A Complete Guide to Baccarat

When you are playing casino games, we guess that most of you stick to slot
machines, blackjack, and roulette. Actually, that isn’t a guess – we can tell
that from the data we’ve seen from casinos. There are loads of other great games
to try in either a land-based or online casino, and we want to try to help you
learn about each one so that you can feel comfortable sitting at a table the
next time you are feeling the urge to gamble.

This page is going to look at the game of baccarat. A game that has been
around for centuries, it seems like more of a niche game in a casino, but those
who play it swear by the game. Let’s break the game down for you – where it came
from, how to play it, and what to look for if you are looking to play baccarat
online.

A Brief History of Baccarat

Depending on the source, there are a couple of stories about the invention of
baccarat. While we can’t guarantee whether the game was invented in France or in
Italy, we can agree on one thing: it was one of the two places. The word
“baccarat” is a word used to describe the number zero in both languages, which
is an even bigger clue. The first mention of the game dates all the way back to
the 1400s.

Baccarat is a game that was very popular with the royalty in France, and when
it was first played, it was more of a social game. However, the game became even
more popular as it spread across the country and when gambling was added into
the mix. Over the centuries, the game spread from France and Italy across Europe
and finally made its way over to the United States in the 19th century.

The game was not nearly as popular in the US as it was in Europe, but it did
continue to be played. Baccarat was introduced to Las Vegas casinos in the 1950s
and is a staple of almost all casinos in the country today. Baccarat still isn’t
as successful as games like blackjack and roulette, but we are convinced that
this is because the casinos don’t do a great job of teaching people how to play.

The Best Baccarat Sites

One fun way to learn faster is to use these guides in conjunction with
playing the game online. Rather than wait for you to read this entire page (and
any others you may come across), we thought we would pause here to give you a
head start on finding a great baccarat site. We’ll talk a little bit about what
makes up a decent baccarat site later on.

These sites will all give you not only great baccarat games but also
excellent promotions and customer service to round out your player experience.

Rank Gambling Site Deposit Bonus Get Started
#1 [LOGO_ALT]
Vegas Casino Online
100% Up To $11,000 Visit Site  
#2 [LOGO_ALT]
Wild Casino
250% Up To $5,000 Visit Site  
#3 [LOGO_ALT]
El Royale
240% Up To $12,500 Visit Site  
#4 [LOGO_ALT]
Bovada Casino
100% Up To $3,000 Visit Site  
#5 [LOGO_ALT]
Cherry Gold
200% Up To $10,000 Visit Site  
#6 [LOGO_ALT]
Red Dog Casino
225% Up To $12,250 Visit Site  

How to Play Baccarat

Okay, while you are looking at sites and starting to create accounts, it’s
time to turn our attention to teaching you how to play the game! We’ll be
focusing on the online version of the game, which is a one-player version,
versus the table game in a land-based casino which can seat up to 9 players.

The number of the players at the table actually doesn’t matter, because in
baccarat, there is only one hand dealt that all players make their bets on. This
game, which features a player hand and a dealer hand, is really quite simple, as
the player also doesn’t have to make any actions – the dealer takes care of it
all. It is almost like you are just betting on the hand of another player at the
table.

The premise of the game is simple – the hand that has the highest score wins.
However, the value of the cards is different than in most other games. In
baccarat, the ace has a value of 1, and all 10s and face cards have a value of
zero. The 2-9 are valued the same as their number indicates. The goal is to get
as close to 9 as possible, with either 2 or 3 cards based on the rules we will
outline here.

Before each hand is dealt, you will have the choice to bet on the player
hand, the dealer hand, or a tie. Once you have placed your bet, the cards are
dealt (online, you have to press the deal button). At that time, the dealer
deals two cards face-up to the player spot and two cards face-up to the dealer
spot.

Here is where the playing rules come in (remember, you don’t have to do
anything, as the dealer takes care of it all). If the player or dealer’s hand is
an 8 or a 9, then the hand is considered a natural, and the action stops right
there. If neither hand is an 8 or a 9, play continues.

The player hand is first to act. If the player has a 6 or a 7, then no more
cards are drawn. If the player has a 0-5 total (remember that all face cards and
10s are worth zero), then a third card is dealt with the hand. At this point,
the player totals the cards, and that is their score for the hand.

The action then turns to the dealer hand, which takes on slightly more
complicated rules. We’ll try to keep this as simple as we can. If the player has
not taken a card, then the dealer plays on with the same rules as the player.
However, if the player did end up taking a card, then the dealer switches to
these modified rules:

  • A banker hand with a
    value of 2 or less receives a third card no matter what
  • A banker hand with a
    value of 3 would receive a card unless the player’s third card was an 8
  • A banker hand with a
    value of 4 would receive a card if the player’s third card was 2 – 7
  • A banker hand with a
    value of 5 would receive a card if the player’s third card was 4 – 7
  • A banker hand with a
    value of 6 would receive a card if the player’s third card was 6 or 7
  • A banker hand with a
    value of 7 does not receive a third card

At the end of this action, the winner of the hand is determined by which hand
has the higher total. Winning bets on the player’s or dealer’s hands are paid
out at 1.95 to 1, as the house keeps a 5% commission on all winning hands. A tie
hand pays those who bet on the tie 8 to 1.

Online Versus Live Baccarat

While the games are essentially the same no matter where you play them, there
are some differences when you play online versus playing at a land-based casino.
The first difference is speed. When you are playing in a land-based casino,
there are typically going to be more players sitting at the table, which will
slow down the betting and payout process. The good news is that there is still
only one hand being played, which makes the game faster than a full table of
blackjack players.

Another difference will be in the way the cards are shuffled. Most baccarat
tables use 6 or 8 decks in one shoe to keep the action going. This allows
players to watch for patterns of cards as the shoe continues, although this
doesn’t present the same value as card counting in blackjack. When you are
playing online, the shoe may have 6 or 8 decks, but all the cards are shuffled
every hand, so there is no discard pile to take into consideration.

The final difference we will discuss is the number of variants of baccarat
you will find playing live or online. Since the game isn’t as popular as other
table games or slots, land-based casinos usually only offer one or two baccarat
tables, and these are typically Punto Banco tables, the most common form of
baccarat. Online, with no space restrictions, a casino operator can offer other
variants like Super 6 for you to choose from.

What to Look for in a Good Baccarat Site

While we have given you a few great options for sites to try online baccarat, we know many of you want to do research on your own. We have a
team of experts at this site that reviews hundreds of online gambling companies,
and here are some highlights of what the team looks for when reviewing baccarat
sites.

Game Selection and Limits

We talked briefly about the fact that online you are more likely to find a
site that offers more than one version of baccarat. This is something we look
for, so you have those options if you want to give each of the variants a try.
Also, we want to make sure that if a site only offers one baccarat option, that
it is a game you recognize. We also look at the betting limits for baccarat, and
we hope to find games that allow novice players the chance to play for smaller
denominations should they choose.

Bonuses and Promotions

Having a great selection of baccarat games is one thing, but we go a step
further when we review a casino. We are always looking for the sites that
provide the best value for your deposits, including those that have great
deposit bonuses and ongoing offers. Many of these will not be baccarat-specific,
but any type of bonus or loyalty offer that earns you money goes straight to the
profit line for you, and given the nature of gambling, we want you to have the
best chance of walking away a winner.

Mobile Compatibility

These days, you are more likely to use your mobile device than your PC, and
the gaming world has responded by configuring most casino games and sites for
mobile accessibility. Baccarat is a great game to play on your phone, so you
should be looking first for sites that have a native app for iOS or Android. If
a site doesn’t have an app, that’s okay, because almost all of them offer a
browser-based version of games that will work on the majority of devices.

Conclusion

Now that you have read this page, we are certain you are ready to find a
baccarat table and sit down. However, if you want to practice the game, we
suggest you check our recommended sites for those with play money versions of
the game so that you can get in some action while following along with our
guide.

We think that you will find baccarat to be very enjoyable, and we hope that,
armed with all this knowledge, you will have a long session or two the next time
you decide to play casino games.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know the Online Baccarat Game Isn’t Rigged?

Many players have concerns about the validity of the games they are playing
online. In the early days of the online casino industry, there definitely were
incidents of improper gameplay on the part of games developers. However, the
easiest way to tell if your site is safe these days is to look for certification
of the random number generator and software. There are many third-party auditing
firms that check all the math for each game. There is no real benefit to a
supplier rigging the games, so if you find a site with a seal from an auditing
firm, then you should feel very safe.

Can I Play More Than One Spot in Baccarat?

No. This isn’t like blackjack, where you would see different hands in each
spot. There is only one player spot for hands, and all the bettors are betting
on the outcome of that hand. If you want to make a larger bet, be our guest, but
at the end of the day, you are not able to hedge a bet by playing the second
spot.

What is Super 6?

Super 6 is a version of baccarat that has become popular in the last few
years. You will most likely find this game in a live dealer version of online
baccarat, although it does also exist online. Super 6 is a game that plays
exactly like Punto Banco, except that there is an extra bonus bet that you can
make. To win this bet, one of the hands must be a 6 when the hand is complete.
This bet, which cannot be played unless you are also playing on the winner of
the hand, pays winners 10 to 1.