The popularity of online baccarat is partially due to the simple rules and it also provides one of the best odds the house has to offer. High rollers and online gamblers both enjoy the game, and most began playing once they saw the glamorous portrayal of baccarat in movies.
This is the favourite game of the secret agent and fictional character, James Bond, aka 007. Many of the players picture women and men in glamorous attire in a Monte Carlo casino every time they think of baccarat, hence the name: The Gentleman’s Game.
If you want to play online, you don’t have to dress up to play this game. Moreover, there are also some great perks that come with the game. Unlike craps or blackjack, the rules of baccarat are simple to learn. There are only three different betting options for the players which makes making a decision easy. Find a casino below to play Baccarat:
Online baccarat is especially popular in Asia where players earn and spend billions every year at the tables. In Macau, for example, there are more tables allotted for this game than for all of the other games combined. The Macau casino revenues are highly dependent on Baccarat. For the last several years, nearly eight percent of all gambling revenue in Macau has been generated by this game.
The number four is extremely important to the Chinese culture because it reads the same as the word death. No player in Asia will ever see the number four or fourteen around the tables. This even includes the number of chairs.
The Rules of Baccarat
The first thing every player needs to learn is they need a hand closest to or equal to nine. The point value of the cards two through nine is equal to their face values.
This means a two is worth two points, the worth of a three is three points, etc. There is no point value for the ten, jack, queen and king. The Ace is worth one point. Baccarat differs from blackjack because it is not possible to bust which means the value of any handle is unable to exceed nine. The value of each hand is determined by the rightmost digit of the total sum of the cards.
This means if the hand has a three and a four, the value is seven, if the hand contains a six and seven, the value is three. They calculate its value by adding the cards together to reach thirteen. Since the rightmost digit is three, the ten is dropped and the value of the hand becomes three. A hand with a seven, eight and Queen equals fifteen which makes the actual value of the hand five. The player needs to learn these following three simple steps to play:
- Placing the Bet: The player has to decide if they want to bet on a tie, with the banker or with the players. If the player wins on the banker’s hand, they win even money minus the five percent for the house. If the bet is placed on the players and wins, it is also even money but no house percentage is deducted.
- The Dealing and Value of the Cards: One hand is dealt to the players and the other to the banker. There are two cards in each hand. If the hand of the player has a value between zero and five, a third card is drawn. If the value of the hand is six or seven, the player must stand. The same rules apply to the banker. The idea is to get as close to or reach nine points.
- The Third Card: When a third card is drawn for the player, the actions of the banker are as follows.
- Player draws a two or a three: the banker will draw with zero through four and stand with five through seven.
- Player draws a four or a five: the banker will draw with zero through five and stand with six or seven.
- Player draws a six or a seven: the banker will draw with zero through six and stand with seven.
- Player draws an eight: the banker will draw with zero through two and stand with three through seven.
- Player draws a nine, ten, Ace or face card: the banker will draw with zero through three and stand with four through seven.
The payouts are simple. A bet on the player wins even money. A bet on the banker is even money minus the fee of the casino. Depending on the rules of the house, a tie pays eight or nine to one. The safest bet in the entire casino is betting on the banker with a house edge of 1.06 percent.
The Mechanics of Online Baccarat
The American table is separated into three sections. Two of these are similar parts with the third being the central area in the middle for the croupier or dealer. A maximum of fourteen players can be seated on both sides. The seats are numbered from one to fifteen. Due to superstition, the thirteen has been eliminated, as a lot of people believe this is an unlucky number. There are three sections for the player’s bets: Tie, Player and Banker. Every player has an area where they can place their bets and each table has three dealers.
The first dealer is the croupier or caller who directs the gameplay. The croupier stands between the numbers one and fifteen in the center of the table. Since the cards are dealt by the players, the croupier carefully watches everything that is happening and makes all of the calls. The second and third dealers are on either side of the table. The second dealer is between one and seven with the third between eight and fifteen. They ensure all bets are made correctly, take the losses and pay the wins.
In the middle of the table are three boxes. These are the drop box, the discard tray and the tip box. The mini table is about half the size of the traditional table, so only seven players can play at the same time. The croupier stands at the center of the table in front of all of the players. This enables them to reach everywhere on the table. There is a chip rack close to the croupier along with seven boxes. These are for the commission each player owes.
Three betting areas are placed in front of every player. The first one is for the player bet, the second for a banker bet and the third for a tie. In case of an online game, the table is a lot like the mini table. The player has a seat at the table with a virtual dealer. The player will have the same three betting areas in front of them. Certain online casinos will also accept side bets.
The House Edge
In comparison to the other games available at the casinos, the house edge for this one is fairly low. When the player bets on the banker, the house edge is just 1.06 percent which is why so many players prefer betting on the banker. It is important to remember a percentage of these bets is taken by the house. A bet on the player increases the edge of the house to 1.24 percent whilst betting on a tie results in a 14.36 house edge. The player can improve their strategy once they learn how to adjust their bets and understand the odds.
Every game in a casino has a house advantage of some type. If the casino was unable to make a profit, they would not be offering the game. Although the odds for certain games are atrocious, the odds of online baccarat is not one of them. The house edge is a little better than for craps or blackjack.
In the next section, we’ll have a look at the four basic variations: mini, punto bunco, Banque and Chemin de Fer.
Mini Online Baccarat
This is simply a mini version as indicated by the name and is played using a round table with seven players as opposed to eight. This is the preferred version in America and is played throughout the country. There is only one croupier in this version as opposed to the traditional three in the standard game, so this croupier fulfills the role of both the banker and the dealer. The best part of the mini version is the low bet rates which made the mini version so popular with small-time gamblers. The mini table is not roped off like the other versions, but played out in the open with the rest of the table games.
Chemin de Fer
This is the French version, although baccarat originated in Italy. There are slight variations in the game in comparison to the other versions available. The biggest difference is six decks of cards are used as opposed to the traditional seven. Here all the croupier does is shuffle the cards, while the banker is one of the players who is also responsible for dealing the cards. Each player will be the banker at some point in this version, which makes the players a more avitce participants in the game.
Another difference is that all of the cards are dealt face down as opposed to face up. The player decides if the third card will be drawn, and the player making the largest bet plays first. The rest follow according to the amount of their bets. Despite its early popularity, they don’t play this game a lot nowadays.
During the 1950s, the Americans rejected this game. The game then went to Argentina and finally to Cuba. This was where the Punto Bunco variation was created with the largest number of players. As many as fourteen players can join the game at the same time. The banker is referred to as Bunco and the players as Punto. The game uses between six and eight decks. All of the distribution and shuffling are handled by the croupier. The third card is not decided by the players. It is dealt by the croupier who announces the winner.
The dealer role is filled by one of the players for the entire game when this version is being played as opposed to taking turns like with the Chemin de Fer version. This particular version uses fewer decks than any of the others. This is an extremely popular version in Europe due to the big betting options.
The most popular version online is high-limit. One credit is the minimum bet. This means online baccarat tables are accessible for every player regardless of their budget. The maximum amount the player can bet is 500 credits unless it is a combination bet. In this case, it increases to 1,000 credits which is the reason the game is called high-limit.
The Five Best Tips
- Betting on the banker is always the safest bet.
- Although a tie bet offers the biggest payoff, the odds do not favor the player. Placing a bet on a split decision is considered wasting cash.
- Chasing patterns from the past is a waste of time. Every hand offers the exact same odds.
- The best place to play is an online casino offering a smaller house edge. Although the standard house commission on a banker bet is five percent, certain casinos will charge less.
- Chasing losses is a bad move. If the player is having a losing streak, they should walk away and try another game for a while. They can always come back the next day.
The Bottom Line
Baccarat is a lot of fun to play with rules that are extremely easy to learn. Instead of waiting to play, visit any of the recommended casinos now to become a part of the action.