Baccarat is one of the most popular table games that you can play. It is actually one of the Big Four of card games – with poker, roulette, and blackjack. If you are a fan of James Bond, you will surely recognize this. He makes it seem so easy to play!
In truth, once you get the hang of it, you will find it a great option to play among the other card games. In fact, it is one of the most simple games that you can play in casinos. It is also quite fast-paced. This is why you need to learn the rules of playing the game so you can keep up.
The good news is, you do not have to go to brick and mortar casinos. There is no need to dress up to play the game. You can simply go online to play a round of Baccarat.
The game of Baccarat is considered as one of the oldest card games in the world. In fact, it is so old that its actual origins are not clear. Some say it started with the Chinese while the others claim the Ancient Romans may have been its origin.
But whatever history it may have, this remains to be a consistent favourite among the other casino games. The simple rules make it easy to understand that even new casino players will have no problems learning how to play it.
The emergence of online casinos gave more people the opportunity to play their favourite games without having to leave their homes.
Playing Baccarat in an online casino is not that different from playing the table game in a land-based casino. In fact, the rules are simple enough that they can easily translate online. Obviously, you will not be holding actual cards. Instead, you will just click on the screen for your options.
It might take some time to get used to but you will find it quite enjoyable still. Online casinos try to make the experience as realistic as possible. They even have a Baccarat table on the screen to give players a real casino vibe.
What makes this a great option to play is the fact that it makes the Baccarat games available 24/7. You can keep the costs low because there is no need to spend on anything else apart from what you will bet on the table.
The availability could make it harder to control gambling urges. However, most online casinos have responsible gambling restrictions. This will make it easier for gamblers to control how they play.
Now that you know a bit about online baccarat, how do you play the game?
Baccarat is a card game that is played on casino tables. It involves several decks of cards. These cards are kept in a “shoe” – just like in blackjack.
The goal of the game is to get a hand (or set of cards) with points closest to the number 9. It is just like blackjack in this regard – but instead of 21, you have 9 as the limit. Also, the hands will be played between the Banker and the Player.
The role of the Banker will depend on the type of Baccarat game. In Punto Banco, the banker is different from the players. In Chemin de Fer, the role rotates among the players.
To start, players will place their bets. Then, the cards will be dealt. The Player and the Banker will each get 2 – with the cards given one at a time. It is possible for a third card to be drawn but this has its own set of rules. Once the hand is shown, players will know if they won their bet.
The tricky part is knowing how to count the points. As mentioned, the sum of the card values should not go beyond 9. The rules for counting points are as follows:
Picture cards are counted as 0
If the total more than 10, the tens value is dropped, e.g. 19 becomes 9 or 17 becomes 7
Hands worth 8 and 9 are referred to as “naturals” – with 8 losing after 9
Hands with a lower point value than an 8 or 9 will lose
Usually, a deal will only involve 2 cards. However, there are instances when a Player is allowed to draw a third card – especially if the Player’s hand has a value of 5 or less. The Banker has to follow some rules when drawing the third card.
If the Banker has a total of 2, he can always draw another card.
If the Banker’s hand has a total of 3, a third card can be drawn is the Player’s third card is 8.
If the total is 4, the Banker draws another card unless the Player drew a third card with a 0, 1, 8 or 9.
If the total hand is 5, the Banker can only draw a third card if the Player’s third card is 4, 5, 6 or 7.
If the total card value is 6, the Banker can draw a third card if the Player drew a 6 or 7 as his third card.
If the total is 7, the Banker is forced to stand and is not allowed to draw a third card.
When playing online baccarat, there is no need to memorize these because it is usually flashed on the screen. However, it will still be an advantage to know these by heart. That will make it easier to make betting strategies.
The bets will be based on who has the best hand between the Banker and the Player. When we say the best hand, it means who has points closest to 9. Players can choose to place a Player, Banker, or a tie bet.
The payout will depend on who the players bet on.
Betting on the Player would mean getting a 1/1 payout. A £10 bet will get a payout of £10 – bringing the total to £20.
Betting on the Banker will result in an even win of 1/1 too. However, it pays a 5% commission to the casino. This is collected at the end of the game. This commission is for the statistical house edge over the Player.
Betting on a Tie has a payout of 8/1. This is the least of all the outcomes so the high amount is understandable.
Making side bets is possible when playing Baccarat online. There are several side bets that can be played.
Player Pair or Banker Pair. This is won if the first two cards of the Player and the Banker have the same value but differ in suit – e.g. one has a 3 of Hearts and one has a 3 of Diamonds.
Either Pair. This is won if the first two cards of either Banker or Player is a pair.
Perfect Pair. This is won if the first pair of cards of either the Player or Banker are from the same suit.
Big wins. This is won if the cards of the Player and Banker makes 5 or 6.
Small pays. This is won if the total between the cards of the Player and Banker is valued at 4.
Obviously, playing online Baccarat is all about winning. Here are some tips that you can use to help increase your chances of winning big every time you play online.
Learn the rules. Knowing the rules by heart may seem intimidating at first. But if you keep on playing and practicing, you can easily remember it. Over time, your knowledge of the rules will help you determine your odds of winning.
Know the table layout. This is helpful in making fast bets. You get to feel where you should place your bets – even the side bets if you want to take more risks.
Be cautious when betting on a tie. The payout of 8/1 or 9/1 is very attractive. But you should also consider the fact that a tie is very rare. You might end up losing a lot if you keep on betting on a tie.
Set a betting limit. This is true for all types of casino games. You need to give yourself a limit. Play Baccarat online but limit your bets to a certain amount. When you reach that point, stop playing and continue the next day or play something else.
Online Baccarat is also offered with more options compared to land-based casinos. This means the variety will ensure that you will not feel bored even as you play for hours.
Punto Banco. This is also known as American Baccarat. This follows the same game rules that involve 6 or 8 decks. The banker is a separate individual from the players.
European Baccarat. This is the same as Punto Banco but with a bit of Banque and Chemin De Fer features too. In this version, players are allowed to stand on up to 5 and a third card can be drawn from the deck by the banker.
Chemin de Fer. This version has the role of the banker rotate among the players. There is an option to stand or draw if the total of the hand is 5.
Banque. This version also has a player taking on the role of the banker. However, the role stays with the player that has the highest bet. It only changes after the bankroll is fully played out.
Dragon Tiger. This is like a stripped version of Baccarat. It is so fast that it only lasts an average of 25 seconds. There are no players or bankers in this version. There are only two cards that are dealt with for the Tiger and the Dragon. The player will bet on who will have the higher card.
Mini Baccarat. This is a smaller version that you can popular casino card game. This means smaller stakes and tables. It is great for new players who are still learning the rules.
Live Baccarat. This option involves an actual dealer and the games are played in real-time. This means the player can interact with the dealer and sometimes, even the other players.
Emily Thornton boasts a degree in Digital Media from the University of Bristol, accompanied by an obsession for the online casino world. Over the past six years, she's combined her tech-savvy skills with a flair for writing, producing in-depth reviews and slots analyses for various casino platforms. A frequent contributor to free-spins.org, Emily's articles are grounded in research, ensuring readers gain trusted insights into the dynamic world of online gaming.