Baccarat is a card game consisting of 2 or 3 cards, giving a winning hand a higher score. Unlike other card games, Baccarat offers one of the lowest house edges in the casino at 1.06%, increasing your chances of winning big. Initially, it was designed for high rollers, though the modern versions of the game can accommodate punters with lower wagers.
The history of Baccarat
Casino games such as blackjack and roulette have questionable origins because they have been in existence longer than anyone can remember. The same case applies to Baccarat. According to most gambling researchers, the game can be traced back to Italy in the late 13th and 14th centuries. For some reason, Baccarat represents ‘zero’ in Italian. The zero strategy explains how face cards and 10 have a zero value. Other critics claim it was first discovered in France.
Play Baccarat from your Mobile
Baccarat is available in both desktop and mobile versions, giving you the chance to play for real money while on the go. Most software developers have released their respective titles, but these are the most common versions;
NetEnt Mobile Baccarat
NetEnt is one of the best performing software providers in the gambling industry. As usual, it did not disappoint when it launched its baccarat version. Unlike other providers, the casino has slightly better odds in the 6-deck game.
Microgaming mobile baccarat
Microgaming has two baccarat versions in its mobile gallery- the standard and Baccarat gold. The standard Baccarat uses eight decks and has a pay table with 8 to 1 on the tie bet. The ‘gold’ version allows you to place an additional matching pair of stakes.
The game is pretty simple and straightforward. Players only need to remember the dealer’s decision when he makes a particular combination of cards, which is quite tricky at first. To make your work easier, the casino will provide you with instructions upon request.
Baccarat Rules: How to Play
Unlike other table games, Baccarat is the most straightforward game any new punter can play. You will need to sit down at a table and buy your ‘lucky’ chips. Just like in blackjack, the 8-card deck has point values attached to them, though they are slightly different.
- The Aces- are worth 1 point
- Numbered cards are worth what they represent
- Face cards are worth 0
Set a bet
Place a wager on one of the two hands (either the player or the banker) or a tie. You have other side bets to use to your advantage, but you are better off without them because they attract weird odds.
While blackjack allows you to play against a dealer, Baccarat will only restrict you to two hands (player and dealer), irrespective of the number of players that are there. This is at all not complicated because the primary active players in a Baccarat game are only two, the player and the bank. Passive players do exist in Baccarat but are not dealt any hands. They place wagers on either of the primary players’ hands.
Each hand will has two cards in it valued between 0 and 9. You calculate the total by adding the points for each card in a hand. For instance, if you have attained a total of 16, then your points will be 6.
The best hand in Baccarat is known as a "natural hand," player gets a hand total of either eight or nine. It is called so because these are the highest hand totals in Baccarat and unless it’s a tie, they normally result in a win. If both hands get a tie, then the next action will follow the set of rules on the player’s hand. Unlike blackjack, the decision to choose extra cards to boost your score isn’t that important. Those who wager on the winning hand may get cash rewards, while banker bets may attract a 5% deduction to the house.
Caveat, never bet on the tie! Why? If you wager against the player, the house edge will be only 1.24%. The banker will have as little as 1.06%. The riskiest bet is the tie, with a house edge of 14.4%.
Basic Baccarat Strategy
To understand the basic Baccarat strategy as well as adopt it and tailor it to your unique playing style, a player must have the basic sense of the game in mind at all times, get a score close to nine as possible or get a nine.
The card values in Baccarat are counted at their face value except for the king, queen, and jack whose values are zero, and the ace whose value is one. As such, strategies needed in this game because it is more anchored in lady luck’s smile than skill are in how to place bets and not how to recognize handheld. The two main strategies used to manage a Baccarat game to try and end up a winner in the long run are:
- Labouchere Strategy;
This is also commonly referred to as the cancellation strategy. The first thing a player who chooses this method does is to determine how much they want to win. This amount is then divided into smaller amounts that are assigned numbers. The assigned numbers guide the player on how much they should bet per hand dealt. High rollers have few assigned numbers for larger bets while risk-averse players have more numbers for smaller stakes per hand. Once a bet is made, a loss calls for to the amount lost is added to the assigned number list as the last number. If a bet is won, the first and last numbers are crossed from the list. Why are the numbers crossed from the list? Simple, the value to stake is the total value of the first and last number in your assigned list.
For example, if my target winning is €50, the assigned numbers can be; 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11. My first bet value would be 4+11 to make €15. If this loss is lost, the player adds 15 to the list; 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 15. The second stake will now have a value of 4+15=€19. Winning this hand means I cross out from my list 4 and 15.
The advantage of the Labouchere strategy is that it is easy to understand and apply to ensure you reach your winning goal quickly.
The disadvantage to this strategy is that with every loss the wagers get larger and where the winning goal is a significant value, the list of numbers to be assigned is quite cumbersome.
- Martingale Strategy;
The idea here is to keep doubling your stake until lady luck remembers you with a winning hand. If you were born on a Friday and the god of casinos is on your side, an initial bet won wins you keep placing the same stake until the first losing hand. This is a strategy for tables with no capping on the high stake rate because of the doubling effect of the wager; may result in a very high stake.
This is a strategy that is not for use for the faint of heart and should never be used for fast-paced Baccarat because it might result in reaching the table limits very fast. For the faint of heart, the Reverse Martingale strategy is for you; double a bet after winning and revert to the smaller stakes on losing. The disadvantage here is you can lose all your winnings suddenly in case of a losing hand.
A caveat, Baccarat being primarily a game of chance, there is no particular way to beat the house. Chances of changing the outcome are pretty slim irrespective of your skills and experience. The best a player can do is manage their bankroll wisely.
Do you want to get an authentic and epic experience while playing Baccarat? If so, then you will enjoy playing it more in a live online casino. With high-definition augmented cameras, you will have the chance to interact with the dealers that will respond to any requests you may have, as well as other players who share your gaming experience to keep it live and action-packed. It is almost as if you are sitting at a table and playing the game in a brick-and-mortar casino.
This is the classic high roller version of the game. Players will sit at a big table in a designated part of the casino. To play this Baccarat variant, a player needs a minimum bet of $100, though some casinos will set it at as high as $500.
The croupier will control the game along with two other dealers who will handle the bets and payouts. The game may use either eight decks or six decks.
As the name suggests, it is the smallest version of Baccarat, giving players to place smaller wagers. The table is more modest than Punto Banco, with fewer players. The rules remain the same, and there is no difference in terms of who has an edge or its value.
Chemin de Fer
In French, Chemin de Fer means railways, which was the fastest means of transport back then. It is the quickest version of Baccarat, in terms of in-play, and uses only six decks. The player sums up as both the banker and the dealer.
During a round, the banker will decide how much should be risked, and then the players have to place a smaller wager. The banker can only increase the risk amount if one of the players gets to match the bet or wager something smaller.
Finding a better and easier casino table game than Baccarat isn’t as simple as a walk in the park, especially if you are risk-averse or the type of player who fears to be wrong. The trick is to concentrate on the banker bet since it presents the best odds at the table. Just keep placing the bet repeatedly until it bears fruits. Avoid taking the tie bet because it will make you lose a lot more. Since it is a game of chance rather than making precise calculations, you better hope lady luck visits you at the casino.