Baccarat may seem intimidating and overwhelming at first glance, however, the table game is surprisingly easy to learn. While it may be very exclusive and isolated behind velvet ropes in land-based casinos, online casinos make the game accessible and affordable to players of all ages.
With table limits to suit your pocket, there is no need to dress up in tuxedos and cocktail dresses to play this game of chance. Simply visit your favourite online casino to play games from the convenience and comfort of your own home.
As many only casinos are mobile-friendly, playing a game of Baccarat can even be done on the go as you visit the casino of your choice while using the mobile browser on your Apple iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.
Is baccarat a game of chance or skill?
While it isn’t as random as a slot machine, and a certain level of skill can be useful, the number of decks used online makes it very difficult for anyone to effectively use a fail-safe strategy for a guaranteed win.
Online Baccarat is also much more automated than the land-based casino version of the game as it makes decisions and draws cards in alignment with very set and specific rules.
Let’s take a look at the basics of Baccarat to better understand what you need to know.
Learn the baccarat basics
Baccarat is a card game where players need to receive a hand that is as close as possible to 9 in order to win. Pronounced BAH-CAH-RAH, this game is thought to have originated in the royal courts of Europe before making its way into private gaming rooms in the early 1900s.
It is a casino game often featured in blockbuster movies where the rich and famous place high stakes bets while special agents avoid detection.
Unlike Blackjack and Poker where face cards hold high value and are desired by players, Baccarat works in its own unique way.
In fact, the most desirable cards in this particular table game are cards that are valued from 2 – 9 and, given that these cards simply use the values shown, figuring out what your hand totals is a simple matter of adding the 2 numbers you have received.
Once you know the Ace is counted as 1 and cards 10, Jack, Queen and King have a value of 0, you’re all set to get started.
Before we get down to the Math, it is necessary to understand some Baccarat terminology. Baccarat is played at a table that is set for 14 players and marked with the following for punters to place their bets:
- The Player
- The Banker
- A Tie
The Banker and Player are the 2 positions available to place your bets. You will need to choose whether you think the Banker or Player will win the round, or if there will be a tie – where the Player and Dealer have identical card values.
Now that you know how important adding is in the game, let’s look at a few examples to better illustrate how to calculate your hand.
- Player receives: a 10 (which equals 0) + 6 = 6
- Banker receives: a 4 + 8 = 12
An easy way to remember how to deal with a card hand that is valued at more than 10 is to deduct 10 from the total. In this example, the Banker’s hand value is 2 and the Player’s hand value is 6.
In a land-based game, the Player can decide on how to proceed as they actually take receipt of the cards and choose accordingly. In the online version, this is an automatic process and a basic rule of thumb is applied when it comes to how to proceed from the perspective of the dealer.
Both the Banker and Player have their cards automatically assessed by the online system and cards are drawn (or not) without any impact on you.
The game comes to a conclusion when either the Banker or Player have cards that are closest to the value of 9 as possible and if you’ve accurately predicted the outcome, you’ll receive your stake back and the prize money for that round!
The above rules apply to the standard version of the table game which is also known as American Baccarat or Punto Banco where you don’t receive cards and only place bets on the outcome.
Chemin De Fer and Baccarat Banque play by similar rules but you have a say as to whether further cards are drawn.
When playing Baccarat in a real-life casino, the rules differ even more as you and your fellow players are assigned roles that rotate with each new round while you receive cards that require a decision to be made.
What are the odds of winning when playing baccarat?
Assuming that you are starting out by playing Baccarat in its most basic form, knowing how to bet will go a long way to having a positive experience. How do you decide as to whether you should place your bets on the Banker, Player or Tie? Each option has benefits and drawbacks that need to be considered.
House Edge is defined as the average amount taken by the casino for every wager over a substantial amount of time and implies that, while you may win a few hands, the casino will take a portion of your stake throughout the game.
Let’s say a casino game has a house edge of 5%, if you places bets to the value of $100 on the game, the house will take $5 of that $100 over time.
In online Baccarat, you have 3 choices. Each of these choices has a science-based house edge which should equip you to know which option is the best one:
Player Bet: 1.24% House Edge
Placing your bet that the Player will have the stronger hand is a good option as they are not as tightly bound as the banker.
Tie Bet: 14% House Edge
Betting that both the Banker and Player will receive cards of the same value may seem safe to new players but always consider the house edge.
A few online options even allow for a side-bet where you can bet that both components will not only have cards of the same value, but also the same suit. The house edge skyrockets in this instance.
Banker Bet: 1.06% House Edge
The Banker bet is such a popular choice in Baccarat that both online and land-based casinos add a commission to all wins.
According to the research, betting on Banker is your best option, even taking the commission into account. It has the lowest house edge and is an excellent strategy to follow, especially when it comes to starting out while you’re still learning the game.
How to win when playing baccarat online
Now that you know all the rules and what to expect, you may want to know whether it is possible to win while playing Baccarat online. Ultimately, it is still a game of chance which means that your first priority should be to have fun.
While winning a few rounds is possible, and there are people who do this professionally, casino games are games and the house always wins.
The best part about playing casino games online is the fact that many games can be played for free using virtual credit. Not only is this a great way to test the game and hone your skills, but it is the best option when it comes to finding out exactly how the casino game works.
Of course, since you’re playing with free virtual credit, winnings are virtual too. If you’re enjoying the game and decide to use some of your real cash to play, you can rest assured that the game will continue to play similarly.
Baccarat glossary – Words you need to know
With the online version of the game, everything is done for you from the dealing to the hand value calculations so, while knowing the terminology is handy, it is more of a nice-to-have than an essential skill.
- The Shoe – This device holds the cards before they get dealt. As many as 6 and 8 decks are used in each game which are shuffled at regular intervals.
- Coup – A single round of Baccarat which includes the revealing of both the Banker and Player hands.
- La Grande – A natural hand where the first two cards dealt add up to 9.
- Le Petit – A hand where the first two cards dealt add up to 8.
How to find a reputable baccarat online casino
We can help you find the best possible online casino to suit you! It is very important that you take the necessary steps to minimize risk as far as possible.
Doing the necessary research to ensure that you remain safe and secure at all times while playing games over the internet is essential. It is our job to do all the legwork for you! Should you want to try a casino that has not yet been reviewed here, this is what you need to look out for.
Licensing: as soon as you visit a new online casino for the first time, scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the gambling license. It is usually part of the wording about where the casino head office is based or there may be a logo. The 3 top gambling licenses for off-shore casinos are:
- United Kingdom Gambling Commission
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Curacao Gaming Authority
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Encryption: All reputable online casinos ensure that their transactions are encrypted to protect your personal and financial details from prying eyes. Often indicated by the “S” in https of the web address, this bank-level security layer keeps you safe.
Audited: Casino operators who are audited by an independent 3rd party agency are an excellent indicator of quality. This confirms that everything is above board and the casino operates in a fair manner. An agency like the eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) is a popular choice for off-shore online casinos and have an impeccable quality standard.
Once you have ticked all these boxes, you are on the right track for a casino experience where the operator has your best interests at heart.
When safety is your first priority, chatting directly to the customer support team to find out more about their licensing, secure banking methods and auditing can go a long way to set your mind at ease about making use of their services.
Top baccarat online FAQs
Where can I play baccarat online?
Reputable and safe online casinos are available with many variations of baccarat to enjoy! Take your pick of the best options and start playing.
Are there different ways to bet when playing baccarat?
Yes, there are a number of different ways to place bets when playing baccarat online. Take a look at our handy guide to find out more.
Is baccarat a game of skill?
This game takes a certain level of skill to navigate but winning is all down to luck!