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Third Card Rule in Baccarat

The only complicated thing about baccarat is the rules regarding the draw of the third card, when it is drawn and when it’s not.

It’s one of those rules that seems to defy logic when you’ve not seen it before, but the third card rule does have sense.

In this article, I’ve tried my best to explain the rules as simply as possible and laid them out in easy-to-understand chunks.

Baccarat third Card Rule

While it won’t matter much to you as the game is run by the dealer from start to finish, understanding the third card rules will increase your enjoyment of the game because you’ll know what’s happening.

Also, if you intend to apply for the job of a baccarat dealer, this is a good starting spot. Let me know if this article leads you to your dream job as a live dealer in a land-based casino or live dealer baccarat!

So, what are the third card rules in baccarat? Who gets the third card, and when? Is it possible for the Player to get a third card while the Banker doesn’t?

Let’s begin, and by the end of this article, you should have a pretty good idea about the answers to the questions raised above.

Baccarat Third Card Rules In a Nutshell

There are, in fact, three rules that come one after another.

The Player gets his cards first, so that’s the first thing to look at. After that comes the Banker with two more rules.

Rule #1 – If the Player has 0-5, the Player draws a third card. Otherwise, the Player stands.
Rule #2 – If the Player has six or more, which means the Player hasn’t drawn a card, then rule #1 applies to the Banker.
Rule #3 – If the Player draws a third card, the Banker draws or stands based on the Player’s total and on what the Player’s third card was.

As long as you make an effort to understand the first two rules well enough to keep track of them in a live dealer baccarat game, eventually, you can build on that knowledge by becoming an expert in rule #3 so that it also becomes second nature to you.

Basic Baccarat Rules

Now let’s take a step back and start from the bottom up to ensure we’re not missing any pieces of the baccarat puzzle.

Before I explain the draw of the first two cards, I must briefly mention the basic baccarat rules.

Baccarat is a game where two sides play against one another, the Banker and the Player. You can bet on either side to win, so you don’t necessarily assume the role of the Player.

Whoever is closest to 9 when the card values are added up is the winner. If both playing positions have the same score, it’s a Tie.

Face cards are worth zero, and Aces count as 1.

The other cards are worth what they say, but when added together, if the sum has two digits, only the last digit is considered.

Let’s repeat that one more time. Face cards are ignored, Aces are 1, and the remaining cards are what they say. Easy enough? Good. Now we’ll explain how the cards are added up.

What if you have a face card and a 4? The Face card doesn’t count, so your score is 4. What if you’ve got a seven and an 8? Add them together, and you have 15. But you don’t have 15. You have 5, as only the last digit on the right is counted.

Finally, ten is the worst because the score is 0.

The best possible total is 9, closely followed by 8. These two totals are called ‘a natural’ if they come from the first two cards.

The Third Card Rule

Now onto the interesting stuff. The only somewhat complicated rule in baccarat is when does each side take a third card.

When either Player or the Banker gets an 8 or a 9 in the first two cards, which means they got a natural, there won’t be a third card drawn. Also, crucially, the other hand is not allowed to draw an additional card.

When it doesn’t happen, Player or Banker needs to draw a third card.

Player Third Card Draw Rules

  • If Player’s hand is 0 – 5, they draw a third card.
  • 6 – 7, they stand.
  • 8 – 9 is a natural, they stand, even if Player has 8 and Banker has 9.

Banker Third Card Draw Rules

Banker first looks at Player’s total.

If Player has 6 or higher, which means they DIDN’T draw a third card, then Banker acts just like Player, draws a third card with 0 – 5, stands with 6 – 7, natural with 8 – 9.

If, however, Player had a total of 0 – 5 and drew a third card, then Banker acts according to the following set of rules that are associated with the Player’s total:

  • 0, 1, 2 – Banker always draws a card.
  • 3 – Banker draws unless Player’s third card was an 8.
  • 4 – Banker draws unless Player’s third card was 2 – 7.
  • 5 – Banker draws unless Player’s third card was 4 – 7.
  • 6 – Banker draws unless Player’s third card was 6 – 7.
  • 7 – Banker stands.

The Tableau

It’s not a table. It’s a tableau. Also known as the Tableau of Drawing Rules, this table describes what the Banker does base on the Player’s third card.


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Finally, if you want to learn how the baccarat third card rules work, you need to watch it happen for real.

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About Neil’s Casino Comparer Reviews

I have tried to be objective and consistent with all my live casino reviews. Hopefully, they will strike a chord with you, but I thought it might be helpful to explain the criteria I use to mark each of the casinos. Hopefully, the categories and explanations make sense.

Playability – What is the overall impression of the casino? Did I have a good time? are the dealers nice and chatty and is everything easy to understand? Does it have a good set of games and is there a comprehensive set of betting options? Are high stakes players taken care of?

Software – What is the software like to use and does it integrate well with the rest of the casino?. Are the images clear and is the video streaming fast? Have they taken more than the default shared tables? Is it available on mobile?

Payment Options – Does the casino have a good variety of payment options? Do they payout quickly and on time?

Security – How good is the reputation of the casino amongst other players? Do they hold a valid gaming license? Are they transparent about the security measures they have in place? Are they regularly audited? Do they publish this information?

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After all that, would I play there regularly?

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