If you’re someone who enjoys trying your hand at cards or rolling the dice before lady luck, you’re far from alone. In fact, experts predict that the worldwide gambling industry will reach around £91.59 bn by 2027.
Poker, slots, roulette, and blackjack are all awesome games, but it’s important that you spice things up sometimes. Learning how to play baccarat gives you an excuse to test your gaming prowess and hone your skills in a new, fun way. Plus, since it’s a fairly easy game with high odds, you’re bound to win a few quid.
Here, we’re going to talk all about how to play baccarat, what baccarat is and how you can master the game by learning the rules!
What Is Baccarat?
Baccarat is a casino card game in which two hands are compared: the ‘player’ and ‘banker’ hands. Each round has three possible outcomes:
- The player hand having the higher score (a ‘player’ hand)
- The banker hand having the higher score (a ‘banker’ hand)
- The player and banker hand having the same score (a ‘tie’ hand)
The goal is to bet on which result will appear. Baccarat is completely a game of chance, so make sure to hedge bets when you’re feeling lucky!
Baccarat is a popular card game but is nothing like poker or blackjack. Because of this, it’s a great way to diversify your gambling experience, hone new skills, and win big.
It also has extremely high odds- no matter which hand you bet on, you have almost half a shot at winning. It’s a gamble, but it’s much less of one than you would be making at other games.
Baccarat began as a game for aristocrats and other upper-class citizens in 1400s Italy. While its origins are still hotly debated, most people believe that the game was created by an Italian gambler named Felix Falguirein. The original name ‘baccara‘ meant ‘zero‘ since the tens and face cards were all worth 0 points.
French players eventually adopted and populaised baccara and gave it the French spelling ‘baccarat’. It was a favourite of King Charles VIII and his court before being brought across the English Channel. Today, UK residents can enjoy baccarat at nearly every British casino.
Online vs In-Person Baccarat: Where Should You Play?
When beginning to learn any new casino game, it’s important to consider how you want to play. Traditional gambling where you go to a casino and play with other people in person is a great way to get the adrenaline pumping.
It’s a fun social experience and lets you have a good and memorable time with other players whether they’re friends or new competitors.
On the flip side, online gambling is convenient. You can do it right from your couch and place bets while wearing your PJs. It’s just as diverse in its offerings as traditional gambling is, so you can play many variants of baccarat on your computer.
The only real downside to playing online against a CPU is that you can’t interact with other players. Your winnings are completely determined by a computerized algorithm and you’re unable to watch the dealer and make sure that the game is fair. You also won’t be able to share your love of baccarat with other players.
Luckily, there’s a solution: live dealer baccarat.
A live dealer online room allows you to play against other players online. It connects you to other players via a dealer so that you can interact with others and the game itself in real-time. You get the full casino experience from the comfort of your home and have control over your winnings.
You also will have the opportunity to communicate with the dealer if you have any questions between rounds. You can keep tabs on what’s going on to make sure that the game isn’t being rigged by the house or by other players.
Live Baccarat Rules
As with all games, you’ll want to practice baccarat for free and get familiar with the baccarat rules before putting any actual money down on a game. Most UK live casinos have practice rooms where you can play friendly games against other gamblers without placing any bets.
You’ll be able to improve your skills before putting money down so that you can improve your chances of winning.
Understand the Types of Bets
We brushed on the concept of player, dealer, and tie hands earlier. But what determines the type of hand that is dealt?
- The objective of the game is to bet on the hand that has a point total closest to nine.
- Each hand is made up of only two cards, with each card having the point value as the number on their face.
- The exceptions to this are face cards and aces, both of which are worth zero.
Two hands will be dealt after players have bet on whether the banker or player will win.
One of the hands is designated as the ‘banker’ hand even though it doesn’t belong to the house any more than the other hand does. These terms are simply used to differentiate the hands.
Those that bet on the cards that have the sum closest to nine will cash out based on the size of their bet and the specific game’s regulations.
That’s all there is to Baccarat Rules! Baccarat truly is the easiest casino card game that you can learn to play.
Analyze Card Hands
The logistics of baccarat are easy, but figuring out how you should bet is a little more challenging.
- The payout for winning the player hand is a bit higher than that for winning the banker hand.
- You win double your stake if you wager on the player hand if it’s closest to nine.
On the flip side, you only win 95% of your stake if you do the same for the banker hand.
However, betting on the banker hand is still your best bet. The banker hand has higher odds than the player hand does- the likelihood of winning with a banker hand is around 45.86% while a player bet only cashes out 44.62% of the time.
You should only bet on player and banker hands. Even if the cashout is high, the odds of winning on a tie bet are extremely low. This is especially the case because ties provide the opportunity for either the player or the banker to win as well.
In baccarat, 8s and 9s are called ‘natural.’ If there is a tie but one hand has a natural in it, the hand with the natural wins automatically.
If there’s a tie without a natural, a third card is drawn to decide a winner.
Focus on the player and banker hands- they’re far more rewarding.
Side bets in live baccarat
Another advantage that you can find mainly when you play live baccarat online are side bets
There are now many baccarat tables online with live dealers that have side bets and you can now place a bet on like Player Pair, Banker Pair, Perfect Pair, Either Pair or Big and Small.
Player Pair: If both the Player and Banker receive a pair from the first two cards dealt, both the Player Pair and the Banker Pair side bets win.
Either Pair: Wins when the first two cards dealt on either the Player’s or the Banker’s hand make a pair.
Perfect Pair: Wins when the first two cards of either the Player or the Banker from a pair of the same suit.
Big: Wins if the cards dealt to the Player and Banker make a total of 5 or 6.
Small: Wins when the total between the Player’s and the Banker’s hand is 4.
Strategies for Winning
In addition to ignoring the ‘tie’ bet option completely, there are some other ways that you can take your winnings into your own hands.
The first is to continue to bet on the banker hand until it loses. Winning streaks are awesome, and the banker bet has the highest odds and is therefore going to have the most streaks. Once the bank loses, though, you’ll need to switch gears.
This doesn’t mean that you should bet player on the next outcome. Instead, you should take a round off and pass on the bet following a loss.
The bet that you place after your off-round should be the winner of the previous round, whether that’s a banker or player hand.
Remember to put all of these strategies to the test when practicing for free. This will help you figure out what methods work for you so that you can win more when betting for real money!
Be sure that you stick to a budget when heading off to an online casino. You don’t want to bet more than you have. Once you hit the number of losses that you previously told yourself that you can afford, pick up and walk away. You can always play again another day when you can afford to.
If you want to play baccarat live dealer games but you are not very familiar with the game here is some live baccarat online terminology which is also the same when you play at a land based casino.
Some of the terminology derives from Italian and French words due to the history of the game but when you are playing live casino baccarat the terminology is universal.
Baccarat: Baccarat means zero and is the worst hand on this game.
Banco: This is how the dealer is called in this casino game.
Punto Banco : Translates literally to player banker. Punto Banco is the most widely seen version of baccarat.
Chemin de Fer: This is a European Baccarat variation which is rarely seen especially online, however it is where one player is the bank, deals the cards and takes the bets.
One of the three possible bets on a standard baccarat table. Pays off 1 to 1 minus 5% banker commission. The house edge is just over 1%.
One of the three possible baccarat bets. Pays of at 1 to 1 and has a house advantage of just over 1%. Player is the opposite bet to banker.
One of the three possible outcomes of a baccarat coup. The tie bet has the highest pay off at 8 to 1 but also comes with the highest house advantage of just under 15%.
Commission: 5% ‘fee’ that the house takes on winning bank bets
Mini Baccarat: A popular version of baccarat where the live dealer deals all of the cards. Mini baccarat tables tend to be the main game in baccarat casinos.
Natural: A hand count of eight or nine from the first two cards dealt to a hand.
Run: A side bet that is sometimes offers that gives you the opportunity to bet on a series of hands. For example you could bet on five banker hands in a row.
La Grande: A natural totaling nine which is the best hand in Baccarat.
La Petite: A natural totaling eight (The little one, French).
Loss Bet: A bet against the bank.
Coup: French word for a round of Baccarat.
Now that you know how to play baccarat in a live dealer room, it’s time to start placing bets on the hands that you predict will win.
Check out the greatest live casino software providers in the UK to learn how you can begin setting up your online gambling account. You can also browse our blog for more tips and tricks on how to win big at your favorite card games. May the odds be ever in your favour!