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Card games can be very intimidating due to the many decisions a player has to make – hit or stay, fold or raise. Mini-Baccarat lets you enjoy the table game atmosphere with only two decisions you must make: How much do you want to bet and are you going to bet on the “Banker” or the “Player.” This means there are only two hands that you need to keep track of. Sounds simple enough. Right?

Let’s dive in to how the game works and how you can win.

Mini-Baccarat is a game played with eight decks of cards and the goal is to get the hand you bet on as close to nine as possible in three cards or less.


First you must decide on which hand you want to bet on “Banker” or “Player.” If you choose “Banker,” place your wager in the bet area closest to you marked “Banker.” Do likewise if you want to bet on the “Players” hand. It’s important to know that the casino will collect a 5% commission of all money won on the “Banker.” The commission must be paid at the conclusion of each hand.

There are two additional bets you can make. One is “Tie.” This wager is a player betting that the “Banker” and “Player” hands will be equal totals. The second optional wager is the “Dragon Bonus,” which is an optional bet that is based on how much a player’s hand has won by.

So those are the bets, but how can you get nine when you play with eight full decks of cards?


Card Values

Any card from 2-9 will have its face value; Ace equals 1; All 10s and face cards, or any combination of them, have no value. When the total of the cards exceeds nine, the first digit of the total is dropped because in baccarat all hands must be single digits from 0-9. Therefore 7+4 =1, Queen +Ace = 1.


Game Play

The game begins when all participating players have placed their bets and the dealer calls “No More Bets.” Then, four cards are dealt alternately from the shoe. First card to the “Player,” second card to the “Banker,” third card to the “Player,” and the fourth card to the “Banker.” If the point total of either hand is eight or nine it is called a “Natural,” and no additional cards are drawn. The cards are dealt according to set rules and there are no options regarding drawing the third card foe either the “Banker” or “Players” hand. If a “Natural” does not occur, the dealer will announce the point count of each hand and draw additional cards if appropriate.

No more than one additional card will be drawn for each hand. The hand closet to nine wins and will be paid at odds 1 to 1. If both the “Players” and the “Bankers” hands result in identical totals, it is a tie and the tie bet wins and neither hands win or lose. This is the conclusion of the hand and all commissions will be collected.

These set rules mean you don’t have to think of any if/then strategy. It’s all set in the rules. But what are the set rules?


Set Rules

These charts describe the fixed rules governing the drawing of additional cards.

Player Rules

1-2-3-4-5-0 Draw
6-7 Stands
8-9 Natural (Stands)


Banker Rules

When the “Player” stands on 6 or 7, the “Banker” will always draw on totals of 0-1-2-3-4 and 5 and stand on 6-7-8 and 9.

The “Banker” will always draw on the totals of 0-1 or 2, and then observe the following rules:


Banker Having Draws When Player’s Third Card Is Does Not Draw When Player’s Card Is
0-1-2 Banker Always Draws
3 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-9-0 8
4 2-3-4-5-6-7 1-8-9-0
5 4-5-6-7 1-2-3-8-9-0
6 6-7 1-2-3-4-5-8-9-0
7 Stands
8-9 Natural (Stands)



Winning hands will be paid at odds 1 to 1. The “tie” bet, if won, also pays at odds 1 to 1. Remember the “Dragon Bonus” wager? This is where a player’s bet can win at different odds based on the outcome of the hand.

Dragon Bonus

A winning wager made on the “Dragon Bonus” will be paid according the spread as shown below

Win by 9 points 30 to 1
Win by 8 points 10 to 1
Win by 7 points 6 to 1
Win by 6 points 4 to 1
Win by 5 points 2 to 1
Win by 4 points 1 to 1
Natural Winner 1 to 1


Select your bets and watch the rules unfold. It’s that simple! Are you ready to give Mini-Baccarat a try? Stop by our New Buffalo or South Bend location to try your luck. And if you’re still unsure about playing, just let the dealer know it’s your first time playing, and they will be happy to help.

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