Baccarat, an age-old gambling game, is also known as Punto Banco. Although the games are not technically the same, the names are now used interchangeably for the same game. Although we don't see it as frequently as other casino games in both our land-based and online casinos, it is the world's most popular casino game.
This is because it is extremely popular in Asia. Baccarat tables, for example, account for the vast majority of gaming tables in Macau. To give you an idea, Punto Banco accounted for 91% of total casino revenue in Macau in 2014!
In this article, we'll go over as much as we can about this unique card game. Not only will the baccarat game rules be discussed, but also the betting options, card values, scoring, and payout.
We'll also give you some useful baccarat strategies and tips so that the next time you sit down at a Punto Banco or Baccarat table, you can make the most of your game.
Elitist Baccarat? Absolutely not!
Perhaps it's because of the name, the history, or James Bond's favorite game chemin de fer (a baccarat variation), but baccarat can still sound elitist and complicated to new players. Like a complicated game with complicated rules and scoring.
It was perhaps a game for the elite in the world of 007, but nowadays it is played by everyone, from high to low, offline and online. It turns out to be much easier to play than anyone expected.
What exactly is baccarat?
Officially, there are three widely known baccarat game variations: baccarat chemin de fer, baccarat banque or baccarat deux tables, and punto banco (also called North American baccarat).
The latter is the most common baccarat variant found in online casinos. The main distinction between punto banco and the other baccarat variants is that punto banco is much simpler.
The casino is always the dealer in punto banco, and it is the only baccarat variant in which you can bet on a tie. However, these names have become muddled over time, and you can now find baccarat tables, particularly in online casinos that play punto banco.
As a result, we'll stick with the name baccarat for now.
What is the point of playing baccarat?
The game's ultimate goal is even more straightforward. You must wager on who you believe will score 9 points or close to it, the bank or the player. You can also bet on a draw because this is essentially punto banco.
Rules of Baccarat
The basic baccarat game rules are straightforward. Bets can be placed on the outcome of the hand. You can bet on three different outcomes in online baccarat:
- A win for the bank
- the player's victory
- a tie
How to Insert
On the table, there are three betting areas labeled 'PLAYER,' 'BANK,' and TIE. You bet on whoever you think will win, the 'player' or 'banker,' or you spread your bets across two or all three betting options if you think it will be a tie.
Baccarat card values explained
Baccarat is typically played with 6 or 8 sticks of cards, even in an online casino, where everything is digitally shuffled after each round of play.
The value of the cards is extremely straightforward:
- The numbers 2 through 9 represent the card's value. - The ace represents one.
- The ten, jack, queen, and king are all worth zero.
Payouts for Baccarat
If you bet on 'player' and he also wins, you will be paid 1:1. So a $10 bet returns $20 ($10 from the bet and $10 profit).
If you bet on the 'banker,' and he wins, you get paid 1:1, but the casino keeps 5% of the winnings. So a $10 bet returns $19.50 ($10 from your stake plus $10 - 5% = $9.50 profit).
A winning bet on a tie pays out at 8:1. So you get $90 back on a $10 bet ($10 off your bet and $80 profit).
The sequence of the Baccarat game
The baccarat game proceeds as follows. The first step is for players to place their bets.
The dealer then deals two face-down cards to the player and two to the bank. Then the two cards for the player are turned over first, followed by the one for the bank. The result of both hands is now known.
If neither player wins with a 'natural' 8 or 9, or if the hand is a tie, the hand is over. To determine who should draw a third card, use the 'Third Card Rules' (see below).
The third card (or cards) is then drawn, and the total score is calculated.
The person with 9 or closest to it wins, or it is a tie. If you win, your winnings are paid out; if you lose, the casino takes your bet. Then it begins again from the beginning.
Player's Third Card Rules:
- If the total of the first two cards is 0-1-2-3-4-5, a new card is drawn; if the total is 6 or 7, the 'player' passes; and if the total of the player's or banker's first two cards is 8 or 9, no new cards are drawn. The person who comes closest to 9 wins. This is known as a natural.
Bank Third Card Regulations:
- If the sum of the first two cards is 0-1 or 2, the bank draws a third card regardless of the player's position.
- If the total is 3, the dealer draws a third card unless the player's third card was an 8 or higher.
- If the total is 4, the bank draws a third card; otherwise, if the player's total is 2-3-4-5-6 or 7, the bank draws a fourth card.
- If the total is 5, the bank draws a third card; otherwise, if the player's total is 4-5-6 or 7, the bank draws a fourth card.
- If the total is 6, the bank draws a third card; if the player's total is 6 or 7, the bank draws a fourth card.
- If the total is 7, the bank may refuse to draw another card.
Granted, this is not the easiest part of the game, but the advantage of playing baccarat online is that you don't have to count and make decisions for yourself.
When you play the software version, it calculates whether or not a card should be drawn, and when you play live casino baccarat, the highly skilled and experienced dealer does it for you.
Baccarat ancillary bets
You can now place side bets on the baccarat table at an increasing number of online casinos. You can wager on either a pair, a perfect pair, a player pair, or a banker pair - in other words, whether a specific pair falls.
But also on '3 Card Wins,' 'Big,' 'Small,' 'Dragon Bonus,' 'Sum Bonus,' or 'Tie Bonus.' These side bets appear to make the game more appealing, but due to their often sky-high house edge of more than 10%, casino veterans often refer to these as'sucker bets,' or bets for suckers.
Playing live baccarat in an online casino adds a new level of excitement to the game. In addition to placing your bets, you can frequently converse with other players and even the dealers. This creates a fun, light-hearted environment in which to play.
Whereas software versions allow you to speed through the game, live baccarat forces you to play at the pace of the dealer.
It takes its time and makes the game more peaceful. Live-speed baccarat is available for those who find it too slow. The live dealers pick up the pace a little here. It moves so quickly at times that I'm glad the live casino software keeps score for me.
In addition, to live speed baccarat, you'll frequently find live baccarat squeeze, where you can quickly check your cards, just like in a land-based casino.
What about live lightning baccarat or live no-commission speed baccarat, where the 5% commission you pay if the bank wins is waived, but the rules for passing and drawing a third card are slightly different? In short, there is so much live baccarat to play that you should give it a shot and see why everyone is obsessed with it.
Playing baccarat online on your smartphone or tablet
We are in the midst of a mobile revolution, and we play on our mobile devices more than on computers. At the very least, I do.
Online casinos and game developers are working hard to make their games fully functional on mobile devices. So you can play baccarat on your smartphone or tablet, as well as watch live baccarat.
Because mobile play is very nice, all you need is a secure internet connection and a sufficient battery percentage. Simply open your web browser, log in to your preferred online casino, and play.
Strategy for Baccarat
The first thing to remember when looking for a baccarat strategy is that, no matter how many patterns you think you recognise, it is always a game of chance. However, the baccarat rules ensure that the bank wins the majority of the time. As a result, the 5% commission is necessary; after all, the house edge must come from somewhere. Indeed, the bank has a 45.86% chance of winning, while the player has a 44,62% chance of winning. The likelihood of a tie is only 9.51%. So the astute among you will immediately notice baccarat strategy number one.
Baccarat strategy 1: Never bet on a draw; only inexperienced players do so.
Baccarat strategy number 2: is to bet on the bank. As a result, this one has the best chance of winning, which more than compensates for the 5% commission.
Baccarat strategy number 3: is to avoid placing side bets. It's simply not worth it.
The following are some more general money management and gambling strategies.
Baccarat strategy 4: Don't bet too much at first; start small and work your way up.
Baccarat strategy 5: Keep your cool when playing baccarat. If you have a lucky streak and a few losing streaks, don't get frustrated and keep playing as you always do. When you are forced to win back your losses, you almost always make the wrong decision.
Baccarat strategy number 6: Take advantage of casino bonuses. These bonuses allow you to play for a little longer.
Baccarat strategy 7: Determine how much you are willing to lose in advance.
Baccarat Strategy 8: Understand when to stop, both in the plus and minus. Maintain control over both the pros and cons, and you will be able to enjoy online casinos in general, and the baccarat game in particular, for the longest time.
Baccarat strategy 9: Take the wild gambling stories of others with a grain of salt. Don't let them drive you insane to the point where you bet differently than you intended.
Baccarat strategy 10: When driving, you are the BOB; when gambling, you are the BOG (Consciously Inebriated Gambler). Alcohol and gambling are a bad combination; drink it only after you've finished playing and are ready to celebrate your winnings. (See note below)
Baccarat Strategy 11: My "Win and Leave" system works flawlessly. Have a nice win, then stop, log out, get up, walk away...and pour yourself a drink to celebrate!
Bonus Baccarat Tip: Gambling is for fun, so relax and enjoy the game!