Anyone who adores spending time online exploring different casino games will have tried card games at least once in their life. While Online Slots seem to be the most popular games at the moment there are card games that have been around for centuries and have kept a massive following entertained throughout their time on the scene.
Especially when looking for free play games, card games are a go to as they are the most beneficial in their free form. Most people tend to stay away from card games because they are a little more intimidating and require more understanding and experience. Baccarat is one of the many classic card games that has found its way into the hearts of online casino players much like it did in land-based casinos.
The game has built up quite the reputation for being mysterious and romantic. For most players, the first sight of baccarat can be scary which keeps them from playing the game. Luckily there are free baccarat variations available online where you can practice the game and see just how easy it really is. Plus you could even score a few tips on how to win more often playing the game!
It’s a royal game after all…
Baccarat is easily one of the oldest casino games in existence. The first documented evidence of the game being played goes back to the 1400’s when it arrived in France (from Italy). The name is of Italian origin and means “zero” which refers to the fact that all 10’s and suits have 0 value. The name also refers to any hand of 10 resulting in 0, so for instance if you are dealt a 7 and a 3 your total would be 10 which is considered 0 and therefore Baccarat.
It is incredible how baccarat has been played since the 1400’s but it took nearly 500 years to become one of the top played casino games in Europe. An interesting thing to note is that the game was mostly played by French royalty at some point and there were multiple variations available. Europe preferred the Chemin de Fer variation and England Punto Banco. It was the latter that was carried over to the US via South America.
As time went by, three variations became the most popular and were among the first to be added to land-based casinos and eventually online casinos. They were known as Chemin de Fer, Punto Banco and Baccarat Banquet.
It’s crazy… The variations all have different names while their rules remain the same. The only difference in the games are the way the cards are dealt.
One of the main reasons many casino players refrain from partaking in this game is because, much like how it was played by French Royalty back in the day, it is now played by the high rollers of modern day time.
There’s nothing to fear in the game itself and by playing it for free you can learn the ropes and even splurge like the high rollers without fear of your bankroll draining. Before you make a decision take a look at how the game is played. You’ll see it’s quite easy to play and by the time you are done reading you’ll definitely want to give it a whirl.
Teach me your skills
Baccarat is a game that is played with either a 6 deck or an 8 deck shoe and in most online casino variants there is a virtual dealer who deals the cards. In Baccarat, Face cards and 10’s have no value and suits are considered irrelevant.
Any cards lower than 10 are counted at face value so the Ace for example will be counted as a 1. Interestingly enough Baccarat is only played with single digit cards so even if you have a double digit count the left number will be dropped to turn it into a single digit card. Thus, if you have a total of 15 obtained from an 8 and a 7 your total will be 5 and not 15.
The aim of the game… In Baccarat the objective is to bet on whether the player (you) or the dealer (banker) will be dealt cards with a total closest to 9.
When the game starts the dealer will deal two cards for the player and himself. If the first cards dealt to either one totals an 8 or a 9 then it is referred to as a ‘natural’ and both parties have to stand. Thus, the game round ends and the one with the highest score wins.
During a game of Baccarat you can bet on your own hand, on the banker’s hand or on a tie. Although the most popular rule among casino players is to never bet on a tie. In most cases the game is finished after the reveal of the total in the first two cards. But there are some cases in which you will be dealt another card for instance if you have a point total of five or less. If your point value is 6 or 7, you stand. The same counts for the banker, if the banker has a total of 2 or less they have to take another card but if they have a point total of 7 they will stand.
Other cases in which the banker won’t draw another card is:
If their 2-card total is 3 and your third card is an 8
If their 2-card total is 4 and your third card is a 0, 1, 8 or 9
If their 2-card total is 5 and your third card is a 0, 1, 2, 3, 8 or 9
If their 2-card total is 6 and your third card is a 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 9
One of the main things that sets baccarat apart from most other games is that it comes with a special rule that is in your favour. This rule states that if you haven’t bet on a tie and the hands tie then you will receive back your full bet.
It’s an important rule to remember because if you follow strategy and refrain from betting on a tie you will play a game where the odds are 50/50.
A last note on the winnings… In Baccarat you win double your bet if the hand you bet on won. A tie bet rewards 8 times your bet amount but it’s not the best bet even with such big pay-out probabilities. Then if you decide to bet on the Banker's hand rather than your own you should know a casino commission will be deducted from the bet win. It might not seem like a big deal during free baccarat but once you’re ready to play for real money it’s something to keep in mind.
Baccarat Variants to Suit All Tastes!
Chermin De Fer
This is the variant that has been played since the end of the 15th century in France. It is played with 6 decks and the game moves counter clockwise so you will start. Basic Baccarat strategy and rules can be followed when playing the game. It’s fun to think you get to play the same game that was played centuries ago by royalty.
Fun Fact: The game got its name because the decks of cards were held in an iron box.
This is the most common form of baccarat in Europe and is played with mostly 3 decks of cards. In this variant you are dealt two hands on which you can place individual wagers to increase the odds of beating the banker. Another fun part of this variant is that you can challenge the banker and “go bank” if your bets are equal.
This variant is also sometimes referred to as Tableau and the name literally means Player (Punto) Banker (Banco). The game is played with 6 or 8 decks of cards in the dealing shoe but in most cases there will be 8 decks used.
Did you know? Punto Banco has some variants of its own that includes Super 6, Midi and Mini Punto and EZ Baccarat.
Due to most Baccarat versions featuring rather high betting limits the Mini Baccarat variant has become extremely popular among online casino players. Of course, this doesn’t really matter when you’re playing free baccarat but it is something to keep in mind for when you are ready to play Real Money Baccarat. It’s a mini version of standard baccarat that features lower betting options and fast results.
Baccarat Pro is among the most played variants among high rollers as it features high table limits of up to 1,000 chips per bet on a single hand. When playing the free play version of the game you’ll truly get to indulge in living the high life and taking risky bets while you learn to play the game.
Take advantage of Free Play and improve your strategy!
You might be new to baccarat or you might’ve been playing it for quite some time without fully understanding the logistics and inner workings of the game. If that’s the case then you’ll love these quick and easy ways you can improve your online baccarat experience. Test and try it with the free games listed right here on GamblersPick today.
1. Know the rules & understand the table layout
The first thing any successful online gambler will tell you is that to feel the thrill of a game you need to fully understand it first. That means taking some time to learn the rules and understand the table layout. With free baccarat you can take your time in doing so while still being able to play the game. The only difference being, your bankroll won’t suffer because of your learning curve.
2. Forget about betting on a tie
A Tie bet features some of the biggest payouts but don’t let that fool you, as it has a reason. A Tie basically never happens and the house edge on this bet is a whopping 14% so it definitely isn’t worth it, even when playing free baccarat it’s best to get used to not taking this betting option.
3. The sky is definitely not YOUR limit
As the popular saying goes “the sky is the limit”, it might be the limit in some cases but it is definitely not yours especially when you are playing baccarat. While playing free baccarat it’s the perfect time to learn bankroll management so you know how to set aside a bankroll but never exceed it. Getting in the habit of checking your spending before you start playing Real Money Baccarat will save you a lot of unpleasant moments in the long run.
4. Card Counting is a no-go
Much like with Blackjack, it is completely possible to count cards with baccarat… but not while participating in online casino games. These computerized games makes use of Random Number Generators that make is impossible to effectively count cards. Thus, it’s best to forget about this all together.
5. Betting what?
Many have tried to develop a betting system for popular card games such as baccarat, blackjack and roulette. Where in some cases it has been successful it has just led to disaster in others. Rather forget about these and play from the heart. Remember, playing online casino games should always be about the fun instead of the gains. Plus those wins won’t reach your pocket while you’re playing free baccarat anyway.
Got some tips of your own? We all start somewhere and nowadays most new players look for tips and tricks online to help them start their gaming experience the right way. If you’ve been playing for quite some time you would’ve picked up some nifty tips and tricks that could just help kick-start their gambling adventure. Join the GamblersPick Community for free and share your knowledge with other players in need of a little guidance and a helping hand.