Learn how to play Baccarat online with our informative guide. We explain how to play Baccarat and what this popular game is all about.
Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Dave Hall
Learn to Play Baccarat Online
Sitting down to play Baccarat online can be quite fun, even when you are playing for the first time. The game itself is not complex, however, you will have to get used to its jargon. The most common Baccarat terms you will hear are “Player Hand” and “Banker Hand.”
The two terms refer to the only two hands that get dealt when playing Baccarat, irrespective of how many players are in the game. Baccarat is certainly one of the most popular table games in a casino, you will see it everywhere.
Read on to learn how to play this unique game and any Baccarat betting strategy that you can use to your advantage.
Player vs. Banker
Unlike other games, for example the game of blackjack, Baccarat has only two hands that are dealt, no matter how many players are in the game. That greatly limits the number of Baccarat betting strategies you can employ. The designation given to the two hands is arbitrary, and does not have any association with the players or the house.
A player may bet on either the Player Hand or the Banker Hand. The exception is the gambler with possession of the shoe. That gambler holding the shoe may choose to pass the shoe in order to bet on Player Hand, or keep possession of the shoe and bet Banker Hand. In this guide, we will refer to the players as “gamblers’ to avoid any confusion.
What is Baccarat and how is it usually played?
When playing full Baccarat, the gambler holding the shoe will start the game by sliding one card out, and then pass it to the live dealer. The dealer will then pass it to the gambler with the largest bet. The card is passed facedown, not to deter any betting strategy, but just to make the game interesting for the gamblers. The next card, which is the first banker hand card is then placed next to the shoe.
In the second round of dealing, the gambler holding the shoe will deal a second Player Hand card, followed by a second Banker Hand card. The next step is for the dealer to call the Player Hand, which signals the gambler with the largest bet to view the facedown cards, before passing them to the dealer.
The dealer will then turn the cards up, and announce the total points. Next, the dealer calls for the Bank Hand. At that point, the gambler holding the shoe will look at the Bank Cards and then pass them to the dealer.
In case the player total requires a card to be drawn, the dealer will announce, “Card for the Player.” That signals the gambler holding the show to pass a card to the dealer. The dealer in turn passes the card to the Player Hand gambler, who will look at it before giving it back to the dealer. The dealer will then turn the card face up.
Next, if the Banker Hand qualifies for a card, the dealer will again call “Card for the Bank.” They repeat the same process with the gambler holding the shoe.
As you may have imagined, this in full Baccarat, live dealer baccarat ceremony is time consuming and you can barely apply any Baccarat betting strategy.
However, the casinos do not mind offering it to the highest bettors. If you do not have that much patience and just want to get on with the game, go for the mini-baccarat. The dealer will handle both hands and there is no fuss, which is why it takes half the time.
How the Game of Baccarat is Won
The goal of the game is to bet on the Card Hand that will have totals closest to nine. The face cards and tens have zero points, while the rest of the cards have their face value. The Ace has a value of one point, and any hand totals that equals to 10 or exceeds 10, takes the value of the second digit.
In that regard, if a hand gets cards 6 and 7, the total is 13, giving the hand 3 points. If the hand got dealt a 3 and a 7, the total would be 10, bringing the points for that hand to zero. You may also choose to bet on a “tie” instead of picking on any one of the hands.
If the player hand totals zero to five, the player hand must draw a card. The player hand is required to stand if the card total comes six or seven. Furthermore, if the total comes to eight or nine, that is a natural and they must stand. The player hand’s totals determine the banker hand’s next move.
Therefore, a natural draw in the first two cards for the player hand means the banker hand must not draw another card.
If the player hand stands on a seven or six, the banker hand will have several options, all of are determined by their two-card total they have. A score of zero to five means they must draw a card. If the total is six or higher, then they must stand and not draw a card. On the other hand, if the player hand draws a third card, then the banker will have the following options based on the player’s third card. However, if the banker hand has a two or less, he must draw.
If the player hand’s third card is an ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, or 10, then the banker will draw they their card total is 3. Moreover, if the player hand’s third card is a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7, then the banker hand will draw if their total is 4. If the banker hand’s total is 5, they will draw is the player hand third card is 4, 5, 6, or 7. In case a banker hand has a 6, they will draw if the player hand’s third card is a 6 or 7, and the banker hand will always stand if their two-card total is 7.
After both hands have been played, the gambler who bet on the hand whose total is closest to 9 or is a 9, will win the game. The live dealer baccarat then pays the gambler who placed their bet on the winning hand. When there is a tie, the dealer will pay those gamblers who bet on a tie. When a tie occurs, the casino considers all the money in the wagers placed on the banker hand and player hand to be pushes. Therefore, no money is lost in case of a tie.
Best Baccarat betting strategy
You will not be making any decision regarding the whether to deal a card or stand. Those decisions are made automatically based on the rules we have discussed above. However, you should always remember that betting on a tie is the easiest way to lose your money because it carries a staggering 9.5% house edge.
On the other hand, the player hand gives the casino a house edge of only 1.36%. The banker hand gives the casino a house edge of 1.17% after the casino collects its 55 commission from the banker hand’s winnings. The banker hand therefore has slight advantage, of 0.19% lower house edge. If you feel you lucky, you should go for the banker hand, keeping in mind you will part with a commission of 5% of your winnings.
Why play Live Dealer Baccarat?
If you like to play baccarat online, playing with a live dealer casino will allow you to get the same feel you would get from a brick and mortar casino. Moreover, you will get the thrill of winning against an action taken by a live dealer instead of a program.
In cases where you play online without engaging a live dealer, chances are from time to time you will be playing against a machine. That takes the natural thrill of seeing the reaction of other people when you get win and celebrate
We hope that you found this guide to be informative, and you will try the above simple Baccarat betting strategy. This game is most fun is your choose a live dealer baccarat. Since the rules are inflexible, your chances of winning if it is your lucky day are quite high.
About the Author
Dave is a gambling enthusiast who boasts of two decades of experience. His writings not only unravel the intricacies of online casino games but also explore the psychology behind betting. Dave's commitment to responsible gambling shines through, making every wager a mindful choice for players seeking a thrilling yet balanced gaming experience.