Play Baccarat Online
Baccarat is one of the oldest of all gambling games, originating in France during the 1800’s. More recently it was made popular by Ian Fleming’s 1953 James Bond novel ‘Casino Royale’ and the subsequent 1967 film. The game is now synonymous with high staking players including Australian media tycoon Kerry Packer who once won $20 million in a 40-minute session in Las Vegas.
Also known as Punto Banco it is the game of choice of gambling mad Chinese in the Macau casinos. It is responsible for 90% of annual profits. However, as it offers one of the lowest ‘house edges’ of all casino games, it is not overly popular with brick and mortar or online casinos in Europe.Although the game represents little more than a flip of a coin, it is a little difficult to initially understand. So, before putting your ‘hard earned’ on the line, read on to learn more about the game and view a list of places you can play online Baccarat for free.
Why Play Baccarat
With a 50/50 chance of winning a hand, also known as ‘coups’, and up to 60 hands an hour dealt (even in live casinos) this fast moving game is one for action junkies.
Best Odds in the House: All casino games have an in-built percentage edge in the house’ favour. Blackjack’s very low if the game is played ‘perfectly’ – by means of strict rules. However, Baccarats edge is even better, it is off the scale low, less than 1.3% for ‘Banco’ and ‘Punto’ wins.
Simple to Play: While understanding the game may take a while it is easy to play. Players have just three options, and decision making is very easy.
How to Play Baccarat
- Place your bets: Players need to decide where to place their chips. They have three options, bet with the players, back the banker or speculate on a tie.
- The cards are dealt: Two hands are dealt face-up, one for the player’s and one for the banker, each hand consists of two cards.
- The rules: Aces are worth 1 point, 10’s and picture cards are worth zero while number cards (2-9) are worth their own value.
- Determining the winner: The player and banker add the value of their cards and the second digit of the sum value represents their score. For example, a 5 and a 9 card equals 4 (not 14) which would beat an Ace and a 2, which equals 3
Payouts in Baccarat
- Those that place their bets ‘with the player’ are paid at even money if winning.
- Those that place their bets with ‘the bank’ are paid at even money less a small deduction if winning.
- A tie pays either 8/1 or 9/1, depending on house rules.
The house’s edge when betting on the banker (Banco) is 1.06%, representing one of the most attractive bets in the casino world. The margin for players (Punto) bets is 1.24%.
Playing Baccarat Online
Whilst the skill level is pretty limited players can use staking plans to improve their odds of winning. Ultimately the game is a lot of fun and a very sociable one. Playing online certainly speeds the game up, removing the laborious card shuffling process while the chat and banter takes place in the ‘chat box’ area.
Newcomers: If you want to play Baccarat as a beginner we recommend testing the water online beforehand. Most online casinos offer free play games which makes it an ideal way to cut your teeth.
Pro Players: Seasoned players enjoy playing Baccarat online as they are not distracted or irked by fellow players, bet placement is far easier and, as before, far more hands can be played per-hour.
Top 5 Tips for Online Baccarat
- The odds on correctly predicting a tie is big but the margin is very much in the house’s favour. The percentage for this bet is far bigger than the traditional ‘punto’ or ‘banco’ bets. 85% if you receive 9/1, 14.4% if you only get 8/1. In short, it’s a bad bet.
- The best value option/bet is to always back ‘banco’.
- Only play online casinos which offer a Baccarat commission charge less than the standard 5%; it’s worth sniffing these out.
- Do not fall into the trap of chasing losing sequences. Just like roulette, every spin of the ball and deal of the cards are independent from the last result.
- Never be afraid to leave a table when winning or on ‘heater’. With Baccarat being a ‘coin toss’ type game the laws of averages will kick in eventually and your hot streak will turn cold.
Baccarat has never gone out of fashion. It’s fast-moving and quite thrilling. More importantly it offers minimal margins in the house’s favour. Initially it may sound daunting to learn but it is straightforward and great entertainment.