Because baccarat happens to be the fictional James Bond’s favorite game, many people think that it is an overly-sophisticated game that is aimed at high rollers but that is far from being true. While there are several variations of the game, the rules of baccarat are quite simple and anyone with a chip and a chair can get into the action. Your online baccarat experience can be greatly enhanced if you take advantage of some of the great online casino bonuses that are out there waiting for you to claim.
All you need to do to enjoy baccarat is to find a reputable online casino and sign up, use any of the easy instant deposit methods that are available and then pull up a virtual chair. Those who have mobile devices will be thrilled to learn that they can play baccarat no matter where they are when they use a mobile casino app.
Like blackjack and roulette, baccarat is a game that is played between a dealer, also known as a croupier, and a player as opposed to having players compete against each other as they do in poker. The main idea is to end up with a hand value of nine or as close to nine as you can get. All cards have point values with cards ranging from twos up to nines being worth their face values and aces being worth one point. Tens, jacks, queens, and kings are worth nothing. So, if you have a hand consisting of a four and a five then you have nine points and if you have a jack and a six then you have six points. An ace and a ten might be a great starting hand in Texas hold ‘em but it’s worth just one point in Baccarat.
If your hand total adds up to a number in the double digits then it is the rightmost digit in the combination that is the point total. An example of this would be a hand consisting of an 8 and a 9 which equals 17. The rightmost digit in that combination is a 7 which would be the point total of that hand. The highest possible hand value that you can have is nine. A player win, a banker win, and a tie are the only possible outcomes in baccarat.
The round begins with the players at the table placing their bets on either a player win, dealer win, or a tie. Two cards are then dealt to the player and to the dealer. Then it’s just a matter of determining the point totals and declaring a winner. If you correctly predict a player win then you win even money on your bet. If you bet on the dealer and the dealer wins then you are paid 95% of your bet. Correctly predicting a tie will result in an 8-1 payout on your wager. There are a couple of other rules that apply and they will be examined as the various versions of the game are described below in more detail.
Punto banco is the most common variety of baccarat in North America, Australia, and Macau along with European countries such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Finland. Punto banco tables in these regions are most likely to be referred to simply as baccarat tables. Believe it or not, Macau casinos generated nearly 91% of their income from punto banco in 2014 which illustrates how appealing the game is.
A round begins with the croupier burning the first card out of the shoe, flipping it up, reading the value of the card, and then burning that many more cards face down. A shoe typically contains six to eight full decks of cards. Players then place their bets on either the player (punto), the banker (banco), or a tie and then the player and dealer each get two cards face up. Whoever gets the hand closest to nine wins.
Rules: There are a few rules in punto banco that govern how cards are dealt. For players, any hand totaling 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 will require the player to draw one final card. A hand equaling 6, 7, 8, or 9 means that the player must stand pat. For those looking to learn a bit of baccarat lingo, a hand value of 8 or 9 is referred to as a natural.
Bankers are also subject to some rules. If the player stands pat with two cards, the banker must draw one last card if his/her hand has a value ranging from 0 to 5. If the player ended up drawing a third card then the banker must abide by the following rules:
- When the banker’s hand totals 2 or less, the banker must draw a card no matter what the player’s third card was.
- Unless the player’s third card was an 8, the banker draws a third card if his/her hand value is 3.
- If the player’s third card was a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7, the banker must draw a third card if his/her hand value is 4.
- If the player’s third card was a 4, 5, 6, or 7, the banker draws a third card if his/her hand equals 5.
- If the player’s third card was 6 or 7, the banker draws a third card if his/her hand equals 6.
- The banker must stand pat if he/she has a hand value of 7 no matter what the player’s third card was.
Payouts: After the hand is played out and the winner is declared, it’s time for the dealer to collect losing bets and pay winning ones. Winning bets on the player are normally paid out at even money. So, a winning $10 bet on the player would pay $20. A winning wager on the banker normally earns 95% of the original stake which means that a winning $10 bet on a player would net a return of $19.50. If a player makes a winning bet on a tie then the payout is 8-1.
House Edges: One of the things that makes punto banco such a popular game is the low house edge. Well, as far as player bets which have a house edge of 1.24% and banker bets that have an edge of 1.06% factoring in the 5% commission. However, betting on a tie at 8-1 comes with a house edge of 14.4% although some casinos pay 9-1 on a tie which brings the house edge down to 4.85%.
Chemin De Fer
This variation is quite similar to punto banco but there are some significant differences in gameplay. Players take their seats and the dealer shuffles six full decks of cards. A player, usually the one sitting to the right of the dealer, becomes the designated banker and will also be tasked with dealing out the hand. The designated banker then bets the amount that he/she wishes to risk. Moving counterclockwise from the designated banker, players place their bets on either player or banker in order. Betting on a tie is not an option. Any player may choose to “go bank” which means that they are wagering against the designated banker’s entire stake or the remaining portion of it if smaller bets were placed by other players.
If the total wagers that were placed by the players exceed the designated banker’s stake then the designated banker has the option of increasing his/her bet amount or returning wagers to players in reverse order. If the players’ combined wager amount is less than the designated banker’s amount then bystanders are allowed to place bets until the designated banker’s wager is covered.
The designated banker deals him/herself two cards and two cards are held in common by the rest of the players. These cards are dealt face down. The player who posted the largest wager represents the players at the table and looks at the cards as does the banker. If either hand totals 8 or 9 then it is declared and the cards are compared to determine a winner. If neither of the hands total 8 or 9 then the player has the option of drawing a third card face up. Mathematics dictate that a person only draw a third card if their hand ranges from 0 to 4. Needless to say, it is wise to refuse a card if the hand total is 6 or 7.
After the player’s hand is played out, the dealer may then choose to draw a third card before both hands are compared and a winner is declared. Winning bets pay even money. In the event of a tie, the bets remain in place and the designated banker deals another hand. Once a winning hand occurs, the first person in order to match or exceed the current banker’s stake becomes the next designated banker. If nobody is willing to match that amount then the next player in order becomes the new designated banker and can wager whatever they please.
Baccarat banque is also widely known as “Baccarat à Deux Tableaux” which translates into “Baccarat on Two Tables”. The name of the game is appropriate as this version pits the dealer against two tables of players that each hold a hand. A full baccarat banque table consists of 10 players and a croupier who shuffles a three-deck shoe. As is the case with chemin de fer, one of the players becomes the designated banker. The designated banker is usually the person who is willing to stake the most at the beginning of the game and they can remain as the designated dealer until he/she decides to retire or goes broke.
The table is then divided into equally-sized groups or tables. One group or table is to the left of the dealer and the other group is on the right. Players place their bets on either player or banker and then the right side, left side and the designated banker are all dealt two cards face down in order. The two cards on the right side are held in common by the players on the right side and the cards on the left side are held in common to the players on the left. The player who made the biggest bet on the right side represents that side of the table and the same goes for the left side. These players keep representing their sides until they lose a hand.
The hands are played out just as they are in chemin de fer. The banker collects on losing bets and pays even money on winning bets. After the hand is complete, the designated banker has the option of continuing in the role or passing it to the next player in order.
Baccarat it very different from other popular games like poker and blackjack because the outcomes are determined by sheer luck. Bets are placed, cards are dealt and the hands are played out according to the drawing rules. With that said, a lot of baccarat players prefer to bet on player and dealer streaks and many do not bet on ties as the house edge is unfavorable. A study that was conducted in 1984 concluded that card counting does not give players any significant advantage although the study claimed that a slight player edge could occur when the shoe is down to its last 5 to 20 cards.
As you should plainly see, online baccarat is an easy game to play no matter which version it is. Since it is based on luck, there really aren’t any complex strategies involved and the rules are straightforward. There are several online casinos that offer free versions of baccarat so that you can get the feel of the game before you decide to play for real money. Almost all online casinos that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies offer many variations of baccarat as well as Bitcoin poker and other exciting tables games and slots.