Online Baccarat games are more popular than ever, now that this invigorating game is available at most of the better online casinos. If you have never played this game before, now's your golden opportunity to discover what all the excitement is about. Plus what could be easier than sitting in your favourite chair opposite your computer and enjoying all of the thrills that online Baccarat promises? Oh, and if winning money is also your idea of a good time, Baccarat online is definitely worth checking out!
If, on the other hand, you are already familiar with Baccarat rules and are looking for the best online casino to play at, congratulations, you've come to the right place. Check out our Casino Reviews for the best Baccarat games on the Web.
What's unique about playing Baccarat online or in a land casino is that, unlike other card games like blackjack where you wager after you receive some cards, in Baccarat you place your bet before your cards are even dealt; not during game-play. Sound intriguing? You bet it is! Another fun aspect is the fact that you can bet on the House, the players, or that the result of the hand will be a tie.
Online Baccarat is, for all intents and purposes, the same riveting game as that one enjoyed in land-based casinos. But, of course, now with the advent of mobile casino games in addition to regular online gaming, you can play anywhere and anytime your gambling heart desires.
Getting Started - How to Play Online Baccarat
The object in an online Baccarat game is to bet on the entity (the house or player/s) with cards that accumulate a point total closest to 9. These totals are calculated according to the following card values:
- Aces count as 1
- Cards 2 through 9 count at face value
- 10's and face cards count as 0.
It should be pointed out, however, that if you're dealt a 9 and a 7, for example, the combined total is not 16, but instead, 6. If you receive a 3 and an 8, the total is not 11, but actually 1. To put it another way, it is not possible to have a combination of cards with a combined total of more than 9. The perfect hand is one that totals 9 exactly with the first two cards. 8 is your second-best hand and, along with the 9, these two hands make up the two "natural" hands.
Baccarat Table Layout
A Baccarat table generally includes a middle area for the croupier and two similar ends.
1. Caller ("Croupier")
4. Drop Box
5. Discard Trays
6. Tips box
Up to 14 players occupy the seats, which correspond to the numbers on the layout wagers placed in a section outlined in front of the players. According to the possible choices at the beginning of each game, the player has three betting areas associated with his/her position at the table. They are: "Banker", "Player" or "Tie" (of course).
Online Baccarat Game Payouts
Payouts are very straightforward and easy to grasp. If you bet on a winning player's hand, you'll be paid out at 1 to 1. If you wager on a winning house hand, the payout is also 1 to 1. If you bet on a tie, the payoff is 8 to 1. Online tables usually have a minimum bet of $1 and a maximum bet of $250.
Online Baccarat Rules
Generally speaking, online Baccarat rules are very straightforward. Depending on which casino you're playing at, anywhere between one to eight decks of cards may be used. Counting cards is therefore not an option. Even the single-deck games automatically reshuffle the cards after every hand.
Each Baccarat game begins with the dealer dealing 4 cards: 2 each for the house and the player. If the total of either or both sides is 8 or 9, you call this `a natural` and then no more cards are issued. If, however, the point total of both sides is identical, it's a tie. The only trick here comes when the house or the player's points, after the initial two cards, do not add up to a natural, or when no tie occurs. In these cases, another card will be dealt according to specific Baccarat rules, which are broken down below:
- Player's initial hand adds up to 6 or greater - he/she must stand and will not receive additional cards.
- 5 or less - the player is dealt an additional card.
- House hand adds up to 7 or more - the house must stand.
- House hand adds up to 0, 1 or 2 - the house must take an additional card.
- House hand totals 3, and the player's third card is anything other than an 8 (the player always receives his cards before the house) - the house will hit.
- House hand totals 4, and the player's third card is anything other than 1, 8, 9, or 0 the house will hit.
- House hand totals 5, and the player is dealt a 4, 5, 6, or 7 - the house will hit.
- Finally, if the house hand totals 6, and the player's third card is 6 or 7, the house will hit.
Online Baccarat Strategy
Like a lot of other casino games, Baccarat is basically a game of chance and there's little you can do to alter the odds. Still, there are a number of decisions you can make in order to enhance your chances of success.
Applying the "1-3-2-6" Baccarat Strategy
Now, first of all, we have to say that we're generally not big fans of 'betting systems'. More often than not (just about all of the time, in fact) they're scams or marked by flawed logic. However, many people continue to swear by one system or another and for some, they seem to 'work'.
This particular Baccarat strategy, the "1-3-2-6" system, 'works' with this game since it features even-money payouts. But, you can also try it out with any game or casino that pays out even money odds. Keep in mind, however, as we have already said, if there was a sure fire to way to beat the casino every time, casinos wouldn't be in business!
For the "1-3-2-6" system to work, you need to keep track of your bets over the course of four rounds of Baccarat game play. To begin, bet one unit (a unit can be $1, $10, $50, whatever) and if you win that round, then in the next round add another unit to your winnings and bet that amount (a total of 3 units). Now, if you win this round you will have a total of 6 units. According to the system, in the 3rd round you should take away four units and only bet two.
If you are lucky to win again on your fourth wager, add two more units to your winnings for a total bet of 6 units. When you win the fourth bet you will see a profit of at least 12 units. Hence, the "1-3-2-6" moniker. Of course, you are not always going to win. So, if you lose your first Baccarat bet, it's only 1 unit lost and if you win the first but lose the second, you've only dropped 2 units. But, if you win the second and lose the third, you're still up two units. And if you win the first three and unfortunately lose the last, no need to worry because you haven't really lost anything but have actually just broken even.
So, there's one Baccarat strategy in a nutshell. Like we said, some people swear by these things. But you need to remember that it's still a game of chance - no 'system' is ever foolproof.
Read more about online Baccarat Strategy
Online Baccarat Tips
If you're setting out to play with the hopes of winning (and we presume you are), then it's also safe to assume you want to arm yourself with as much knowledge about the game as possible. This, of course, is the number one online Baccarat tip of them all. After all, knowledge is power, even when it comes to games of chance.
Wondering what your best bet is in a Baccarat game? Or whether or not you should bet on a tie? Although Baccarat online is still a relatively simple game to play, as always, there are all sorts of tips available to you to help maximise your playing results and overall pleasure.
Read more about online Baccarat Probabilities & Tips
Online Baccarat History
Baccarat history, like so many classic casino games, remains somewhat mysterious till this very day. Depending on whom you ask you will probably get a different answer. The actual birthplace of Bacarat is still open to debate, though some gaming buffs believe the game was invented by an Italian chap by the name of Lino Bussoli, a moneylender from Italy's Abruzzo region. Others are of the opinion that Baccarat history started all the way back in the middle ages. One way or another, the game eventually made its way to France where it was welcomed with open arms (and deep pockets) by the French upper class.
Online Baccarat Game Variations
The type of Baccarat game played in most casinos in North America is generally known as 'American Baccarat' and this is the one described above and that which you will generally find in the casinos in Vegas, Atlantic City, and other spots in the US. The casino provides the funding for the game and gets a 5% commission from players for every win in the bank. The player does not have to do anything aside from placing his/her bet on any of the three betting areas (Bank, Player, Tie/Stand-off) available on the table.
Punto Banco is the variety closest to the American Baccarat version and the rules are almost the same but there's a slight difference in the table design. A mini version of Punto Banco is also played in some casinos in Europe and in North America.
The French also have their version of this popular game called "Chemin de Fer" (which means "railroad" in English). It has the same goal as the American variety but has more flexible rules in terms of drawing the third card. Also, the casino itself does not fund this game. Participants wager between themselves and the banker role is played by one of the players at the table. The role of the banker is passed, counter clockwise, to the next player.
And finally, there's a 'European' version, which originated in England and can still be found to this day throughout Europe. The casino provides the funds for the banker's hand yet, unlike the American variety, the player may opt to "hit" or stand if the hand totals a value of five. The bank may also choose to take another card when the hand also totals five.
Mini Baccarat Games
Many casinos have introduced and promote a smaller version of the Baccarat game (as if the name didn't give it away!) played on standard blackjack-sized tables. It is played by the exact same rules, which apply to the 'larger' version, but lacks some of the trimmings. The table is staffed by only one dealer whose responsibility is handling the cards. The layout, however, conforms to the regular Baccarat table: each of the seven seat positions corresponds to a number and a betting box with spots for banker, player, and tie. The limits are lower and typically range anywhere from a $2 to $5 minimum, up to $500 maximum. Lacking the formality and large group of players, mini-Baccarat is played fast and is a good place to learn how to play if you're just starting out.