Baccarat is a hugely popular card game in casinos, but it can sometimes be daunting for newcomers due to its unique and somewhat confusing terminology. In this guide, we will break down the most common baccarat terminology that you will come across when you play - and hopefully, make it easier for you to understand the game and its different nuances.
Understanding these Baccarat terms will not only help you get to grips with the game and give you more knowledge but also familiarise you with some of the unique elements in this classic casino game. Whether you're a newcomer to Baccarat or you’re familiar with how the game works, having a full understanding of its glossary will help you uncover some of the more advanced aspects.
Terms for Playing Baccarat
Banco is a term in Baccarat that is used to refer to the Banker hand. It represents one of the main betting options in the game - alongside the Tie and Player bets. When you bet on Banco, you are simply wagering on the Banker's hand to win. The term comes from the Spanish word for ‘bank’ or ‘banker’.
In Baccarat, ‘Action’ refers to the total amount of money wagered by all the players at a Baccarat table within a specific timeframe. It includes all bets placed on the Player, Banker, and Tie hands and reflects the entire betting activity.
Understanding the action at the table is important for both players and casino staff, as it can give you an insight into the intensity of the game and the potential winnings or losses for the person playing.
The "Banker Bet" is one of the main betting options in Baccarat. Players bet on the Banker's hand to win, competing against the Player's hand and the possibility of a Tie. Banker bets carry a slightly lower house edge than any other bet. This is a straightforward yet important element of the game, giving players slightly better odds.
Banque is one of the traditional versions of Baccarat that originated in Europe. In this baccarat variation, players take turns being the Banker, placing their bets against the other players. Compared to other variations of the game, Banque involves more player involvement and strategic decision-making - giving the simple game a more dynamic twist.
In Baccarat, ‘Burning’ refers to the process of removing a number of cards from the top of the shoe and placing them in the discard tray before they start a new shoe. This is done to make sure that the game is completely fair and to ensure that the cards used in the previous round will have no influence on the current one.
‘Cut’ refers to the act of dividing the shuffled deck of cards before the cards are dealt. The dealer or a player will use a special tool - a cut card, to cut the deck. This is an important step in the game to prevent the cards from being manipulated and to ensure the outcome is random.
In Baccarat, a ‘Coup’ refers to a single round or hand of the game. Each coup will involve the dealing of two hands, the Player and the Banker, with the three potential outcomes of a win, loss or tie. The term ‘Coup’ is used to reflect the discrete nature of each Baccarat hand.
The Caller in Baccarat is the casino employee who is responsible for directing the game, announcing the results of each hand, and simply managing the flow of play. The caller’s role is to not only keep the game flowing but also to maintain the game's integrity and ensure transparency. They also oversee the card-shuffling process and help to resolve any issues that may arise.
Carte is the equivalent of ‘Hit’ in blackjack. It is a term used when players request an extra card to improve their hand. This is most often used in the Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque versions, where a player has more involvement.
A player will signal Carte to the dealer to ask for another card - trying to improve their chance of winning.
Face Cards refer to the playing cards with faces - Kings, Queens and Jacks. These cards carry a value of zero in the game - but they are essential in determining the total points in a hand.
The House Edge in Baccarat is the statistical advantage that the casino has over players. Overall, this is the percentage of each bet that the casino will take from the game over the long term.
In Baccarat, like in most table games, the house edge will depend on the type of bet made, with the Banker bet having the lowest house edge at around 1.06%. Player bets have a house edge of around 1.24%, whereas the tie bet has a high house edge of around 14.36%.
Chemin De Fer
Chemin de Fer is a variation of Baccarat that is popular in Europe. In this version of the game, players take on both the roles of the Player and the Banker in turn, making decisions such as whether to draw a third card etc. This adds an element of strategy to the game.
Unlike Punto Banco, the casino doesn’t take part in the game at all - and players compete against each other.
The Dragon Bonus is a popular side bet that focuses on the point difference between the Player and the Banker hands. The payouts for this type of bet will vary depending on the margin of victory, offering different ways of winning.
La Grande is a term used in Baccarat, normally in the Chemin de Fer version, to denote a natural hand with a point total of 9. Achieving a La Grande hand is considered to be excellent in Baccarat, giving you a huge advantage over non-natural hands - and potentially leading to a win.
In Baccarat, La Petite is also more commonly used in Chemin de Fer, and this refers to when the first two cards dealt to either the Player or the Banker have a ‘natural’ point total of 8. This is also considered a good hand, as it offers a higher chance of winning compared to non-natural hands.
A Pass in Baccarat is simply a win.
Punto is a Spanish term for player. This is simply the player that is playing the game and shouldn’t be confused with the ‘Player’ hand.
A Tie occurs when both the Player and Banker hands have achieved the same total points. It is one of the three possible outcomes you can bet on in the game alongside a win for either the Player or the Banker.
Betting on a Tie pays out at around 8/1 in some variations of the game, however, it is generally considered a lot riskier. The Tie bet comes with a higher house edge and is a lot less popular than a Player or a Banker win. If you have bet on either of the other two outcomes, usually a Tie will result in a push, returning your bet but not actually giving you any winnings.
A "Natural" in Baccarat refers to a two-card hand that gives a total of either 8 or 9 points. No additional cards will be drawn when either the Player or the Banker is dealt a Natural. Having a natural hand is one of the best hands out there, as it often leads to a win. However, if both hands have Naturals, it will result in a tie.
A Push will occur when a hand ends in a tie. This is when neither the Player nor the Banker hand wins, and all the bets are returned to the players without any additional winnings or losses (unless the player has bet on a tie and therefore wins).
A push is a neutral outcome in the game where no money is won, and no money is lost.
Cheval is a Baccarat term that is often associated with the Chemin de Fer version of the game. This refers to a betting scenario in which a player places a single bet on both the Player and the Banker hands at the same time. This is a very distinctive bet as it allows the player to cover two of the three possible outcomes in one single wager.
Monkey is a slang term used to refer to any card valued at 10 (0) points - 10, J, Q or K. The term Monkey comes from the association of these cards with the value of 10 and is used very informally in the game.