Drawing Hands

Baccarat is a simple game from the player’s point of view.  All you have to is put your money on Player, Banker, or Tie and let the game run its course.  From the dealer’s point of view, however, Baccarat has a complicated set of rules that determine whether or not the Player or the Banker gets another card.  These rules are like a complicated computer program full of If-Then statements and overriding rules.  Are you ready to take the next step and learn about Baccarat’s inner workings?

Card Values

Before we can discuss the drawing rules of Baccarat, you need to understand how cards are valued.  Fortunately, this part of Baccarat is simple.  Here are the card values in Baccarat:

Aces – 1 point
Face Cards – 10 points
Other Cards – Face Value

Both the Player and the Banker gets two cards.  The values of these two cards are added together to determine the hand’s total value.  Once the value is determined, the first number is ignored to determine the value of the hand.  For example, a jack-five would be scored as a 5 (10 + 5 = 15.  The one is ignored, so the score is five).  The value of the hand determines whether or not the Player or the Banker hit or stand.

Drawing Rules

There is one overriding rule in Baccarat:  If either the Player or the Banker has an eight or a nine, both players stand without exception.

If neither player has an eight or a nine, cards are drawn according to the following rules:

The Player
The Player is the first one to draw a card.  Whether or not the Player draws determines whether or not the Banker will draw.  Here are the rules:

  • The Player stands with a total of 6 or 7.
  • The Player hits (gets another card) with a total of 5 or less

The Banker
The Banker’s drawing rules are more complicated than the Player’s rules.  Here are the Banker’s drawing rules:

  • If the Player stands, the Banker hits with a score of 5 or less.

If the player hits, the following rules apply:

  • The Banker always hits with a score of 2 or less.
  • If the Banker has a score of 3, he draws if the Player’s third card is anything other than an 8.
  • If the Banker has a score of 4, he draws if the Player’s third card is a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
  • If the Banker has a score of 5, he draws if the Player’s third card is a 4, 5, 6, or 7.
  • If the Banker has a score of 6, he draws if the Player’s third card is a 6 or a 7.
  • The Banker always stands with a score of 7 regardless of the Player’s third card.

Few people understand the drawing rules of Baccarat because they don’t have to know them in order to play.  All of these rules are automatic.  However, mistakes can happen in a casino and knowing the drawing rules will help you spot any errors that your dealer makes.