Baccarat is a card game that is played in many online casinos. Although not in demand as Blackjack or Roulette, it’s still a very popular game with ‘high-rollers’- casino lingo for players who can afford to gamble large amounts of money.
The game has been featured in numerous James Bond movies adding to the air of elegance and sophistication. Most brick and mortar casinos host baccarat games in roped off private rooms where hundreds of thousands of pounds change hands in just a single round of play.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a millionaire in a swanky Monte Carlo casino to enjoy this classic card game. All you need to do is sign up to an online casino, select a Baccarat game, and feel like James Bond as you wager as little as £1 per hand.
Read on to learn more about online Baccarat.
The History of Baccarat
Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games. It can be traced back to the late 15th century when it was introduced to France from Italy by Felix Falguiere and played with tarot cards. The name ‘baccarat’ comes from an Italian word meaning ‘zero’.
There is a logical explanation behind the name.
The name refers to the fact that 10s, and face cards (jacks, kings and queens) all have a value of zero. This also applies to any hand that amounts to 10, such as is the case when it comes to a hand of 6 and 4 amounting to zero.
Thanks to modern technology, Baccarat is quickly becoming a very popular game in online casinos. This is because the game has been developed to become much better when played over the internet. With baccarat banque, punto banco, chemin de fir, ez baccarat, mini baccarat, and other variations at your disposal, you are now able to pick the terms and style of play you are most comfortable with.
Playing Baccarat Online
Baccarat is played at a table for 14 players. Sitting positions are marked on the table from player 1-15, 13 is skipped for superstitious reasons. Three bet boxes are placed in front of each player. One for Player bets, one for Banker bets, and the third for Tie bets. Cards are dealt on the Player and Banker bet boxes.
Baccarat is played with decks of six, eight or nine cards depending on the casino, which are shuffled after each hand.
The rules of Baccarat are simple. The aim of the game is to get to as close to a total of 9 points as possible. There are very few decisions to make during play as the rules of the game are pre-determined. All you have to do is choose whether to place your bet on the player (Punto) or the banker (Banco) or bet on a tie between the two.
Hands in Baccarat can only total up to 9 as the cards are valued as:
- Ace: Valued at 1
- King, Queen & Jack: Valued at 10
- Number cards: Valued at their face value
When a hand is dealt, the value of the cards is added together. If the total exceeds 10, the ten is deducted from the total.
Example: If you are dealt a seven and an eight, the total is 15. Ten is deducted from the hand, leaving a total of 5.
The best possible hand you can get in Baccarat is known as a ‘Natural‘. A Natural is where the two cards you are dealt add up to a 9. Unless another player also has a Natural, this hand wins automatically.
In instances where there’s a tie, the player and the dealer are given an extra card each.
Baccarat Tips & Strategy
These tips and strategies can help you have a more enjoyable time playing Baccarat and even improve your chances of winning. Keep in mind however, that no number of tips is going to overcome the inevitable house edge.
- Take time to learn the Rules: A sure fire way of losing your money is sitting in a Baccarat session without a proper understanding of the game’s rules. Luckily, a tutorial is only a click away for online Baccarat players.
- Bet on the Banker: Wagering on the banker to win always gives the casino a minimum advantage.
- Don’t track trends: Don’t be the player who obsessively tracks the results for each hand. Looking for pattern in Baccarat is often misleading. Your best bet is to wager on the banker on every hand and hope for the best.
- Manage Your Bankroll: This tip applies to all casino games. Try and stretch your bankroll as much as possible in order to maximize the gaming experience. Before entering an online baccarat room, you should always determine how long you wish to play. Next, look at your bankroll and calculate the wager size that allows you play the entire session.
- Enjoy the Experience: Although you don’t need to wear a tuxedo at home, you can still recreate the elegant Baccarat experience at your computer by having some classical music playing in the background and imagining that you’re a wealthy spy agent. Always remember that baccarat is purely based on luck. Since you have no control over the outcome of your hand, the best you can do is savor every minute of play.