A Pro Guide to Baccarat (Update 2020)

Baccarat is a popular table game available at several online casinos. It is one of many online casino games loved by players thanks to its low house edge, fast pace and simplicity of gameplay. If you didn’t know, the game goes by many names such as Chemin de fer, Punto Banco, Baccarat Banque and a few others.

What you should also know is that it’s a typical card game played with two to three cards in a hand. The aim of the game is to land a hand value of nine, or as close to nine as possible. Players must also beat the dealer’s hand to land a win. These aspects make baccarat a thrilling game packed with anticipation and excitement and the perfect option for new and experienced players alike.

Baccarat Game History

The first appearance of baccarat was documented in France around the 1400s, making it one of the oldest casino games still played today. The name ‘Baccarat’ was derived from the Italian word meaning ‘zero’. The reason for this is that 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings cards are valued at zero in the game. What’s more, ‘baccarat’ refers to any hand that has a value of zero.

Back in the day, Baccarat was most common among the high-society of France, for example, the Royal community. Other versions, like Chemin de fer and Punto Banco, were common in other parts of Europe. While these games are almost exactly the same as each other, there is a difference in how the cards are dealt.

Soon baccarat found its way to all corners of the world, although it retained its status as casino game to the elite. It even became the favoured game of James Bond. Once online casinos made its debut in the mid-90s, the game was opened up to a whole new and intrigued audience and has been a staple at igaming websites ever since. Now, everyone can access this thrilling and exciting card game, from new players to high rollers and everyone in-between.

Rules of Online Baccarat

Online baccarat is essentially the virtual version of the land-based game and is played almost exactly the same. The rules remain the same, with the only difference being the fact that you are playing from behind a computer screen and using the casino software. Online baccarat uses six to eight decks of cards and is played between the player and the banker. This is how the game works:

  • Before the game starts, you must place your bet. Once the bet is placed, no changes can be made.
  • The dealer deals the hands.
  • Each hand must have only two or up to three cards.
  • There can be three outcomes in this game – a win for the player, a win for the dealer or a tie between the two hands.
  • If the player’s initial two-card hand is a value of six or more, an additional card cannot be drawn. In this case, the player must stand.
  • If the two-card hand is five or less, the player must draw a card.
  • The banker cannot draw an extra card if his hand is valued at seven or more.
  • The banker can draw another card if his hand is between zero or two.
  • The hand value is calculated by adding the individual values of the card on the hand.
  • All face cards and tens are valued at zero. All other cards are valued by the number of pips on them.
  • To calculate the final hand value, only the last digits of the total hand are used. This means that the highest score is nine.
  • All wins are paid out on a ratio of 1:1.
  • Payouts for winning bets on a tie pays out between 8:1 and 9:1 depending on the casino.

How to Play Baccarat Online

Learning how to play online baccarat is easy, with the rules taking just a few minutes to learn. What’s more, many online casinos offer the chance to play for free, allowing you to practice and learn the rules of the game without risking any money. Baccarat is known as one of the simplest games to learn, and, if your bets are right, players can enjoy a low house edge and improved chances of winning.

Choose a casino – Before playing online baccarat, you must choose an online casino. Our list of recommended casinos has been thoroughly vetted so that all players can enjoy the safest, most rewarding experience. When choosing a casino, make sure the site is reputable and reliable and offers a nice selection of free and real-money games, including online baccarat. Apart from this, the games should also be available to play on desktop and mobile devices.

Choose your stakes – Once you have chosen a baccarat game, you will see the betting areas and the minimum/maximum stakes available. It is time to adjust your bet by selecting the chip values and dragging them to the sections of the table you want to bet on. Once you are ready, hit ‘Deal’ and your cards will be automatically dealt.

Bet on the banker, player or a tie – When playing baccarat, you have three options – to bet on the bank, the player or a tie. Basically, you must bet on the hand that you think will get closest to nine. All Aces are valued at 1, while number cards retain their value. All 10s and face cards count as 0.

If your hand total is a two-digit number, only the last digit is used. Depending on the hand totals, a third card may be dealt. If either the player or the banker has a hand valued at eight or nine, they must stand, and no extra cards are dealt. If the player has five or less, they will receive a third card.

Understand the payouts – As a baccarat player, you choose to bet on either hand, with the payout being 1:1 on a winning player bet and 19:20 on a winning banker hand. Finally, there is a payout of 8:1 if you bet on a tie. It is important to understand what this means before betting any real money.

Baccarat terms – There are some terms you will come across while playing online baccarat, including rebet, double bet and clear bet. Once the hand is over, winning players will be paid. After, you will have a chance to double your bet (double bet), repeat your previous bet (rebet) and clear your chips (clear) and start again.

Strategies for Winning Online Baccarat

Like slot machines and roulette, baccarat is a game of chance. This means that little skill is required and there is no guarantee of winning. However, there are a few tips and strategies you can implement to increase your chances of winning. These include the following:

Bet on the Banker – Betting on the banker offers the lowest house edge; therefore, many players choose to bet on this outcome. That said, it can get boring making the same bet after every game, but if you’re looking to improve your odds, this is the way to do it. Typically, the banker bet has a house edge of 1.06%. This can be compared to the house edge of American roulette, which stands at 5% and slot machines, which doesn’t get lower than 3%.

Avoid Betting on a Tie – The opposite can be said about betting on a tie as it offers the highest house edge. There is nothing wrong with occasionally betting on a tie, although doing so will significantly reduce your odds. The problem with a tie bet is that it may seem like the most appealing bet, especially among newer players. This is because it is also the bet that offers the biggest potential payouts. But remember, the bets with higher payouts are usually those with a higher house edge. Focus on your chances of winning and not how much you can win on a bet.

Manage your Bankroll – Bankroll management is important when playing for real money and the main strategy every gambler should undertake, no matter how small your budget is. Your bankroll is your gambling budget, and as with any budget, it is important to manage this so you do not overspend. Maintaining your bankroll will prevent you from suffering major losses.

Tips for Playing Online Baccarat

When you join an online casino, you want to access a host of games to get the best value out of your experience as possible. You also want the potential to win. So, in order to get your time and money’s worth when playing baccarat at online casinos, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Security

Security is extremely important at online casinos. You want to play at a website that is known to be safe, secure and reliable. This is necessary for several reasons. You want your personal information protected at all times, and you want to ensure that your money is kept safe as well. The top online casinos we recommended have proven themselves safe and secure by implementing the best security measures to protect all players.

We ensure that these casinos feature the latest SSL encryption technology to protect your sensitive data and of course, to protect you from fraudulent use of your information. We also look for casino licensing as this proves that the casino has met and retained the standards of a reputable and recognised igaming jurisdiction.

Banking

There are some things to consider when it comes to banking at an online casino. The first is the safety of your transactions, which should be highlighted in the terms and conditions. For example, the security measures mentioned above should be implemented to ensure all your data and transactions are safe at all times.

This prevents unauthorised persons from accessing your information or incepting any transactions. Secondly, it is important to have numerous options for deposits and withdrawals. All reliable online casinos will include a wealth of options to cater to a broad range of players and backgrounds. The options need to cover different territories and currencies, provide safety and security and reasonable speed of transactions.

Wagering

It is important to only wager on games you are familiar with. Free play is highly recommended for players getting to know a new game like online baccarat before betting any real money. Though baccarat is based on luck, experience always goes a long way in helping you get the most out of your gaming experience. It can also improve your chances of winning. Free play helps you gain enough experience before playing for real money.

Bankroll Management

Bankroll management remains one of the most important aspects of playing for real money. Adopt a good bankroll management system to spend your money wisely and prevent massive losses. You don’t want to, or shouldn’t, bet more than you can afford, and a bankroll strategy will help you manage your money and stretch it as far as it can go.

Choose Games with Few Decks

By choosing online baccarat games with as few decks as possible, you improve your chances of winning. Using fewer decks means your odds are improved, thereby improving your chances of landing a win. That said, their betting limits are lower, so decide whether you prefer high odds with low payouts or the reverse when playing online baccarat.

Online Baccarat Variants

Baccarat is a game of many names and variations. Online casinos have allowed even more versions to be adapted. The game’s house edge varies depending on the bet types and the variation you are playing. Traditional baccarat has a lower house edge on banker bets at 1.01%. This changes to 1.005% when the six-deck version is played and 1.057% when using eight decks.

Thanks to the internet, more and more people now have access to this exciting, classic table game. Players will be spoilt when visiting your favourite online casino, which usually includes a nice selection of variations, including but not limited to the below:

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer is a popular variation of the game, especially in France until 1837 when casinos were made illegal. This version is mostly played in Europe these days, particularly French, lands-based casinos. This is the version James Bond is known to play in the 007 movies.

Baccarat en Banque

Baccarat en Banque made its appearance in the early 1900s. This version is also called ‘deux tableaux’ or ‘two tables’ and is very popular across Europe in land-based casinos.

Punto Banco

This is the most popular baccarat game played at the Las Vegas strip. Developed in Argentina in the early 1950s, this game was introduced to Vegas casinos in 1959 and became a hit. It is the version most common in North American land-based casinos.

Mini Baccarat

Mini baccarat is a version of the game found at online casinos. It is basically the traditional versions in a virtual set-up and is plated with a single deck of 52 cards. This is the main feature that distinguishes it from other forms of baccarat. It is also played on a mini table.

High Limit Baccarat

This is a variant created by Microgaming and considers itself a high bets game. This means the bet limits are higher than traditional online baccarat variants. It is played with eight decks of cards on a mini table.

Online Baccarat Gold

This is another Microgaming variant of the game and the most adapted option with its progressive interface and dynamic graphics. It is a one-player game and uses eight decks of 52 cards. The payout of this game is 8:1 for tie bets. All cards are dealt face-down, and you are allowed to ‘peek’ before flipping cards.

Best Online Baccarat Software

When it comes to online baccarat software, some of the biggest and best names in igaming have developed variations, all boasting different and exciting features. These features do not change the game, just enhance your overall gaming experience. Players have the option to choose a variation that suits their requirements in terms of pace, betting limits, settings and more. Leading casino developers like Microgaming, Playtech, Evolution Gaming and more are just some of the big names who have created baccarat games for online casinos.

Playtech

Playtech, being one of the leaders in the igaming market, has a diverse portfolio of casino games, among them baccarat. Their selection caters to the needs of all players looking for free and real-money baccarat. Some of their most popular games include VIP Baccarat, No Commission Baccarat, Progressive Baccarat and the new Prestige Baccarat, to name a few.

Microgaming

Microgaming is another top software provider known for their wide range of top-class casino games, from slot machines to table games and more. The provider offers a host of baccarat games for online players, all featuring intuitive designs and customisable features. All Microgaming baccarat options are also available to play for free or real money.

Evolution Gaming

Evolution Gaming is the newest provider to join the list of software developers creating online baccarat games. It has already become a leader in the igaming space and has released high-quality offerings like Speed Baccarat and Control Squeeze Baccarat. These games also feature unique side bets like the Banker Bonus, the Player Bonus, Perfect Pairs and Either Pair. If you’re looking to up your baccarat game, then Evolution Gaming will be sure to add some twists and turns to your gaming experience.

Extreme Live Gaming

Extreme Live Gaming is another new kid on the block who have added online baccarat to its diverse portfolio. The developer offers an authentic experience thanks to their Classic Baccarat offering, which follows the traditional Macau-style baccarat with a 6-card layout. This version is an Asian favourite and differs from other popular baccarat variants at online and land-based casinos. This is a live version of the game set in an elegant studio and offers increased betting opportunities and enhanced gaming experience.

Play Online Baccarat for Free

Playing online baccarat for free is always a good option for new players wanting to get a grasp of the game, or those who just want to enjoy casual gaming without any risks. Online casinos offer free or demo versions of games to allow players to do just that – test the game in a safe and secure environment without having to bet any real money. If you are new to casino gaming, it is always recommended to start with free games, even if it is a game of chance like baccarat. Not only will it help you learn the rules of the game, but it will help you get comfortable with the gameplay before you make a wager.

Advantages of Playing for Free

As with any online casino game, there are advantages to playing baccarat for free:

You play for free – As the name suggests, playing for free means there is no need to make a deposit to try out these exciting games. All you have to do is join the casino by creating an account, and you’re good to go. Simply choose the free play or demo version of the game and enjoy some casual, fun gaming without any pressure. Switch to the real version once you are ready for the chance to win real money rewards.

Practice – As mentioned before, playing for free gives you the chance to practice your gameplay or learn the rules of the game. While baccarat is a game of chance, it is still valuable to learn how the game works before making a monetary commitment. In this way, you get a feel for the game and its variations without risking any money.

Game variety – Playing for free gives you access to a wide range of games, including online baccarat and many of its variations. Online casinos happily allow players to access a wealth of free games by simply joining the casino.

Online Baccarat Bonuses and Promotions

Whenever you join an online casino and fund your account, you should be eligible to claim some of the bonuses and promotions on offer. While most of these are geared towards online slots players, some special offers cater to table game players, including welcome bonuses, loyalty bonuses and VIP programs.

These bonuses are available to all players, including new and existing players and usually accessible via the Bonuses and Promotions pages on the casino website. Visit these sections to check what bonuses are available for baccarat players, who try out the other offers available for online slots, video poker and more. Also, be sure to sign up for the casino’s newsletter to keep yourself in the loop on all the latest offers via email.

Online Baccarat on Mobile

Thanks to modern technology, online gaming has become the leading way for players to get access to and enjoy their favourite casino games. In the last few years; however, mobile gaming has become more and more popular, with players enjoying smooth and seamless gaming while on the go. Many software providers and casino operators have optimised their services to be mobile-friendly, and online baccarat games are no different.

Leading online casinos will have fully responsive mobile sites to allow high-quality mobile gaming on all smartphones and tablets, including those using Android, iOS and Windows operating systems. Mobile-friendly games are designed to fit smaller screens, while touchscreen capabilities ensure that you can play your favourite game in a neat, compact and convenient way.

Live Online Baccarat

Live baccarat is available to play at the top live casinos on the internet. Live baccarat rules are the same as the rules for online baccarat. The main difference in the two versions of the game is that live baccarat is played in real-time. The game is live-streamed from a professional venue anywhere in the world.

Players join the game from their computers or mobile devices and enjoy real-time action in an immersive and engaging environment. There is even an option to communicate directly with the dealer or with other players. Online baccarat is available to play at many live casinos, along with other popular table games like roulette, blackjack and poker.

How We Rate the Best Online Baccarat Casinos

We do our due diligence when it comes to reviewing online casinos, including sites offering online baccarat games. We only recommend the best casinos that fall into this category, which is based on strict criteria. Here are some of the things we look out for when choosing the best online baccarat gambling sites on the internet:

Safety and security – We make sure that every casino we review and recommend has been tested and proven safe and secure. We look for casino licenses from legitimate and recognised jurisdictions, regular testing and auditing from third-party agencies and the latest SSL encryption technology to protect player’s data at all times.

Selection of online baccarat games – For an online casino to be recognised as a baccarat site, it must have a selection of baccarat games to speak of. We look for a variety of games with exciting side bets and variations for the best, most rewarding gaming experience. Some variations we look for include Punto Banco and No Commission Baccarat, two of the most popular versions of the game. We also look for live dealer baccarat in the live casino.

Bonuses and promotions – Any self-respecting online casino should offer a range of bonuses and promotions to attract and satisfy the needs of new and existing players. An online casino we suggest must have a generous and fair welcome bonus as well as ongoing promotions and special offers for registered players.

Banking methods – Top online casinos offer a wealth of banking options for deposits and withdrawals. These banking methods must be safe, secure and reliable and widely accepted in many countries. There must be a combination of traditional methods like credit and debit cards as well as e-wallets, cryptocurrencies, vouchers and more. We also look at the withdrawal times to ensure that players are not waiting too long for their payouts.

Customer support – Good customer support is essential at online casinos. If you experience any problems, questions or queries during your time at the casino, you must be able to get in touch quickly and easily. We look for casinos that offer 24/7 customer support through various channels, including live chat, email and telephone. We also look for an extensive FAQ section.

Our Expert Conclusion

Online baccarat is an exciting game that will appeal to many players. The game may not have been popular in the past among everyday gamers, but thanks to the internet, it has become a prominent fixture at online and live casinos. The game has become a favourite thanks to its easy rules and generous payouts if you play right.

The only drawback to playing online baccarat is that there are not as many variations to choose from, especially when compared to online slots, blackjack, roulette and video poker. The reason for this is simple – games like online slots and video poker is simply more popular; therefore, software providers spend less time developing online baccarat games. Being a basic but enticing and entertaining game, baccarat’s popularity will likely soar as more and more players become accustomed to this game.

 

FAQ Online Baccarat

✅ Is online baccarat for high rollers?

Baccarat is a fun and fast-paced game that is perfect for low and high rollers alike. It offers non-stop excitement and the chance to play many short rounds instead of just a few longer games. It is easy to learn and straightforward. This luck-based game lacks the complexity of other skill-based games like blackjack or some video pokers. This makes baccarat the perfect game for new players or high rollers looking for shorter games and opportunities to win more often.

✅ Are there different online baccarat variations?

There are a few baccarat variants available online and in live casinos. The premise of most variants remains the same, although these all have slight changes and rules. This is why it is a good idea to play for free to get a feel for the game before moving on to the real-money version of the game. Some popular variants available at online casinos include Chemin de fer, Punto Banco, Baccarat Banque and Mini Baccarat.

✅ What are the odds in online baccarat?

When playing baccarat online, expect an average payout percentage of around 98%, making this game one with fairly decent odds against the house. That said, the odds change based on the wager, with bets on the banker or the player resulting in the highest odds. Bets on a tie have lower odds but higher payouts.

✅ Is baccarat a game of skill?

No, baccarat is a game of pure luck. The only choice you need to make in the game is what you bet on when playing. If you bet on the player or the dealer’s hand, you have a fair chance of winning.

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