How to Play Mini Baccarat

When you are playing Mini Baccarat, which is just a quicker and smaller version of regular baccarat, your aim is to place a wager on the hand that you believe will have the highest total. When you are playing baccarat, you will not have your own personal hand. The dealer at the casino will draw two sets of two cards face down; one of the sets will be known as the "Banker", while the other set will be known as the "Player". Once everyone who is sitting at the table has placed their bets, the cards will be revealed.

So, how exactly are the cards valued in baccarat? Well, the 10, J, Q, and K have a value of 0 points, the Ace has a value of 1 point, while the remaining cards are worth the value that can be seen on them. The value of each hand can only be a single figure. Therefore, if a hand is worth double figures then the second number is the actual value of that hand. For instance, if the Banker has a 7 and a 6, which makes 13, the hand will be worth 3 points. With this in mind, let's have a look at the house advantage in the table below.

Bet TypeHouse Advantage Percentage
Banker1.17%
Player1.36%
Tie14.12%

What is the Winning Hand?

When you are learning how to play mini baccarat, the first thing that you need to know is that the winning hand will be the one that adds up to 9 or is the closest to 9. If a hand equals 8 or 9, then it is known as a natural. If the Player has a natural and the Banker cannot match it, the Player wins.

The two tables below clearly explain what has to happen depending on what value the Player's hand is and what value the Banker's hand is. Mini baccarat rules state that depending on the value, a third card might have to be dealt with one of the hands.

You do not really need to take the time to memorize these tables as the decisions that you can personally make in this game are restricted - all you can do is predict whether the Banker is going to have the better hand or whether the Player will have the better hand. The dealer will do the rest for you. We should also add here that you can also bet on a Tie, but we will come back to that a bit later on.

However, it is a good idea to take a look at the two tables so that when you play mini baccarat you know whether you are going to be winning or not. Furthermore, it is important to note here that the dealer will draw only one additional, meaning that most cards the Banker or Player will have at any time will be three.

The Player's Rules

Below are the rules that dictate whether the Player has to take a third card or not.

Players' First Two-Card TotalPlayer's Action
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5Draw the Third Card
6 and 7Stand
8 and 914.12%

The Banker's Rules

Below are the rules that dictate whether the Banker has to receive a third card or not. As you can see from the table, it is a bit more complicated. However, as we mentioned above, the dealer does all of this for you, so you do not really need to worry about memorizing the rules.

Bankers' First Two-Card TotalDealer Draws to Player's Third CardDealer Stands to Player's Third Card
0, 1 and 2DrawsDraws
3 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 98
4 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 0, 1, 8, 9
5 4, 5, 6 and 70, 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9
6 6 and 70, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9
7 StandsStands
8 and 9 Win or TieWin or Tie

What is the Third Card Rule?

The criteria that dictate whether the Banker of the Player should receive a third card or not are known as the third card rule. The dealer will know all of the rules by heart, so he will be able to keep the game flowing along nicely. This is important as the fact that mini baccarat is a quick game to play is what makes it so enticing to many gamblers. The last thing that anyone sitting at the table wants is to have to sit there for a few minutes each round while the dealer works out whether a third card has to be drawn or not.

We should note here that the rules will always usually be the same no matter if you are playing at a land-based casino in Las Vegas or at an online casino from the comfort of your own home. What could be improved upon however is applying a baccarat strategy to improve your chances of winning by reading our easy to follow Baccarat Strategy Guide after that you have become familiar with these mini-baccarat rules.

The Tie Bet

As we briefly mentioned above, players can also place a bet on a Tie. As the name implies, in order to win this wager, you will need both the Banker and the Player to have the same value hand. We do not recommend that you make a habit of placing your money on a Tie happening as more often than not you will end up losing your money.

The house edge for this wager stands at just over 14%, which is a lot higher than the 1.17% house edge for the Banker and the 1.36% house edge for the Player. Of course, if you feel like a bit of added excitement every so often then, by all means, place your money on a Tie. If Lady Luck is your friend, you will get a decent payout as mini baccarat odds for a Tie are 8:1. However, as we said, do not bank on it happening often.

The Dragon Bet

Another type of bet that you can come across while playing mini baccarat is the Dragon Bet. This is a bonus bet that you can place at any time. With the type of bet, you will be hoping that the dealer gets three cards that equal a score of 7 and that this score beats the Player's hand. If it does, then you will be paid a very nice bonus as the odds for this side bet stand at 40:1.

Mini Baccarat Payouts

So, what are the payouts that you can expect if you are lucky enough to get a winning outcome? Well, you can find all the information that you need to know about this in the table below.

Winning Points Margin

Payouts

41:1
52:1
64:1
76:1
810:1
930:1

We have put together an interesting guide to Baccarat Odds where we cover other topics such as odds variations depending on the number of decks being played, live baccarat and virtual baccarat.

Practice by Playing Free Mini Baccarat

The best way to learn how to play Mini Baccarat is to play for free. We always recommend practicing by playing a free version of any casino game before playing for real cash. Therefore we have selected a beginner's friendly Free Mini-Baccarat Game which is produced by an industry leader "Play n GO".

Note: Did you know that playing Baccarat involves three or six 52-card decks shuffled together and dealt from a dealing box called a “shoe”? Fun little fact from Britannica

Mini Baccarat FAQ

Below you can find four questions that are commonly asked about mini baccarat.

❓ How Do You Play Mini Baccarat?

Mini Baccarat is one of the easiest games that you will find at an online casino. All you have to do to play is place your wager on one of three things. The Player’s hand, the Banker’s hand, or a tie. If you place your money on the hand that has the highest value, then you are a winner and you will receive a nice bit of profit. Needless to say, if you place your money on the lower hand, you will lose your stake.

❓ What is the Difference Between Baccarat and Mini Baccarat?

Mini baccarat is played on a smaller table, usually the same size as a blackjack table. This means that fewer players can join in, which makes for faster play. In a Normal Game of Baccarat, there will usually be three dealers and the players get to deal as well. However, with mini baccarat, there is just the one dealer and the players are not allowed to deal, which helps to make things stay nice and quick. As you can see, the important thing about mini baccarat is that it is quick.

❓ How Do You Beat Mini Baccarat?

Beating Mini Baccarat is pretty simple – all you have to do is place a wager on whether the Player or Banker will have the higher hand or if it will be a tie. If you are correct with your prediction, you have won.

❓ What is the Best Bet in Baccarat?

The Best Bet in Baccarat is the Banker bet as this has a slightly lower house edge than the Player option. The house edge for the Banker sits at 1.17%, while the house edge for the Player sits at 1.36%. When you do not know what to put your money on, you should think about betting on the Banker. However, you should be aware that there will usually be a commission that you have to pay the casino if you place a bet on the Banker and win. This commission will usually stand at 5%. You should not get into a habit of betting on a tie though as draws are rare in this game.

Tom Lasten, Editor-in-Chief @ Casino Bonuses Index

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