Baccarat Glossary - Basic Game Terms for Players

Baccarat Glossary

Baccarat is one of the best games of prestige and elegance that often takes place in the online and live casino. Baccarat gets its name from the Italian slang for the word “zero” which is the value of face cards and 10's in this game.

The goal of baccarat is to have the sum total of your hand closer to nine than the other hand. All the cards are their face value with the following exceptions: Aces are worth 1, and 10's and face cards are worth zero. The baccarat hand is made up of 2 or 3 cards.

To help you walk right up to the table with a James Bond-esque sense of confidence we’ve provided the definitions to every word you’ll ever need to know within the game of baccarat.

Baccarat Terminology


Action: This is the term used for the hands being played at the table and the money being wagered throughout the game.


Baccarat: In French, the word Baccara means “zero.” The name arose because in the game of baccarat, face cards and tens have a value of zero points. Baccarat is also the name of the popular casino game.

Baccara: In Italian, the word baccarat means “zero.” You will sometimes see the game baccarat called baccara, especially in Italy or in casinos near Italy.

Baccarat en Banque: This is a more complicated version of baccarat which is played mainly in European casinos. It has a different amount of players at the table. It’s also known as Chemin De Fer.

Banco: The Spanish word for the banker. In a live casino this is the player who has the shoe and deals the cards, even though the name is just symbolic as the player will not manage the bets and money at the table.

Banker Bet: This is one of the three betting options in baccarat. It pays even money and has a house edge of 1.17%, but it also takes 5% commission on your winnings which evens out the low house edge. This bet pays 19:20 on your winnings.

Bankroll: The total amount of money a player has to play baccarat. This term is also used for all casino games.

Banque: This is a version of Baccarat found in some American casinos.

Burning: Removing the top 3-6 cards after shuffling before the start of the game.


Callman: The casino employee who turns the card and calls out the points, he also determines the gameplay following the baccarat third card rules. Also called a croupier.

Caller: The croupier at the baccarat table in charge of the cards.

Card Counting: The most popular strategy to use in baccarat, whereby the players mark which cards have been dealt from the shoe in order to determine which outcome will be most likely, the player or the banker winning.

Carte: This is the French term for card, used to ask for a card from the dealer.

Chemin De Fer: This is a more complicated version of baccarat which is played mainly in European casinos. It has a different amount of players at the table. It’s also known as Baccarat en Banque.

Cheval: Depending on the Baccarat game you have a rule that allows a player to have two hands. If the player wins both hands then the round goes to them. If only one hand is won this is considered a tie.

Cheques: Special chips specifically made for baccarat to add to the exclusivity.

Commission: This is the fee that the casino charges on winning bets in baccarat, placed on the banker bet which is normally 5%. This is the same as in most other casino games, but with some other games the commission is charged on the bet itself. It exists to counteract the low house edge of a particular bet.

Coup: The French term for one round of Baccarat.

Croupier: The French word for the callman.

Cut: To cut a deck of cards means to divide a deck in half after the cards have been shuffled. A cut deck is then combined again as an additional way of mixing up the deck.

Cut Card: In some games of baccarat a cut card is a specific type of card (usually solid-colored and made of plastic) that a player uses to cut the deck once the dealer has shuffled.


Dealer: At the largest casinos, the dealers are the two casino employees who are positioned at either side of the baccarat table with the croupier standing in the middle between them. They only handle the bets and the money at the table, not the cards.

Discard Tray: In a live casino this is a tray which stores all the discarded cards or those which have already been dealt at the table.

Down Card: This is a card which is dealt to a player face down.


Edge: In gambling casino, edge refers to a statistical or mathematical advantage. Most of the time, gamblers talk about the house edge, an advantage the real money casino has against the players. Edge is usually expressed as a percentage.


Face Cards: The Jack, Queen and King of any suit which are worth zero in baccarat.

Fading: Placing bets

Flat Bet: When a player wagers the same bet continuously throughout various rounds of a game without moderation.


Hand: The cards dealt and played within one round of baccarat.

High-roller: A player who makes bets with very large sums of money. Baccarat is synonymous with high-rollers because of the very high minimum bets, the exclusive area in the large casino where baccarat is played, and the extremely wealthy clientele this game attracts which can see millions played at the table in a large casino.

HouseHouse Edge/Advantage: The house edge or house advantage is the statistical advantage that the casino holds over the players in the game, usually expressed as a percentage.


Ladderman: The casino employee who supervises the baccarat table in a live casino from above the table.

La Grand Natural: The winning hand in baccarat - two cards that equal nine points combined.

Le Petit Natural: The second winning hand in baccarat- two cards that equal eight points combined.

Loss Bet: A bet against the bank.


Mini-baccarat: A smaller version of table baccarat which was used to popularize the game as a staple in all casinos. Mini baccarat is only half the size, with one 7 players to a table. It has much lower minimum bets, and in a live casino there is one dealer who manages the bets, calls the bets, draws the cards, as well as regulates how the game proceeds.

Monkey: Slang for face card or a ten.

Muck: Eight card decks of 52 cards each, used at the start of the shuffling process.


Natural: When you are dealt your first two cards and they are a winning hand equalling eight or nine. This ends the rounds, and winnings from bets are collected.


Palette: A long rectangular and flat wooden stick used by the croupier to move cards on the table in a live casino.

Pit: Exclusive roped off area in the casino where the high-rolling baccarat table is.

Player bet: One of three bets available in baccarat. It has a house edge of 1.36% and pays even money.

Punto: The Spanish term for the player bet, originating in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Punto Banco: The Spanish name for modern baccarat which originated in the casinos of Mar del Plata in Argentina.

Push: A bet that is neither a winner or a loser and the money is held over until the next round.

Push: A bet that is neither a winner or a loser and the money is held over until the next round.


Railroad: See Chemin de Fer. This is also another game of Baccarat.


Shills: A now outdated practice of hiring an overly-sexualised female who is a casino employee, used to lure people to the Baccarat table in a live casino.

Shoe: An automatic dealing box from which the dealer will take the cards. In a live casino at a regular baccarat table this will be the player who makes the largest bet, who will then hand it to the player who made the second largest bet, and so forth. In mini-baccarat this will be done by the dealer employed by the casino, and online the shoe is automatic.

Shooter: The bank.

Shuffle Up: Early shuffling of the cards by the dealer.

Standoff: When the player and the bank are joined in a tie.

Super Pan Nine: A variation of Baccarat.

Streak: In gambling you are said to have a streak when you are stuck in a rut, such as several wins in a row or several losses in a row.


Tie bet: The tie bet is one of three betting options within the game. This bet pays 8 to 1 as the outcome of a tie between banker and player is very rare. It also has a very high house advantage of 14.2%.


Vigorish: The percentage which is taken from the winnings of a bet by the real casino.


Upcard: A card which is face up on the table.