No longer reserved for the flashy high-roller tables at brick-and-mortar casinos, baccarat is a game now available for all to play at the best online casinos. A simple game of chance, it’s a perfect place for newcomers to start and experienced players to have some fun too. All you have to do is simply place your bets and watch the action unfold. Sound like your kind of game? Let’s go through the ins and outs of playing online baccarat.
Everything you need to know about online baccarat
Much like fellow casino classics roulette and blackjack, baccarat is a very simple game to learn and play. It’s a casino card game of chance with two hands – the player’s hand and the banker’s hand. The aim of the game is to successfully bet on the hand that will end up totalling closest to nine. A standard game offers three betting options: you can bet on the banker’s hand to win, the player’s hand to win or the tie. Further side bets are available on certain variants to add a little extra spice to the game.
How to play online baccarat for real money
- Choose a top online casino
James Bond’s favourite location to play baccarat is the Casino de Monte Carlo, but there’s no need to make any long distance trips. However, you will need to find somewhere to play online, so your first call of duty is to choose a top casino site. Our list is the best place to start – we’ve put together a lineup with the best bonuses, promotions and of course, baccarat games. Compare.bet only brings you the top online baccarat sites with each one being licensed by the UK Gambling Commission so you are assured of a safe and fair gaming experience.
- Sign up, deposit and claim your bonus
Once you’ve narrowed-down the field and found your favourite, follow our link to sign up and become eligible for your exclusive bonus. A few personal and contact details are all that’s required to create an account. Next, you’ll need to head to the cashier to make your first deposit. You won’t be short of banking options at the top online casinos, with debit cards, e-wallets, and prepaid cards among the most-commonly used. Once you’ve made your deposit, your bonus funds will usually be deposited almost immediately.
- Hit the practice tables
Baccarat is a simple game that’s easy to learn and involves more luck than skill. Still, a little practice never hurts. Take advantage of the demo tables to test out a betting system, or simply get familiar with the games features and controls. Once you’ve got the hang of things, the real money tables are always just a few clicks away!
- Choose your baccarat game
Standard baccarat or Punto Banco? 6 or 8-deck? It’s now time to pick a real money baccarat table to play at and there are a number of options at your disposal. You’ll want to find a table with limits suitable for your bankroll. Most top online baccarat sites offer low, medium and high stakes VIP tables, so there’s something for everyone.
- Experience live dealer baccarat
Looking for the most immersive baccarat experience available online? Why not check out live dealer baccarat? You can play the casino classic and interact with a real croupier via live stream. With stunning HD video and crisp audio, live dealer games bring the sights and sounds of a brick-and-mortar casino to you – anytime, any place.
The objective of baccarat is to predict which hand will get a point value closest to 9 – with the scores ranging from 0 – 9. There are three betting options – the banker’s hand, the player’s hand or the tie. Once you’ve placed your bets, both the banker and player are dealt two cards. The value of the cards are:
- Ace cards are worth one point
- Face cards and tens are worth zero points
- All other cards have a value equivalent value as the card number
When adding up a card’s value, if the total is a two digit number, you remove the first digit. For example, if you have a 6 and an 8, that would equal 14 but the actual value of the hand would be 4. The objective is to get to 9, though if one of the hands gets an 8, this is also considered a natural win. If neither hand holds 8 or 9 after the first two cards are drawn, the player and banker then act depending on the value of their hand and what the other hand is holding. The maximum number of cards allowed in a hand is three. If the player and banker’s hands are of the same value, it’s a tie.
All winning wagers on banker or player hands pay even money; however, there is a five percent commission charge if you backed the banker hand. The tie pays out at either 8:1 or 9:1, depending on which casino you choose to play at.
As well as the main bets, baccarat has a few additional side bets. The pair bet pays out 11 to 1. To win, you require either the banker or the player’s hand’s first two cards to be a pair. Looking for even better odds? The dragon bonus pays out 30 to 1 when the hand you’ve chosen wins by a large margin or scores a natural win. Other examples of side bets include the ‘big’ and ‘small’ bets – the former pays out if the game ends with five to six cards drawn, while the latter pays out if the game ends with four cards drawn.
With absolutely no control over the cards, baccarat is entirely a game of chance. This means there isn’t much in the way of a playing strategy. Yet, placing the right bets is essential to the long-term health of your cash balance. So, it pays to know the house edge for each and every bet available. After all, do you really want to bet on the ‘tie’ at 8 to 1 when the house edge is a whopping 14 percent?
While there’s little strategy that can be employed when playing baccarat, you can use a betting system to guide your staking pattern. The Martingale and Fibonacci systems are among the most popular in this category. It’s important to remember that no strategy can boost your chances of winning. However, they often provide good entertainment and can help you manage your bankroll in a more structured fashion.
Time to Play!
With a 1.06% house edge on the banker bet and 1.24% on the player bet, baccarat provides excellent value for money. Are you ready to play James Bond’s favourite card game? Simply take a look through best online baccarat sites on our list and weigh up your options. Compare bonuses, promotions and of course, baccarat games. Once you’ve pinpointed your favourite, sign up and start playing!