Online Baccarat Game: Rules, Strategies, and How to Play with Real Money
If you’re looking to learn everything about online baccarat, you’ve come to the right place. This James Bond-style game is surprisingly easy to play and also has a very low house edge compared to other casino games, making it more attractive to gamblers.
Baccarat is a casino game that is purely based on luck. However, if you follow the rules and understand the odds, you will be able to avoid making some mistakes and improve your chances of winning, even if it’s just by a little. Without further ado, let’s get into the details of the game.
What is Baccarat?
Baccarat is similar to Blackjack, a card game where you have to either beat the dealer’s hand or get a hand-value that is close or equal to 21. In the case of baccarat, the objective is to get a hand of 2 or 3 cards with a total value that is close to or equal to 9. You can also choose to bet on yourself or the dealer.
Baccarat, a card game that is said to have been around since the 14th century, is still as exciting as ever. It used to be played in private gaming rooms, especially by the French nobility. Now, thankfully, regular folks like you and I can easily access the game and use it to either pass the time or make money, or both!
What is Online Baccarat?
The rules of online baccarat are the same as the rules of the classic baccarat that is played in a brick-and-mortar casino. However, it is a bit more straightforward due to features such as the “deal” button and random number generators.
Online baccarat is very popular because it is fun, simple, and most importantly, can be played on your phone or laptop anywhere and at any time. There are also variations of the game to keep you entertained, but I’ll get into that later.
Facts about Baccarat
If you’re new to Baccarat, here are a few things you should know before you start playing.
1. The T is Silent
If you’re going to play the game, you should at least know how to pronounce the name. The last thing you want is the dealer or another player to call out your mistake in front of everyone. You might as well walk around with a sticker reading “amateur” on your forehead.
Baccarat is pronounced Ba-ka-rah, not back-ah-rat or any other rat-ty sound. Just remember that it is a french word (it’s actually the name of a town in France) and the t at the end of most french words is silent.
2. Mini Baccarat is More Popular than Traditional Baccarat
Over the years, different versions of the game have been created to make it more interesting. One of the most popular versions is mini-baccarat. Unlike the huge traditional baccarat table that can take at least 12 players, the mini-baccarat table is smaller and has only 7 spots.
The main reason why mini-baccarat is more popular is that the stakes are much lower. The game is also fast-paced, making it more challenging to keep up with all the decisions being made at the table. Players usually adopt a banker-only betting system to reduce the number of decisions they face.
3. Baccarat is a classic James Bond Casino Game
If you are a fan of James Bond, you’ll know that he loved playing baccarat. The legendary 007 played the game in the movies Thunderball, Dr. No, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
4. Baccarat means Zero
Unlike Blackjack and many other casino games that are named after their best hands, baccarat is named after the lowest value card and worst possible hand — Zero.
5. There are only 3 Bets in Baccarat
If you’re looking for a game with several bets so that you can stand a better chance at winning, baccarat is not the one. It has just 3 different bets which are:
- Banker bet
- Player bet
- Tie bet
But don’t be disappointed! The simplicity is what makes it fun and easy to pick up. This is one of the best casino games to play if you’re new to gambling.
6. Baccarat has the Easiest Strategy
Since there are only three possible wagers in the game, you don’t need to think too much and apply any complicated strategy. In fact, baccarat’s strategy is the easiest among the casino table games.
7. Baccarat has Side Bets
With only three possible bets, the game is bound to eventually get boring or at least less challenging. This is why many casinos are now offering side bets that increase the house edge, thereby lowering your odds of winning. Of course, this means that the payout is better. It’s all or nothing.
8. Casinos Make a Ton of Money from Baccarat
While the game may not be as popular and profitable as slots, baccarat is still a huge moneymaker for casinos. It is even more valuable than roulette and blackjack. It is mostly played by high rollers, the majority being wealthy Asians with a thing for huge risks. The players enjoy the thrill and the casinos earn big bucks from their big bets.
9. You Need to Manage your Bankroll
Money management is important in baccarat, even if you have deep pockets. In the game, you can experience good winning streaks, which are obviously good for your bankroll. But it is also very possible for you to be hit with outrageous losing streaks. You really don’t want those.
And if you experience them, you want to be able to walk away with at least half of your bankroll. To prevent the game from ending in tears, you must bet reasonably, and also know when to take breaks or quit the game.
10. There are no Patterns in Baccarat
Players often look for flaws and patterns in a game that could give them an advantage over the dealer and/or other players. Well good luck finding one in baccarat! As earlier mentioned, baccarat is a game of chance, much like a coin toss. There is no flow or pattern to read.
How to Play Baccarat at Online Casinos?
Baccarat is a game played with 1 to 8 standard 52-card decks, depending on the rules of the casino. A typical baccarat table can take up to 14 players and 3 dealers.
Most of the moves are made by the dealer, so players just have to place their bets and observe the flow of the game. It’s that simple.
Although the cards are the same as the ones used in Blackjack, the value system is different. The number cards, 2-9, are worth their face value, but the face cards i.e Kings, Queens, and Jacks, have no value and are counted as 0. Also, Aces which are usually the highest-valued cards in the deck, are valued at 1 in baccarat.
- Before the game starts, players need to make one of three bets – banker, player, or tie. The tie bet is usually avoided because the house edge is 14.4%.
- Once the bets have been made, the dealer begins dealing the cards.
- In online casinos, a virtual dealer handles this, but in brick-and-mortar casinos, players can take turns at being the dealer or agree to have an assigned dealer.
- The dealer and the player are dealt two face-up cards each. Any player that gets a hand total of 8 or 9 (natural hand) wins the game unless the banker gets the same value (a tie) or a higher natural. If neither hand is a natural, the game continues.
- A third card may be dealt to the players and the dealer if the total of their two cards does not amount to 8 or 9.
If the total is a double-digit number, the first digit is dropped. This also goes for the 10-number card.
For instance, if a player gets dealt two number cards, 10 and 7, the first digit in 10 will be dropped, making it 0. Therefore, the total will be 0 + 7 = 7. You can also just add the numbers as they are i.e 10 + 7, and drop the first digit of the total. In this case, the total will still become 7.
Because of this system, players can’t “bust”. If after getting a third card, the total value still does not equal 9 or the closest number to 9 on the table, you lose and players that bet on the banker will get a 95% return (the casino takes a 5% commission on the banker bet). The player bet pays even money, and the tie bet pays 8:1 since the house edge is higher.
Note that suits don’t matter in baccarat. You do not get extra points for having two or three of a kind, and no suit is superior to the other.
Rules of Baccarat Card Game
The main rules in baccarat apply to the third-hand draw. But before I go into that, here are some important things to remember when playing.
- The objective is to predict which hand will acquire a total of 9, or closest to.
- Once you place your bet, you cannot change it until the game ends.
- All the betting must be completed before the dealer deals the cards.
- Successful bets placed on the bank/banker hand qualify for a 0.95:1 payout.
- Successful bets placed on the player hand qualify for a 1:1 payout
- A tie bet has an 8:1 payout, but some casinos offer 9:1.
- Each hand may have a minimum of 2 cards and a maximum of 3 cards. Even if a player gets dealt three face cards or three tens, making the total 0, they will not be given an extra card.
The table below shows the rules that determine whether a player will be allowed to draw a third card in baccarat:
|Total Value of the First Two Cards||Player’s Action|
|1, 2, 3, 4, or 5||Draw a third card|
|6 or 7||Stand|
|8 or 9||Stand (natural hand)|
|10/0||Draw a third card|
A third card will be drawn if your hand totals 1-5 or 10. If it totals 6-9, you will have to stand (continue playing with your two cards). If you have a natural 8, you’ve most likely won.
The rules for a banker drawing a third card are quite different and a bit more complex as they depend on the value of the player’s third card.
- A banker with a total hand value of 0-2 can draw a third card regardless of the value of the player’s third card.
- A banker with a total hand value of 3 can draw a third card if the player’s third card was 1-7. He has to stand on 8.
- A banker with a total hand value of 4 can draw a third card if the player’s third card was 2-7. He has to stand on 1, 8, 9, and 10.
- A banker with a total hand value of 5 can draw a third card if the player’s third card was 4-7. He has to stand on 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10.
- A banker with a total hand value of 6 can draw a third card if the player’s third card was 6 or 7. He has to stand on 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10.
- A banker with a total hand value of 7-9 cannot draw a third card.
The Baccarat Terminology
You don’t need to memorize the terms of the game before you start playing. However, if you want to keep up with the conversation on the table, you should learn some of them. Especially if you’re going to be playing at a land-based casino.
Here are the common terms or slangs used in baccarat:
- Baccarat: This is the worst possible hand in the game. The value is 0.
- Banco: Spanish term for banker.
- Banque: A version of baccarat that includes three hands.
- Bankroll: The amount of money set aside for gambling.
- Burning/Burn Card: The top 3-6 cards that are discarded after shuffling.
- Caller: The person responsible for the baccarat cards.
- Carte: French term used to request another card from the dealer.
- Chemin De Fer: A European variant of the game that is mainly played by high rollers.
- Commission: The 5% fee paid to the casino on winning banker bets.
- Coup: A round of baccarat.
- Croupier: The person in charge of dealing the cards and overseeing the game.
- Cut: Splitting and recombining the shuffled deck of cards.
- Cut Card: A plastic card used to cut the shuffled deck of cards.
- Discard Tray: A tray that holds the cards that have been played or discarded.
- Fading: The act of placing bets.
- Flat Bet: A bet that doesn’t increase or decrease.
- High Roller: A player who consistently bets huge sums of money.
- Ladderman: A casino employee who supervises the game of baccarat.
- La Grande: The best hand in baccarat. It is valued at 9.
- La Petite: A hand that totals 8.
- Layout: The section on the baccarat table for dealing cards and placing bets.
- Monkey: This refers to a face card or a ten.
- Muck: The eight 52-card decks that are shuffled at the start of the game.
- Natural: A hand that totals 8 or 9.
- Palette: A long stick used by the croupier to move the cards around on the table during the game.
- Pass: A win in baccarat.
- Punto: A baccarat player.
- Punto Banco: A popular version of the game and another name for baccarat.
- Shoe: A device that helps prevent accidents in the dealing process.
- Shooter: Another word for the bank.
Probability of Baccarat
The biggest appeal of baccarat is its low house edge. The player bet and the banker bet have a house edge of 1.36% and 1.06% respectively.
The casino can afford to keep the edge this low because it charges a 5% commission on a win on the banker bet. The tie bet is the only bet with a high house edge of 14.4%. However, the payout is 8-9 times more than the payout for the player and banker bets.
The probability or odds of the three bets depend on the number of card decks used in the game.
|Number of Decks||Odds of a Win on Player Bet||Odds of a Win on Banker Bet||Odds of a Tie|
Winning Strategies of Baccarat
Baccarat is ridiculously easy to play. It has few bets and it is designed to test your luck. As a result, there are no “winning” strategies. Gamblers have tried to develop a system that beats the house edge (even though it’s super low) but to no avail. There is just no way around it.
The closest thing to a baccarat strategy is bet tracking, but it doesn’t guarantee a win. Here, players identify and track the hot bets.
For example, if a banker bet has won 3 times in a row, the players may bet on the banker in the next round if they believe the streak will continue. If the streak continues, players may decide to bet on the player if they think the player bet is due for a win.
This “strategy” is an example of the Gambler’s Fallacy which is the idea that an outcome is influenced by previous outcomes.
Another system that gamblers sometimes use in baccarat is the Martingale System. This does not change the house edge, but it helps you recoup your losses. The system requires you to double your bet after each loss and then revert to your starting bet after a win.
While there aren’t any proper strategies that can improve your odds, there are a few tips you can follow to keep you in the game for longer without going broke.
1. Don’t play the tie bet
I know the payout is attractive, but the odds of you winning a tie bet are very low. Remember that the house edge is about 15%. That’s huge!
2. The banker bet is the best choice
The odds of winning a banker bet are higher than the odds of winning a player bet. The house edge is lower and it offers a higher long-term return. If you can, look for a casino that charges a lower commission on the banker bet so that the payout will be more than 95% of your stake.
3. Go for the game with the lowest number of decks
As you’ve seen in the probability table, the fewer decks are used, the lower the house edge, and the better your odds of winning.
4. Manage your bankroll
Never risk more money than you can afford to lose. Stay calm, divide your bankroll into a few units, and plan how much you’re going to bet at each round. Try to start small and always pocket a percentage, if not all, of your winnings.
Variations of Baccarat
There are a few variations of baccarat that are just as thrilling as the traditional game. You’ll find these in most online and land-based casinos.
- Baccarat en Banque: This is also called Baccarat a Deux Tableaux, and it is quite popular in European casinos and gambling venues. In this variation, spectators are allowed to place bets if the players cannot cover the banker bet.
- Chemin de Fer: This game is also mainly played in European casinos. Each player gets a turn at acting as the banker. The selection happens in a clockwise direction. In this version, six card decks are used. Players compete against each other, instead of against the dealer. The banker sets aside his wager and the players try to match it. The player with the highest wager can choose to draw a third card.
- Dragon Tiger: Dragon Tiger is popular in Asian casinos. Here, the players and the banker are dealt only one card each. The hand with the highest-ranking card wins.
- Mini-baccarat: The rules of the traditional baccarat apply to this version. The main difference is that the stakes are lower. It is also played on a smaller table which can only accommodate up to seven players.
- Punto Banco: This is the opposite of mini-baccarat. The stakes are much higher as it is mainly played by high rollers. The game is usually played with 6 or 8 standard decks of 52 cards.
Where to Play Baccarat Online?
You can find baccarat at virtually any online casino. The problem is finding online casinos that are licensed and have excellent features.
I have put together a list of the best online casinos to play baccarat.
- 22Bet Casino
- MELBet Casino
- BetWay Casino
- Jackpot City
- UniBet Casino
- 888 Casino
Playing Baccarat Online for Real Money or Free
Some people play baccarat just for fun, while others take it more seriously and put their money on the line. It is up to you to decide how you want to play.
However, I would recommend that you try the demo versions of baccarat so that you can get a good experience of the game and also learn how to manage your bankroll before you start playing for money.
Is it Legal to Play Baccarat in India?
The answer is yes and no. India has gambling laws that were introduced before the advent of the internet. The laws are quite vague but the bottom line is that all forms of gambling are prohibited in India.
But since the laws haven’t been reformed to include online gambling, it is safe to say that it is not illegal to play online baccarat in India.
Baccarat is nothing more than a guessing game, so you don’t need to stress over it. You’ll be fine as long as you remember the rules of the game and the tips for staying in the game and reducing your losses.
If you get bored with the game, try to check out the other variations. Remember to keep calm and enjoy every second of the game.