A little bit complicated, and considered by many the exclusive domain of high rollers, baccarat is actually more accessible than it may seem. This is especially true if you aim to play baccarat online at our recommended online casinos for Canadians, where the rules and odds are extra clear. And while at land-based casinos, like those found in Las Vegas or Niagara Falls, baccarat players may be relegated to a separate room, online you’ll find this engaging card game right in the casino lobby. Play your cards right, and you can win yourself some serious cash!
Ready to play online baccarat? Check out our top choices below, with the best baccarat bonus offers, and overall game play.
The rules of baccarat: The more accurate name for the version you play online, Punto Banco – are at first glance somewhat complicated, and (unfortunately) what deter many potential players from this awesome card game. Do NOT be deterred. Figuring out how to play is not actually that hard. It just takes a bit of concentration, and some practice to get it right. So here’s how it goes…
Baccarat is a game based on points: Each card has its own value towards collecting these points, and it’s not always obvious.
The points from each of your cards is added up: and this total’s rightmost digit is what’s used for determining your hand’s value. So, for example if you have a 2 and a 3, then your hand is worth 5. If you have a 6 and a 7 (which add up to 13), your hand is worth 3. Since it’s it the rightmost digit that’s being used, this means a 9 value is the highest possible hand.
A card comparing game: Punto Banco baccarat is played between two hands – that of the player and that of the banker. As such, it has three possible outcomes: player, banker or tie. While you are technically the player, you can actually choose to bet on either the banker or the player as you see fit.
In standard baccarat play, 6-8 decks of cards are used: For each round (called a coup), two cards are dealt, face up, to each hand, alternating starting with the player and then to the dealer. If either has an 8 or a 9 at this point, the round is done. If not, a third card may be dealt to either the player or the banker (depending on very specific drawing rules), and the results from this hand determine the winner.
Punto Banco is a game of chance: Period. The cards that are dealt are the cards that are dealt. In the Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque versions of the game (as detailed below), there is an element of choice involved, which means there is some skill which you can put into play to improve your baccarat odds. In Punto Banco there is nothing you can do but bet wisely.
Winning odds for baccarat clearly favour the bank: The house edge is generally in the 1% range, and depends on who you’re betting on. For example, in 8-deck play it would be about 1.06% for a bank win and 1.24% for a player win.
An interesting fact is that, in places like Macau, over 90% of the casino’s total income has been known to come from Punto Banco play! And casinos can regularly win or lose millions of dollars in a night, just on baccarat. Take that as you will.
Maybe we should have emphasized this more strongly before, but it’s important to get one thing straight. What is generally referred to as baccarat, especially by North Americans (and that includes you, my Canadian friends), is actually more accurately Punto Banco. The same is true for baccarat online, which is usually Punto Banco as well.
Other baccarat games you may encounter, more likely offline, include:
Remember, as a game of chance, there’s nothing you can do to really improve your baccarat odds. Instead focus on other strategies to make the most of your play.
Wondering what baccarat is all about? This action-packed card game is really far easier than it seems, and incredibly fun to play! Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’re all but guaranteed to fall in love.
And playing online is the best way to go. This way you’ll always have access to a table, enjoy the betting limits that suit you, and have the support available as you need. Visit our recommended baccarat casinos today, for a first-hand taste of the hottest baccarat action around.