need to know about.

The Basic Details on Baccarat Card Values

Explanation of baccarat card values.

As in a brick-and-mortar casino, the objective of baccarat is to predict which hand (banker or player) gets a total closer to 9. Therefore, the baccarat hand values that are based on the card values form a crucial part of the game.

Yet, you can’t simply use exactly the same card values seen in blackjack. Rather, you need to look at the values listed below:

  • The numbered cards are worth the value stated on them, so a 2 gives you two points, a 3 is worth three and so on
  • The 10s and the face cards (jack, queen and king) have a zero value, meaning that they don’t add any points to your hands
  • The ace always counts as 1 point
  • No jokers are used in baccarat

Both hands are given two cards to start with. The cards are then added up to give a total. If it has a 3 and a 4, the total is 7. A 5 and a king dealt together would be worth 5.

However, the maximum baccarat hand value permitted is 9. If the total goes over this figure, only the right-hand digit is used. Therefore, if the hand has, for example, a 9 and 6 then the total is 15 but the hand only counts as 5. The same applies if it goes over 20. This means that 9, 6 and 9 together would count as 4 in baccarat, rather than 24.

When Is a Third Card Needed?

There are different rules for when the player’s hand and the banker’s hand need to have a third card drawn and added to them. If we start with the player’s hand, it gets a third card if the initial baccarat card values on their first two cards add up to anything from 0 through to 5, unless the banker has a hand totalling 8 or 9. If a player’s hand is greater than 5, then they do not receive any more cards.

The rule for the banker is a bit more complicated. In those cases where the player’s hand is worth 6 or more, the banker follows the same rules and stands with 6 or higher.

However, if the player has drawn a third card, the banker’s hand has to follow the rules noted below:

  • When the banker has 2 or lower, they get a third card
  • When their total is 3, they get a third card unless the third card drawn for the player was an 8
  • On a total of 4, a third card is needed if the additional card given to the player was between 2 and 7, inclusive of these numbers
  •  With a banker total of 5, the third card is dealt where the player’s extra card was 4, 5, 6 or 7
  • For a total of 6, a third card is only dealt with the banker if the player’s additional card was either 6 or 7
  • When the banker has 7 in their initial hand, they stand on this total

What Is the Best Hand in Baccarat?

Given that 9 is the winning number in baccarat, this is the best hand possible. However, a hand only needs to get closer to 9 than the other hand to win. It doesn’t matter how many points a hand wins by, as you get the same payout for any winning baccarat hand values.

Player reveals hand of baccarat totalling nine points.

This is a game of chance where you simply choose which hand you think will win, or whether you predict a tie. After that, you just need to wait to see which hand gets closer to nine. There’s nothing you can do to affect the outcome, so it’s a question of watching the cards get dealt and seeing how it works out for you.

What Is the Worst Hand in Baccarat?

A bad hand in baccarat is one that you bet on that loses to the other hand. Since you don’t make any decisions about what to do, there are no difficult baccarat hand values to play like there are awkward hands in blackjack.

Technically, we could call 0 the worst hand as it’s the furthest from 9, but if a 9 is then dealt as the third card it instantly transforms into the best possible hand instead. If you want to get used to the card values and see how exciting baccarat is, a live baccarat game with a human dealer gives you a genuine casino atmosphere with all the convenience of playing online.

Any more questions? Go to our FAQs page to find out everything you need to know about this classic card game.


Did you know?

 There are actually three different versions of the game that use the same baccarat card values. Punto Banco is sometimes called North American Baccarat because it’s the most popular variant played in casinos in the US. Chemin de Fer is James Bond’s favourite casino game, while baccarat Banque can be seen in some French casinos and elsewhere in Europe.  

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