A wildly popular game in online casinos, baccarat dates back to the XIX century. Its origins are highly disputed – some experts claim it originated in the XIX century, while others believe that the French brought it to Italy during the Franco-Italian War in the XV century. There’s one thing we can all agree on – the comparing card game is pretty fun to play and has millions of fans all over the world.
Baccarat is not as big as poker or blackjack, but it has lots of fans among the elite. Also known as James Bond’s favorite game, its popularity will never fade away. It’s quite simpler than poker, blackjack or other card games which is the main reason why players love it so much. You can learn how to play baccarat in just a few minutes and we’re going to help you.
The earliest form of baccarat documented is Baccarat Banque, which was played in France in the XIX century. It was a three-player game in the beginning, before changing to the now-popular two-person variant called Chemin de Fer. Throughout its history, baccarat changed and developed quite a bit, which brings us to the modern-day version – Baccarat Punto Banco.
Simply called Punto Banco, it’s a simple game between a player and banker who bet on the outcome of the value of two hands. Punto Banco became a popular house-banked game in Havana around the 1940s. From there, it made its way to the USA where it’s now a favorite in land-based and online casinos.
In the past 20 years, baccarat made the jump from Vegas tables to online casinos just like every other game. There are quite a few variants of the game developed online which is only natural. Since moving online, all casino games have evolved in different ways. In most casinos, you can play Punto Banco, Baccarat Banque, Chemin de Fer, and even Mini-Baccarat, a small-scale variant of the card game.
Apart from these games, you also get to enjoy more than a few live dealer baccarat variants. These are considered the most advanced baccarat games with each one having a special feature that allows control over the squeeze, faster gameplay or no commissions on the banker bet. Live dealer games are very popular right now as they have reinvented casino games and took them to another level.
As mentioned, baccarat is a simple comparing card game. It offers one of the lowest house edges in the casino industry, but other factors such as how many decks are used and the bets themselves affect the odds as well. Standard baccarat games are played with 8 decks, with some casinos offering 6-deck variants. The fewer decks in play, the bigger your chances to win are.
The card values are not the same as in, let’s say poker. The 10-value cards (King, Queen, Jack, 10) are worth 0, while Aces are worth 1. The other cards from 2-9 are worth their face value. Card suits don’t play part in baccarat.
There are three possible outcomes of a baccarat game – player, banker or tie. Players can only wager on the outcome with the dealer doing all the work. The objective of the game is to hit a card value as close to 9 as possible. To start the game, you’ll need to place your bet. The dealer will then deal two cards (face-up) to himself and the player – whichever is closer to nine wins. If you bet on player and your hand wins, you double your stake. A banker win will pay around 95% of your wager. If the two cards have a value bigger than 9, then you add the value of both and drop the first number. Here’s an example – a hand of 8 and 5 equals 13 – drop 1 from it and you get a value of 3.
If anyone gets a so-called natural (hand value of 8 or 9), both players stand. For hand values below 5, the player has the option to draw a third card. He must draw a third card for hand value 0-4 and must stand on a hand value of 6-7.
The banker always draws a third card for a hand value of 0-2. He will or won’t draw a third card depending on the player’s hand value and third card. The player can also bet on a tie. In this case, his wager is returned and the round starts once again.
And then there are the side bets. Perfect Pairs, Player and Banker Bonus are the most common optional bets you can place on a baccarat table. You don’t have to do it, but they do add another layer of excitement to the game.
As you can see, playing baccarat doesn’t require casino smarts or strategies. It’s more of a game of chance rather than strategy and is perfect for beginners. Make sure to keep your bets low, though, before you get into trouble.
All the baccarat variants you can play in live casinos are similar to Punto Banco. Of course, each one comes with unique features. For example, Speed Baccarat by Evolution Gaming ramps the game’s speed up by 20 seconds. If you’re not familiar with the rules, this game can be quite confusing.
In Live Baccarat Squeeze, you get multiple cameras showing the action from different angles. The dealer squeezes the cards with the greatest total wager slowly, adding an element of suspense to the game. You also get a sneak peek of that particular card.
For a VIP experience, try Baccarat Control Squeeze. As the name suggests, this variant allows the player to “feel” the squeeze on his own, which, you must agree, is pretty exciting. All these come with the possibility of side bets – all you need to do is enable them in settings by yourself.
Before trying all the exciting live baccarat variants, we suggest going for Live Baccarat first. Try out a few rounds, familiarize yourself with the game and its layout, and then you can squeeze the cards on your own, just like a pro.
Live Baccarat FAQ
Can I Count Cards in Baccarat?
Yes, just like in blackjack, you can count cards in baccarat. It goes strongly against the rules of casinos, so we’d suggest avoiding it.
What’s the Minimum Bet?
It depends on the table. Live baccarat games usually have a higher minimum bet, somewhere in the area of €5 or €10. Regular baccarat tables online can go as low as €1 per hand.
How Do I Win at Baccarat?
There’s no surefire strategy that will help you win non-stop in baccarat. Just go with your instinct and start small – there’s no point in wasting a lot of money from the beginning.
How Do I Play Live Baccarat?
Playing live baccarat is simple thanks to the advanced interface built into the game. Just follow the guidelines or talk to the dealer if you can’t find some option.
Why Play Live Baccarat?
Live baccarat games are much more exciting than regular baccarat games. They up the stakes with multiple cameras and the control squeeze feature which adds an exciting element to the game.