If you’ve ever stepped foot in a land based casino you might have noticed something that appears to be a VIP section where tables are cordoned off and everything looks so classy and formal. This might have made you feel a little uncertain on whether or not it’s a section you can enter so you ended up rather avoiding it and in doing so missed out on an epic experience. This section in most land based casinos happen to be the Baccarat section.
The game is known for its mystery, class and romance and has been played for centuries by everyone who is anyone including royalty. In land based casinos the scene created around these tables can be extremely intimidating which is why it’s a good thing technology developed and allowed us to access the game online.
Playing Real Money Baccarat is a thrilling experience especially if you understand how the game works and know the pro tips for a successful gaming experience. If you can’t tick off any of the above don’t worry, after reading this guide you’ll be ready to play like a pro.
Perks of playing real money baccarat online
Quick to Learn
Low House Edge
Big sign up bonuses (when choosing the right online casino)
Play in comfort of your own home
Easy strategy to memorize and follow
Come as you are – no need to dress up when it’s just you and your screen
Lacks casino atmosphere
Getting Down To Business
Whether you are just curious or watching James Bond has inspired you to become a Baccarat Pro you’ll need to learn how the game works first. There’s no point in going 007 when you barely know how the table works.
Game of Spies! Ian Fleming’s beloved spy, James Bond, is a notorious philanderer, saviour of the world and an avid Baccarat aficionado. It takes center stage as his casino game of choice in 20 out the first 21 movie adaptations of the books.
Baccarat is played with between 6 and 8 decks in a shoe but in most cases 8 decks of cards will be used during the game. Before the game starts or any cards are dealt you have to make one of three bets. You have to bet on your hand, the banker’s hand (dealer) or a tie. The latter should be avoided at all cost as it’s been proven to lead to a loss and has a house edge of up to 14%. By choosing to bet only on your hand or the dealer’s you’ll have a 50/50 chance of winning. The objective is to bet on the hand you think will most likely have a card total closest to the highest score of 9.
After you’ve placed your bet the dealer will deal two cards to you and himself after which the card values will be added up. If the total of your two cards exceeds 9 so for instance you get a 5 and a 7 equalling 12 then 10 will be deducted from the total leaving you with a total point value of 2. If you get two cards equalling in 10, your total score would be 0 or ‘baccarat’.
A Game by Any Other Name… The term Baccarat is of Italian origin and translated to English means Zero, while in France it was called Chemin de Fer which loosely translates as ‘iron road’!
After the card values have been added up and the hand with the highest score wins, if you bet against this hand then you will lose your bet. If the first cards dealt to the player or the banker totals in an 8 or a 9 then both parties will be forced to stand which is referred to as a ‘natural’. The hand with the highest total wins.
If you or the banker has a 7 then you will be required to ‘stand’. In most cases the game round finishes after the initial deal but there are some occasions where a third card may be dealt. If you for instance have a card count totalling in five or less a third card will be drawn for you. If the banker has a card count of 2 or less he will have to take another card.
There are some situations in which the banker won’t have to draw a third card.
If they have a card total of 3 and your third card is an 8
If they have a card total of 4 and your third card is a 0, 1, 8 or 9
If they have a card total of 5 and your third card is a 0, 1, 2, 3, 8 or 9
If they have a card total of 6 and your third card is a 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 9
Super rule alert! Baccarat is one of the only games that includes a rule that offer no house edge. Any time there is a Tie but you haven’t bet on it you will receive your entire bet back. How great is that!
Understanding the card values:
Face cards and 10’s count as 0
Aces count as 1
All other cards are counted at face value e.g. 5 will count as 5
Suits are irrelevant in counting card values
The Most Played Baccarat Variants Online
The key to a great gaming experience is to find a variant you like. Thanks to the continuous advancement of technology software developers have been able to create many variants on games including baccarat to provide you with a list of options instead of forcing you to play one standard variant.
Classic Baccarat: This variant was created by the industry giant, Microgaming and is a big favourite among risk takers. The game follows standard baccarat rules and thanks to Microgaming it is played on a beautiful table with spectacular graphics and sounds. It’s important to remember that it remains a game of chance so no strategy can guarantee a win.
Punto Banco Pro: There are many variants of Punto Banco online but the NetEnt variation has become quite popular among gamblers. The game is played with six standard card decks and bets are required to tie up to a 9-1 pay-out. In this game you can bet a maximum of $10,000 per hand. The game is designed with top notch sounds and graphics and allows you to view you hand history. The game can be played at quick or slow pace depending on your preference.
Mini Baccarat: Mini Baccarat has quickly become one of the most played baccarat variants online due to it producing a fast paced game with quick pay-outs. The game has lower minimum bets than other baccarat variants but offers the same house edge which is why so many prefer this game. There are some slight difference in how the game is played and it is available in both live and normal online casino form.
Baccarat Gold: Baccarat Gold is another Microgaming creation that has captured the interest of many online casino players. The game is played with standard baccarat rules apart from a few slight changes. The game comes with extra features such as being able to view History charts showing the pattern from previous hands and gives you the ability to ‘squeeze’ your cards. The game also offers a few side bets but these do increase the house edge.
Punto Banco Professional Series: This NetEnt creation allows you to choose from three different Punto Banco variants namely Low Roller, Standard and High Roller. The game works the same way as regular Baccarat but there is the bonus perk of choosing the variant that will be more suited to your bankroll allowing you to play for longer with less.
Live Dealer Baccarat: While it is great to be able to play this ‘royal’ game from the comfort of your own home it might often feel like its lacking something. That’s because it is, baccarat is known as a social game that creates a sort of camaraderie between players due to most placing the same bets. Playing regular online casino baccarat variants might lead you to feeling like you’re missing out on something. Luckily there are live dealer baccarat variants available at all the top rated online casinos to help you get back some of the social element. The game works the same as it would work in a land based casino and follows basic baccarat rules. The upside is you get to chat with the dealer and sometimes other players at the table. Thus, you get to feel like you’re playing in the fancy part of the casino with fellow ‘high rollers’ while in reality you are in your pj’s on the couch.
6 Tips to Get You Playing Like a Pro
1. Scrap the Tie bet
The first rule of playing Baccarat is to avoid the ‘Tie’ bet, online casinos often make it sound like a good idea as it has a massive pay-out of 8:1 or more but in reality the odds of winning this bet is slim and the casino ends up making more money. Sticking to a ‘player’ or ‘banker’ bet leaves you with better odds of a 50% winning ratio.
2. Choose the banker over the player
While casinos have been known to skim up to 5% commission off bets on the banker odds of winning a bet on the banker is always higher. So while the house gets some profit from your bet you’ll still end up walking away with more rather than less. The chances of a bet on the banker winning is about 50.68%.
3. Know the odds before you start playing
As mentioned above casinos are prone to take commission on bets on the banker. While most stick to 5% there are some who go as high as 25%. Thus, it is vital to both your sanity and your bankroll to check the odds before you decide to opt in to the game.
4. Make your sessions short and sweet
Because Baccarat is such a fast paced game where you get bursts of wins or losses, it’s important for you to walk away when things start going south. DON’T try and chase your losses, baccarat remains a game of chance and if Lady Luck has called it quits for the night so should you. The game can also become quite addictive which makes it even more important to keep your game sessions short and sweet. And if you really want to keep playing you should consider playing free baccarat rather than draining your bankroll.
5. Forget card counting or betting systems
While it is possible to count cards in Baccarat same as in blackjack at land based casinos, there is no chance of doing so in online casino games. Remember the game outcomes are determined by a Random Number Generator and counting cards or trying to use a betting system to turn the odds in your favour will just leave you frustrated and at a loss.
6. Know your limits & applying bankroll management
Due to the games being incredibly fast paced you might feel dissatisfied and continue playing even if lady luck isn’t on your side. It’s important to set some limits and decide on how much you are willing to bet or lose during a game session before you start playing. Once you’ve reached that limit you need to exit the game. By managing your bankroll and sticking to your limits you will be a much happier gambler. You’ll also reduce your risks of developing a serious gambling problem.
On your marks, get set, and bet! You’ve reached the end of the guide which means you are ready to start killing it in Baccarat. If you aren’t part of an online casino already you might be looking to join one. Don’t waste your time sifting through hundreds online, head over to our GamblersPick Casino Select page and choose from a top rated range of online casinos that have been reviewed and offer the best in bonuses, game variety and customer service.