With simple gameplay and minimal skill, online baccarat is a game of chance that has thrilled the crowds for decades.
Rising to fame after being featured as James Bond’s table game of choice in the novels of Ian Flemming, today baccarat is one of the most sought-after games at land-based and online casinos alike. Traditionally speaking, there are 14 seats at a baccarat table numbered one to 15, with seat number 13 intentionally omitted for superstitious reasons.
Online baccarat is generally played with six or eight decks of card, and the name is said to come from the old Italian word ‘baccara’ which translates to ‘zero’, referring to the zero card value face cards and tens have in this exciting game.
If you’re looking to learn how to play online baccarat, you’ve come to the right place. Join us in exploring everything this game has to offer, while discovering whether it’s the right game for you next time you hit your favourite online casino – let’s get right to it.
A Brief History of Baccarat
The origins of online baccarat are somewhat unclear, with some saying that the French actually developed Baccarat sometime around the 19th century. The first mention of this was published in a 1847 book by Charles Van Tenac and is referred to as Baccarat Banque or Baccarat à Deux Tableaux. One popular online baccarat variation is known as Baccarat Chemin de Fer, which translates to ‘railway baccarat’. An even more simplified form of the game is known as Punto Banco, which is said to have originated in a casino in Havana, Cuba.
There are also several versions with regards to the meaning of the name and its origins. The most popular belief is that the word stems from the Italian word ‘baccara’ as mentioned earlier on in this online baccarat guide, however there is no clear proof of this either. Seeing that most references point to France, it might very well be that the game actually originated there, with game historian Thierry Depaulis claiming the name actually originates from an expression used in the Provence region, fa bacarrat, which translates to ‘go bankrupt’!
Types of Online Baccarat
When it comes to playing online baccarat, there are a number of variations you’re able to play. In today’s online baccarat guide we’re about to highlight some of the most popular variants among casino players, which include:
- Punto Banco
- Baccarat Banque / Baccarat à Deux Tableaux
- Chemin de Fer
This is probably one of the most popular versions, currently played in most of the world especially in Asian casinos amongst high rollers. Although several players are known to bet on the outcome, this online baccarat variation is essentially a game between the ‘player’ and the ‘banker’. The only choice that’s left to the player is what side they’d rather bet on, with the outcome of the game left to pure chance.
In this case, a number of 52-card decks are shuffled together, and for the purpose of the game every card rank is assigned a different numerical value as mentioned earlier on, with number cards and Aces worth their same value in terms of points, and tens and face cards worth zero points.
Two cards are dealt to both the player and the banker and the dealer will call out the score. Depending on the score, both sides are now able to stand or request a third card should the total be five points or less. Whenever the player stands the banker will follow suit, hitting whenever his/her hand is five or less in value and standing on anything over six.
Baccarat Banque / Baccarat à Deux Tableaux
As far as we know, this is the original form of 19th century baccarat, with the earliest descriptions mentioning this exact same version. In this case, Baccarat Banque is played using three decks of 52 cards and is somewhat similar to Chemin de Fer which we’ll discuss in the section below in this online baccarat guide. In this case, however, the banker is allowed to play further while the player position will remain fixed.
Just like the name suggests, in this case you’ve got two sides to the table, with the player assigned to the left- and right-hand side of the banker. In this case, one hand is assigned to the players on the right, another to the players on the left, and a third to the banker who sits in the middle. In this case, both sides of the table will play against the banker and not compete against each other.
Chemin de Fer
Another popular online baccarat variation is the Chemin de Fer which was originally created to include the dealer’s choice with players taking turn to act as the banker during their gameplay. This version was featured in early James Bond films, namely Casino Royale and in contrast to the Punto Banco variation, both the player as well as the banker are not always able to draw a third card.
The main difference with this variant is that Chemin de Fer generally requires at least six players at the table, and the dealer is equipped with a long wooden paddle which allows him/her to move the casino chips and cards to the far end of the table.
Once again, two hands are dealt; one to the player and the other to the banker, with the player to the right of the dealer able to be the first banker, after which this will rotate in a counter clockwise fashion around the online baccarat table.
General Rules of Online Baccarat
If you’re looking to learn how to play baccarat, the first thing you’re going to want to keep in mind is what we’ve already mentioned above; tens and face cards are worth zero points, while the Ace all the way through the Nine will retain their numeric value.
Each game round will begin with the dealer dealing four cards face up – two to the banker, and two to the player. The aim of the game here is to bet on a hand that’s closest to nine points in total. Whenever the card total exceeds this value, (e.g. 7+7 = 14), then the first number is dropped, leaving you with a total hand value of four in this case for example.
The aim of the game is to guess which hand will be closer to nine in value and placing your bet on it before the cards are dealt. There are also another couple of online baccarat tips you’re going to want to keep in mind before hitting the table. These include:
Whenever the banker or the player is dealt an eight or a nine, then both hands will stand.
Whenever the player’s hand is equal to five points or less, then s/he is able to stand or request a third card.
If the player chooses to stand, then the banker is required to hit on a total of five points or less.
As a general rule, banker and player hands pay 1:1, whereas if you were to choose to bet on the tie and win, then you can expect an 8:1 payout in return. There are also a number of online resources available to help you keep track of your gameplay.
Online Baccarat Strategy Essentials
If you’re looking to refine your skills in terms of online baccarat strategy, we’ve got you covered. The first thing you’re going to want to keep in mind is that online baccarat is game of chance, which means that technically you’re slightly limited in the ways you’re able to increase your chances of winning apart from the obvious, which includes ignoring the tie bet option which, statistically speaking, is the rarest form of outcome.
When first learning how to play online baccarat, most would recommend always betting on the banker, which offers a more attractive betting option than betting on the player. Because the nature of online baccarat is entirely random, standard casino betting systems such as the Martingale or the Fibonacci system do not always perform favourably, and are not always recommended when it comes to this sort of game.
- It’s generally preferred to bet on banker
- Never bet on a tie unless you’re feeling particularly lucky
- Look for games played with fewer decks
- Make sure you’ve completely understood the rules
How Live Dealer Baccarat Works
The classic game of baccarat has entertained the crowds for centuries, so with the advent of online casino, evolving into live online baccarat felt like the next natural step. If you’ve never played live online baccarat before, it’s pretty much the closest thing to a brick and mortar casino experience you’re able to enjoy from the comfort of your home.
In this case, you can expect to enter a number of online baccarat tables that are hosted by a real-life dealer with real decks of cards. Thanks to the latest high definition streaming technology, along with multiple high-tech cameras, you’re able to take a virtual seat at the table and watch the action unfold in real time as it’s being broadcast from a series of casino studios from around the world.
When playing live online baccarat, as opposed to the digital version, you will always be presented with real cards rather than virtual representations. You’ve also got the peace of mind in knowing that its impossible to rig this sort of game, since everything is happening while you watch. Having said so, reputable casinos are always licensed and regulated, which means that there are already third parties in place monitoring game transparency and fairness, but if you’ve ever had any doubts whatsoever with regards to online baccarat, live online baccarat is able to dispel these notions.
If you’re tempted to learn how to play online baccarat at a live casino table, then you’re going to want to have the basics covered. Mostly because live casino games include the additional element of a messaging function that allows players to communicate amongst each other as well as directly with the dealer.
The game interface for this form of online baccarat includes a similar setting to the one found in the classic casino game, allowing players to place their wagers and purchase additional chips. One of the handiest online baccarat tips when it comes to live casino actually, is that some live casino tables allow players to observe the game rather than play straight away. This will allow you to get a better feel of what to expect before diving right into the game straight away.
Top Baccarat Casinos
If you’re looking to put your online baccarat strategy to work, here are some of our favourite casinos that offer this thrilling game. These include the following, in no particular order:
- Videoslots Casino
- Twin Casino
- Riobet Casino
- Spin Pug Casino
- PlayOJO Casino
Positioning itself as the world’s largest online casino, Videoslots offers its players a selection of formidable games including the latest and greatest slots, video poker, roulette, blackjack, poker, jackpot games, scratch cards, bingo, and of course live and virtual online baccarat games. Sign up is free and simple and new players are treated to a 100% bonus up to €200 on their first deposit as part of their Welcome Bonus.
Offering over 2,000 casino games and customer support around the clock, Twin Casino is a massively established European casino that’s regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority.
It provides players with a vast selection of games that include casino slots, scratch cards, and classic table games such as roulette, blackjack, poker, and of course online baccarat, Twin Casino offers a two tiered Welcome Bonus structure that includes a 100% bonus up to €200 on your first deposit as well as 200 free spins on Play’n GO’s epic Book of Dead slot. There’s also a chance to double up on your second deposit with an additional 100% bonus up to €200 along with another 200 free spins – just in case the first batch wasn’t enough.
Offering over 4,000 casino games to all its players, Cyprus based RioBet Casino is one of the fastest growing new online casinos to hit the scene and really leave its mark.
Offering a grand selection of games which includes craps, keno, scratch cards, bingo, casino slots, and table games such as poker, roulette and online baccarat, RioBet Casino keeps things nice and simple and allows new players to kick off their casino experience with 15 free spins after sign up with no deposit required, as well as a Welcome Bonus that includes a 100% bonus up to €1,000.
Marketing itself as the cutest casino around, SpinPug Casino is regulated by the gaming authorities in Curaçao and offers over 2,500 top quality casino games from some of the best software providers out there.
Offering a wide variety of games including slots, jackpot games, bingo, scratch cards, and of course table games such as roulette, blackjack, poker, and online baccarat, here’s an online casino that’s offering a generous 500% match bonus up to €100 as part of its Welcome Bonus.
There’s also a second deposit bonus up for grabs in this case offering a 300% bonus up to €60, along with a 200% bonus up to €40 on your third deposit and 100% bonus up to €25 on your fourth. SpinPug also offers a daily 20% cashback on all live casino losses if you’re up for trying a couple of rounds of live online baccarat while you’re around.
Licensed and regulated in Malta, Sweden, the UK, and Denmark, PlayOJO Casino is a reputable online casino that offers great promotions, daily tournaments and much more. In terms of game selection, we’re looking at slots, poker, live casino games, blackjack, online baccarat, craps, scratch cards and more.
With regards to bonuses and promotions, PlayOJO awards one free spin to all its new players for every €1 in their first deposit up to a max of 50 – and the most interesting part here is that they’re wager free – meaning that any potential wins you might hit during this time are credited directly into your account as real money.
PlayOJO also makes use of its OJOplus program to reward each of its players by offering a guaranteed cash prize for every game played on the site – 0.6% back on every real money wager you place on the site, which could end up accumulating over time.