The Ultimate Guide to the Most Popular Baccarat Variations

Baccarat variations are diverse and plentiful, catering to different preferences and playing styles.

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The Most Popular Baccarat Variations


Baccarat is one of the oldest and most popular card games in the world. It has been around for hundreds of years, but despite its longstanding presence, it continues to be a source of entertainment for all kinds of players. This game’s variations are diverse and plentiful, catering to different preferences and playing styles. In this article, we will go over some of the most popular baccarat variations that have stood the test of time along with their respective rules and strategies.

Basic Baccarat Rules

The basic rules of baccarat that are common to all variations are fairly straightforward. While the game can be played with up to 14 players, only two hands will be dealt during a round – one for the Banker and one for the Player. Each hand consists of two or three cards; if either hand has an 8 or 9 total value (known as a “natural”), then no more cards will be drawn. The goal of both hands is to get closest to 9 points without going over it.

baccarat card values

Baccarat Card Values

In baccarat, cards values are as follows:

  • Ace = 1 point
  • 2 through 9 = face value
  • 10 and Face cards = 0 points

The highest possible hand is 9 points; if either the Banker or Player’s hand reaches this limit without going over, then it is considered a ‘natural’. If both hands reach a natural, the game ends in a tie.

Baccarat Odds

The house edge in baccarat is generally low and the odds depend on which variation is being played. In most cases, the house edge ranges between 1% and 2%. It’s important to remember that baccarat is mostly a game of chance since no strategy can guarantee a win.

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Most Popular Baccarat Variations

Baccarat Banque

Baccarat Banque is a popular variation of the game that was first introduced in France. In this variation, the Banker’s position remains for the entire round and all players have to compete against it. Players can also choose to be a ‘stand-in banker’ if they so desire. The rules are otherwise similar to regular baccarat with only two or three cards drawn per hand.

Punto Banco

Punto Banco is the most popular baccarat variation in the United States. It’s similar to Baccarat Banque, but with one main difference: in Punto Banco, the Banker’s position rotates among all players at each turn. The goal is still to get as close to 9 points without going over it.

Mini Baccarat

Mini Baccarat is a variation of Punto Banco designed for casual players. It uses the same rules and principles, but with lower stakes, making it more accessible to less experienced gamblers. The table layout is smaller and the game moves much faster than traditional baccarat.

Midi Baccarat

Midi Baccarat is a variation of Punto Banco that’s designed for mid-level players. It uses the same rules as Mini Baccarat but with larger tables and higher stakes. The game usually moves at a medium pace, making it suitable for those looking for something in between Mini and regular baccarat.

What is the Difference Between Midi and Mini Baccarat?

The main difference between midi and mini baccarat is the size of the table, stakes, and speed of play. Midi baccarat tables are larger than mini baccarat tables and feature higher stakes. The game also moves faster in midi baccarat, making it a more intense experience for experienced players.

Super Pan 9

This baccarat variation was first introduced in Atlantic City and has become popular due to its unusual nature. Unlike other variations, Super Pan 9 uses a 7-card deck instead of 8 or 9 cards and each player is dealt 5 cards (rather than 2 or 3). This makes the game more strategic since players need to consider all possible combinations when deciding on their next move.

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer is a variation of baccarat that was popular in Europe during the 19th century. In this game, players take turns being banker and can refuse to accept bets from other players if they choose to do so. It also features an unusual twist: when the Banker’s hand loses, the Banker passes onto the next player in line.

European Baccarat

European baccarat is similar to Chemin de Fer in that the Banker position rotates among players. However, unlike Chemin de Fer, the Banker can accept bets from other players. This variation usually features higher stakes and a slower pace than regular baccarat.

Dragon Tiger

Dragon Tiger Baccarat is a variation of baccarat that’s played with two cards instead of three. The object of the game is still to get as close to 9 points without going over it, but only one hand (either the Dragon or Tiger) will be dealt and bets can be placed on either hand.

Macau Baccarat

Macau Baccarat is a variation of regular baccarat that’s played in many casinos in Macau. It features more flexible betting options and higher stakes than other variations, making it ideal for experienced players looking for a challenge.

Dragon 7 Side Bet

The Dragon 7 side bet is an optional wager in baccarat that pays 40 to 1 if the Banker’s hand totals seven points, making it one of the most lucrative bets in the game. It can be played alongside any other variation of baccarat and is available in both online and land-based casinos.

Panda 8 Side Bet

The Panda 8 side bet is similar to the Dragon 7, but pays 25 to 1 when the Player’s hand totals eight points. It can be played alongside any variation of baccarat and is available in both online and land-based casinos.

Other Baccarat Side Bets

There are a few other side bets available in some versions of baccarat. These include the Big Eye Boy bet, Small Road bet, and Cockroach Pig bet. The Big Eye Boy bet is placed on the Player’s hand and pays out if it has a total of 8 or 9 points; this bet tends to have higher odds than other side bets. The Small Road bet is placed on the Banker’s hand and pays out when it wins with a score of 6 or 7 points; this bet also has some decent odds, but they are slightly lower than the Big Eye Boy. Finally, the Cockroach Pig bet is one of the riskiest side bets as it pays no matter who wins as long as they have an odd total.

Baccarat Money Management

Money management is essential for any gambler, and baccarat players are no exception. Baccarat can be a volatile game, so it’s important to manage your money carefully by setting clear limits on how much you can afford to lose and sticking to them. It’s also important to take advantage of any bonuses and promotions offered by the casino to maximize your chances of winning.

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Baccarat Variants FAQs

What is the most successful baccarat strategy?

The most successful baccarat strategy is to always bet on the Banker’s hand. This is because it has a slightly lower house edge than betting on the player’s hand, giving you a better chance of winning.

What is the house edge in baccarat?

The house edge in baccarat depends on which variation you’re playing. In Punto Banco, the house edge for betting on the Banker is 1.06%, while betting on the Player has a house edge of 1.24%. For other variations, such as Chemin de Fer and Macau Baccarat, the house edges vary depending on which bets are available.

Which baccarat is the most popular?

The most popular baccarat variation is Punto Banco. It’s the simplest version of the game and offers low stakes, making it ideal for casual players.

What is the difference between baccarat and EZ baccarat?

The main difference between baccarat and EZ baccarat is the commission rate. In EZ baccarat, the Banker’s winnings are not subject to a 5% commission, making it more profitable for players who bet on the Banker.

What card game is similar to baccarat?

The most similar card game to baccarat is Pontoon. Both games involve drawing two or more cards and attempting to get as close to nine points without exceeding it. However, there are some key differences; Pontoon features an additional dealer-versus-player contest while baccarat does not.

What is the best baccarat variation?

The best baccarat variation depends on your preferences and skill level. Experienced players may prefer Macau Baccarat, while novices might find Mini Baccarat more appealing. Ultimately, the best baccarat game for you is the one that offers you the most enjoyment and excitement.


Baccarat is a classic card game that has been enjoyed by players for centuries. With so many different variations available, there’s something to suit every taste and skill level. From Dragon Tiger and Macau Baccarat to the lucrative side bets of Dragon 7 and Panda 8, this guide will help you find the perfect baccarat variation for your needs. So grab your cards and chips, get ready to hit the tables and enjoy some thrilling gaming action!

Rudra Chanda