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Playing Baccarat is real fun – it is quick, exciting, and the odds of winning are high, so no wonder that casino Baccarat is a very popular James Bond type card game. The origins of the game are debated; according to some, it is from 15th century Italy, others believe it to be French.
The rules are simple: Baccarat is played between the player and the banker and one can place a bet on the player, the banker, or a tie. Two hands are dealt and the one with the total closest to 9 wins.
Baccarat has been popular all around the world and there can be different variations of the game. The North American version is called Punto Banco and there are Chemin de Fer, Mini Baccarat, and Baccarat Banque where different numbers of card decks are used and the number of maximum players can differ. You can also play free Baccarat online with a virtual dealer or try out Baccarat online with a live dealer.
The Baccarat table’s size depends on the type of Baccarat that is being played. Around the Big Baccarat table up to 14 people can play, while the Mini version only allows 5 or 7 players. The minimum betting amount is also different subject to size tables.
Apart from Big and Mini tables, there are also Midi versions, where 9 players can play at once whereas Chemin de Fer, and Punto Banco games can accommodate 6 to 9 players at once.
In this relatively simple game, there are three betting options.
Has the smallest house edge so it is the most favourable for the players.
Has the second smallest house edge with no commission involved.
The scoreboard is a handy tool one can use to track their bets.
When Banker bet wins, the red circle appears on the scoreboard.
Circle crossed out with a green line indicates a Tie on the scoreboard.
In Baccarat, the values of the cards are added up and the suits are irrelevant. Face cards and 10s have zero value while Aces have a value of one. The cards from 2 to 9 are counted as their face value (2 through 9). You can see some examples below to get you going.
The table below describes your chances of getting points from 0 to 9 with a combination of two cards:
|2-Card Combinations in Baccarat|
If you were playing Blackjack, this would be a winning hand and it would be a great start in many other card games. However, in Baccarat, it has a total value of 1 only:
King (0) + Ace (1) = 1
If this was the player’s hand, a third card would be dealt according to the drawing rules.
This combination is the best you can get in Baccarat as it totals 9.
Four (4) + Five (5) = 9
A total of 8 or 9 is called a natural, meaning it automatically wins unless the other hand is higher (8 vs 9) or equal to this (9 vs 9), which means a tie.
These two cards give a total value of 16. However, in Baccarat, the total card value cannot exceed 9, therefore you need to subtract 10 so this hand is worth 6.
Nine (9) + Seven (7) = 16 - 10 = 6
This combination will give you a total of 0.
Nine (9) + Ace (1) = 10 - 10 = 0
In this case, a third card would be drawn and the value of that would be added to 0. If this card happens to be a Five, the total value of the hand would now be 5.
As we already know, the banker bet is slightly better than the player bet. But why?
In an eight-deck Baccarat there are 4,998,398,275,503,360 different combinations possible to give 4, 5 or 6 card player vs. banker hand.
Of those allmost 5 quadrillions combinations:
Those enormous numbers are really too hard to take in, but if we will break them to percentages, and 5% commission on Banker wins, the bets come out more understandable:
|Banker Bet – 8 Decks|
|Player Bet – 8 Decks|
Placing the bet in Baccarat is extremely easy. No matter which version of the game you are playing, the three sections where you need to place your chips are right in front of you and clearly labelled as “Player”, “Banker”, and “Tie”, with the Player being the closest to you and the Tie the furthest away.
Once the bets are placed, the dealer will start dealing two hands. At this point, you are not allowed to touch your chips anymore. Two cards are drawn for the Banker and the Player and depending on the total amount, a third card might be drawn. Then it is determined who won.
The Payout is also easy to understand and follow. For both the Banker and the Player, the payout is 1:1 but for Banker bets, there is usually a 5% commission, and for a Tie, it is either 1:8 or 1:9. This depends on the Baccarat casino and you should find this out before placing your first bet.
With different Baccarat types come various table layouts so you can be playing alone or alongside other people, with one, two, or three dealers. The minimum bet amounts also differ, and there can be just the three betting options or the possibility to place side bets.
This is the full-size version of the game that most land-based casinos will have. The table’s shape is oval and there is a U-shaped area cut out on each side of the table for the 3 dealers. A maximum of 14 players can play at once with yellow numbers marking the places from 1 to 15, as number 13 is omitted.
This table is half of a circle and has only 5 (or sometimes 7) places for players. The places are numbered 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, leaving out number 4, which is also considered unlucky. This game has only one dealer who stands opposite to the players.
The Online Baccarat table is similar to the Mini table which is compact and you are playing alone with a virtual dealer. There are three betting options: banker, player, and tie with the player being closest to you. Some online casinos allow side bets as well. Usually, you have a chance to try online Baccarat free.
In this version of the online game, you follow the same rules as in standard Baccarat and an actual person is dealing the cards. This gives the player a real casino experience as there can be several players who one can interact with.
When you play a Baccarat casino game, you have some of the best odds of winning compared to many other casino games. However, it is a very fast game and you have to be aware of the rules if you want to increase your chances of winning. Unlike in Blackjack or Poker, though, the only decision you will have to make around the Baccarat table is how much to wager and how often.
Always avoid the Tie bet
The winnings of 1:8 or even 1:9 might be appealing but statistically, you have poor chances of enriching yourself with tie bets. The probability of winning with a tie is only 9.54% so unless you are playing Baccarat free, do not bet on this.
Bet with the Banker
This is the most basic strategy and it comes down to simple maths. The return to the player payout percentage is an incredible 98.94% meaning that if you have placed 100 bets of $1, statistically you will receive back $98.94. Even when considering the possible 5% commission on the Banker bet, this is still a marginally better bet than the Player.
The D’Alembert System
The system of the French theorist comes down to the principle that chances of winning and losing will eventually even out. You need to choose a unit that can be, for example, one chip or $1. Every time you lose you increase your wager by one unit and every time you win you take away one unit from your next wager.
A wide variety of Baccarat types can be available when playing in an online casino.
Many casinos offer mobile versions of the game so you can play Baccarat online even when you are on the move.
The pace of the game adapts to you. You can place as many bets as you want within a short time.
You can play Baccarat online free or for real money.
There is no risk when playing free online Baccarat and you can get better before you try out the live dealer version.
In many online casinos, you can place side bets on Baccarat so you have more choices than the usual Banker, Player, and Tie.
Playing with a Live Dealer transports your senses to a real casino. There is an actual person in a good-looking uniform.
As convenient as playing Online Baccarat but the thrill is on a different level.
You can pick your dealer who seems/looks the nicest to you.
The pace can be slower as you have to wait for a human to shuffle and deal the cards and other players can be slow to place their bets.
Some casinos allow you to play Baccarat online free in a demo with no stakes.
If there are no free seats, you might need to wait to play, but at least you can put down your name on a waiting list.
The good news is that most online casinos will let you play free baccarat online. So get used to the game before jumping in the real action!
This is up to you. It depends on if you want to play alongside other people, how much you want to wager (or if you want to play free Baccarat).
Unlike in Blackjack, counting cards won’t work as the player makes no decisions. Baccarat is a game of chance – it is as simple as that.
The chances of winning are actually among the highest in Baccarat. Online Blackjack and craps can be compared to Baccarat in this regard.
There is, of course, the house edge so if you play indefinitely you will lose some money. The key is to finish when you are in plus!