51 Terms to Know When Playing Baccarat for the First Time

Baccarat game image

📖 Published on: April 1st, 2024

✍️ Updated: April 3rd, 2024

⏳ 8 mins read


High rollers aren’t strangers to the high-stakes game of baccarat. This popular table game breeds glamor, risk, and rewards. If you’re a newbie to the scene, starting from scratch is crucial when attempting to master baccarat.


Whether you're a novice eager to delve into the world of this elegant card game or a seasoned player looking to refine your skills, familiarizing yourself with the essential terms is paramount. From 'banker' to 'natural' and beyond, these terms form the foundation of Baccarat strategy and gameplay, which is something to note if you want to master the game of zero like a pro in no time!



Action - A basic term in all table games that describes the sum of money wagered in a complete game.



Baccarat—Derived from the Italian word ‘baccara,’ this term isn’t just the table game’s name but also describes a hand of cards with zero value, including 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings.


Banco - The word used to refer to the player with the shoe and deals cards in the game. It also means ‘bank’ in Spanish.


Banco Prime - If more than one player has called Banco, the player closest to the dealer can match the amount wagered by the bank; this motion is described as Banco Prime.


Banker - This is considered the best bet at a baccarat table with a house edge of 1.06%, the smallest compared to the house edge.


Burning - The top three to six cards are discarded immediately after shuffling and before starting a new game.



Caller - Part of the casino staff who announces each hand's result and moves the game along. In addition to usually declaring the winning hand (Player, Banker, or Tie), they might also help collect lost and distribute winning wagers.

Carte - ‘Hit me’ in French. This is used when a player wants to request another card from the dealer.

Chemin De Fer - In French, it means ‘railway’ or ‘railroad.’ This is a term often used in European Baccarat.

Cheval - The French word for ‘across’ and is used when both active players win the wager.

Coup - Another baccarat term in French used when the Banker and Player’s hand are dealt.

Croupier - Dealer in French.

A table game player image



Dealer - A player can play the dealer’s role or a casino staff member who is in charge of dealing and drawing cards for player and banker hands.


Discard Tray - Cards that are discarded for whatever reason—such as "burning" before dealing—go into the discard tray.


Down Card - Also referred to as ‘Hole Card’; a card dealt facing down.


Dragon Bonus - This is a side wager in which the player bets that the hand will be won by a natural 8 or 9 by a specific amount.



Edge Sorting - A technique casinos don’t encourage since it counts as cheating. A method that uses minute variations in the pattern on the back of the cards caused by the manufacturing process to determine the values of the cards.



Face Cards - Jacks, Queens, and Kings of any suit equate to zero value in baccarat.


Fading - This is an action in baccarat used when a wager is made against a specific opponent in the game.


Flat Bet - Regardless of the winning or losing bet, this bet is made with the same amount.


People winning in a Baccarat game image


Hand - Cards used to play during a baccarat session or any other table game.


High Roller - Players who bet with high stakes, a minimum of $100 per hand.


House Edge - The betting advantage in percentage that the casino has over a player in a table game.



Ladderman - One of the three dealers managing the Baccarat game.


La Grande - A baccarat slang for a hand that makes up nine.


La Petite - A hand in baccarat that equates to eight.


Layout -In Baccarat, the betting sections and boxes corresponding to the Player, Banker, and Tie positions are where players can place their bets.


Loss Bet - The bet against the Bank when the player loses since the bank typically has a higher edge.



Match Play —Casinos utilize match-play promotions to entice players to place bets on various games. These bonuses are only applicable in even-money games, and can only be used once.


Mini Baccarat - A scaled-down baccarat table that is normally found on the general casino floor outside of VIP rooms.


Monkey - Another baccarat slang term used to describe baccarat and blackjack referring to face cards.


Muck - Eight decks of cards.



Natural - The first two cards dealt that total to eight or nine.



Pass - A term used to describe a win in the game.


Player Bet - One of the three bets in Baccarat, along with the Banker and Tie bet.


Punto - Spanish term for ‘player.’


Punto Banco - Another term for Baccarat commonly used in Argentina, Cuba, and the US.


Push - A word used to describe a bet that is neither a win nor a loss.



Railroad - French translation of Chemin de Fer; another variation of baccarat popularized in France.


Run - An option where players can bet on consecutive hands; also considered a side bet.



Shills - are casino employees, typically young, attractive ladies whose job is to draw players and interest them in the game.


Shoe - This is a dealing machine that helps avoid errors in manual dealing. Dealers typically use this in baccarat.


Shooter - A slang term in baccarat describing The Bank.


Standoff - When a player and dealer carry hands that equate to the same value.


Streak - When a player or dealer wins consistently during a game; this is often considered a ‘lucky streak,’ which can be used outside the context of baccarat.



Table of Play - Rules that specify the scores needed for players to be eligible for a third card.


Tie - Another one of the three possible bets in Baccarat. Tie is the least used wager in baccarat due to its enormous odds of 8:1 or even 9:1.



Upcard - A card dealt facing upwards.



Vigorish - This is the portion the casino deducts from a wager's profits.


VIP - A term used to refer to high rollers; VIP (Very Important Person.)


Baccarat for Beginners: Embracing the Basics

To wrap it up, getting the hang of those basic baccarat terms is like finding the key to an expensive club. This is why it makes sense that baccarat is popular amongst affluent players and high-stakes gamblers since it’s a game where style and strategy meet. Whether you're a first-timer or a pro brushing up on your skills, it’s a must to be familiar with the lingo. So, don’t be afraid to learn (or relearn) the basics, and get ready to ace Baccarat like a boss!


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