A Beginner’s Guide to 3-Card Baccarat

3 Card, Baccarat, Cards, Tables, Chips, Dealer

What is 3-card baccarat, and how does it compare to the classic version of the game? I answer both questions in this guide to the casino card game.

I show you the 3-card baccarat rules and a basic strategy you can use to win more often.

When you’re done with this article, you will know how to play 3-card baccarat and what you could potentially win. Let’s start with a break of what 3-card baccarat is.

What Is 3-Card Baccarat?

Three-card baccarat is a baccarat variant played mostly in East Asia. It’s popular at casinos in Macau, but it can also be found at casinos in Singapore and elsewhere.

This baccarat variant is different from standard games in that it’s played with one standard 52-card deck, involves optional side bets, and each box gets three cards. Let’s take a closer look at the 3-card baccarat rules.

3-Card Baccarat Rules and Odds

The rules of 3-card baccarat differ from standard games. Here are the important things you need to remember.

  • All cards are dealt face up.
  • Face cards and tens are worth zero.
  • However, the best possible hand is three face cards.
  • Other cards are worth their face value.
  • Aces are worth one.
  • When point values are added, only the last digit counts.
  • Card suits don’t matter in any way.

So, for example, if you were to receive three sixes, and the hand was worth 18, it would be worth eight in reality. Since nine is the highest possible score, that’s not a bad scenario.


When calculating the main bet, the hand with the most face cards wins. However, where hands have an equal number of face cards, the hand worth the most points wins. When the number of points and face cards is equal, it results in a push.

What about three-card baccarat payouts? Winning hands pay even money (1:1). However, if the winning hand equals six, it pays 1:2. Winning tie bets pay 25:1.

Another important side rule is that most casinos take a 3% cut on real money player bets.

Three-Card Baccarat Side Bets

There are a number of three-card baccarat side bets you can make. Consider making these wagers before any round.


You can bet on the total number of points for the dealer’s hand. Since it can be between 0-9, there are ten possible bets. You can bet on just one or multiple of these. They pay 8:1 if you win.

You can also bet on the dealer having three face cards. If you win this bet, you’ll get a 96:1 payout.

Quick Tips for 3-Card Baccarat

There’s no surefire three-card baccarat strategy, but you can use a few basic common-sense tips to improve your chances. You can also read these top baccarat books for more useful advice.

  • The house always takes a 3% cut on Player bets in three-card baccarat. Therefore, it’s smart to bet with the banker when playing this game.
  • If you lose a hand, you can try to implement the Martingale system. It involves doubling down on losing bets. E.g., if you bet $10 on the banker and lose, bet $20 next time, and so on. Eventually, you’ll win back what you’ve lost, plus your initial wager. Look out for table limits and ensure you have the bankroll for this one!
  • Avoid the tie bet. While the 25:1 wager is enticing, it’s known as the “sucker’s bet” in baccarat. The house edge on the tie bet in baccarat is estimated to be near 14.4%.
  • A good three-card baccarat strategy is all about bankroll management. This isn’t a game you can manipulate or game the odds on. You just have to manage your money well and survive until a winning streak comes, and then have the good sense to cash out.

Where to Play 3-Card Baccarat?

As I said earlier, this game is hugely popular in East Asia at casinos in Macau and elsewhere.

Unfortunately, you won’t find it online at this time. You can still play regular baccarat at the top online casinos, and I expect the game to be introduced on the internet at some point soon.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.