High rollers are particularly fond of this fast-paced game due to the speed of play plus the favorable odds for players when compared against other casino games. While many players are unfamiliar with how this game works and intimidated by the seemingly complex rules, in fact it is an exceedingly simple game and won where you can make some serious money at the casino.
HOW TO PLAY BACCARAT
Although on the surface Baccarat bears a strong resemblance to Blackjack, in fact there are some major differences between the two games. Baccarat is a game played between a Banker and Player, although unlike Blackjack no actions are taken by the bettor as the game is played out automatically according to set rules. When you play the game, you bet on whether you think the Banker or Player will win, or whether the game will finish in a Tie. After bets have been placed, the game starts with 2 cards being dealt to the Player and the Banker, and the Player must then act first.
The basic idea is to get as close to a score of 9 as possible and if the value of the hand goes over 9 then the only the second digit is counted, so a hand of 9 and 4 (13) would have a value of 3. Depending on the value of the first two cards dealt, the Player must act according to a fixed set of rules. If the first two cards total 8-9, the player gets no more cards as this is a ‘natural win’, assuming the dealer has a worse hand. If the value of the Player’s hand is 6 or 7 the player must stand, and on any other value the player must take a card unless the Banker has already earned a natural win with 8 or 9.
The Banker has a similar set of rules to follow, but as the online version of the game will play out automatically, or by a professional croupier in live dealer games, there is no need for you to become overly concerned with the details of when the Banker or Player must hit or stand. From the bettor’s point of view, all the action is taken before the hand is even dealt, and it is the bet placed before the game starts that will determine whether you win or lose at Baccarat. A bet on the Player pays out at 1:1, while a bet on the Banker pays the same minus 5% house commission. If you bet on a Tie you will usually get odds of about 9:1.
BACCARAT SIDE BETS
You will find a number of side bets available at most online tables, so here are some of the most popular options:
– Player/Banker Pair: This is a side bet which pays out at 11:1 if the Player (or Banker) is dealt a pair of the same cards. The related ‘Either Pair’ allows you to bet on this happening to either in a game at odds of 5:1.
– Perfect Pair: This time you are betting on exactly the same card being dealt in the 2 card hand of either Banker or Player (25:1).
– Big/Small: Here you are placing a bet on how many cards are dealt to Banker and Player combined. A total of 4 means that Small wins, higher than that is a win for Big. Big pays 0.54:1 and Small pays 1.5:1.
Baccarat is such a popular game at online casinos that it has spawned a number of variations, most of which do not differ greatly from the original. Let’s take a look at a few examples:
– 3 Card Baccarat: As the name suggests, the only difference between this game and the original is that Player and Banker are each dealt 3 cards instead of 2. This version is particularly popular in the Asian gaming market.
– Baccarat Gold: This game allows a little bit of customer interaction, as if you bet on the Player and his starting hand equals 5 you have the choice of whether to hit or stand.
– 7 Up Baccarat: The rules are exactly the same as for the original except that the Player always starts with a 7, which changes the odds considerably.
– Dragon Tiger: This is about the most simplified version of Baccarat imaginable. One card is dealt to each of the ‘Dragon’ and the ‘Tiger’, and whichever card is bigger wins.
Baccarat is a game which does not involve any skillful game play, and there is nothing you can do to alter the outcome of a regular game. This means that the only strategic element which comes into play is in the betting side of the game. Check out some of our Pro Tips below to see how you should be betting to win at the online Baccarat tables:
– Bet on Banker: A simple rule to follow since statistically this is the most likely outcome.
– Martingale strategy: At Baccarat basically involves doubling your bet after every loss. Beware though, as this type of betting strategy requires a big bankroll.
– Never bet on the Tie: The 9:1 odds are not an accurate reflection of the probability of a tied game and the house edge is much bigger on this bet than on Banker/Player bets.
Baccarat continues to draw knowledgeable players to its online tables because experienced gamblers are aware that the house edge of as low as 1.06%, on Banker bets, is one of the best on offer in any casino. The edge increases slightly to 1.24% on Player bets and then jumps to 14.36% on Tied bets, which should give you a clue as to the correct strategy to use.
The best rule to follow when it comes to Baccarat play is to quit while you’re ahead. Many favor positive progression betting methods such as the Paroli system, where you ride the wave of a lucky streak to keep doubling up on your wins. This is an exciting way to play at the Baccarat tables, and one which can be very lucrative if you are smart enough to leave the tables at the right time.