The name sounds mysterious, but the game is definitely not. Although baccarat has been famous for being the game for the richest gamblers, nowadays, people have realized that this is also a really good game for small-stakes players. There are reasons for that rising realization. First, baccarat gameplay is fairly easy to learn. Second, compared to other casino games, it has a relatively lower house advantage. And third, this is the dealer-needs-to-do-it-all-game. In other words, unlike many casino games where players should do most of the work, in baccarat, the dealer takes care of the game process.
If this is the first time you want to learn about the game and then play it online, you have landed in the right place. Because in this article, you will learn everything you need to play online baccarat and win.
What Is Baccarat?
Before we get into the details, let me explain what the game is and where it comes from.
Nobody can tell for sure where the game comes from. However, Some game historians believe that its roots go back to the 19th century. Some others claim that French soldiers returning from Italy after the French/Italy war at the end of the 15th century introduced the game to France.
Baccarat is a comparing game and is considered a game of chance. In other words, there is not much you can do to influence the game outcome. The most popular baccarat variants are Punto Banco, Chemin De Fer, and Banque. Players in punto banco can move only based on the cards they are dealt. Conversely, players can decide how to move in the other two variants.
As mentioned, baccarat is a comparing game where The Player hand and The Banker hand are in play. Therefore, the possible outcomes for each round of baccarat play will be the player-the one with a higher score, the banker, and the tie. Later I will explain how these hands work in the game. For now, you should know that in this casino card game, you will be dealt 2 or 3 cards, and in the end, the hand with the highest score is the winner. The objective of the game is simply getting the closest score to 9.
You can find different baccarat variants at the land-based casinos. Similarly, there are plenty of online baccarat games to choose from. Some fancier land-based casinos like Caesars Palace offer big baccarat tables with up to 14 seats. However, most casinos only offer mini-baccarat that has up to 8 seats and offers lower betting limits.
Different online baccarat variants are:
The name is quite self-explanatory. This is the most popular baccarat variant with a small table that can be set up for up to eight players. In this variant, the dealer does all the work, and players are not allowed to touch the cards. Also, the mini-baccarat minimum betting limit is the lowest among all baccarat variants. For this reason, you can easily find a table with a minimum of $10.
3 Card Baccarat
This variant is pretty popular in Macau casinos. A 52-card deck is used, and the game starts with the dealer distributing 3 cards to themselves and the players. Although the scoring rules follow the same standard as standard baccarat(more on this later), the hand with three face cards has the highest value, and the next best hand is a hand with a score of 9.
Chemin De Fer
As the name sounds so French, this baccarat variant is pretty popular in Europe, especially in France. In this version, you are allowed to act as the bank and play against other gamblers. In other words, whenever the bank loses, players pass the role of the bank around and play against each other. Although the game is popular, it is mostly found in VIP areas of European casinos. Chemin De Fer table is a big one that can be set up for up to 14 players.
Similar to the previous variant, Banque is more popular in Europe. This version features three decks of cards and is played the same as Chemin De Fer baccarat. However, unlike Chemin De Fer, the player who acts as the bank does not play against other players or cover their bets. In fact, the player with the highest wager remains Banker until their bankroll finishes or the round ends. Typically, players-other than the banker- only wager on the player hand. But they also can bet against the banker with a matching wager. Similar to Chemin de fer, the banker role passes around once the banker loses in a hand.
This variant gameplay is similar to the mini-baccarat. In fact, the dealer does all the work, whereas players only place their bets. However, there is a big difference between the two. Mini-baccarat is a single dealer game, while Punto Banco uses three dealers. But if you are playing online, you should not worry about the number of dealers. Because the software takes care of bets and other things.
The game starts after each player decides what bet to make. In fact, this is the decision-making part involved in baccarat. As mentioned earlier, there are three betting options in the baccarat game: the banker hand, the player hand, and the tie.
Once players have decided, the dealer deals a hand of 2-cards for the banker and the same hand for the player. The cards are drawn from a shoe containing 8 decks of cards.
The gameplay setting is pretty straightforward. The scoring part is where things get a bit tricky, though.
Baccarat Scoring Rules
Before I step by step teach you how to play baccarat, let me explain the game scoring system. In baccarat cards values are important to determine the winner.
- Face cards and 10s are worth 0
- Cards 2 through 9 are worth their face values
- And aces are worth 1
To determine the winner, the dealer will add up the value of two cards in each hand. For instance, if your hand is an ace and a Jack, your score is 1. . Similarly, a hand of Jack/6 has a value of 6 and a hand of 10/8 has a total value of 8. There is something you should be careful about while adding up the cards. No total can be more than 9. For example, if a hand total is 10 or higher, you must subtract 10 to determine the hand score. In other words, if you get a hand with a two digits value, you should drop the left digit to get the hand value. For instance, if you get a banker hand of 13, 1 is dropped and the hand total will be 3.
Drawing the third card is the most tricky part of the game. The rules of the game decide whether or not the player or the banker or both should draw a third card.
|1-2-3-4-5-10||Draws a card|
|8-9||Natural (banker cannot draw)|
First two cards total:
When player’s third card is:
When player’s third card is:
|8-9||Natural (player cannot draw)|
Based on the baccarat rules chart, the banker, player, or both may draw their third card after the value of the first two cards is totaled.
As you can see, baccarat is purely a guessing game and there no complicated decision-making is involved. Contrary to blackjack, where it is your call to receive another card or not. For this reason, you can easily seat at a baccarat table for the first time and play as good as someone who plays the game for over a decade. Because, as I said before, baccarat bets offer a relatively low house edge, and you do not need to be a pro player to take advantage of that. The only tricky part is drawing a third card which has a constant set of rules at every baccarat table.
Of course, the rules will eventually stick in your mind after you play the game for some time. But until then, read the summary below:
- A natural in baccarat is when a player or banker hand has a total of 9. In this case, the hand is the winner.
- If there is no hand with a total value of 9, the next best hand is a total of 8. This hand also is known as natural and considered to be the winner.
- If the banker and the player hands get the same total, it is considered a Tie.. In this scenario, neither hand is considered a winner.
Now, you may be wondering when you need to draw the third card? Well, you can check the provided table of rules above. For example, if there is no natural, you likely need a third card. In this case, once all the cards are dealt based on the game rules, all the points will be added up and the person who has the closest total to 9 will be the winner.
But what about the tie bets? Well, in the case of a tie, there is no winner. So, the banker and player bets are returned and only the tie bets are rewarded.
Baccarat Bets Payouts
Each baccarat bet has a unique payout percentage and a specific house edge. To bet on the banker hand you must place your wager on the area labeled Banker(see the baccarat gameplay section for the representation of the baccarat table). The banker bet has an even money payout with a house edge of 1.06 percent. In other words, if your bet wins, you will be paid $1 for every $1 you have wagered. However, there is a 5% commission attached to this bet. This means if you win $20, you must pay 100¢ to the casino. As you can see, the commission is only applied to your winnings and not losses. To keep track of the amount you owe the casino, the dealer puts an equal amount in a small box corresponding to your seat number. For example, suppose your seat number is 4, you win $10, and you should pay a 50¢ commission to the house. In this case, the dealer will give you $10 and put 50¢ in a small box labeled 4. In the end, when leaving the table, you owe the casino whatever that is inside that box.
Similarly, the player hand pays out at even money and the house has an advantage of 1.24 percent on this bet. However, the good news is that you should not pay any commission if your player bet wins.
The tie bet pays out 8:1 and the house has an advantage of 14.3 percent which is a loooot! In other words, if your tie bet wins, you will be paid $8 for every $1 you have wagered. However, as you can see, the house advantage on this bet is a lot which makes it a terrible bet to place. This is why we always say you should avoid tie bets at any cost.
Long story short, baccarat bets offer pretty good payouts and relatively low casino advantage, except for the tie bet. So, we can say again: baccarat is pretty easy to play as the rules are set beforehand, and you should not make any complicated decisions while playing the game.
How To Win In Baccarat?
As you have seen in the previous section, baccarat player and banker bets offer a pretty reasonable house advantage. However, the fact is that casino always has the upper hand. So, it seems in the long term it is impossible to beat the game. Now, how do you win the game? The short answer is by luck on your side! This is the only baccarat sure-win formula. Luckily, the game offers two bets with low house advantage and requires zero skill. Compared to roulette with a house advantage of 5.26 percent on double zero-wheel and slots with 5 to 15 percent house edge, you have a much higher chance to win the baccarat.
Although I said luck is the magic formula to win the game, there are some patterns and strategies you can use to increase your chances of winning. However, a little heads up, baccarat house advantage will be the same regardless of which strategy you apply, and choosing a strategy entirely depends on your playing style. With that in mind, let us look at a couple of the most common baccarat patterns and strategies.
Banker Bet Strategy
This is one of the most famous baccarat strategies used by many rookie and pro baccarat players. Several players know the significance of this bet while others follow the idea that one bet is better than the other without understanding the mentality behind it.
Some versions of the game offer an actual winning odds of 50 percent. For this reason, players tend to bet on the banker more. So, casinos have applied the 5% commission to drop the odds to around 45%. In any case, many players apply this strategy and it actually pays off.
Player Bet Strategy
Although I previously mentioned that the banker has a better winning chance, you should not ignore other factors involved in the game process. In fact, it has been mathematically proven that if you follow betting systems like Martingale, Labouchere, or Fibonacci, that 5% commission will hunt you down. So, the banker is not the best baccarat winning strategy is you gamble using a betting system.
For this reason, it is crucial to not fall for the idea that the banker bet strategy always works. In fact, you should use the player bet strategy if you use betting systems.
Tie Bet Strategy
Seriously?! Do you want me to give you a strategy to bet on the tie? Did you forget that I said you must avoid this bet at any cost? The bet pays 14 units for every 100$ you wagered and there is a 10% that it turns up. Now, you tell me, what is the tie bet strategy? Yes, staying far far away from it!
There are a couple of other strategies like +ve/_ve progressive, flat progressive, golden eagle, and silver tiger that are mostly used by professional gamblers. However, none of the strategies can decrease the house advantage considerably.
In short, you are the one to say which strategy best works for you. Are you a risk-taker who wants to go for an off chance to win big? Or do you prefer to focus on the game and win little by little? You decide how to proceed at the table.
Best Online Casinos To Play Baccarat
You can always check out the comprehensive casino reviews at the Playnowpros website to find out the best online platforms to play for real money with certainty. However, for the sake of this article, below are the best online casinos to play online baccarat variants and win real money.
|Online Casino||Welcome Bonus||Baccarat games||Live Dealer||Free Play||US players accepted|
|Wild Casino||100% up to $5,000||3||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bovada||Up to $3,750||1||Yes||Yes||Yes(except Maryland,NJ,DW,NY)|
|Super Slots||Up to $6,000||3||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Steps And Tips To Play Online Baccarat
Playing online baccarat is more convenient and offers you a higher chance of winning. The good news is most online casinos offer live dealer baccarat. Although you cannot chat and interact with the dealer on the other side, it is better than dull computer graphics. Below are some general tips to play baccarat. Some of them are also applicable in land-based settings.
- Always read betting and bonus terms and conditions before placing any wager.
- If at a land-based casino, request a soft copy of baccarat drawing rules. If playing online, download a baccarat rules chart and keep it with you.
- At land-based casinos scorecards are available. Ask for one and keep track of the results of each hand.
- Don’t look for patterns.
- Do your homework! Understand the game well before starting to play.
- Don’t change your strategy in the middle of the game.
- Stick to the variant of online baccarat that you are familiar with. Some of the online baccarat versions:
- Speed Baccarat
- Baccarat Squeeze
- Baccarat Control Squeeze
- No Commission Baccarat
- Live Dragon Tiger(available at 888 Casino)
- Before placing big real money bets, play short online baccarat sessions or play free demo flash baccarat games.
- Bet on the banker.
- Avoid Tie wagers.
As well as the general tips provided above, Reddit users have some recommendations that you can take advantage of:
- Bet the table minimum as infrequently as possible using this strategy:
- Bet the minimum on the banker (say $1)
- If lost, bet $1 on the player.
- If lost, double on the player until you win ($2, $4, etc).
- When got your money back, place a $1 bet on the banker and start the cycle again. Tip: if the banker wins, keep playing for $1 until the player hits. Then, switch to the player and apply the martingale betting system.
- Depending on the version, decide which strategy to use. If you play normal baccarat, it is advisable to go for the banker and the player. However, in no commission baccarat, play the banker.
- Two strategies proved to work. First, bet on the last winner and try to catch some streak. Second, always bet player. However, do not forget that these are a couple of strategies that worked for some players under specific circumstances. Always choose your strategy according to your table and what you want to achieve.
To Sum It Up…
People have different reasons for playing baccarat. Similarly, gamblers have different strategies for baccarat bets. However, a couple of reasons are encouraging enough to give the game a try. The game is purely based on chance and you do not need to learn complicated strategies, unlike other casino games like blackjack. Also, the baccarat bets-except tie, offer a lower casino advantage compared to other games like roulette. So, you can easily learn how to play and win real money.
Always remember to play wisely and responsibly. After all, baccarat and gambling in general, are supposed to be fun. Don’t take it too seriously!
How To Play Online Baccarat Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Secret Baccarat Pattern?
People may tell you that they know the secret baccarat pattern. But the fact is that they tend to believe an arbitrary circumstance will change the outcome. But in reality, this is not true. Go back and read the baccarat odds and advantage again.
Can I Play Online Baccarat For Free?
Of course, you can. Apart from some game providers that offer free flash baccarat games, the best online casinos(see the table above) allow you to play a demo version. You can play the free demo baccarat version, practice, and get prepared to play for real money.
Can I Count The Cards To Predict Baccarat Results?
You can if you want to waste your time and energy! Because this is pointless. There is no way to cheat and predict the outcome of a purely guessing and chance game.
What Is The Best Baccarat Winning Strategy?
Avoid the tie bets! That’s the magic formula for never losing!