Like a number of other games found in today’s online casino, the history of baccarat, sometime known as Punto Banco, is a matter of debate. Some argue the origins lay with Felix Falguiere, a 15th century gambler, other commentators, including some academics, have considered the Chinese game Pai Gow and certain Roman rituals, both associated with the number nine, as possible precursors to baccarat. In truth the precise origins are probably lost to history.
A number of game variations are available from some baccarat casinos, including live casinos, although it depends on the software used.
- Multi-player Baccarat – This has seven betting positions.
- Single Player Baccarat – The table is set to show only one player betting.
- Turbo Baccarat – Reduced betting time.
- Mini Baccarat – This version is for one player and bets are placed much quicker than in the normal game.
Basic Baccarat Rules and Betting Limits
The object of baccarat is to obtain a hand with a value closest to nine. The ten and the face cards all have a value of zero. The ace is valued at one and all the others retain the value shown on the cards. The different suits are irrelevant.
Baccarat is normally played using six or eight decks of cards. Regardless of how many people are taking part, only two hands are dealt by the dealer – the banker hand and the player hand. On certain occasions (the third rule) another card may be dealt. Customers can bet on either hand or a tie. Do not think of the banker’s hand as belonging to the house.
- If either the banker or player have a total of eight or nine they both stand (This overrides all other rules)
- If the player’s cards total six or seven, he stands.
- If the player stands, the banker hits on a value of five or lower.
- If the player has a card value of five or less, he automatically hits and is given a third card.
- A third card brings some other rules into play.
If the cards dealt have a two-digit value, for example 8+7= 15, the first digit is ignored leaving a value of 5. A two-hand total of nine is a called a ‘natural’ and cannot loose, an eight total is also called a natural.
How to Play Baccarat
The beauty of playing baccarat online is that the casino’s computerised system will, using a series of buttons, lead the player through the game.
- Click on Limits to reveal your betting limits.
- Click on a chip of the desired value.
- Click on Player, Banker or Tie and place your bet.
- Decide on any side bet.
- Click on Deal and the game proceeds
- New Game starts the nest game.
Types of Bets Which can be Placed in Baccarat
- Initial or opening bet – maximum and minimum bets may be dictated by VIP status.
- Player Pair (side bet) – Any pair using the first two cards dealt.
- Banker Pair (side bet) – Any pair using the first two cards dealt.
- Either Pair (side bet) – Any pair on either hand using the first two cards dealt.
- Big – The total number of cards dealt to both hands is five or six.
- Small– The total number of cards dealt to both hands is four.
- You can place a side bet and not place an opening bet.
- Rebet to place the same bet as the previous game.
Odds and payout
- Player 1:1 – house edge 1.24%
- Banker 0.15:1 (5% commission deducted) – house edge 1.06%
- Tie 8:1 – house edge 14.36%
Best Places to Play Baccarat Online
Although baccarat is a relatively straightforward game to learn, some of the strategies and side bet options take a little time to master. Most casinos have a play free baccarat option (practice play) – so why not take advantage before taking your seat at the table to play for real.
An online search for baccarat games will show a big selection of casinos all offering welcome bonuses and tempting special offers for new players. Make sure you read all the Terms and Conditions to get the best deal. Also check out at casino reputation, site security, customer service, 24/7 support and any loyalty programmes that might be on offer. Are there a number of deposit options available and how quickly can you withdraw your winnings? In general the more preparation and research, the better the experience.
Summary of Baccarat
Baccarat is a wonderful game with a real air of sophistication, perhaps we have Mr Bond – James Bond to thank for that. However, thanks to modern technology the game is now available to everyone who wants to play. Today this can be on PC, Android device and iPad and iPhone. Using 4g or a wireless connection is recommended.
The cards are selected by a Random Number Generator (RNG) which, to ensure strict conditions of fair play, is licensed and tested by an independent 3rd party company.