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Online Baccarat basics

Introduction to Baccarat

Baccarat is certainly one of the most popular table card games available in live and online casinos today. It has become renowned and well supported because of the simplicity of gameplay and the diminutive house edge.

Baccarat is an easy game to learn (side bets aside) and understand, and because the outcome of the game revolves mainly around the ‘luck of the draw’, there is very little strategy to learn. When initially looking at the game setup, it may come across as very complicated, but in truth, it suits beginners to the table gambling segment.

Aside from ease of play, Baccarat is also an extremely exciting game to play. This guide is a good place to start if you want to learn some of the basics and get yourself underway. This is the start of a table game adventure that will hopefully have you smiling all the way to the bank. Available in different variations from provider to provider, there is a Baccarat game to suit your preference.

Guide to playing online Baccarat

Brief History

The game was introduced in the 14th Century. There is some contention over who founded the game, with theories traversing from beliefs that it comes from Italy (because Baccarat means ‘zero’ in ancient Italian) to others believing that it found its roots among the French royals. Nevertheless, the game has been around for centuries and has become one of the most popular casino-based games to date.

Versions Played WorldwideThere are 2 notable versions of Baccarat played worldwide. These are Punto Banco and Chemin de Fer (commonly known as Chemmy).

Punto Banco

This is the North American version of the game and is most popular in that region in both land-based casinos and online vendors. In short, Punto Banco always adopts the casino as the banker in the game.

Chemin de Fer

This is the most popular version of the game in France and is set apart from ‘Punto Banco’ by way of the banker. This game is designed for players to play against one another. In this case, one of the players at the table becomes the designated banker for the game.

Baccarat Game Overview

Below is an easy-to-understand list of basic rules for Baccarat, so that you can familiarise yourself with the game a bit more.

The main premise of the game is to use the hand dealt you to get as close to 9 as possible. The twist in this table game becomes evident when you realise that you can bet against yourself. In Baccarat you have the choice of betting in favour of the dealer or the player and thirdly can also bet in favour of a ‘standoff’, which is basically Baccarat jargon for a ‘draw’ or ‘tie’.

At the start of the game, two cards will be dealt with both the player(s) and the dealer. You will then assign your bet and examine both hands to determine the value each. Card values are assigned in the following way:

  • 10’s or royal cards carry a value of ‘zero’.
  • Cards 2 to 9 maintain their face value.
  • An ‘Ace’ carries a value of 1.

If you have two cards combining to provide a double-digit score, the last digit will determine the value. So, if you are dealt an 8 and a 5, the score is 13, but in Baccarat the value will be 3 for the hand.

Each online Baccarat game will contain a ‘ranking table’, which will show you the payout values for different combinations that can be made to produce wins in the game. It would be advisable to familiarise yourself with this table, as additional cards may be dealt with you, depending on the ranking table.

Beginners Best Bet

There are several side bets available in some of the variants of Baccarat available online, but it is advised to start off simple and stick to the base game strategy of betting for the dealer, or the player, or perhaps even the ‘standoff’.

The chance of a win when betting for the dealer or the player is about the same, and anyone of these two instances produces the least risk to your wager. You will want to avoid betting in favour of a draw or a ‘standoff’, as the odds of landing a win here are far less than with the other two options.

Online Baccarat basics guide

Side Bets

As stated earlier, some of the versions of online Baccarat give options for various side bets. We advise that you only put your money on the line for these bets once you are a bit more experienced. Below is a list of all the side bets playable, but the scope of this quick guide cannot deal with them all exhaustively.

Progressive Side Bet

This is a side bet that has an attached progressive jackpot. You are generally limited to a minimum and maximum wager, but you can win the pot with a variety of different hands.

Pairs

This is a side bet where you can bet on either the player’s or banker’s cards forming a pair. For example, if one of them lands two 4’s etc.

Small/Big Side Bet

Here you are able to bet on the total number of cards that are dealt in a single hand.

  • Small = Total of 4 cards dealt, which pays 1.5:1 odds.
  • Big = Total of 5 or 6 cards used in a hand, which pays 2:1 odds.

Dragon Bonus

This is a bet on whose hand will be higher by the end of the round. Pay-outs are dependent on the points difference between the two hands.

Sum Bonus

This bet wins when the combined value of the banker’s and player’s cards are either below 5 or exceed 14.

  • Under 5 pays 2:1;
  • Over 14 pays 1:1;
  • 18 pays 6:1;
  • 18 with one 8 pays 12:1;
  • 18 with two or more 8’s pays 50:1.

Tie Bonus

This side bet wins in the event of a tie, but also pays out if the draw misses by 1. Further odds come into play, depending on the number of cards dealt to produce the hands. The top pay-out here is 50:1.

Egalité Bonus

This bet can be placed on an individual ‘tie bet’, In other words, you must try and predict the exact number of cards used in the tie hand. The top prize here is 220:1.

Strategy for the Novice

Try and adhere to some of these top tips to make your introduction to Baccarat an enjoyable one:

  • Some of the variants of Baccarat are playable in free mode. We advise that you start with trying it in free play before deep diving into real money play.
  • When starting with real betting, start with small bets and observe the game in detail as you go.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Do not rush into hitting the table as a high roller.
  • Stick to the base game bets at first and gradually grow into placing the odd side bet here and there. A good side bet to start on would be the ‘Sum Bonus’ bet.
  • Once you have gained a bit of game experience, we advise that you try a live dealer game. Evolution Gaming offers state-of-the-art live interfaces for your pleasure. The friendly dealers are sure to help you along in an inviting and conversational environment.

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