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Baccarat is a popular casino card game. Often associated with the James Bond films in American culture, it involves relatively low skill and strategy, and it offers some of the best odds in the casino.

This makes baccarat attractive to skilled and new players alike. In fact, in recent years, baccarat is considered to be the most popular casino game in the world. Though its origins cannot be one-hundred percent confirmed, it is believed that baccarat hails out of Europe, most likely coming from Italian and French gambling salons. But, in more recent decades, its popularity has grown in the United States and, much more prominently, in Asia.
Thanks to the growth in the number of casinos in Macau, the money made and spent at baccarat tables has also grown. Casinos there make more from baccarat than any other place on Earth, and the game is admittedly responsible for a large percentage of their summary profits. Singapore has also seen significant growth in its casino scene, with a majority of its casino profits also coming from baccarat. And as the number of casinos in Asia is gradually ramping up, baccarat has undoubtedly become the favourite game for high rollers in Asian countries.

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How to play Baccarat

In a nutshell, this is a card game where only two hands are dealt – the dealer and the banker. Players decide which of those two hands they will bet on. The dealer then takes charge and players await to see if luck is on their side. The goal is for the sum of the cards to be as close to 9 as possible. In the case where your cards add up to double digits, the first digit will be dropped. For example, if you have a 7 and a 9, your cards add up to 16. Rules dictate that you then drop the first digit, meaning your hand is now 6. Because the game takes the saying “the hand you’re dealt” quite literally, it is particularly appealing to Asian markets. With baccarat, cards are shuffled and placed in a dealing shoe, and as such, many Asian players believe their luck also lies there, with their cards.

High rollers in the Asian markets tend to prefer baccarat because it has a low hold percentage, meaning the house has one of the smallest advantages compared to other casino games where the odds of the house winning are significantly higher.
Types Of Baccarat Games You Can Play Online

Though Punto Banco is the most widely seen type of baccarat, there are several different types of baccarat games you can play online. Here are a few of the different types that you may come across with some of their variations:

Punto Banco is the most common type of baccarat to play online. It is traditionally a card game that focuses on the luck of the draw. Cards are shuffled into 4, 6, or 8 decks of cards. Then the banker (the house) and the player each receive two cards. The goal is to reach 9. If your cards are in double digits, the first digit will be dropped. For example, a sum of 12 will then equal 2. If neither the banker or the player has cards that equal 8 or 9 in value, a third card may be drawn.

EZ Baccarat is similar to the Punto Banco version, with a slight variation. While the same steps apply in terms of gameplay, the odds are different. The playing field is “leveled” in this version, as the payout odds are 1:1 for both the player and the house.

Chemin De Fer is a French version of baccarat. Some people believe this might be the original version that has since morphed into the Punto Banco variant. The name, which is French for “iron road” or railway, comes from the fact that cards use to be kept in iron boxes. In this version, players bet against each other, while the house collects a fee and takes no risk. Players take turns being the banker, and the banker can draw a third card no matter what.

European Baccarat is similar to the Punto Banco version except that players have the option to stand or draw if their initial cards sum up to 5. The banker also does not have the option to draw a third card.

Baccarat en Banque is different from the other versions already listed because there are two players’ hands dealt in addition to the banker’s hand. Players can bet on either one of the two players’ hands but cannot bet on the banker’s hand. This applies inversely to the banker as well, since they can’t bet on either of the players’ hands. In an interesting twist, the players can also challenge the banker. However, they have to match the banker’s bet if they choose to do so. In turn, this adds a more significant strategic element to the already thrilling game.

Mini-Baccarat is a version for those who want to play without the high stakes or potential strategic complexity of the other variants. For example, in casinos, this game is played at regular tables, similar to the ones used for playing Blackjack – without the frills and glamour of a traditional baccarat game. And the rules are identical to Punto Blanco baccarat, making it very simple and easy to get into.

Each of these types of baccarat has its perks. However, if you’re just getting started with the game – you may want to start with Punto Banco as it’s one of the most straightforward types and is played all across the globe.

Can I Play Baccarat With Live Dealers Online?

When we think of online gambling, we often think of computers and technology that allows cards to be dealt by software. Live dealer gambling is different. This is a live stream of a real dealer who leads your games.
And yes, you can play baccarat with live dealers online. Live dealer baccarat is an online gambling innovation where baccarat players can interact with a live dealer from the comfort of their own home.

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What Are The Rules Of Baccarat?

Traditionally, baccarat is a card game where only two hands of cards are dealt. There are usually 7 to 14 players and one banker per game. The two hands that are dealt are “the player’s” hand and “that banker’s” hand. Players don’t receive their own cards. Instead, they bet on either the player’s or the banker’s. Players place their chips on the table to bet for their choice of player, banker, or tie.

The object of the game is to have the cards sum up to 9 or as close to 9 as possible. If your cards add up to double digits, the first digit will be dropped, and your value will solely be the last digit. For example, if you have an 8 and a 7, the sum of your cards will be 15. But, in baccarat, since we drop the first digit, your hand value is now 5.

The cards also have different values than other games you might be used to playing. Picture cards and 10s have a value of 0. Cards from 2 to 9 are worth their face value. And aces are worth one point.

If the two cards that are dealt add up to 8 or 9 in either the player’s or banker’s hand, this is considered a natural win. No more cards will be played on that round. If the two cards do not initially add up to 8 or 9, the dealer may draw a third card. The first third card drawn will be for the player’s hand as the rules of baccarat state the player always goes first. Finally, the dealer takes a 5% commission on all winning bets for the banker’s hand only.
What Are The Odds And Payouts In Baccarat?

Baccarat is appealing because people have the opportunity to cash out big. But what do the odds and numbers really look like?

Let’s start with the player and banker hands. The player’s hand has approximately a 44% chance at winning. The banker typically has slightly over 50%. However, in certain variants, the odds are actually 1:1.

The house edge in baccarat is quite low, with roughly 1.06% for the banker’s hand and 1.44% for the player’s hand.

And should a highly unlikely tie occur, the payout is 8 to 1.
Baccarat Strategy – How Does It Work?

There are some general do’s and dont’s when it comes to baccarat strategy that can help increase your chances of success. First of all, in a game of luck, it’s essential to focus on what you can control. And ultimately, that’s your bet.

Some strategies insist on betting on the banker to win. Mathematically speaking, this is a pretty sound long-term approach, since the banker has a lower house edge.

Another important tip is not to bet on the tie. Despite the high payout, the odds of there being a tie are so low that you would generally have to spend more to bet than you’d actually make back.

When it comes to picking sides, there are two general points of approach. You can bet one-sidedly – this implies that you pick either the banker or the player and roll with that bet. However, a more dominant strategy these days is to zig-zag. Where you bet banker, then player, then banker, then player, and so on.

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