The Predecessor of Blackjack
Baccarat is a rather old card game and is thought to have been invented by Italian soldiers. This game is the predecessor of blackjack: As a matter of fact, the general rule system of both games is similar. However, baccarat is a more difficult game to play, and unlike blackjack, it can be played between two players. So there is no obligation to play against a dealer. This is a game that requires you to use a strategy, and the house edge is less than 1%. So your chances of winning are extremely high, especially if you play optimally.
Baccarat was famously featured in the James Bond movies, but it precedes those films, with its first appearance dating back to France and the Italians of the fifteenth century.
The Baccarat means “zero”, and this is especially fitting since zeros play a major role in the gameplay.
The game was only brought to limelight during the French aristocracy which was hundreds of years after its first appearance. Over time, it became a popular feature in the United States and other casino halls around the world. Thanks to the Internet, Baccarat was one of the first online casinos in the digital space, and you can now engage in Baccarat play for real money.
You can either play Baccarat for real money or play its demo version. Both versions are great ways to engage in the exciting card play. You can also play alone for real money on most Baccarat games, with the table limits varying according to each game.
Some variants allow you to engage in a multiplayer game with other real players. These variants are referred to as live dealer online games, and gameplay here involves live video stream from a casino.
Online Baccarat Rules
The game is played between two people, banker and player. The banker does not have to be a dealer; it can be another player. If it is played between two players, the casino only acts like an escrow service and receives a commission from the winner (on average 5%). The goal is to achieve a total of 9 points or better than the banker. In this context:
- Ace is worth 1 point,
- Tens and face cards worth nothing,
- All other cards worth their face value.
- Suits have no role in the game.
If you have a total score higher than 9, the number on the right is ignored. So for example, if you have 12 points in total, you actually only have 1 point – because 2 is not taken into account. As we mentioned above, the highest total points you can get is 9. Every hand in baccarat pays 1: 1. However, in some casinos, it is possible to see payouts of 8: 1 or even 9: 1 in case of a tie.
The game also allows you to select where to bet – you can do this on the player’s hand, banker’s hand, or draw. The banker starts the game. If the player’s first two cards are worth more than 6 points, he cannot ask for another card. However, if they are worth less than 5 points, he can request another card. This rule also applies to the banker, but for him, the values of the points are 7 and 6. The third card is extremely important for baccarat because, at this point, the banker is forced to act in certain ways. Prior to the cards being dealt out, you are required to place a bet on the betting circle. The bet would be placed on the hand that is closest to a total of 9 points. The player and banker’s hands are dealt two cards, and they both must announce this total. Each hand has a maximum of 9 points in total. For example, if a hand is made up of 6 of Spades and 5 of Hearts, the hand’s value is the total second digit, which is 1 point. This applies to all the hands. Hence, if a player consists of 3 of Clubs plus 9 of Diamonds, that is a 2-point hand.
Online Baccarat Variants
What we discussed above were the “Punto Banco” rules. There are two variations of baccarat, “Chemin de Fer” and “Banque”. The general ruleset is the same, but these variants can only be played between players. Casino dealers cannot intervene. In these variants, which are usually played between 6 people, the banker changes every hand. For the same reason, money accumulating at the table can reach very high figures. It’s hard to see these variants at online casinos; they are usually available only in clubs for high-rollers.
The game gives you two options: you can stake on either the banker or player to win. You can also bet on a draw or tie, but the odds of this stake are usually low and are better avoided. Since you must place your wager before the cards are dealt by the croupier, you are required to make a decision before you know your cards. There are a total of three bets in online play, without an option of adding any more bets.
Play to Win
Baccarat is not a game that is unfortunately subject to bonus promotions. Since it is not a popular option among card games, baccarat-specific campaigns are not organized. However, you can use the financial advantages you get with welcome bonuses to play it with real money. In addition, baccarat-specific campaigns can be rarely seen in the live casino category.
If your bet on a player’s hand is successful, you will achieve a payout of 1:1. In the same way, betting on the banker’s hand will give you a 1:1 payout, but there is usually a 5% commission charge for the casino. It is also possible to bet on the tied hand, and if this is successful, you will enjoy a payout worth up to 8:1. Get started already and select the online casino of your choice.
Practice with Free Baccarat
If you are yet to play online and the game appeals to you, you can still give it a try without having to spend money. Give the game a shot and play its demo version for free – and enjoy the fun and excitement it promises.