Channel your inner 007 with this classic casino game that's much simpler than it first seems!
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Just like when you partake in Roulette online, Baccarat online imitates how the game is played in a land-based casino, so you can bet on the player or the banker.
The game one of the lowest house edges of all casino games, except perhaps Blackjack online games which usually have the lowest house edge.
The version of Baccarat that we know today was first played in the casinos of Mar del Plata in Argentina with a game called Punto Banco, and was then taken to the casinos of Cuba from there.
American casino boss Tommy Renzoni then discovered the Baccarat game in the post-Castro Cuban casinos of the 1950s, and took the game back to Las Vegas with him. We revisit the history of Baccarat further down the page, so keep scrolling!
The aim of Baccarat is to get to as close as nine as is possible. You will receive your cards, add the value, and the hand with the higher value wins.
The card values are as follows:
Baccarat is a game of chance which makes it a thrilling and exciting game to play. It also makes it easier for you to learn how to play Baccarat and start enjoying the game more quickly. Regardless of whether you play Baccarat online, or at a live casino, the rules remain the same.
As with all games, it’s useful to understand the basic rules before you start playing to have an idea of what to expect and how you may win, lose, or tie a game.
When playing Baccarat, you are able to bet on either the player or the banker winning the hand. Failing that, there is a third option, to bet on the player and the banker having an equal score on their cards. But the odds for this happening are very low, making it a much more high-risk bet.
At a regular casino you may see players keeping score and counting cards and patterns to establish betting odds, however it is debatable whether or not this is in any way useful as each hand is independent of the next. If you want to, you are given the option to count cards in Baccarat online as well.
Eight decks of cards are used at a regular Baccarat casino table, and normally six decks of cards are used for Baccarat online. First, the dealer will turn over one card to determine how many cards the dealer will burn, according to the value of the card in this game. A King, Queen, Joker, or a 10 will result in 10 cards burned.
You begin playing by betting on either the player, banker or a tie between them. Once all bets have been placed the dealer hands out two cards to the player and two cards to the banker.
The player will receive only two cards, with the aim of getting as close to a 9 as possible. Every card is worth its face value, except for Aces which are worth one, and the King, Queen, and Joker cards which are worth zero. You can only have a single digit score up until 9, and after that the score becomes zero, one, two, three, etc., again.
For example, if a player is given a 5, and then is dealt a 6, the total would be one (counting 6, 7, 8, 9, then 0, 1). Another way to look at it which may be easier for some is to add the two figures together (using the same example, 5+6=11), and then remove the double digit figure (the number on the left). In the example mentioned you would remove the first 1 from 11 and you are left with a score of 1.
Points are then announced for the first round. If the player or banker has scored an 8 or a 9 this is called a natural, and they win automatically - just like an Ace and a 10 in online Blackjack. If the other also has an 8 or 9, then it is a tie.
A third card may or may not be dealt to the player depending on the following rules:
The bank rules are a bit more complex. The bank will take a third card if:
The round finishes either when the player or the banker has a total of an 8 or a 9 with the first two cards, or if a third card is drawn. Whoever has the highest score closest to 9 wins.
If you have the memory of a goldfish, just remember that the only choices you have to make are about the bets you place and whether or not you want to ask for a third card when the sum is five or less. The rules for the banker are pre-determined.
These are the payouts you can expect in the various different scenarios that Baccarat online conjures up:
It's the moment online gamblers live for; the sweet taste of victory that comes when withdrawing your winnings. No-one wants that feeling tainted by any unnecessary barriers to taking what it theirs.
This is where your choice of payment method comes in. At CasinoGuide, we advise choosing from the top PayPal casinos online today - with PayPal it is quick and easy to withdraw money from your account. Alternatively you can try a Bitcoin casino - UK online casinos are adopting this revolutionary new payment option more and more.
Baccarat strategy is actually quite simple. As the dealer will play the hands according to the set of rules above, there is no real decision-making throughout the game as what the dealer does is pre-determined already.
The only decisions to make are where you will bet and the amount of your bet - apart from that you can sit back and watch the action unfold as you pour yourself a glass of champagne.
However, there are some things you can keep in mind to increase your chances of pocketing more than you came with at the end of the game:
Here are two important points to remember regarding Baccarat odds – take them into consideration when you are formulating your Baccarat strategy:
The high-class game of Baccarat, once a popular game amongst the French nobility, has been played since the 13th century and is one of the most popular, high-rolling games played in live and online casinos today.
The Baccarat casino game is both colourful and eccentric. It is one of the oldest casino games on record, dating back almost 600 years. Like many other casino games, the variation of Baccarat game played today in casinos around the globe and online was derived from other card games until it reached its final form.
It can be seen as the lovechild, of classic games Chemin de Fer and Baccarat en Banque, and later on Punto Banco from the casinos of Mar del Plata in Argentina.
Although documentation pointing towards its exact origin is patchy, it is most likely that the game originated in Italy, and was then taken to France where it was then played by the ruling French elite.
There is a popular, rather unbelievable, yet entertaining myth floating around regarding the origins of Baccarat. The legend takes us to an ancient Etruscan ritual involving patiently waiting for a vestal blonde virgin (of course it has to be a virgin) to throw a nine-sided die.
If she rolled an 8 or a 9, the virgin would become a Priestess, however, if she rolled a 6 or a 7, then she was banned from all religious activities and her vestal virgin title would be stripped from her. If she rolled any numbers below a 6 then she had to walk into the sea to drown a depressingly sorrowful death.
Slightly fanciful for the origins of a card game!
The more believable Baccarat game origin story takes us to the invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg in roughly 1440, which had reached mass printing operations throughout Europe by 1500. Alongside printing the bible, Gutenberg also printed tarot cards, the first playing cards ever to be printed and circulated.
The tarot cards had four suits like today’s playing cards, but each European region had different suits. The cards were numbered Ace to 10, with four face cards, the King, Queen, Knight, and Jack, along with a single fool card.
It is rumoured that after the printing of the tarot cards, an Italian gambler who went by the name of Felix Falguiere, adopted the virgin legend in the 1400s and turned it into a wagering game using the fixed number card game and the significant number 9 to play with these first tarot cards. This is believed to have been the first Baccarat game which somewhat resembled what is now played at the modern day Baccarat casino table.
It is believed that the game was played by the Italian nobility in small circles, however the game only became popular when taken to France by the soldiers of Charles VIII in the 15th Century. It was the French nobility who popularised the two main versions of the game; Chemin de Fer, a non-banking version, and Baccarat en Banque, a banking version.
The game was originally the pastime of the nobility as a result of the high cost of the playing cards in the early days of printing. When the games became illegal in France during the reign of King Louis Phillip in 1837, they moved underground and shifted from being a game reserved for the nobility, to one played by people of all different social classes.
The games travelled to the Americas from Europe due to immigration of Europeans in the region. A third version of the game called Punto Banco emerged, which was developed in the Argentine casinos of Mar del Plata before the 1950s. Cuban casinos then picked up the game from Argentina, and it was in Cuba that the big American casino boss Tommy Renzoni discovered it, and took it to the United States with him.
Until this point, Blackjack and Craps ruled the large American casinos. But when Baccarat was brought to the United States from Argentina via Cuba, and the first Baccarat game table opened in Las Vegas in 1959, a new era in American casino begun. In the very first night of play the Sands Casino lost $250,000 at the Baccarat table, however soon enough they started to make their money back – the House always wins after all!
Baccarat took a while to capture the imagination of American gamblers due to the complexity of the game, and it targeted at high rollers as a result of the high cost to run the game when it first started. Over time, a more simplified version of the game was developed, called Mini-Baccarat.
Mini-Baccarat uses a much smaller table, similar in size to a Blackjack table, with only one dealer. This new set-up of the game attracted the more casual American player and those with a slighter smaller bankroll, which helped boost the popularity of the game to the levels it enjoys now.
However, it also remained a game that appealed to high rollers - which is why in many casinos today large sums are wagered at the Baccarat casino table behind closed doors or behind a curtain or rope. When you see what looks like a VIP area, it is normally the Baccarat table. Most casinos will offer a variety of versions, so if/when you play make sure to check exactly which one it is.
Nowadays, Baccarat is accessible to all, thanks to the modern day world of mobile devices, wifi, and online games. The beauty of playing Baccarat online is that you can choose which variation of Baccarat game you want to play. Chemin de Fer, Baccarat Banque, Punto Banco, and Mini-Baccarat can all be found online.
If you just want to get the hang of the game without risking any money, you have the option to play Baccarat for free right here at Casino Guide, as much as you like.
The exclusivity that precluded Baccarat has been erased by the online Baccarat casino revolution, and it can now be enjoyed by anyone at all with an internet connection who wants to take part in this thrilling game.
Even once you get started playing Baccarat online for real money, there's no need to worry - while the game involves high stakes when played in live casinos, Baccarat online games are more accessible to those with less to spend as the stakes are much, much lower.
All you need to do is pick an online Baccarat casino from our recommended list, grab your bonus and start playing!