Baccarat is a game with very few rules. As such, online casinos usually offer only two variations, standard baccarat and "live dealer" baccarat. In the case of live dealer baccarat, not all online casino offers this particular variation based upon the software platform the casino has chosen for its games.
Playing Online Baccarat
Baccarat played online uses the same rules and payouts as baccarat played in land-based casinos. The primary differences between the two come from how the game is played. Land-based games might have as many as nine players at the table while online games have one phisical player only, you. Otherwise, those people who have experience playing baccarat in a land-based casino are most likely going to feel very comfortable in an online environment.
Pace of the Game
The first thing you will note about playing baccarat at an online casino is the pace of the game. In land-based games, players are chosen to actually handle the cards, usually the "player's" cards. They look at them, bend them and toss them on the table. Combined with the time it takes all players to get their bets down, the whole process tends to slow the game down. By the time you factor in shuffles, the game becomes rather pedestrian for a game with so little for the players to actually do. When playing online baccarat, it's just you and the dealer and you don't touch any cards. Your job is to place the bet and click on deal. From that point on, the dealing of the cards is almost instantaneous. The reality is that you can play the game as fast as you want.
As is the case with land-based baccarat wagering, the player has three wagering options. They can play the "Player's" spot, the "Banker's" Spot and/or the "Tie" spot. The wagering limits will be determined by the table rules that are published for each game offered by an online casino. Chip denominations are typically $1, $10, $25, $50, $100 & $500. Some casinos might offer chip denominations as low as $.50 or as high as $1,000, but most tend to follow the listing provided here.
Odds and House's Advantage
To be clear, the baccarat payouts for both online and land-based casino are the same with one variation. The "player's" spot pays 1-1 and gives the house a 1.24% advantage. A bet on the "Banker's" spot pays 1-1 minus 5% of the wager, which is deducted for the house's commission. Even with commission being deducted, the house's advantage is only 1.06%. On a "Tie" bet, the odds could be different from one online casino to another. Some offer 8-1, which gives the house a 14.44% advantage while others pay 9-1, which lowers the advantage to 4.84%. Almost all land-based casinos offer 9-1.
Live Dealer Baccarat
Over the last 3-4 years, innovation has brought "live dealer" baccarat to the Internet. The process simulates sitting in an actual casino and being dealt by a live person (usually an attractive woman). The games usually have multiple players, use the same rules and provide the ability to chat with the others.
Miscellaneous Notes Regarding Online Baccarat
When you play baccarat in a land-based casino, you always know how many decks are being used and when shuffles occur. When playing online, there is absolutely no way of knowing this information. Some think this give the house a small additional advantage.
In online casinos, baccarat is often promoted for the benefit of high rollers. Online sites typically promote baccarat as a game suitable for players of all levels.