Online Baccarat


Baccarat is a game that is a little bit similar to BlackJack in terms of the gameplay. You play against the house and your aim is to reach the highest possible hand score. That’s about the only similarity with BlackJack, well apart from the fact that both of these casino games are played by using cards. The game of Baccarat has no room for element of skill and is purely a game of luck, thus there is no way to turn the house edge around.

The game dates back in centuries and again we have to bring up France as the homeland for this game. The version that was played back then is completely different than we are used to see today, though. The type, which could be titled as the foundation of Baccarat is chemin de fer (term for RailRoad in french). We could draw parallels for that type and the online poker that is played today, of course in a way that ”chemin” was also played in private clubs and between buddies or business partners. That game featured the element of skill and actually a small part of bluffing as well.

The online version of Baccarat that is played in most internet casinos today is nothing like the one that was played in private clubs, though. Online version is actually more favoured among todays players and gamblers, mainly because there’s no need to think about anything other than the size of your wager. The dealer will do the rest. People are getting quite lazy nowadays and gambling is often a way to get out of the real world and simply relax. If the game requires strong strategical knowledge, a lot of people try to avoid it. If this sounds a lot like you, Baccarat will be a great game to play. Even though you won’t have to do anything except click the deal button once, having an idea about what’s going on will benefit you. Lets move forward with takin a look at the gameplay as well as hand valuations in the game.

The valuation of hands

The way hands are valued in Baccarat is quite simple and logical:

  • Cards between twos and nines are worth their face value – three will be worth three points and nine will add nine points to your hand.
  • All face cards like Tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings are worth 0 points
  • Aces are worth 1 point

Now, it might seem that the best possible hand in Baccarat is somewhere in the hundreds, but actually it is 9. A point score of 9 is known as a natural hand and will automatically make you a winner.

So how can it be that the maximum hand value is only 9, when a single card can be worth that many points. The thing is that the score or value of your hand is divided a little bit differently than you might think. The number that is the rightmost of your total point score shows the real hand value. Lets take a look at some examples:

  • 5 and 3 makes up a hand worth 8 points. Simple as 5+3 is 8.
  • 8 and 9 makes up a hand worth 7 points. Not so simple, but 9+8=17 and the hand value is determined by taking the rightmost number into account, thus the hand value is 7, because it is the rightmost number in the digit of seventeen.

Don’t be too woried if this seems like advanced science to you, when you play Baccarat online, the software will automatically calculate and display the hand values in every hand played.

Drawing to the third card & general drawing rules

Now when you have learned how the hands are valued, lets take a look at some of the drawing rules in Baccarat. Each party, the dealer and the player is dealt 2 cards to start with, but there are some additional rules used to determine whether each is drawing to another card.

The player is always drawn first and according to the following rules – if the players hand features a value of either 0,1, 2, 3, 4, 5 he is drawn another card. If he has either 6 or 7, he stands. The banker on the other hand is dependent on the players point score and follows the following set of rules:

  • Draws the third card when he has point value of 3 and player has between 0 and 7
  • Draws the third card when he has point value of 4 and player has either 0 or 2-7.
  • Draws the third card when he has point value of 5 and player has between 4 and 7.
  • Draws the third card when he has point value of 6 and player has either 6 or 7.

We missed the scenario when player holds either 8 or 9, right? No, not really as this is known as a natural hand and if you are fortune enough to reach this point score, the hand automatically ends and payouts are done.

Bet Types

Even though we reffered to two parties playing against each other, the player and the banker are definitions for bet types in Baccarat. You don’t necesarilly have to bet on the player in order to win – it’s like red and black in Roulette. So there are 3 bet types in a standard variation of Baccarat:

  • The Banker – a bet on the bankers hand to reach higher point score. Is paid out at even money odds of 1 to 1, but features a 5% comission thus the real odds of payout are 0.95 to 1.
  • The Player – a bet on the players hand to reach a higher point score. Paid out at even money odds and no commission is charged.
  • A Tie – both sides to reach equal hand value. Depending on the variation and the casino you choose to play Baccarat at, this bet will be paid out at odds of between 1 to 5 and 1 to 9 with the most common payout being 8 to 1.

The House Edge

It’s no secret that Baccarat, the same way as any other casino game, features a mathematical advantage in casinos favour. Don’t be too scared though as this edge is tiny compared to just about any other gambling game.

  • The Banker Bet features a house edge of approximately 1.06%
  • The Player Bet features a house edge of approximately 1.24%
  • Tie bet is the worst to bet at and features approximately 14% house edge, given the the payout odds are 8 to 1.

Betting Systems

You’ve probably heard about the red or black Roulette Strategy, if you have been around in this industry quite a while. Well, I might crush your dreams with this one, but I’ll be honest – usage of any betting system does not affect the house edge in any way. You won’t get better payout odds just because your bet is doubled after each loss. However, playing around with gambling betting systems is a lot of fun and something I tend to do myself. Lets take a look at a couple of the most popular ones. If you want to check out how they are used, click on their title and you will be taken to the article we have dedicated for every one of them.

  • The Labouchere – fully based on a single list or sequence of numbers, Labouchere has somehow convinced a large number of people that this strategy might help them to beat the casino. It won’t, but you surely will have some fun!
  • The Martingale System – known as red or black or advertised as ” finally beat the casino” system, Martingale is the most popular gambling system in the world. It advises that you should be increasing your wager after failure, thus gaining your initial wager along with profits back, once your bet succeeds.
  • The Paroli System a really similar strategy to the Martingale, but instead of chasing your losses, you increase your wagers when a hot streak occurs. Paroli is my personal favourite as it allows you to take some heavy wins home, given that a run good is with you!

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