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.
The Basics of Baccarat Explained
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.
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.
Understanding the Different Types of Baccarat
Baccarat comes in a few different flavours. So how do they differ? Let’s take a closer look.
Punto Banco is the variation most gamblers are familiar with as it is most commonly encountered at online baccarat sites. The rules of Punto Banco are very simple, you don’t have to make any decision other than which hand to bet on, and everything comes down to chance.
Chemin de Fer
With Chemin de Fer, players compete against each other rather than against the house, and they have more control over proceedings. Each round sees a different player act as the banker, deciding how much money is at stake, the banker then faces off against the other players at the baccarat table. Chemin de Fer has Punto Banco-like gameplay, except players can decide whether to draw a third card or stick to their original two. This spin on the gameplay provides a tactical element, in a similar fashion to blackjack.
As with Chemin de Fer, the role of the banker in Baccarat Banque is taken by a player, specifically, the player who puts up the largest stake, making Baccarat Banque a popular option for high rollers. There are three hands in play, with the banker-player taking on two separate player hands on either side of the baccarat table. For this reason, Baccarat Banque is also known as Baccarat a Deux Tableaux – ”on two tables”.
Get to Grips with Baccarat Strategy
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.
Make the Most of Some Live Baccarat Action
The best baccarat casino sites will feature games by some of the industry’s top software providers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest players in the market.
NetEnt has been creating online games for decades now, and has developed a stellar reputation in that time. The company has produced some of the more prominent online baccarat games, including Baccarat Pro and Punto Banco. Baccarat Pro is available in standard, low-roller, high-roller and VIP versions, it follows standard baccarat rules with a 9 for 1 payout for a tie. Both the above titles boast the sleek feel and high-end graphics that we’ve come to expect from NetEnt.
Microgaming is a true pioneer of online gaming software, launching its first title way back in 1994. Microgaming’s extensive portfolio includes Baccarat Gold, which features stellar visuals and uses standard baccarat rules, while incorporating additional features such as “rotate” and “squeeze”.
Evolution has made its name as an industry leader in live casino games. The developer offers a range of baccarat games from the lavish VIP Salon Privé version — ideal for high rollers — to Speed Baccarat, where the dealer will whisk you through each round in under 30 seconds. There’s also Dragon Tiger, which is a modified, two-card version of baccarat — ideal if you’re after a different take on the game.
Playtech is almost exactly as old as the century, springing into life on 31 December 1999. That means over 20 years of experience goes into the developer’s portfolio, and it’s one of Evolution’s main rivals when it comes to live casino games too. Playtech’s Baccarat Prestige deploys intricate camera work and action replays to ramp up the live dealer excitement, while there’s also an RNG take on the game for players who fancy a more low-key experience.
Mobile gambling is how the majority of players gamble nowadays, with virtually all online baccarat sites optimised for use through the web browser on your phone or tablet. Just navigate to the URL, login as normal, and you can start placing bets on the Player and the Banker hands just as you would on a desktop.
Some of the best UK casino sites also offer mobile apps that you can download to your Android or Apple device. While these do take up a bit of storage space, they’re well worth it, bringing extra convenience by letting you access your favourite casino games with a few taps of your finger. Native apps also provide push notifications to keep you up to speed on the latest promos.
Claim a Top Casino Welcome Bonuses
Offering welcome bonuses is key to any online casino site looking to attract new players, and there’s certainly plenty of appealing offers out there. You’ll often be able to take advantage of matched deposit bonuses, which is where baccarat online casinos will match a min deposit up to a certain amount. You may also get free spins on top slots thrown in with these promotions, as well as the occasional no deposit bonus which won’t even require you to make an initial payment. Just remember to read the full terms and conditions and take note of wagering requirements which stipulate how much you must before you can withdraw your winnings.
How to Make Your Casino Transactions
New customers at a casino want to know they can make deposits and withdrawals through a number of trusted payment options. Here are some of the key banking methods available at the best baccarat sites right now.
As so many players will already use debit cards in their day to day lives, this is a highly convenient way to manage your bankroll. Using a debit card should also unlock all the welcome bonuses out there. The main downside is that debit card withdrawals can take several business days to process. Some players also won’t feel comfortable sharing their banking details with an online casino. Credit cards, however, are a no-go as they have been banned for use in betting transactions since 2020.
E-Wallets have surged in popularity with online casino players. By using e-wallets like PayPal, Neteller and Skrill, you won’t have to enter your sensitive banking information when you sign up to a new casino site. Plus, withdrawals are usually faster than other methods, taking as little as 24 hours at some fast withdrawal casinos. The one significant downside is that certain welcome bonuses can’t be unlocked when you make your first deposit using certain e-wallets. As such, always double-check this before signing up to a promotion.
Like the thought of paying into your casino account using cash? Try the prepaid card method. A notable example is Paysafecard, which allows you to buy vouchers in store or a PIN online. Simply enter the PIN provided or on the back of the card at the online casino to send the amount over. This is one of the most secure payment methods around, with no banking details ever handed over, to the casino or Paysafecard. You won’t be able to make withdrawals using the method, however.
Try Out the Best Free Play Blackjack Games
The best online baccarat casinos give players a chance to try out demo games without the need to make a deposit. It’s a savvy strategy if you want to try out the gameplay and get a feel for things without staking any real money. Of course, you can’t actually win any real money prizes this way, but free games are a great way to build up a bit of experience before putting cash on the line.
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.
Time to Play!
We’ve taken you through the rules and variations of baccarat, as well as some of the perks to look out for when selecting online casino operators. So, are you ready to try out this iconic card game yourself? Check out our list of the UK’s best baccarat sites, compare the casino bonuses, and follow our links to register and start playing!
UK’s Best Casinos for Baccarat:
|Number of Baccarat Games
|Number of Live Baccarat Games
|UK Gambling Commission
|UK Gambling Commission
|UK Gambling Commission
|UK Gambling Commission
|UK Gambling Commission
|UK Gambling Commission
|UK Gambling Commission
Frequently Asked Questions
Does baccarat offer good RTP?
Yes. The RTP (or how much of your money you can expect to receive back over long-term play) is approximately 98.76%.
Is it best to know exactly how the game works?
Yes. Even though you don’t have to make any decisions yourself, it’s still worth knowing how the game works so you can keep track of what’s going on.
Can I place more than one bet?
Yes. If you’re placing one of the riskier bets, it’s often suggested you place a less risky bet at the same time to help cover your losses.