Online Baccarat Guide
Baccarat is a very old card game which presumably was invented in Italy in the year 1400. The name of the game comes from the Italian word “zero”. This is related to the fact that the cards – tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings have a value of zero. The game, also referred to as Punto (player) Banco (bank), is played from a "shoe" loaded with 4-8 decks of conventional playing cards.
Baccarat is a simple game, where one can place bets on three single types of bets: Banker bet, Player bet or a Tie (standoff). To place a bet put your chips (equivalent of money) on one of the sections and wait for the dealer move. In the beginning Baccarat might seem very confusing but overall it’s one of the easiest games at online casinos. To be honest, this game can be played without knowing the rules – you just have to bet on either the banker winning, player winning or a tie.
The name Baccarat is French, but, as previously mentioned, the game finds it roots in Italy when the game was introduced in the late 15th century under the name Baccara. Throughout its history, Baccarat has been considered a game of pure chance. In fact, the player's only involvement in the game begins and ends with his wager. Otherwise, the player never makes a strategic decision and only touches the cards in land-based games if they have the highest wager on the player's side.
No matter what financial variations are attached to the game, the rules and game-play always remain the same. In an online environment, players usually have a choice of playing the standard version or the "live dealer" version.
Online baccarat is a game that requires nothing more than place a wager and push the "deal" button. There are no playing decisions to be made at anytime because all those decisions are determined by an embedded action grid. That said, some useful information can help to get a better understanding of the game's idiosyncrasies and betting strategies.
As indicated above, the emphasis of baccarat lies in betting strategies. Every turn of the card is dictated by a set of rules laid out on a table for all to see. Note: All face cards have a value of zero or ten. All other cards are counted at face value.
The Bet: The game begins with the player placing a wager. There are three betting options. Bets can be place on the "player" spot, "banker" spot and/or on the "tie" spot.
The Deal: The dealer is going to deal two cards for the player's side and two cards for the banker's side. Subsequent cards will be dealt based solely on the outcome of the first four cards dealt. The object of the game is to get the hand that comes closest to a total of 9. In fact, an 8 or 9 dealt to either side using only the first two cards is a "natural" winner. If both side get an eight or nine, it results in a tie.
Player's Rules: If the player is dealt 0-5, the player automatically gets one more card. If the player gets 6 or 7, they stand. An 8 or 9 is a winner.
Dealer's Rules: The dealer's side is a bit more complicated. Overall, the dealer's side follows one of six different courses of action based upon what the player has done. For more details regarding these six rules, please refer to our "Gambling Rules" page that is found under the "Getting Started" menu item at the top of our website.
Outcomes: From a gambling perspective, baccarat is considered the most advantages game for the player. The house's advantage on the player's side is 1.24%. On the banker's side, the advantage is only 1.06%. Wagers on the tie spot give the house a whopping 14.4% advantage. A win on the player's side comes back with a 1-1 payout. The banker's side also earns 1-1, but a 5% commission is paid to the house. For a tie, the payouts range from 9-1 to 11-1, depending on the site.
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Rules and Strategies
As far as strategies are concerned, there really aren't any viable ways to improve a player's odds of winning. Some players have tried the Martingale betting system with mixed results, but the reality is that, aside luck, there's no a mathematic formula to win at baccarat.
Useful tips for players
Remember that before to start playing baccarat you should determine your bankroll.
- Understand the Rules - When playing online baccarat, knowledge of the rules helps give you a sense of control. The realty is that online sites qre already programmed to make all the game playing decisions, but by understanding the rules and the payouts, you should be equipped to make proper wagering choices.
- Set Betting and Time Limits - Baccarat is a fast-paced game. As such, you might have a tendency to get wrapped up in the action, which often leads to excessive wagering and/or playing for too long during a sitting. Before you start playing, set your bankroll and give yourself a . Once you have lost your bankroll, it's time to quit, at least for the day. When physical time is up, you should at least take a break from the action. It is also considered a good practice to set yourself a winnings ceiling. When you hit that amount, it's time to rest on your laurels. If you don't have the discipline to comply, it could be a clear sign of gambling addiction. In that case, it's advisable to stop playing at all and forget any form of gambling.
- Play the Banker's Side - The house's advantage on the Player's side is 1.24%. The advantage on the Banker's side is 1.09% even with the 5% commission that is charged on winning hands. It doesn't take a math major to see there is an inherent advantage to sticking with the Banker's side. It's a great temptation to try to out guess the cards and play both sides. However, the statistics say you should play the Banker's side for the best opportunity to win.
- Never Bet the Ties - Most online casinos pay anywhere from 8-1 to 9-1 for winning "tie" bets. That might sound pretty good from a betting perspective, but further analysis shows this is a bad bet. At 8-1, the houses advantage is 14.4% and at 9-1, it's 4%. Those numbers are difficult to overcome.
- Forget the Systems - There are many professional "touts" who will tell you they have a surefire system for winning at baccarat and they are more than willing to share it with you for a fee. The reality is that anyone with a viable winning system would put it under lock and key. Don't waste your time and/or money trying out the latest systems. All the game's decisions are already programmed and nothing you do is going to increase your chances of winning.
- Don't Ignore the Streaks - It defies the odds, but streaks have a knack for extending beyond reason. If you like playing the Banker's side and the Player's side hits three times in a row, take a quick break until the streak comes to an end. There is no need to tempt fate.
- Practice, Practice, Practice - If an online casino gives the opportunity to play online baccarat for free, you owe it yourself to take advantage of the opportunity. By investing time playing the game for free, you are getting a free hands-on education on how the game is played and how betting strategies affect the game.
Other tips to emphasize:
- Start with mini baccarat games which are perfect for beginners – they have lower table limits and smaller number of players so the whole experience is not so intimidating.
- If it’s possible play games with less than 8 decks of cards.
- Never wager all your money on a single bet.
- Be aware that betting a tie (also known as a standoff) - it’s tempting but at the same time it’s probably the worst bet you can do - the odds against one of the players winning are much better.
- Bets on the banker are the best (the chances of winning while making this bet are 44, 6%).
- Don't bet against streaks.
- While betting, start with small amounts.
- Remember that counting cards at this game doesn’t work.
- Study the winning patterns.
- Remember that a natural 8 hand can only be beaten by a 9-hand.
- You have to draw your cards if your total comes out to be lower than 6 or 7.
- Take an advantage of offers and bonuses offered by the casino.