Baccarat – known as James Bond’s favourite card game, perhaps because it’s a game that requires a certain amount of courage. In Baccarat, you need to get as close as possible to the sum of 9, but you can also bet whether your or the banker’s card is closer to the sum of 9. The different rules make Baccarat a fun game that differs from the other casino table games. What are the rules in Baccarat and where you can play Baccarat online, you can read below.
History of Baccarat
Baccarat’s origin goes back to the 15th century. It is believed that it was invented in Italy, by Italian player Felix Falguierein. The name Baccarat comes from the Italian word baccara which means zero. It is believed that this name was given because all the face cards and tens have a value of zero. After that, the game became famous in France, especially among the French nobility under the name Chemin de Fer.
Shortly after, the game baccarat migrated to America and was known as Punto Banco. The game went through a various change of rules every time was introduced in a new territory, depending on the needs of the players. This is the reason why all games nowadays have different variants available to play and it is up to the player to choose which one suits him best.
How to Play Baccarat
Baccarat is a game that is played with eight sets of cards, each set containing 52 cards, without the jokers.
The player makes the bet before the cards are dealt. Three types of bets are possible: bet on player’s cards, bet on banker’s cards or bet on a draw. The player decides whether to bet on one or maybe bet on two or all three options.
Once the bet is placed, the banker and the player get two cards each. The sum of your cards can always be from 0 to 9, which means that there are ten possible outcomes. Baccarat’s goal is to get a total sum of nine, which is the highest possible score. Once the sum of the cards is calculated, the winner is the one with the closest result to nine.
In most cases, the game ends after the two cards are dealt and one wins the game. However, there is an exception. If, after looking at his cards, the sum of the player’s cards is between 0-5, the player must draw a third card. This happens in case the banker has a sum lower than eight or nine. If the banker has a sum of eight or nine, the banker wins and the game ends.
In this game like playing Blackjack, the player plays against the banker. If you are familiar with Blackjack you will immediately see the similarities between these two games.
In Baccarat, the cards from 2 to 9 have their face value, while the picture cards and 10s count for zero. The ace has a value of one. As mentioned, the sum of the cards can only be between 0 and 9. In case of a two-digit sum, 10 is deducted from the total sum. So practically, only the right-hand digit is considered. For example, if you have 4 and 8, which means the sum of 12, then deduct 10 and you get a sum of 2.
In Baccarat you don’t have to have a winning hand, just put a bet on the winning hand. However, the bet is placed upfront, before you can see the cards. This is what makes the Baccarat game exciting and risky.
When the Player is dealt cards with a total sum of eight or nine, that is called a “natural win”. If it is a sum of 8, is called a Natural 8 and if it is a sum of nine is called a Natural 9. When that happens, no more cards are dealt, and the bets are paid out.
Types of Bets
In Baccarat there are three main types of bets that the player can place. All bets are different, some have a commission paid to the casino or the house edge is less favourable. The house edge is the difference between the true chance of a hand winning, and the return offered by the casino. This margin is introduced to ensure that the casino will always make a profit.
First, there is the Banker bet. This means that the player bets that the sum of the banker’s cards will be closer to 9 than his own hand. This is known as the best bet due to the fact that it has the lowest house edge. However, since the odds are in favour of the player, the casino gets a commission every time the player bets on the banker and wins. The commissions vary from casino to casino, so it is best to check before playing.
The second best option is the Player bet, which is betting that the player’s hand will be closer to a sum of 9 than the banker’s. The house edge is less favourable compared to the banker bet. The good thing is that there is no commission if this bet wins.
The third option, that you should probably avoid is the Tie bet. Players place this bet when they believe that the sums of both hands will be equal. The chances for this to happen are rather small and its house edge is highly unfavourable.
As with any other game, some baccarat variants offer additional bets to be made. This is a way to increase the level of excitement. They vary between different casinos and variants. The most known side bets are Dragon 7, Panda 8, Dragon Bonus, Perfect Pair, etc.
Dragon bonus is the most popular side bet, commonly offered in Mini-Baccarat. You can place it either on the player bet or banker bet, and it pays when your hand is a natural winner, or when it wins by a large margin.
Panda 8 is a side bet that is paid when the “Player” hand wins with a total of eight. Also, the hand should be made up of three cards. Whereas, Dragon 7 is the bet that is paid if the banker’s hand wins with a total of 7, consisting of three cards. these two side bets are offered in EZ Baccarat.
The Perfect Pair side bet is offered by baccarat games powered by the software provider Playtech. The Perfect Pairs bet wins if at least one hand, either the player’s or banker’s, has a pair in the first two cards. A pair means two identical cards, in both rank and suit.
As we have already explained, in baccarat there are three types of bets that you can place and are always the same regardless of the casino or the variant of the game. If you decide to bet on yourself (player) the winnings are paid out in the ratio 1: 1. If you bet on the banker, the payout is also 1: 1, however, keep in mind that the casino keeps a commission of usually 5%. The tie bet is pretty rewarding because it pays off 8:1 or 9:1. However, as we mentioned, the chances to win this bet are rather small.
Side bets are what make the game more interesting as their payouts are much higher. For the Dragon Bonus, the payout is 30:1 paid off for a non-natural that wins by nine points.
The Dragon 7 side bet pays off even more, with a ration of 40:1, and the Panda 8 pays off 25:1. The payout for a Perfect pair side bet is 12:1 and if they are of the same suit, this usually has a payout of 25:1.
The game was originally played in Italy, where it was given the name. The different variations that appeared over the years have while changing some of the rules, changed names as well. We will mention the most famous baccarat variants below.
Mini Baccarat is a variant most loved by players that want to make smaller bets, as that is the difference between the classic one and this one. All the rules remain the same, is played with 8 decks and the same bets can be made. The difference is that mini-baccarat is a lower-stakes version with a faster pace and a smaller table.
Chemin de Fer
This variation is the one that appeared in France and is played with 6 decks, unlike the classic version we know which is played with 8 decks. However, the most noticeable difference is that players play against each other, not against the banker. Also, there isn’t one banker but all players take turns to be bankers.
In this variant of the game, the main difference is that the player can decide whether to draw another card if the sum of his cards is 5, or not. The hand of the banker is funded by the casino and is limited to usually €1000 per hand. This means that the players’ bets cannot be higher than €1000 per hand. So if someone bets the maximum amount, no other players can bet on that hand.
Punto Banco is the variant that is the most similar to the classic baccarat game. The only difference is that is played with six decks instead of eight. All the other rules remain the same, three main bets that the player can make, one banker, and the player cannot change the bet once is made.
As baccarat is a game of luck, you cannot influence the decision, for example, whether you will get a third card after the first two. This is automatically determined based on the sum of the first two cards. So you no longer have any influence, but you can learn a strategy that will help you decide what to bet on next.
In Baccarat you have an overview of the last few rounds, so you can follow the way the game develops and the individual rounds. This can help you decide whether to bet on your cards, the banker’s cards, or a draw. However, the strategy mentioned here is not a guarantee of profit. It’s just one way to try to play on trends or try to analyze them. If you play Baccarat this way, it’s similar to tracking highs versus lows, red versus black in roulette.
If you have any dilemma whether to bet on your hand or on the banker’s hand, the rule is that you should bet on the hand of the banker. Although in principle there are almost equal chances for both hands to have a sum close to 9, the dealer and the casino always have an advantage.
- Set an amount
No matter which casino game you play, it is always a good idea to set a betting amount i.e to determine the amount you can afford to lose. In addition, it may be a good idea to set a winning amount as well. It may sound silly, but you never know when the game will end. This leads to the next tip.
- Stop while you’re ahead
If you set the amount you want to win before the game starts and you manage to get this amount, that’s great. Then is the time to stop playing. Imagine that you continue to play even after receiving that certain amount, and there is an unexpected turn in the game and you lose all the winnings. Then you will be sorry that you did not stop when you reached the amount wanted.
- Learn the rules before playing
Again, for each casino game, we recommend you to first learn the rules and practice the game for free, before deciding to just put money on it. Baccarat is not a complex game at all, however, you won’t be able to learn everything there is to know if you don’t read anything about it first.
- Systems won’t help
Baccarat is a game of luck, so no betting system can help you beat the casino’s advantage. So, instead of trying to figure out a way to beat the casino, or spend money trying out systems that you read about, focus on the strategy we mentioned above. Try improving your own way of playing, deciding when to bet and when to stop.
Once you’ve learned and practised playing baccarat, we would recommend you trying the live section at casino 22Bet. They offer many different baccarat variants, and most importantly, it is live. This gives you the opportunity to feel like you are in a real casino with real players.
The live baccarat offers a unique experience for any player, a lot of fun and excitement. This is something that you don’t want to miss if you are a fan of the game.