Baccarat is often overshadowed a little by blackjack and roulette, but don't let that fool you. When it comes to casino games with rich history baccarat is at the top. Maybe that's why it's British secret intelligence agent James Bond's favourite game?
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How to Play Baccarat at a casino
Baccarat is a casino game played between a player and a banker, but in most games other players can also bet on the outcome. Bets are placed on the three possible outcomes – player wins, banker wins or tie. Two cards each are then dealt to the player and banker, and the point total is calculated. Both player and banker, following very specific rules, can draw a third card. The winner is the hand scoring closest to 9.
Face cards and 10’s count as 0, all other cards count at face value, with Ace scoring 1 point. For total scores greater than 10, the 10 is removed. So a 9+5 equals 14, remove 10 to score 4. Like other card games, Baccarat is the name of the game and the name of a very specific hand. However, the baccarat hand is the worst hand you can get, scoring 0, a far cry from that 9 needed to win the game.
WHAT IS LIVE BACCARAT?
Live Bacarrat is an online version of the game that players can play without having to visit a landbased casino. The game allows multiple players to bet on the possible outcomes and win money. Players can bet on the Banker, Player or Tie.
In Live Bacarrat, The Banker and Player stand for the only two hands that are available in the game. The goal of the game is to predict which of the two hands will be the winning hand, or if it will be a tie.
LIVE BACARRAT CARD VALUES
Live Baccarat is played using 6 or 8 decks of 52-cards. Each card used in the game has a unique value. The values of cards 2 to 9 is determined by its face number, which means that card 5 has a value of 5.
Ace is counted as 1, while the royals 10, J, Q and K is counted as 0. In Live Baccarat, when a hand exceeds 9, only the second digit is considered. That is, if a hand has a total of 12, the value of the hand is 2.
LIVE BACCARAT VARIATIONS
There are several variations of Live Baccarat that are designed by game developers. Some of the popular variations availaable.
BACCARAT CARD VALUES
Like any table game, there are some basic rules you should familiarise yourself with before playing Baccarat online. Baccarat offers a unique gambling experience, one wherein you will take it up against the dealer. The ultimate goal of the game is to get as close as possible to the number 9. The player with a hand closest to number 9 wins the game.
You will also need to know which value every card in the game represents. The value of each card will be combined together to create a sum between 0 and 9. Every court card or 10 combined with another court card will result in a value of 0, since you exceeded the value of 9.
If for example, you have a king, a seven and a three in your hand, the sum combined will count as 0. While you have a total of 15 in your hand, the fact that you went over 9, means you will have a value of 5 in your hand. Once you exceed 9 points, the digit on the right side of your total sum will be your final score.
|10 and Face/Court Cards||10|
|Cards 2 to 9||Face Value|
How to choose a good casino to play online baccarat
As you may know, there are dozens of gambling sites out there with new casinos popping up all the time. Unless you know what to look for this can make the prospect of finding a casino or betting site a daunting task. Luckily, SuperLenny’s team of experts have shared what you should look for at a casino if you want to enjoy baccarat online:
- Wide selection of baccarat games
- Range of Deposit & Withdrawal methods available
- Live Dealer Baccarat
- Baccarat casino bonuses
- Low wagering requirements
History of Baccarat
Baccarat is a fun and highly entertaining game played in casinos all over the world. The origins of the game are unclear, but it is thought to have first developed in Italy. By the 1800s it had become a popular game in the noble houses of France. As with many things, different versions developed over time. The game eventually made its way to England and even into popular culture thanks to Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.
There are three different versions of Baccarat available: Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque. Punto Banco is the most common variant with players and the banker assuming their unchanging roles throughout the game. Chemin de Fer allows players to take turns at playing banker. Baccarat Banque also allows players to assume the role of the banker, holding that position until the end of the game. Read on for an introduction to some of the most commonly used Baccarat terms.
Popular terms when playing Baccarat
One of the terms you will hear most frequently when playing Baccarat is coup, which is one complete round of the game. There are only 2 hands in the coup, the banker’s and player’s. It starts with the placing of wagers and ends when the final card totals are determined. There are three possible outcomes – player wins, banker wins or there’s a tie. You place your wager on one of those outcomes for each coup of Baccarat.
The Banker Bet is, as its name suggests, a wager that the banker or dealer will have the best hand. Wins are paid out at 1:1, but there is always a small commission deducted. The Player Bet favours the punter to win, again with a payout of 1:1, less commission. The Tie bet pays out at 8:1 given that ties happen rarely. The coup doesn’t take much time and is usually much quicker than in other card games.
La Grande and La Petite
La Grande is a French term that translates into English as “The Big One”. You achieve La Grande when the first two cards that you are dealt add up to 9. These can be low or high value cards. This is also sometimes called a Natural Baccarat that totals 9. It is the best card combination that you can get in all variants of Baccarat games. The hand that is dealt La Grande wins the coup automatically.
La Petite is another French term meaning “The Little One”. La Petite is the second-best hand in a Baccarat game. You achieve La Petite if the value of your first two cards is equal to 8. For example if you’re dealt a 5 and a 3 cards, or a 6 and 2 cards. If either the player or the banker gets either La Grande or Le Petite, they will not get an additional card and their hand is considered complete.
Baccarat Slang terms
Monkey is a slang term for useless cards such as face cards and cards with number 10. It’s thought that originally face cards were referred to as monarchy cards, and that over time this was corrupted to monkey. Muck refers to the pile of cards used at the start of any baccarat session. There are usually either 6 or 8 decks of the standard 52 packs of cards that will be shuffled together before the start of the game.
A natural hand is one that amounts to 8 or 9 using only the first 2 cards dealt for each hand. This hand grants the very lucky owner an automatic win, unless it’s a tie in which case the coup ends without an outright winner. If your natural hand is an 8 and the opposing hand is a 9, the 8 hand loses. However, if you draw a natural, the banker cannot draw a third card, which can also help you win.
Push and Pass
If, at the end of a coup, the score for both player’s and banker’s hands is the same, this is declared a tie or a Push. There is no outright winner or loser. This is one of the three possible outcomes in baccarat and is also referred to as a Standoff. The money wagered on player or banker to win is held until the next round where it is played again without having to place a new bet.
Let’s look at one last term, as it is important in the different versions of baccarat. The term shooter refers to the bank. When playing the Punto Banco version of Baccarat, you have one shooter, usually assigned by the casino. In the Chemin de Fer version, on the other hand, the banker’s duties are assigned to each player in turn.
How to find a baccarat casino
Step 1: Check out SuperLenny’s reviews to see which popular casinos offer baccarat
Step 2: Google it
Step 3: Look at forums
Step 4: Ask friends
Playing Baccarat at a Live Casino
If you’re looking for some real time entertainment, then step away from the table games and have a look at live dealer baccarat. At live casinos, players will be able to stream their game play and interact with a real life dealer, and other players. Players will even find a chat service so they can talk to other players at the table. All you need is a camera, keyboard and a decent internet connection.
How to find live dealer baccarat games
Most online casinos offer a live casino section, simply check on their website. To help out our players, SuperLenny always lists live casino options available in our reviews.
Note: All live casino games cannot be played for free, if you wish to play live dealer baccarat you will have to use real money
Real Money Baccarat vs Free Play
|Free Games||Real Money Games|
|It's free ✔||You can win real money when you play ✔|
|Low risk ✔||Enjoy bonuses ✔|
|Practice your strategy ✔||Live dealer games ✔|
|No live dealer games available ❌||High risk ❌|
|Less variations ❌||Wait for deposits to clear ❌|
Popular Baccarat Strategies
- Basic one-sided, flat betting strategy
- Trend, switch, combat strategy
- Breaking the doubles strategy
- Card Counting
- 1-2-3-4 progressive strategies
Flat Betting Strategy
Punto Banco is normally played using 8 card decks dealt from the “shoe”. Most baccarat betting strategies are a set of logical rules. The best strategies take advantage of the fact that for play over an entire shoe, there will be a range of different potential outcomes.
The simplest strategy is to pick one side (punto or banco) and stick to that. Place the same wager each time (flat bet). If your side loses three times in a row, stop betting (the stop-loss position) until it wins again. If you stop-loss twice in a shoe, quit.
Trend, switch, combat strategy
Every baccarat shoe produces one of 4 “trends” in terms of winning patterns. The zigzag regularly flips between player/banker wins. The streak has runs of wins for player/banker. The trend/switch alternates between runs and zigzags. Finally, the hovering state, just can’t make up its mind!
The trend, switch combat strategy is used to switch between the zigzag and streak trends. All bets are flat bets. Start betting following the rules for that trend when you’ve identified that the shoe is following one of those 2 trends. After 2 losses, switch betting rules.
For the zigzag trend, always bet opposite to the previous outcome. So if banker won, bet player next. For the streak trend, you’re expecting a run of player/banker wins, so bet the same way as the previous outcome. For both trends, 2 losses in a row triggers a stop.
Breaking the doubles strategy
This is probably the most popular baccarat betting strategy. The outcomes for most baccarat shoes are either zigzag banker/player wins or a mixture of zigzags and streaks of banker/player wins. These latter streaks result in runs of at least 2 wins for the same outcome – the doubles.
So how does the breaking the doubles strategy work? To start, if the shoe’s outcomes are following the zigzag pattern, you flat bet the opposite outcome after every coup. Set a target number of wins, usually 3 or 5. Once you hit that target, stop betting on that shoe.
If you’ve not hit your wins target and instead hit a double, losing that bet, you bet twice the amount next. If you win, you’ve broken the double. Repeat this rule until you reach your target number of wins, or your stop-loss (set number of losses) target.
The aim of card counting is to improve your prediction for whether player or banker will win the next hand. Start counting with a fresh shoe, those using 6 or 8 decks are best. Counting while playing Live Baccarat is easier as you can note down the cards.
Live Baccarat Odds
In Live Baccarat, if you bet on the Player’s hand and win, the payout is 1 to 1. If you win bet on the Banker’s hand, the payout is 0.95 to 1. The highest winning bet is on Tie, which has a payout of 8 to 1.
Side bets on Live Baccarat
Apart from the standard bets, some variation of the game also allows side bets. You can bet on either Pair, that is either the Player or Banker’s hand will have a pair. Other common side bets are the Perfect Pair bet, bet on Big, and bet on Small.
The technical side of Live Baccarat
Live Baccarat like every other live casino game is operated using technology. The game is hosted in a live studio with the Baccarat table and cards. A human dealer is present at the table and is responsible for shuffling the cards and ensuring that the game runs smoothly.
There are HD cameras and built-in sensors in the live studio which uploads the live feed of the game for players to stream. Additionally, Live Baccarat includes features such as game history and chatbox, which you can use to chat with the dealer and other players.
Live Baccarat and RTP
Live Baccarat House Edge and RTP are determined based on the number of the deck of cards used and the rules of the game. The average theoretical RTP of the game for the standard bet is 98.4%. However, side bets have lower RTP depending on the casino.
Live Baccarat strategies
Live Baccarat is a game based on both luck and skill. This means that you can apply some strategies to improve your chances of winning in the game. Several strategies can be used on Live Baccarat, but none of them promises a 100% success.
One strategy to use when playing Live Baccarat is to never bet on tie unless you are ready to lose your bet. While you may be lucky and win with Tie bet, the odds of that happening is low. Additionally, you should switch between both bets in the game.
SuperLenny’s Tips for playing online baccarat:
- Play at recommended casinos
- Make use of bonuses
- Avoid the tie bet
- Always choose the banker
- Keep an eye on your bankroll
Baccarat FAQs for UK Players
How to use a casino bonus?
Once your bonus has been activated, make sure you read the rules in the terms and conditions section: some games contribute more to the wagering requirements than others. However, if you are all about playing baccarat then dive right in. Remember your casino bonus is a fantastic way to maximise the number of hands you can play with no risk to your bankroll.
Does Baccarat have a good RTP?
|Game||RTP by %|
|Texas Hold'em Poker||99.47%|
Can I play baccarat for Free?
No, unless you happen to find a demo version on a site. In most cases and in all for live casinos baccarat can only be played for real money
Why baccarat is dangerous?
if you play any online casino game for extended periods of time, you may develop problem gambling habits. Staying in control and talking to customer support about available limits reduce the danger playing baccarat or any other betting activity can have.
Find out more about responsible gambling here
Is baccarat better than blackjack?
According to studies, blackjack is the most popular casino game of all time. But, does that make it better than baccarat? It depends on what you look for in a casino game players who enjoy decision making will prefer blackjack.Players, who perfer to enjoy more simple games will say that baccarat is better than blackjack or even roulette.
Should I use a strategy to win at baccarat?
The short answer is yes. Baccarat is a card counting, betting game. There is a house edge in the form of commission on banker’s bets. So having a strategy for placing your bets can help you reduce that edge and maybe even come out ahead.