Different Baccarat Games – Which Version Should You Play?

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Baccarat

Baccarat is a traditional table game that’s been in casinos for a long time. Therefore, many gamblers don’t think of baccarat as having multiple variations.

However, this game does feature several different variants. Each version can vary in terms of the rules and side bets.

Assuming you’re interested in enjoying more variety with baccarat, then you’ll want to check out the following guide. It covers various baccarat games along with advice for finding them.

What Are Some Different Baccarat Variations?

Baccarat offers more variety than many gamblers realize. Below, you can read about several of the variations available in land-based and online casinos.

3 Card Baccarat

Popular in Macau casinos, 3-card baccarat features a single 52-cad deck. Each round starts with dealers distributing three cards to themselves and the players.

The scoring rules work just like regular baccarat, where face cards are worth zero and other cards are worth their numerical value.

However, a hand with three face cards is actually worth the most. Meanwhile, a score of 9 is the second-best hand (normally first best in the traditional version). Assuming the banker and player tie, the hand with more face cards wins.

Baccarat Banque

More common in Europe, Baccarat Banque features three decks and plays similarly to Chemin de Fer (covered next). Both games give you the option to act as the bank.

Unlike Chemin de Fer, the player acting as the banker doesn’t typically play against other gamblers nor cover their bets. They must wager on the banker side winning.

For the most part, other players only gamble on the player side. However, they can also challenge the banker by betting against them with a matching wager. If the player wins, they act as the bank in the next round.

Chemin de Fer

Popular in Europe—especially France—Chemin de Fer is another baccarat variation that lets you act as the bank. Assuming you accept the banker role when given the option, then you play against fellow gamblers.

Chemin de Fer is played on a large table that seats up to 14 players. It’s normally only available in VIP areas of European casinos.

Mini Baccarat

Mini baccarat is the most-popular version of this game. It sees the dealer handle all of the action and doesn’t give players a chance to bank.

As the “mini” implies, this game features a small table that seats up to seven gamblers. The small table combined with the dealer handling everything makes for fast gameplay. Mini baccarat tables may see up to 200 hands per hour in some cases.

Most gamblers enjoy mini baccarat due to its simplicity and fast-paced action. They don’t need to do anything other than choose outcomes and place bets.

Punto Banco

This variation of real money baccarat is almost the same as mini baccarat. It too sees the dealer handle everything while players simply make bets.

However, the key difference between mini baccarat and punto banco is that the latter uses three dealers. The mini version, by comparison, only features a single dealer.

Of course, you don’t need to worry about the varying number of dealers when playing online punto banco. The software deals everything and handles bets.

Which of These Baccarat Games Is the Best?

You may have your own opinions on which of these baccarat variations reigns supreme. Popularity wise, though, mini baccarat rules gambling floors from Las Vegas to Macau.

Before the mini version came along, baccarat was primarily dedicated to high rollers. Games happened in VIP areas, where gamblers needed to bet at least $100 to participate.

Mini baccarat changed all of this, though. It features low stakes and is available on the regular gaming floor—not just in high-roller areas.

Many gamblers appreciate the low minimum bets on mini tables. They can play for $5 per hand at many casinos.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that you completely ignore all the other games covered here. But if you’re looking for a good starting point with baccarat, then the mini version is definitely a nice place to begin.

How Do You Find Different Baccarat Variations?

You find baccarat games by combing land-based and online casinos. Brick-and mortar-venues are especially good about offering different types of baccarat.

Most casinos feature punto banco and mini baccarat at the minimum. Larger establishments may also throw Chemin de Fer or Baccarat Banque into the mix. Macau casinos offer the unique 3-card game.

Of course, you don’t want to spend countless hours jumping from casino to casino in search of variations. Instead, you should do your research ahead of time.

A simple visit to your local casino’s website will reveal what types of baccarat they offer. If they don’t have this information listed, you can always email or tweet them.

Online casinos make it easy for you to scout their game selections. You simply visit a given site and look through their selection to see what’s available. You’ll find baccarat variations listed under the table games section.

Always Remember to Cash In on Baccarat Rewards

You might be so excited to try a new baccarat game that you forget about taking advantage of rewards. However, you should always put yourself in line to earn comps.

You begin collecting baccarat rewards at online casinos immediately. After all, the sites already have your information on file after you sign up.

Land-based casinos require you to make a special effort when registering for the VIP program. You can either sign up online or physically visit the player’s desk.

Once you’ve joined the player’s club, you’ll receive comps based on your total betting action. Comp rates differ based on the casino, but you can generally expect to be comped at around 0.05% of your wagers.

Here’s an example on what you’d get back in rewards based on this rate:

  • You wager $4,000.
  • 4,000 x 0.0005 = 2
  • You’ll receive $2 in comps

A couple dollars doesn’t sound like a lot. However, $2 in rewards is certainly better than receiving nothing at all. Furthermore, you can look forward to a higher comp rate by giving the casino more action.

Mind Your Bankroll – Especially When Playing for Bigger Stakes

Your bankroll presents one more thing to consider when sampling different baccarat games. You may be tempted to wager lots of money when trying a new variation.

After all, a new baccarat game offers plenty of excitement. But you shouldn’t get so wrapped up in enjoying a new game that you forget about proper bankroll management.

That said, you want to dedicate time to mapping out a bankroll plan before pursuing more games. Here’s an example on doing so:

  • You have a bankroll worth $500.
  • Your average bet size is $5 per hand.
  • 500 / 5 = 100 units
  • You set a stop-loss limit of 20 units per session.
  • 100 / 20 = 5
  • Your bankroll will last for at least five sessions.

Nothing guarantees that you won’t get overtaken by the moment and risk more money than you should. However, a management plan at least improves the chances that you won’t get too carried away.

Conclusion

Baccarat features more layers than most people realize. It offers several variations that can differ based on the following factors:

  • Scoring rules (e.g. 3-card baccarat)
  • Whether players do or don’t get to bank
  • Number of decks
  • Number of dealers

You shouldn’t have any trouble moving from one baccarat variation to the next. The main rules are the same, or at least very close, between different variants.

Nevertheless, it helps to know something about any new game. You can use this guide to get a head-start when playing a fresh variation and know the rules ahead of time.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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