A Guide to Playing Baccarat Online
Baccarat is a card game popular at casinos and one of the most discussed gambling games in the world. Originating from Italy, and dating back to the 1400s, this game was popular with European Royals and the Elite, but now is often the choice game for high rollers and is hosted at online gambling venues the world over.
Here our team suggests the best gambling venues online for the game and takes you through:
- How baccarat is played and the different styles of game
- The betting types and kinds of payout you can expect to see
- The online gaming experience and the top sites to play at
The Styles of Baccarat
There are three different versions of the game. Punto Banco is the most popular, especially online. Chemin De Fer and Baccarat Banque are the older versions and can occasionally be found in private high roller rooms on the Vegas Strip.
The Object of the Game
The object of the game is simple. You want the player or banker’s hand to get closest to a total of “9”. Wait a minute. Player or Banker? Why both options? Well, that’s because you actually have the option to bet on who is going to win the hand, making it one of the most innovative table games around.
How Baccarat is Played
To start the game, baccarat will revolve around two 2-card hands. They are the player’s hand and the dealer’s hand. As the player, you will make a bet on which hand is larger. You can also take a rather less common bet in that they will be equal.
‘Banco’ is a bet on the banker’s (dealer’s) hand, ‘Punto’ is a bet on the player’s hand and ‘Standoff’ is a bet that the cards will be tied. The dealer almost always bets on Banco. Once all bets have been made, the dealer deals the two hands, each with two cards.
The Player's Hand
This hand is always acted upon first. The 2 cards are turned over and a total is called out by the dealer. A total of 6-9, the Player stands, no cards are drawn. A total of 8 or 9 is called neutral and is an automatic win against any Banker hand, apart from 8 or 9. If the totals are a same, it is a tie. If the Player has an 8 and the Banker a 9, the latter wins.
If the Player’s first two cards total less than 5, they will receive a single card; their play is now finished.
The Banker's Hand
The Banker always stands on a 2-card total of 7-9. They will always hit on a two card total of 0-3, with the exception that the Banker will hit a total of 3 against a Player with a total of 8. Sometimes a Banker will hit on totals of 4-6.
- Aces count as “1”
- Tens and face cards count as “0”
- All other cards, 2-9, count as their face value
To determine your total, add up all cards in your hand. However, if the sum of the cards is in the double digits, you drop the first digit. So, if you have a “9” and a “5” in your hand, your total is “14”, but you must drop the “1”. Now your hand total is “4”. Two “10s”, or a total of “20”, becomes zero. With these rules you cannot have more than a total of “9”.
Bet Types and Payouts
Baccarat allows you to bet on several hand outcomes. In a nutshell, your hand will win, the banker’s hand will win or it will be a tie.
The payouts are awarded at even money odds for the Banker and Player bets. As a Player, you will win an equal amount to your wager. Make note that betting on the banker includes a 5% commission. This means the true odds are 0.95 to 1.
Betting on a tie offers the largest payout of 8-1. Meaning you will win $800 for every $100 wager. However, a tie is very rare and a bet on this is not recommended.
Transitioning to Online Baccarat Play
Most recently in the game play is the transition from brick and mortar casinos to baccarat online casinos. These sites offer mini baccarat tables often using the American rules. In online baccarat game play, the cards are dealt via a random number generator (RNG) and then displayed as graphics on the screen. In some cases, the site may offer the option of live dealers in which the player connects with a real dealer.
Why Play Baccarat Online?
Playing online baccarat is ideal for novice beginners or experienced pros. Many of the online sites offer free game play, which allows you to gain an understanding of how baccarat works without losing any money. As it’s one of the most simple card games, you will be able to move onto real money baccarat in no time at all.
Once you’re ready to play baccarat for real money, you can determine how much you can afford to have in your bankroll and begin having a lot of fun.
Baccarat online casinos offer downloadable and non-downloadable versions of the game. Both are completely secure, however the former will offer better graphics and speed and the latter can be played instantaneously.
Unlike many of the land-based casinos, the online sites also offer low wager games as well as high roller baccarat play.
We Have Found the Best Sites to Play Baccarat
There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of real money online baccarat casinos. Through an in-depth search, we have found the best ones to play at. These offer a nice balance of safety and security, fast load time, good graphics and easy payouts. Remember, each site’s real cash baccarat game may be slightly different. So take your time exploring your options before you choose your favourite online baccarat game.
On a final note, keep things simple. You are not guaranteed to win, but there is no way to tell whether or not luck is on your side if you don’t start playing.