Learn And Play Baccarat Online
Baccarat has always been among the most popular casino games in the world. It managed to find its way to the online gambling scene as well. You can play baccarat at pretty much any land-based and online casino nowadays. The main reasons behind its popularity are its simplicity and the low house edge if you follow the best possible strategy.
What’s The Origin Of Baccarat
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The origin of baccarat is somewhat unclear. The word means “zero” in both French and Italian. Both nations claim the game was invented by them. The Italian version is that a local gambler called Felix Falguieren is the father of baccarat. He came up with it somewhere in the Middle Ages. The game was played with Tarot cards and originated from an ancient Etruscan ritual.
What we know for sure is that baccarat was played in France around the end of the 15th century. It was the game of the noble class for the next couple of hundred years and was a bit different than the one we know today.
Baccarat started growing in popularity when it became famous in England. The local gamblers made some changes to the rules and named the game “European Baccarat”. It began spreading across the globe, first to South America and then to the USA in circa 1950. It quickly became a hit in the Las Vegas casinos and is popular to this day. Baccarat is known as one of the preferred choices for high rollers, especially in Asia.
What Are The Rules Of Baccarat
The main aspects you need to know
The first thing you need to know about baccarat is that the player makes a single decision at the start of each hand and that’s it. In that sense, the game is similar to roulette where the actions you control end with when all bets are placed.
Each baccarat round starts when two hands consisting of two cards each are dealt. One of them is named the banker’s hand and the other is the player’s hand. They both start with a certain score depending on the particular cards. The hand with the highest score wins at the end of the round. It’s worth noting that you can place a wager on both hands, including on the banker’s hand.
The scoring in baccarat is easy to understand:
- Cards from 2 to 9: they count for their number value;
- The face cards (Ten, Jack, Queen, King): they count for zero;
- Aces count for one point.
The highest score in baccarat is 9. Unlike blackjack, there’s no option for a hand to bust. If the total score is over 9, the rightmost digit is the one that counts. For example, if the score of a certain hand is 15 because it contains a 9 and a 6, the final score is 5 (9+6=15).
What is the flow of a typical baccarat hand
The first thing you do in baccarat is to bet on either the player or the banker. If your choice has a higher score at the end of the round, you win twice your initial bet. There’s also the option to place a wager on a tie and it pays 8 to 1.
The actions in baccarat are preset and each hand hits a new card or stands not by the player’s choice, but by the rules. The following tables will show you how the flow works:
|Player’s hand starting score||Player’s Action||Dealer’s Action|
|0-5||Draw one card||(see the next table)|
|6-7||Stand||Draw if Banker’s score is 5 or less/Stand on 6 or more|
|8-9 (natural)||Stand||(see the next table)|
|Banker’s hand starting score||Banker draws when player’s third card is:||Banker stands when player’s third card is:|
|3||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10||8|
|4||2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7||1, 8, 9, 10|
|5||4, 5, 6, 7||1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10|
|6||6, 7||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10|
As you can see, each action depends on the starting total of the particular hand. The whole setup might seem a bit complicated at first, but you‘ll quickly get used to it after a couple of games.
Let’s Take A Closer Look At House Edge And Strategy
It seems that baccarat is a game purely based on luck and you can’t do much but place your wager and hope for the best. This is not exactly true as the house edge is different, depending on your bet. You should always try to go for the option with the best value:
- Should I Bet on the Tie?
The particular house edge depends on the number of decks used, but betting on a tie is always the worst option and you should avoid it. The payout of 8 to 1 might seem appealing, but the margin of the casino is usually about 10 times higher compared to the other betting choices.
- Should I bet on the Player?
The rules in baccarat are designed in a way that the player’s hand has a slightly lower chance to win. Since you’re getting even odds for your wager, it means that the house edge is the second best here. It’s still quite low but worse than betting on the banker.
- Should I bet on the Banker?
This is the best possible choice when playing baccarat. The house edge here usually is around 1% or even lower. This is why you should always bet on the banker.
- Variation of the rules
The main reason for the popularity of baccarat is the low house edge, especially if you bet on the banker each time. The rules of the baccarat in online casinos may vary, so made sure to check them. In some variations, the house edge is even lower and it can be larger in others.
How To Choose A Casino For Baccarat?
There are a couple of things you should consider when looking for a good online casino for baccarat:
- The variations available: there should be at least a couple of different options to pick from;
- The house edge: some sets of rules can give you a better chance of winning at baccarat;
- The promotions: some casinos offer special baccarat promotions that could help you earn more cash;
- The welcome bonus: do wagers on baccarat count towards the wagering requirements?
If you find a casino that covers those points, your chances of winning in the long run increase dramatically.