Poker, roulette, and blackjack are three table games together with slots and jackpots that are synonymous with casinos. However, there’s a fourth one equally as popular – baccarat. Popularized by taking the center stage at several James Bond movies, it’s a unique gambling card game that plays like nothing else. Try to play Baccarat at online casinos!
Unlike poker or blackjack, baccarat is a comparing card game played between 2 players – the player and banker. You can’t test your skills against other players in this game – it’s just you and the banker. Similar to blackjack, your goal is to get the ‘upper’ hand on the dealer (banker). There are three possible outcomes to every baccarat round (coup) – a player win, a banker win, or a tie.
One of the games with the lowest house edges, baccarat sits around 1%. Dating back to the XIX century, it’s a pretty old game that was played in casinos a century ago. It’s the only game played with a pallet beside the cards, and as such, it offers exciting gameplay you won’t get with other games.
There are 3 variants of baccarat played in online casinos nowadays – Punto Banco, Baccarat Banque, and Chemin de Fer. The rules are pretty much the same for all. Punto Banco is the most popular variant of baccarat both offline and online. It is especially big in Macau. This is considered the ‘default’ variant of baccarat and is often titles simply Baccarat.
As mentioned, the general rule of baccarat is whoever has the bigger hand by value wins. The casino banks the game in Punto Banco at all times and plays both hands as well. The two hands are Punto (player) and Banco (Banker). You can place a bet on each of these hands and the tie as well.
The game is played with 6 to 8 shoe decks. When the round starts, the dealer burns the first card face up. Two cards are dealt in each hand starting from the player. The goal is to reach 8 or 9 first. If either the player or banker has a hand value of 8 or 9, the coup is done and the winner is announced. If they don’t the drawing rules are applied in order to determine if the banker or player gets to draw a third card.
Whoever gets first to a hand value of 8 or 9 wins the round. Both the player and banker bets pay 1:1, but the banker bet has the lower house edge. The tie bet pays the most at 8:1, but it also comes with a higher house edge. Therefore, it’s not the most advantageous options to bet on.
Baccarat Hand Value
All cards in baccarat have a point value assigned to them. Cards from 2 to 9 are worth face value, the 10s, jacks, queens, and kings have no value, while aces are valued 1. The highest possible value in baccarat is 9.
However, since there are cards that can sum up to double-digit numbers, those hands are valued according to the digit units of the sum of their constituents. For example, if you get a 7 and an 8 which equals 15, in baccarat this hand is worth 5.
A tableau of Drawing Rules for a Third Card
The so-called tableau of drawing rules determines if the player or banker get a third card if their hand value is lower than 8 or 9. If any of them gets a natural, then, of course, both players stand. The player receives a third card only if their hand value is 5 or less. If the player stands, the banker hits on a 5 or less.
That latest drawing rule is a bit more complicated depending on the player’s third drawn card.
- If a player’s third card is a face card, a 9 or a 10 or his third card is an Ace, the banker draws on a hand value of 0 to 3 and stays on a value of 4 to 7
- If the player’s third card is 8, banker draws on a hand value of 0 to 2 and stays on 3 to 7
- If a player’s third card is a 6 or 7, the banker draws on a hand value of 0 to 6 and stays on 7
- If a player’s third card is 4 or 5, the banker draws on a hand value of 0 to 5 and stays on 6 or 7
- If a player’s third card is 2 or 3, the banker draws on a hand value of 0 to 4 and stays on 5, 6 or 7
Baccarat Strategy – the best way to play at online casinos
Just like in blackjack or any other casino game, a basic baccarat strategy can raise your wins a bit. Although no strategy guarantees win all the time, a basic betting strategy can be applied to maximize profits.
The general rule is to bet 1 unit that 2 in a row won’t make 3 in a row. If you lose 3 coups in a row, bet 3 units that 2 in a row won’t make 3 in a row. If you lose that bet as well, you repeat the sequence.
Keep in mind that this is a basic betting strategy that won’t get you to win all the time. There’s no winning strategy in the game and you shouldn’t rely on things you read on the Internet. Skill is a big plus for baccarat, but luck plays a major part in your wins as well.
How to Play
Playing baccarat online is pretty simple. Virtual variants of casino games have made things easier for new players thanks to on-screen guidelines and dedicated Help sections.
For newbies, playing virtual baccarat online is simple because you can try the game for free before you decide to play for real money. This is great since you can’t try the game for free in land-based casinos. Online casinos give you that opportunity and you can also win plenty of extra cash to try other baccarat variants for literally nothing. If you want to learn how to play baccarat, RNG variants are your best bet.
A lot of the casino terms can be a bit confusing so to help newcomers and veterans alike we created this glossary.
Casinos that offer Baccarat to Canadian players
- My Chance
- Yukon Gold
- Jackpot City
- Spin Casino
- Zodiac Casino
- Royal Vegas
- Night Rush