Online baccarat is not the game you see in the older James Bond movies. That baccarat variant is called Chemin de Fer and is played at land casinos only. Online baccarat is based on another land casino baccarat variant called Punto Banco. Punto stands for punter or Player and Banco stands for Banker. The hands of the Player and Banker are automatically played out according to set rules. You simply back on one of these hands.
This section explains the game play, rules and optimum strategy for online baccarat along with its advantages and disadvantages.
- In online baccarat you do not play any hands but simply back either the Player’s hand or the Banker’s hand as ending up with a higher value.
- Betting on the Banker’s hand is the optimum online baccarat strategy despite a commission being levied on the payout because it yield’s a higher average return.
- Online baccarat games often include side bets and history charts but these are ignored by the expert players.
- Live dealer baccarat games are more interesting because they are closer to the real casino experience and have additional features like in play betting and payouts based on win margins.
Online Baccarat variants
All Dutch online casinos offer a standard variant of baccarat. There are some nominal variations. The standard game has three betting options. In the Player Bet, you back the Player hand. If the Player hand wins, you get paid, but if the Banker hand wins then you lose the bet. In the Banker Bet you back the Banker hand. If the Banker hand wins, you get paid, but if the Player hand wins then you lose the bet. The Tie Bet wins only if both the Player hand and the Banker hand are of the same value.
In certain online baccarat variants you can bet on either the Player hand or the Banker hand or both hands being dealt a pair in the first two cards. Online baccarat variants are also spruced up with different history charts and squeeze and peek animations. Live dealer baccarat games are more interesting. Dragon Bonus Baccarat has a side bet that pays out based on the margin of victory. Live In Running allows you to place bets at declared odds after each card is dealt.
How to play online Baccarat
The first step in playing online baccarat is learning how the hands are valued. The system is different from other card based online casino games. Cards from ace to nine are valued at their pip count, with ace being one point. Tens and the picture cards are valued at 0 points. To get the hand value, the points of the cards are added up and the tens digit is dropped. Therefore, the highest hand value is 9, which is referred to as a natural in online baccarat.
You first place your bet in the designated Banker Bet, Player Bet or Tie Bet positions. Theoretically you can place all bets, but this is not a wise move. Then one card is dealt to the Player hand, one card to the Banker hand, a second card to the Player hand and a second card to the Banker hand in that order. The rules of baccarat may require a third card dealt to the hands. These rules are somewhat complex, but you need not know them because they are built into the software. The third cards are dealt automatically if required. After all the cards are dealt, the hands are compared and the hand with the higher value wins. If both hands have the same hand value then the hands are tied.
Online Baccarat strategy
Online baccarat strategy is based on the payouts and the average return for each of the bets. The three main bets are discussed here. A win on the Banker’s hand pays even money less a 5% commission for the online casino. This works out to a payout is 1 to 0.95. The average return for this bet for an online baccarat game with 8 decks is 98.94%. A win on the Player’s hand pays even money and there is no commission. The average return for this bet is 98.77%. The Tie Bet usually pays 8 to 1 and offers an average return of 85%.
The first lesson in online baccarat strategy is never place the Tie Bet. What you need to do is bet on the Banker’s hand deal after deal after deal. Even after paying the commission this bet has the highest return. Do not worry what the history charts show. Those are just to enhance the visual appeal of the game. If you have an option, select an online baccarat game with fewer decks, because that increases the average return for the Banker Bet marginally.
Advantages and disadvantages of online Baccarat
Online baccarat offers the highest average returns for online casino games based only on luck. You only have to choose the correct bet, which is the Banker’s Bet. Baccarat is a low volatility game suitable for conservative casino players who are averse to taking risks and want to preserve their bankrolls.
The advantages come with some disadvantages as well. The payouts for the only two worthwhile bets are 0.95 to 1 and 1 to 1. Hence you are unlikely to end up with big wins. Betting on the Banker’s hand deal after deal makes online baccarat a boring game.