Guide to Real-Money Online Baccarat

Casino baccarat is a fun card game that can be played for real money. The aim is simple: bet on the outcome of two hands – the Player and the Banker – to win cash. You can back the Banker, the Player, or bet on the Tie (both hands are the same). Stakes can be pretty low, and the games are fast.

Most online baccarat games can be downloaded for easy access. Alternatively, you can play a no-download version through your web browser. (Make sure to download Adobe Flash or enable it in your chosen browser.)

Whichever you choose, make sure your Wi-Fi or internet connection is solid so you don’t lose a bet mid-hand. In the event of a disconnection, you will normally be able to join the action where you left off.

Getting Started: Making Baccarat Bets

Playing online baccarat is simple: there are two hands dealt, the ‘Player’ and ‘Banker’. The aim is to get as close to a total of 9 as possible. Aces count as 1, face cards count as their value, and picture cards/10s count as zero.

An 8 or 9 dealt straight away is called a ‘natural’. If either the Player or Banker has a natural, the hand is over and winning bets are paid out.

Players can bet on the Player, the Banker, or a Tie (both hands are equal). The payouts are as follows:

Player: 1/1
Banker: 19/20 (a 5% commission is taken)
Tie: 8/1

To place bets, drag your chips onto the area you want to bet on. Once you’re ready, click the ‘Deal’ button. Most of the time, it’s just you against the dealer – you won’t have to wait for players finishing their betting. The Player always makes moves first, and all cards are dealt face up for the table to see.

Third Card/Drawing Rules: In some cases, a third card will be dealt to the Player and/or Banker depending on the total of the first two cards. There is no decision-making process required from the Banker or Player, as all cards are drawn to strict criteria.

PLAYER: A Player gets a third card if their total is 0-5.

BANKER: The Banker will also get a third card if they have 0-5 and the Player is standing (taking no further cards) on a total of 6 or 7. However, if the Player draws, the Banker may also draw depending on his own total:

0,1,2 – Always draw a card
3 – Banker draws if Player’s third card is 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9
4 – Banker draws if Player’s third card is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
5 – Banker draws if Player’s third card is 4, 5, 6, 7
6 – Banker draws if Player’s third card is 6, 7
7 – Banker stands

Popular Online Baccarat Variants

Baccarat can be played online in a variety of formats. The basic baccarat or Punto Banco games are easy to pick up, and some casinos offer’ Turbo’ versions of the game for faster play.

The house edge in baccarat is 1.06% for a Banker win, 1.24% for the Player, and 14.36% for the Tie. This reflects the average payouts to players over the long term in baccarat games.

European/Classic Baccarat: The popular form of baccarat lets you bet on the Player or Banker. In some formats, you’ll be able to gamble on side bets:

Player Pair: The Player is dealt an identical pair (11/1)

Banker Pair: The Banker is dealt an identical pair (11/1)

Perfect Pair: Either Banker or Player has a pair, same suit (25/1)

Either Pair: Any of the Banker’s or Player’s cards make a pair (5/1)

Big: Value of all cards is 5 or 6 (0.54/1)

Small: Value of all cards is 4 (1.5/1)

Mini-Baccarat: Without the popular side bets of other variants, Mini-Baccarat makes the gameplay faster and betting a lot more fun.

Progressive Baccarat: This version of baccarat allows players to make an extra bet and play for a share of an extra pool when a certain hand is hit. Both the Banker and Player having a suited A-8 ‘natural’ will trigger the biggest jackpot. However, smaller portions of the jackpot pool can be won if you bet on either the Player or Banker having a ‘natural’, and one appears.

Live Baccarat: Live Casino, or Live Dealer, baccarat lets you play hands with a real-life croupier. A human croupier deals cards from a real-life shoe onto a table in a casino setting. The cards are specially chipped or barcoded and appear on your screen as they come out. Bets are placed in the normal way but you’ll be able to chat to the dealer in real time.

Following Baccarat 'Roadmaps'

Like in roulette, you can follow the last hand or hands dealt with the use of ‘roadmaps’. You can even scan roadmaps in the baccarat lobby before joining a game. Here you’ll be able to see a variety of grids, depicting a history of the Banker’s hands, the third cards drawn, and stats on who won which hands.

Remember, however, that baccarat is a game of chance. Decks are shuffled and the outcome of the cards is totally random. There is no reliable ‘prediction’ of how cards are going to come out but many gamblers still see patterns.

Players can still print out a cheat sheet which shows the pattern of play depending on the Player’s or Banker’s cards. Remember, the house edge is better for the Banker as they have to act based on the Player’s cards. But be mindful that the casino will take a 5% fee if the Banker wins.

Putting Your Baccarat Towards A Casino Bonus

In most cases, baccarat play can contribute towards a welcome or reload bonus. However, while slots usually contribute 100% towards a play-through amount, baccarat might be in the region of 10-25%.

While that might seem stingy, it’s important to keep in mind the house edge in baccarat. For an optimum strategy on betting the Banker, players can enjoy a house edge of just over 1%. That makes baccarat one of the best casino games for gamblers. Choose the right site and always check the Terms and Conditions before you play. That way you can find some great deals.