Online Casino BaccaratPunto Banco and Baccarat are popular casino card games
Baccarat – a quick and thrilling card game
Baccarat – One of the oldest and most popular casino games has been a passionate hobby in many countries across the world. Its foundations are reported to have been set in Italy, but it was the French who helped spread the modern version of the game on a global scale
Today, the game is played in thousand of casinos, where either one or all three variations of the card game are spread: Chemin de Fer, Baccarat Banque, and the Punto Banco. Its most fervent admirers, however, remain Asian high-rollers who until recently frequented Macau and Philippine casinos looking for the game.
But thanks to gaming technology and expansion of online gaming, you can now find every popular variety of Baccarat in online casinos. Whether you want a virtual game or want to have your cards spread by a human dealer, there’s no limit to the online experience.
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How to play Baccarat and Punto Banco Games
The rules of Baccarat are as simple as it gets. The first thing to remember is that before a hand is played, you would have to place any of the following three bets:
- Banker hand – the banker wins the hand;
- Player hand – the player wins the hand;
- Tie hand – player and banker are tied
Once all bets are placed, there will be two hands dealt, one for the banker and one for the player. The main rule is that whoever gets closest to a 9 value has the winning hand. There are also some variations that let you bet on the following side bets:
- Player Pair – the first two hands dealt to the player are a pair;
- Banker Pair – the first two hands dealt to the banker are a pair
The classic variation also comes with standard third card rules, which are as follows:
- Player stands on hands that total 6 or 7;
- Player can hit and take a third card on a hand totaling 5 or less
- If the player stands (has only two cards) the banker follows the same rules for standing (on total of 6 or 7) and drawing cards (on totals of 5 or less)
- If either the banker or the player has a hand of 8 or 9 (a natural), the hand is over and whoever had the natural wins the hand
- If a third card is used, there are different rules applied according to the variation.
What Baccarat variations can I find Online?
Most online casinos offer either a few or all popular variations, depending on the game providers they use. Among the game offer, you will be able to find:
- Punto Banco – the classic game found in the US, Australian and Asian casinos. In Punto Banco, the casino banks all the hands and the game follows standard Baccarat rules. There are also mini variations to be found
- Chemin de Fer – the original French version of the game that’s mostly popular in Europe. With Chemin de Fer, the banking role is taken by the players and there’s an added option to stand or take a card when the hand totals five, or “go bank” against other players
- Baccarat Banque – another European variation, this game is usually played with 3 decks with the banker role auctioned to different players. The drawing rules vary, depending on the casino
- Gold version – similar to Punto Banco, but with exceptions to the draw rules. The hit or stand on a total of 5 rule is likewise used
- Live tables – different versions of the game streamed from a live studio, where a human dealer is leading the game
- Pro games – a pro version of the Mini game with standard rules but 9:1 payouts for betting on ties.
Understanding Card values
In a game of baccarat, cards are valued differently from their face value. The rules are as follows:
- Cards 2-9 are counted as is;
- Picture cards and 10s are counted as 0;
- Aces are counted as 1.
You should also keep in mind that a hand’s value is also counted differently if it exceeds 10. Thus, when the sum of the two cards exceeds 10, you have to subtract 10 to get the real value. So, if you get a 6 and an 8, you’ll actually be getting a 4 (i.e. 6 + 8 = 14 – 10 = 4).
What are the best bets?
Whilst playing the game, there are usually only two types of payouts offered. You can either get the 1:1 payout on placing a banker or player bet, or the 8:1/9:1 payouts for the tie bet. Side bets, on the other hand, are normally paid 12:1.
Statistically speaking, the worst bet to make is the tie bet, thus the higher odds. This is why most experienced players stick to banker and player bets.
However, the important thing to remember here is that most games take a 0.5% commission on banker bets, as the banker has a statistical advantage (app. 0.458%) of winning the hand. Betting on players, on the other hand, comes with no commission, but also lower advantage (app. 0.446%).
What’s the Best Baccarat Strategy?
The sheer simplicity of the game doesn’t ask for any advanced strategy, although there are still some tips that can help you have a better experience. The best strategy is one that combines a number of tried and tested methods, including obvious ones:
- Baccarat takes long to turn a profit – so be disciplined with your money
- Make sure you don’t go over your head counting losses
- Stay away from tie bets
- If you’re betting the banker, look for “no commission” games
- Research Baccarat streaks (probability of winning by betting the same hand x times in a row)
Interesting Facts about Baccarat:
- Unlike Blackjack, which is named after the winning hand (21), this game is named after the worst hand (0).
- The game is especially popular with Asian players, which make for nearly 70% of Baccarat players in Vegas.
- One of the most famous Baccarat players is Akio Kashiwagi, who reportedly won $6 million playing in Atlantic City, but also lost $10 million at Trump’s Taj Mahal.
- When it was first introduced in Vegas at the Sands, the casino reportedly suffered $250,000 in table losses that same night.
- Baccarat is played by James Bond in several movies, including the first Bond movie Dr.No, which opens with the game.
Unusual or not, Baccarat has been a number one choice for hundreds of players from across the globe. Unlike Blackjack or Poker, with Baccarat you won’t need to spend hours training and practicing strategies, or even studying probability theories. The beauty of this simple card game is that there is no reading faces, no advanced mathematics, but just pure and classic gambling all the way.