Online baccarat is a popular game of chance that originated in Italy or France in 15th century. It has long been the game of aristocracy but with the advent of the internet, it became a favorite online casino game for many players, especially those of Asian countries and New Zealand. In baccarat, no strategy or skills are needed to play and win, since the player cannot affect the gaming process, unlike for example blackjack where punters can hit, stand or make other decisions that would increase their winning chances.
Learning baccarat rules
There are only three bet types and three outcomes in a baccarat round so there’s nothing over-complicated about baccarat rules. A typical table has three square-shaped sections marked as Banker, Player and Tie; these areas are designed for placing the same-name bets. Note that the Banker and Player bets do not imply that the former is the casino’s bet and the latter is your bet – these are just conventional labels that are in no ways related to you and the casino.
After you have made a stake within specific table limits, the computer deals two face-up cards on the Player and Banker area. In some cases, the third card is dealt according to a formula to be reviewed hereunder. The winning hand is the one that has total points closest to 9. It is impossible to go beyond 9 due to a special calculation method used in online baccarat.
Cards from 2 to 9 are valued at their pip count, for example, a two gives 2 points and a nine gives 9. Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings add zero to a total score, and Aces are worth 1 point. Suits are irrelevant for the counting purpose. If the sum of two/three cards in a hand exceeds 9, then the left digit is removed, for example, the Player hand has a nine and eight which totals 17. Then digit 1 is left and the resulting score for that hand becomes 7.
Third card rule in online baccarat
You do not need to memorize the third card rule or do any mental calculations since the casino software applies the rule automatically when needed. But it is desirable that you explore this gaming aspect to better understand what’s going on on the screen.
If after the initial deal either hand totals 8 or 9, no third card is dealt and the winner is determined. If neither hand scores 8 or 9, the rules establishing if Player must get the 3rd card are consulted first. If Player has 0 to 5, the 3rd card is dealt. If Player has 6 or 7, no 3rd card is dealt. Then a decision for the Banker hand is made. If Player received no 3rd card, the above rules apply for Banker hand. In case where the 3rd card was dealt to Player, the Banker will stand or draw based on the value of the 3rd card on Player hand and the total value of Banker hand. To reiterate, this rule is enforced automatically and users are not required to choose any option of how to act in one case or another.
Payouts in baccarat online
At the beginning of a baccarat round, you are to bet on Player, Banker or Tie. If the hand of your choice wins, you get a 1:1 payout. If both hands have an equal score, the game ends in a tie with a 8:1 payout. Though both hands have identical payouts, the winning expectations are a bit different; the Player bet features a house edge of 1.24% and the Banker comes with a house edge of 1.06%. Therefore, it is apparent that the best choice is to always bet on Banker.
But there is a downside to the Banker bet, which is a small 5% commission charged by the casino on all Banker wins, so you actually get a 0.95:1 payout if you wager on Banker and win. If you are a frequent visitor to online casinos, you know that some games with a very low house advantage come with a commission, for example, Pai Gow and Pai Gow Poker. The house advantage on a Tie bet is as high as 14.36% so reasonable gamblers avoid this bet due to its very low profitability.
4 tips on how to play baccarat and avoid common mistakes
Online baccarat usually attracts heavy bettors because the sky is the limit in terms of the maximum bet. On some baccarat tables, the max limit reaches into thousands of dollars though low-limit games are also frequent in online casinos. Playing this fantastic game for real money, you should hew to several principles that would prevent you from making false steps.
Tip 1. Stick with the Banker bet
Having a 5% commission, Banker bet seems to be less attractive than Player bet. From the one hand, you do receive $0.95 on a $1 bet but from the other hand, the winning expectations on Banker are 45.8% against 44.6% on Player. With a 1%+ advantage, it is more reasonable to place your chips on the Banker area in order to win more often.
Tip 2. Avoid Tie bets
Tie is statistically the worst bet in online baccarat since it occurs about once in 10 rounds and pays just 8:1 (or 9:1 in some rare variations).
Tip 3. How card decks affect the game
Before proceeding to bet in an online casino, read baccarat rules for the game you are about to play and find out the number of card decks used in the baccarat. The general rule is that the fewer decks are taken for the game, the better it is for you.
Tip 4. Start betting real money after a Tie outcome
Since a tie happens about every 10 rounds, wait until it comes and then begin betting on Player or Banker. By doing so, you minimize chances of getting a tie in between a winning streak.
Tip 5. Card counting is a blemish job
Imagine you take a pen and scorecard to write down the results of all current deals in order to spot the pattern and try to predict the next winning hand. This may work for blackjack, not baccarat, since the computer does everything for you and you cannot make any decision at the baccarat table. So card counting for the purpose of finding trends is a kill time.
Best baccarat strategy
Baccarat is a pure game of chance so there is no optimal betting strategy. The mathematical basis of every strategy, whether Martingale, Paroli or Labouchere, becomes void when a baccarat round ends in a tie and you lose your bet. So the most efficient method is to go with the Banker bet as featuring the lowest house edge, and manage your bankroll. Select the casino from our top list and may the luck be with you!