Online baccarat has played a crucial role in popularizing online casino games. Baccarat offers fun gameplay that does not require much strategizing. It makes it distinct from other online card games, such as blackjack and poker. Add baccarat’s long history, and you can easily see why it remains a must-have for online casinos.
If you have never tried online baccarat before, we have you covered. We cover everything you need to know to take on online baccarat. How do you play online baccarat? What variants does it offer? Find all of this out in this article.
RULES OF BACCARAT
When it comes to baccarat, the gameplay loop is sweet and straightforward. Players place wagers on three main bets: banker bets, players bets, or a tie. Casino members place their stake by putting chips on the relevant bet section. After you place your wagers, the dealer starts drawing cards. The computer will draw two cards for both the player and dealer. Depending on what cards the dealer has drawn, more cards may appear on the board.
Card values in baccarat are worth their face value. A two-card is two points; a four-card is four points, etc. The game decides the point total for a hand by adding up the value of all cards. If your baccarat hand has a two and a five, your point total is seven. If the point total goes over ten, the first digit is removed. That means a point total of thirteen will become a three after the release axes the first digit.
Once the host draws the cards, their score is added together. The goal is to land a hand with a score of eight or nine. If a player’s hand is between zero and four, they draw a third card. The dealer draws a third card based on the player’s hand. Both sides aim to have their card total be either eight or nine. If neither side has a nine at the end of the round, the side closest to it wins.
Baccarat pays 1:1 if you wager on the player bet and win. Meanwhile, a banker bet pays 0.95:1. That is because baccarat implements a 5% commission on the banker bet. The banker bet has a lower house edge than the player bet even with the decreased reward. The banker bet’s house edge is 1.06%, and the player bet’s house edge is 1.24%. Tie bets usually pay 8:1 if you score them. However, their house edge is 14.36%, which is generally not worth playing.
BACCARAT SIDE BETS
Most online baccarat games offer one or more side bets to their players. These wagers are riskier but offer a slightly better payout to entice you to try them. Most of the time, side bets have a much lower RTP than standard baccarat does. As such, you should only play them for entertainment rather than hoping to turn a profit reliably.
The most common set of side bets is pairs. Winning these wagers requires getting two matching cards in the relevant hand. The exact requirements vary between what kind of pair side bet you are playing.
- The Player Pair and Banker Pair side bets grant a reward if their corresponding side draws a pair. The reward for both side bets is 11:1. Both side bets have the same house edge, which is 10.36%.
- The Perfect Pair side bet pays if either the player or banker position has a pair with the same suit. It is not enough for both cards to be sevens. Instead, both the number and the suit have to match. The more demanding side bet has a better payout, sitting at 25:1. Its house edge is 13.03%.
- Either Pair pays if the banker or player sides draw two cards with matching numbers. This side bet does not care where the pair appeared, just that it did. Because it is easier to win, its payout is just 5:1. The house edge for Either Pair is 13.71%.
- The Big and Small side bets grant a reward depending on how many cards the host deals. If they draw four cards, the Small side bet wins. If they deal five or six cards, the Big side bet wins. Big pay 0.54:1 when won and has a house edge of 4.35%. Small awards 1.5:1 when won and has a house edge of 5.27%.
POPULAR BACCARAT VARIANTS
Any online casino game eventually sees some variants added to the mix. Baccarat is no exception to this, either. Software providers are happy to change one or two elements. However, they preserve the straightforward gameplay players love baccarat for. If you want something slightly different, these variants are a good pick.
An increasingly popular baccarat variant simplifies the same even further. Dragon Tiger removes drawing second or third cards. Instead, the computer draws two cards on both the Dragon and Tiger sides. The highest value card wins the round. If the two drawn cards feature the same number, the match ends in a tie. The house edge for either Dragon or Tiger bets is 3.73%, slightly higher than standard baccarat.
No Commission Baccarat is another fast-growing baccarat game. As its name implies, this version of baccarat does away with the 5% commission for banker bets. If you win wagering on the banker, you receive the total 1:1 payout. There is an exception to this rule, and it happens if the banker’s hand wins with six. In such cases, banker bets pay 0.5:1. The house edge for banker wagers is 1.46%. That is higher than the 1.06% house edge in traditional baccarat.
ARE THERE ANY BACCARAT STRATEGIES?
One of the most important things to remember is that baccarat does not have any strategies. At most, players can choose what wagers to play based on their house edge. If you want the greatest odds of winning, the banker bet is the best pick. Even with the 5% commission, the house edge is just 1.06%. Players should avoid tie bets for the same reason. Their 14.36% house edge is not worth playing.
If you feel like trying Baccarat now, we recommend Bovada online casino. They’ve got an excellent selection of Baccarat games.