Deceptively simple, Baccarat is famed for its appearance in 007 Casino Royale – but you don’t need to be a double-agent to enjoy this game.
Online Baccarat is a game with favorable odds, easy decisions, and an aura of high-class Monte Carlo casinos. Put simply, it is one of the simplest and most entertaining games you will find in the online casino. And it’s actually much easier than it looks.
Here in our comprehensive Baccarat online guide you’ll find everything you need to know before hitting the tables. In our list below you will also find all of the best online Baccarat casinos available in your region, along with some of the biggest signup bonuses around. Take your pick and play today!
Playing online Baccarat is actually a lot simpler than it first appears. Use this quick guide to dive straight in!
Playing Baccarat online is highly popular, with many thousands of players from all corners of the globe enjoying this casino classic every month. But where does its appeal lie?
Arguably the biggest draw to Baccarat online and offline is the glamour that is associated with the game. Baccarat plays a major part in the original James Bond 007 story, Casino Royale. Although this was replaced with the popular Poker variation Texas Hold’em in the 2006 remake, Baccarat tables still hold a certain amount of mystique.
Another major reason so many people choose to play Baccarat online is that, underneath all the glamour, it is actually a very simple game. Unlike online Blackjack, there are no in-game decisions to be taken, you just have to make your bet, sit back, and watch the cards being dealt. Similarly, there are no complicated strategies you need to follow and just a handful of terms to learn.
Finally, the main reason for experienced players to play online Baccarat is the incredibly low house edge. Casino games with a low house edge give a greater opportunity for the player to win more on average in the long-run. A Banker bet in online Baccarat under normal circumstances pays even money, but still carries a relatively low house edge of 1.06% due to the 5% commission on winning bets.
This section goes into the gameplay of online Baccarat in more detail than our quick-start guide above. Remember that in Baccarat, there are only two hands dealt, a Banker hand and a Player hand. All you need to do is bet on the side which you think will get closest to a score of 9. Wagers do not affect the outcome of the game.
Online Baccarat is perfect for beginners to playing casino games online since the rules are easy to grasp, and the game requires no strategic input. There are just three bets that you can make:
Firstly, two cards are dealt to both the Player and the Banker – this forms their initial hands. Once the initial hands are dealt, the dealer checks to see if there's an immediate winner. If either the Player or the Banker has been dealt a two-card hand that totals 8 or 9 (known as ‘Naturals’), the round is over and no more cards are dealt.
A hand scoring 8 is sometimes known as ‘le petit natural’ and can only be beaten by a two-card score of 9, also known as ‘le grand natural’. If both the Player and the Banker are dealt Naturals of equal value, then the round ends in a tie. If no-one is dealt a Natural, the dealing continues.
In online Baccarat, either six or eight decks are typically used, and cards are dealt based on a strict set of rules. As there is no aspect of Baccarat which requires the bettor to make a decision, these rules fully control the game.
The Banker’s hand is played according to these rules:
|Banker’s Hand||Player’s 3rd Card|
Hand scores when playing Baccarat online are calculated in the following way:
Note that the rules above are always followed rigorously. Interestingly this means that the Banker will sometimes will draw an additional card even if the Player is already beaten, thereby risking its victory. It might seem illogical, but remember that online Baccarat is all about chance and not playing the cards right.
This table assumes standard Baccarat rules: 8 decks and 5% commission on winning Banker bets:
|Tie (paying 8:1)||14.36|
As we have established, there are three different bets available to you when playing Baccarat online; Player, Banker, and Tie. You may also see these referred to as Punto, Banco, and Egalité.
Tie bets are best left alone. Despite their tempting 8/1 payouts, the odds of it happening are around 11/1, resulting in a hefty house edge of 14.36%. Player bets are a much better proposition, with a house edge of only 1.24%. But the Banker bet is the best of the bunch, and arguably, the only Baccarat bet you will need.
The Baccarat rules give the Banker hand an advantage, which is why every winning Banker bet is subject to a 5% commission (also known as a rake, vigorish, or vig). This enables the online casino to swing the edge back in their favor, by 1.06% to be exact. In physical casinos, this commission is usually paid when you leave the table, which can lead to an awkward situation if you’ve got no chips left. One of the benefits of playing Baccarat online is the commission is automatically calculated and taken in real-time.
Plus, it’s much easier to simply reduce the house edge with a Banker bet in Baccarat than by, for example, learning the perfect strategy required to minimize the house edge in Blackjack. What’s more, the house edge of Baccarat is more favorable than most bets in online Craps and much better than what you get when playing Roulette online.
If you wish to reduce the house edge of online Baccarat still further, look for games with a smaller commission (vig) on winning Banker bets. As you can see from the table below, it can make a significant difference!
|Bet||House Edge (5% vig)||House Edge (4% vig)|
|Tie (paying 8:1)||14.36|
During special promotion periods in Las Vegas, some casinos have been known to offer Baccarat games with 0% vig. This gives the Player a 1.24% advantage, but for obvious reasons these games don't appear that often.
Strategically Baccarat online is very basic, as you don't have to make any decisions at all other than who to bet for; the Player or the Banker. If you focus on money management, and avoid the one bet that offers bad odds (the Tie bet), you should do just fine.
As explained above, there are two proven ways to maximize your chances of winning. Bet on the Banker, and look for an online Baccarat game with a low commission/vig on Banker bets. There are still betting systems which you can employ while playing Baccarat online however.
The Martingale system is one of the oldest and most popular betting systems, devised for even-money games. While it is commonly used by online Roulette players, it has also been adapted for Blackjack and Baccarat.
The premise stems from the law of averages, which states that on 50/50 bet, 50% of the time one outcome is probable, while the other 50% of the time, the opposite outcome is probable. Sooner or later, if you can afford to keep gambling and increasing your bet, you will end up even plus $1. This system works best if you can find a $1 minimum bet table online.
Use Martingale only when you bet on the Player or the Banker. After you lose an even-money bet, double your bet until you win. When you win, you will have won a total of $1. Unfortunately, bettors often exceed their bankroll before hitting a winning hand, so this Baccarat strategy isn’t for the faint-hearted.
The Paroli system ups the ante when you're winning, taking advantage of hot streaks on even-money bets. As with Martingale, use this system only when you're betting with the Banker or the Player. Any Baccarat strategy is rendered worthless if you bet on a Tie as the odds are so unfavorable.
The objective of the Paroli system's objective is to cut your losses quickly and let your winnings ride. When you win, you double your next wager. When you lose, you bet the same amount as the last wager.
It was Edward Thorp who realized that the odds in Blackjack radically change depending on the value of the remaining cards in the shoe. Naturally, people tried to find out if there are any other games that can offer players positive expectation when counting cards. Baccarat was a prime suspect due to its similarities with Blackjack.
However, counting cards in Baccarat online or offline barely affects the odds at all. The math shows that if you want to achieve positive expectation, you can only play every 500 hands and have to go through very complicated calculations along the way. Therefore, card counting in Baccarat is not an effective strategy.
Even though Baccarat is a game of pure chance, there are several tips and tricks that Baccarat enthusiasts use to further decrease the house odds or to increase their chances of success.
|Bet||House Edge (5% vig)||House Edge (4% vig)|
|Tie (paying 8:1)||14.36|
Because Baccarat is played around the globe, it shouldn't come as any surprise that there are several popular variations. Baccarat comes in three flavors: Baccarat, Mini Baccarat (also known as Punto Banco), and Chemin de Fer. The object of Baccarat is always to bet on the hand that comes closest to 9 points – here is a brief explanation of the subtle differences that exist between them.
Baccarat, the European original, is played on a large table. This game is, or at least used to be, very highbrow and the tables are often located in an exclusive part of the casino. The atmosphere in these games is often deadly serious, in a stark contrast to the loud merriment surrounding the Craps table. In these games, the players themselves take care of the dealing and the stakes are often very high.
This version is the one played in the classic Monte Carlo casino. Chemin de Fer is played as original Baccarat except for two big differences. You actually have a decision to make when the player's first two cards show a total of five: to take a card or stand. Also in Chemin de Fer, instead of simply betting on either the banker or the player, you are the banker, the player, or a wagering spectator in each hand.
Punto Banco is a modern form of Baccarat, designed for those who want a faster-paced and more accessible game. This is the version you will typically find in online Baccarat casinos, and is explained further in our how to play section.
Playing Baccarat online is undoubtedly entertaining, but occasionally you may find yourself wanting a bit more of the personal interaction that is missing from the experience. That being the case, you may enjoy playing live dealer Baccarat online instead.
The game mechanics are completely the same, so you won’t even need to change your strategy. The only difference is, you get to see your cards being dealt by a real person in front of a camera, while having the opportunity to interact with them. This makes the experience much more real, while also assuring you that the cards being dealt are in fact completely random.
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No deposit bonuses can also be used to play Baccarat online at certain casinos. However, sign up is still required, and the bonus amounts are significantly lower than you would receive for making a deposit. These bonuses are mainly useful if you want to test-drive a particular Baccarat casino before committing yourself.
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Baccarat is a classic casino game with a glamour and mystique that belies its simple nature. The low house edge ensures that you are getting good value for money with each bet, and after a few hands you’ll begin to feel like a natural player.
So what are you waiting for? Take your pick from our recommended Baccarat casinos operating legally in your region, claim your signup bonus, and play Baccarat online today!