Baccarat online - full playing guide and winning tips
What is Baccarat?
First up, getting familiar with the game is a great step towards understanding it fully. Baccarat is a card comparing game popular in casinos and informal events. It is played between two hands, a player and a banker hand.
Rather than have punters playing against each other or the house, each player bets on either of the two hands. One can also bet on a tie; that both the banker and the player will return the same value. The aim of a baccarat game is to have a hand that adds up to nine or closest (8).
Baccarat has three well-known variants; Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer (Chemmy) and Baccarat Banque. Punto Banco, the American version of the game, is the most popular version of the game. In that light, this guide concentrates on that particular version.
The origins of baccarat are not well documented. Some sources claim it was founded in the 19th century. Others pinpoint its existence to as far back as the 15th century. The latter claim attributes the earliest Baccarat version to French soldiers returning from Franco-Italian war.
How to play Baccarat online
There really isn’t much difference between playing baccarat in a land-based casino and in an online casino. Besides a few tweaks, the rules and playing model are pretty much the same. However, the online version gives a significant advantage in terms of welcome bonuses.
While no actual value is gained by simply going into a casino house, a mobile casino will offer you a bonus upon sign-up. Most of these bonuses are lucrative (going to 200% boost and over). In both play models, a player aims to:
- Get closest to a card sum of nine before the competing hand, or
- Call a tie between the two hands
- Baccarat is played in rounds known as ‘coups.’ The aim of the gambler is to bet the opposite hand by having a higher total. Also, the player can receive a pay-out if he calls a tie between the two hands.
- The player can bet on three outcomes, a player hand, a banker hand or a tie. Note: Many confuse the Banker hand as belonging to the house. Always remember that you can also bet on the banker hand.
- Baccarat online is played using both number and face card. Jokers are not used
- Cards 2 through nine carry their face/actual value. An ace has a value of one while the King, Queen and Jack have a value of zero.
- A game of Baccarat can be played with anything between one and several decks. Most casinos play with six or eight decks shuffled together in a shoe.
- The sum of the cards on each hand counts as the value of the hand. Where the sum is greater than nine, the last digit of the total is considered. For instance, if a hand had the cards seven and six (sum 13) the value of that hand is three.
- Players with inferior hands may always seek to be dealt extra cards
Baccarat playing steps
- The game starts off with the player placing a wager on their preferred outcome- banker win, player in or a tie
- Once wagers are placed, the dealer plays out one card face-up for each hand starting with the player hand. He then repeats the same action with a second card for each hand in the same sequence.
- The totals of each hand are calculated, the result of which determines the net course of action.
- If any hand has a total of eight or nine, it wins outright and a pay-out is made, ending the round. Such a win is known as a natural.
- If the two hands have the same value, the tie bet wins and the round ends.
- If neither of the above happens, play continues with a third card drawn.
Again, dealing starts with the player hand. If the player has a six or seven, they stand and the banker hand is dealt a third card.
If the player total is between 0-5, the player daws a third card. The sum is checked and if nothing is fulfilled yet, another card is drawn. This is rare, however. The third card is often the last draw of a coup.
These rules vary when playing other forms of Baccarat. However, Punto Banco is the most popular baccarat model you will come across in most casinos. It is so popular that is almost universally referred to as simply ‘Baccarat.’
Tips and strategy for playing Baccarat
Always keep in mind that playing in an online casino holds several advantages over playing in a physical casinos. Online casinos afford you the luxury of playing from the comfort of your home or office. Furthermore, online casinos give generous welcome bonuses that give you an extra amount of stake. Always remember to look out for wagering requirements, however.
Play around with house edges
Understand the different house edges for particular hand. The player hand appears to have a higher house edge than the banker hand (1.24% vs 1.06%). However, before you rush to bet on the banker hand, care to consider that the house draws a 5% commission from a banker win. Bothe of these bets pay a 1 to pay-out. What this means is that you win an amount equal to your wager.
On the other hand, a tie win receives an 8-to-1 pay-out. Sounds attractive, huh? Still, a tie has a low chance of occurrence with a house edge of 14.4%. That is a massive house edge by all standards!
The trick here is to always bet on the banker hand when you feel like betting high. When staking low, always go for the player hand. The daring tie bet is for when you are going in for all or nothing. That is quite emotional and not really an advisable way to bet.
Do not be very keen on advantage gambling or edge sorting
Most casino terms look to get hold of you in the T&Cs which almost everyone never reads. Do not expressly use these tricks. While they may appear helpful in small gambling sessions, casinos will probably use them against you if you win big.
Punto banco! Happy gambling; you now have the best tips with you. Be sure to stick them on your fingertips.