Online Baccarat Guide

Baccarat has long been associated with wealth and glamour. In medieval Italy, where the game originated, baccarat was played exclusively by aristocrats, it’s a game often featured in James Bond movies and in many land casinos the baccarat games are for high-rollers only. Thanks to online casinos, everyone can get a taste of this exciting game with the game presenting a very low house edge of around 1%.

Baccarat Basics

The object of the game is to best predict which hand will get a value equal to or closest to 9. Bets can be placed on the Banker’s hand, the Player’s hand, or if there will be a tie. Here are the baccarat rules:

1) Cards are counted at face value, with 10, J, Q, and K being 0 and Ace being 1. All cards are later converted to points, so (unlike with blackjack) it is impossible to “bust” or go over. To calculate the points, add the card totals and drop the “10” value. For example:  J + 8 + 9 = 17 (because the J = 0). If you drop the “tens” place, the hand equals 7 points.  Another way to look at the score is just to pay attention to the right-side number in the total.

2) The Player’s hand is not your hand, and the Banker’s hand is not the dealer’s hand. Rather, they are just arbitrary terms used to differentiate the hands. You may bet on either hand, not just the Player’s hand.

3) A winning bet placed on the Banker’s hand results in an even-money payout on the initial bet, minus 5% to the house.

4) A winning bet on the Player’s hand results in an even-money payout on the original bet, without a percentage being held by the house.

5) A winning Tie bet usually pays 8-1, sometimes 9-1. If a tie is reached and no bet was placed on Tie, it results in a push (you get the original bet back and win nothing).

How To Play Online Baccarat

Baccarat is a simple game, but it does have some complex rules and etiquette for playing in land-based casinos. Luckily, online baccarat eliminates the need for all these rules! For example, in land-based casinos you need to know the Player’s third card rule as well as the Banker’s, in online games if a third card is allowed or needed, it is automatically dealt. Because of this, baccarat is a lot like slots– you place your bet and wait to see what happens, with no decision-making required.

To Play Online

1. Place your bet on the Banker’s hand, the Player’s hand, or a Tie.
2. Click the bet amount you want
3. Click the section of the “table” corresponding to the hand.  Keep in mind that the odds are slightly in favor of the Banker’s hand because the third-card draw rules differs between the Player’s and Banker’s hands. However, there is no house commission percentage on a Player’s hand, so you get to keep all the money won. Betting on a Tie has a higher payout (8-1 usually), but also worse odds, with a house edge around 14%.
4. The computer dealer will initially deal two cards, and deal a third if necessary (again, you don’t have to worry about this, it will be automatic in online baccarat games).
5. Check to see if you won! Your screen will indicate if you won, and how much.
6. You can either re-bet or place a new bet.

Game Variations

Baccarat has been around a very long time and has many variations. Online casinos typically offer a version of the game called Punto Banco (also known as American baccarat) where the casino backs all the bets. European games like Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque in contrast rotate the role of the Banker among the players.
With the growing popularity of online baccarat, you will see even more exciting varieties emerge. Grand Reef Casino, for example, now has progressive baccarat, and Platinum Play Online Casino has a fun high limit game where stakes get increasingly higher.
As you can see, despite the fact that baccarat has been historically steeped in intrigue and mystery, it’s a fun and easy game to play. Try out free baccarat or play for real momey at one of our recommended casinos such as Spin Palace today.