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Baccarat – Asians’ Favorite Table Game!
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.
So, how does the game actually work?
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.
So, where can you play live dealer baccarat?
Evolution Gaming: An authentic live dealer game of baccarat that feels just like being at a baccarat tableside in a top Asian casino. This particular live dealer game offers some added features, including side bets.
Online United States Casinos: This site allows you to gamble and play as if you were inside an actual casino. Games are held in a live casino studio and then streamed online to players. Some of the live games here even offer the option for you to play on your mobile device.
Vivo Gaming: They boast the standard luxury and sophistication of in-person baccarat games in an online setting.
Mansion Casino: Much like other live sites, this one allows you to interact with a live dealer from your home. And with 7 different live dealer baccarat games available, you’re sure to find a game that you’ll enjoy.
All in all, there is a wealth of sites available that feature live dealer baccarat games. Many of these sites operate as legitimate casinos and have lots of reviews for you to browse before you make your pick.
What Is Live Dealer Baccarat?
As we mentioned earlier – live dealer baccarat combines both the thrill and excitement of being in a casino with the convenience and comfort of playing from your own home.
Unlike many other internet casino games, this variant features a live person dealing your cards. Online players access the live stream and select their chip value to bet virtually alongside other fellow players, while frequently having the option to make side-bets as the game progresses. The online maximum bet is usually higher in live dealer baccarat than in other online live games. Additionally, most live games will have a scoreboard showing the last round’s winnings. There even are a few online casinos that run weekly tournaments for avid baccarat players to participate in.
You can play live dealer baccarat can be accessed on your computer and even your phone or a table, making your access to this realistic digital playing experience that much easier.
Baccarat With A Live Dealer vs. Normal Tables
Are you thinking about trying live dealer baccarat? Not sure why you should choose live dealers over visiting a regular table at a casino? Let’s break down the pros and cons to see how both of these options stack up.
Let’s start with the pros:
1. Convenience. It’s no secret that playing from the comfort of your own home on your own device is the very definition of convenient. Getting to a casino and, more specifically, to a baccarat table takes effort. You need to get ready, get dressed, and drive or cab to a casino. This is hard enough if you live near a casino, but if you don’t live near one, your effort to physically get to a baccarat table has tripled. Playing live dealer baccarat allows you to save money on transportation and totally forget about any of the added worries that come with having to dress up and go out. You can even play in your pyjamas if you so choose. Another important upside is the fact that you don’t have any distractions while playing. And there’s no need to wait for a server to bring you drinks and food. All in all, it’s almost like a dream come true.
2. A real human is dealing. Compared to other online games, live dealer baccarat actually entails a real human dealer. One of the most exciting aspects of baccarat is watching the game unfold, deal by deal. With a live dealer, you can experience all of the action from home, without having to worry about any rigged software or ensuing confusion.
3. You can select your dealer. It’s just like walking into a casino and finding a table and a dealer of your choice. With live dealer baccarat, you’re in control, and you can choose whomever you want to deal for you.
4. Trust. With online gambling sites, people are often skeptical about the software. We don’t trust that the cards will ever fall in our favour. With live dealer baccarat, we can watch the action unfold with little skepticism about rigged software.
5. Chat rooms. Some live dealer baccarat sites have the option for you to chat with your fellow players. One of the cons of online casino games is the lack of socialization, and this definitely helps bridge that problem.
However, in all honesty – live dealer baccarat is not without its downfalls. Though it provides an excellent, real-life alternative to casino-hopping, there are some cons:
1. The speed. If you’re a gambler who doesn’t like to wait for others to make decisions, or if you like to get through your games quickly – a regular online baccarat game might be better suited for your needs. Since live dealer baccarat uses a human dealer, the game’s speed operates the same as if you were in a normal casino.
2. The waiting game. Much like a real casino, there are only a certain number of seats at each live dealer’s table. Therefore, you have to wait until an online seat becomes available so that you can participate. And, because live dealer baccarat is so popular, you will likely be waiting a while.
3. The social aspect. Not everyone goes to the casino solely to gamble. There’s something to be said about being surrounded by fellow players, bonding, and celebrating wins together. Unfortunately, you can’t get this from playing online baccarat, live or otherwise.
4. Possibility of technical issues. Technology is not flawless. There is a chance that this very same technology can fail you in the middle of your baccarat game. Whether it’s your device or the game’s software itself, or even the casino’s website. Any technical issues can totally ruin your game and add up to some hefty financial losses on your end.
You should weigh the pros and cons for yourself when deciding which approach to baccarat is right for you. Try our recommended casinos for live dealer baccarat to really get a grasp on whether or not it’s the one you should go with. Maybe you’ll even find some hidden perks for yourself.
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.
How To Win At Baccarat
While baccarat is largely a game of luck (which is what makes it so appealing), there are some things you can do to increase your chances of winning.
If you’re feeling ready (and lucky) to try your hand at baccarat, here are a few tips for winning big:
1. Don’t make the tie bet! When betting, you can either bet on the banker, the player, or a tie. And while some people might get swayed by the tantalizing 8:1 payout – do not bet on a tie, ever! As we mentioned above, the odds of winning are so low that the return will not be worth it at the end of the day.
2. Banker is the best statistical bet. The odds of the banker’s hand winning are slightly higher than 50%, which in the long-run will lead to more wins from a purely statistical standpoint.
3. Stick with the banker. If you’re betting on the banker and you’re winning, continue betting one-sided until the banker no longer wins. It’s one of the most popular and supported baccarat strategies.
4. Wait after a loss. If you lose a round, don’t immediately jump back in with a bet. Wait until another round has been dealt. If the banker wins, your next bet should be the banker. If the player wins, your next bet should be the player. Be patient and give yourself a little time to cool off – otherwise, you risk tilting and suffering a chain of unfortunate losses.
5. Beware of mini-baccarat. Mini baccarat is where players deal the cards. With that being said, mini-baccarat also moves fast! Be wary of speed gambling. But if you insist on participating in this form of baccarat, your best odds are to always bet on the banker.
6. Money management! It’s very easy in baccarat, or any gambling game, to spend more than you’ve intended. Sub-rule number one within money management is to set a budget. Know that max you’d be comfortable spending and do not gamble above and beyond that line. If you’ve lost everything in your budget, make sure you step away from the baccarat table and separate yourself from the game for a bit. You need a clear head to decide when and if you’ll return to play. Finally, if you’re winning at your baccarat game, cut your winnings in half. Retain half your winnings and don’t touch them, and then continue to gamble with the remaining half.
There is a reason baccarat is the most popular game worldwide. It’s exciting, it’s relatively easy to play, and the odds are good. And with the world’s progressive digitalization – it’s no surprise that a whole plethora of online casinos (and new betting games) have emerged over the last couple of years.
Playing live dealer baccarat gives you the ability to enjoy the full range of those aspects, all in the comfort of your own home. It’s the perfect mix between a trustworthy live dealer leading the game and a totally digital experience that you can enjoy on the go, or at least without having to go to a physical casino.
We’ve given you all the know-how to get started with baccarat, as well as a few tried and proven strategies and tips for turning the odds in your own favour. With that – we wish you luck and steady winnings!