Live Dealer Baccarat
Baccarat is a very interesting game. Typically situated in the corner of a casino floor, the game is almost always packed with many observers as well as players, but a lot of you probably don't know what all the fuss is about. When online casinos became popular, more people started to dip their toes into the baccarat pool, only to find the game very fast, somewhat bland, and leaving them even more confused about its popularity. To be honest, the game itself is very simple to play, but playing online can seem far colder than what you have seen as a land-based casino.
Enter the live dealer version of baccarat. This game has been around for a decade now and is doing its best to bridge the gap between the feeling of playing live and the convenience of not having to put on pants to do so (we don't suggest you try this at your favorite Las Vegas casino...). This page is going to give you everything you need to know to understand live dealer baccarat, as well as letting you know what to look for when you decide you want to give the game a try.
Where Is the Best Place to Play Live Dealer Baccarat?
Don't need to learn any more about the game? You just want to get into the action and start playing some live dealer baccarat? No problem! We aren't offended at all, and this page will always be here if you are looking to gather more information. In the meantime, let's get you on your way with a list of recommended sites where you can find live dealer tables. These sites have all been thoroughly reviewed by our team of experts, covering everything from payment processing to promotions, and we think these are the best options for you. If you want to check out more sites, we invite you to head to our review section, but for the time being, here are our top 5 recommended live dealer baccarat sites.
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What is Live Dealer Baccarat?
Live dealer casino games have become very popular in the last few years, and baccarat is one of the games that work very well in this environment. For those of you who have never seen or heard of live dealer games, they are exactly as they sound - games you are playing online with a human dealer instead of the computer's random number generator. This is all made possible by software companies who have built the game with a live stream, allowing them to broadcast dealers from studios who are dealing the games that you are playing with digital chips. The fact that broadband internet connections have become faster and less expensive in the last decade has allowed these companies to come to the forefront, offering a different delivery method for the games you love.
The game itself is played the same way that baccarat would be played in a land-based casino or online with an RNG. The game revolves around two hands - the dealer and the player. Unlike blackjack, where there are multiple player hands that you control from your side of the table, in baccarat there is only one, and everyone bets on the outcome of that hand. This makes the game move quickly, as the cards are only dealt with two spots instead of 6 or 7.
The rules of baccarat are quite simple. Before every hand, you can bet whether the dealer hand will win, the player hand will win, or if the result of the hand will be a tie. After wagers are placed, the dealer deals out two cards to the player and dealer spots. The object in baccarat is to get a hand as close as possible to a total of nine, unlike blackjack, where you try to get to 21. The main difference between blackjack and baccarat is that all 10s and face cards in baccarat have a value of 0.
After the two hands are dealt, each is added up to determine the score and the subsequent action. First, if either hand adds up to 8 or 9, then it is called a "natural," and the hand is over, with the higher hand winning. If the hands do not add up to 9 (remember that an 8 and a 9 would be a 7, not 17), then there is a specific set of rules that must be adhered to for the remainder of play. Don't worry; you don't have to remember these while you are playing, as the dealer is in control of all the action. Here is how the rest of a hand takes place.
The player hand is played first. If the player hand has a 6 or a 7, then it stands. If it has a 5 or less, one more card is dealt, and that brings with it the final number. Then it is the dealer's turn to play, and this is where it gets a little harder to follow. If the player did not receive a card, then the dealer plays by the same rules as the player had to. However, if the player hand has been dealt a third card, then the dealer acts as follows:
- If the banker hand value is 2 or less, a third card is always dealt.
- If the banker hand value is 3, a third card is dealt unless the player's third card was an 8.
- If the banker hand value is 4, a third card is dealt if the player's third card was 2 - 7.
- If the banker hand value is 5, a third card is dealt if the player's third card was 4 - 7.
See what we mean? It is a little complicated, which is why the players don't control their own hands - the game would go on forever! At the end of play, the higher hand wins, and those who are on the right side of the wager are paid 95% of their bet in winnings (a 5% commission for the house). If the hand results in a tie, then all bets except the tie are losers, with the tie bet paid 10 to 1 odds.
The game is very exciting to play once you get the hang of the rules, but you have to remember that you are a passenger on this ride once you place your individual bet.
Things to Look for in a Live Dealer Baccarat Site
Okay, great! Now you know how to play the game and how live dealer baccarat works. The next step is to find a place to play! We already gave you a list of our most recommended sites, but we thought it might be nice for you to have a sense of how we came up with this list. Also, after reading up on how our reviewers do their jobs, you will have a better appreciation of how detailed our casino reviews are and the value they provide to our readers.
Here are a few of the considerations we look at while reviewing a place to play live dealer baccarat.
As you are going to be spending hours playing these games, it is really important to us that the software you are using is the best you can find. We test all the live dealer casinos on a regular basis. There are only a handful of companies that offer this game currently, but that number is very likely to increase with the growing popularity of live casinos. We look at both the quality of the software and the live stream - if the stream is slow, then your game will be choppy, and that is no fun at all.
Another thing to consider is the number of tables and dealers a software company provides. Industry leader Evolution Gaming has 8 studios around the world and hundreds of dealers on staff. This means that you are able to select many different table limits, along with picking what dealer you want to play with. This array of choice makes live dealer baccarat a more personalized experience than with an RNG-based game.
Having great software is one thing, but a casino that is enticing you to use their live casino takes the player experience to a whole new level. When we review casinos, we look at the general promotions and bonuses that a casino offers its players, but we are also on the hunt for offers that are specific to live dealer games.
We will make a note of a site that has this kind of offer, so you can take advantage of it when you are ready to give live dealer baccarat a try.
Many of you will be trying live dealer baccarat for the first time after reading this article, and maybe that means you will have more questions than normal when you sit down at a table. How a site approaches customer support is a critical part of our rating system. The dealer you see on the live stream will not be able to help you, as they are focused on dealing. You want to play with a casino that offers 24/7 real-time customer support, especially if you are having problems with a streamed game. Live chat is the preferred way of offering support these days, but bonus points are given to a site that gives you a telephone number, as sometimes it just takes the sound of a voice to calm the nerves of a gambler having an issue at the table.
Why Would Players Play Live Dealer Baccarat?
There are a couple of significant reasons why people choose to play live dealer baccarat over the RNG version. First of all, the fact that you are playing with a human on the other end of the live stream gives the game a feeling that is far closer to what you would expect from a land-based casino. Hands play more slowly, which means you aren't burning through bets at an alarming rate (many players complain about this when playing RNG games).
Also, the game is far more social. Even though you are sitting in your own home or wherever you have chosen to play, you are actually sitting at a table with more players, and with the chat feature, you can engage in discussions with them while the hand is taking place. This can be a nice way to break up the gameplay, which can be a tad boring, as you don't actually act in the hands themselves. We know many players who have started long-lasting friendships by chatting at these live dealer tables.
There is no doubt that live dealer games are the way of the future for the online casino industry. Games like baccarat really benefit from the live stream version of the game, giving players a chance to play in an environment similar to what they have seen in a land-based casino, but also giving them a chance to learn the game so it isn't as intimidating to walk up to one of these busy tables. Now that you have a better understanding of the game, the rules, and why live dealer baccarat has become so popular, we suggest you scroll back up this page and click on one of our recommended sites and give the game a try!