Baccarat is one of the world’s most iconic casino games. It’s easy to play, thrilling, and comes with a very attractive, super-low, house edge.
If you want to learn how to play the game, read our guide and let us show you the real deal.
Ready for some baccarat? Here is our selection of the best places to play.
One of the joys of baccarat is its simplicity. Betting is easy, with only three possible options: banker, player, or tie. Unlike blackjack, players don’t have to make any in-game decisions. You just make your bet, cross your fingers, hope for the best, and the dealer does the rest. Simple.
Baccarat is a competitive card game, played between the bank and up to 14 players. In Asian baccarat, the dealer acts as the bank. In the older, European, version of the game, known as Chemin de Fer, players would compete against each other, with everyone taking on the role of banker in turn. There are also different variations, including 3 card baccarat.
Before the game begins, players must place their bets; choosing either player, bank, or tie. The action starts with each player and the dealer getting two cards; typically dealt from a shoe holding between six and eight decks.
The total points of the cards are then added together. If necessary, and according to a set of pre-determined rules, one more extra card is drawn. The winning hand is the one closest to a total of nine. If both hands are the same, it’s a tie.
In baccarat, when you total the two cards, the number can never be higher than nine. If the total is higher than nine, the first digit of the total is removed.
All picture cards and the ten are worth zero points. The ace is worth a single point.
If you are dealt a 10 and a five, your hand equals: 0 + 5 = 5
If you are dealt a seven and a six, your hand equals 7 + 6 = 13 (remove the first digit and the hand equals 3)
If you are dealt a king and a jack, your hand equals 0 + 0 = 0
If you are lucky enough to get dealt cards totalling eight or nine, you have a ‘natural’; normally, a winning hand.
The Third Card
If neither the player nor the banker achieves a natural (a points total of 8 or 9) the ‘table of play’ – the ‘tableau’ – applies. The rules of when exactly to draw extra cards are different for both the player and the banker. There is no choice. These are pre-determined rules that you can view online.
Here is the tableau:
If the player stands with a 6 or 7, the banker follows the same rules as the player; drawing a third card with hands totalling points of 0 to 5 and standing with hands totalling points of 6 or 7.
However: If the player does draw a third card, the banker must act according to the tableau.
Conclusion and Commission
After the croupier has dealt all the cards according to the tableau, the winner is decided and paid at even money. However, because the banker bet actually has a higher probability of winning, a commission (usually 5%) is paid to the house.
Some casinos offer commission-free baccarat but there is usually a hidden cost. Read the small print. If the outcome is a tie (égalité), player and banker bets roll over to the next game. Tie bets pay out at either 8:1 or 9:1.
Now you know the rules, start playing baccarat at our highest-rated casino below.
If you like your online casino action with a human face, live dealer baccarat is the real thing. In the past ten years, live streaming casinos have come a very long way, with high definition broadcasting and intuitive interfaces.
Playing an online baccarat game with a real dealer is for many people as close as they will get to real Las Vegas casino experience without hopping on an aeroplane and heading to Nevada. Carbon friendly, convenient, and all from the comfort of your home.
The beauty of live streaming Asian baccarat is its transparency. There are no random number generators, no complicated algorithms, no questions about fairness. Just a dealer, several decks of cards, and a baccarat table. You can see everything as it happens – in real-time.
In truth, online baccarat has very few strategic moves. Unlike blackjack, where tight, disciplined, play can dramatically reduce the house edge and improve your chances of winning, baccarat is more akin to roulette. It is essentially a game of luck without any real strategy.
There are – however – a few golden baccarat rules that will improve your odds of winning when you enjoy a live online baccarat game. The only decision you need to make is where to place your bet. This is the key to optimising your time at the table. You must choose wisely.
Baccarat already comes with a very low house edge. In fact, it’s one of the lowest of all casino games (which is why we think it’s such a cool game). However, the edge varies depending on the bet. If you choose to bet with the banker, the edge is around 1.06 per cent. If you bet with the player, the house edge is about 1.24 per cent.
The bet to avoid at the baccarat table is the tie. This is where you are betting on both hands being equal. This is classified as a sucker bet. It may pay out at either 8:1 or 9:1 but the house edge is almost 15 per cent. This means you can expect to lose $15 for every $100 gambled. If you bet the bank, you lose only $1.06 for the same $100 stake. Even online slots rarely have a house edge of more than 12 per cent.
There is one final consideration. Betting the banker is the wise play but it comes at a cost. You must pay a small commission to the house with every winning hand.; normally about 5 per cent. Some casinos waive this charge but normally at a cost elsewhere.
Our team of gaming experts has decades of experience in the online casino business. From the first online betting site in 1997 to streaming live dealer baccarat and virtual reality, we’ve played them all.
Our reviewers have worked with some of online gaming’s pioneers and legends, including Intertops, PartyPoker, BoDog, 32Red, Mansion, BetWWTS, BetOnSports, Casino Choice, and many more.
We now use our experience to bring you all the information you need when betting online. We rank sites based on ease-of-use, customer support, playability, range of payment methods, speed of payouts and reputation.
The one thing you don’t want to gamble with is your choice of casino. Today, rogue websites are few and far between, but you can never be too careful. Any online casino website we champion must conform to strict security and safety rules.
If we’re talking Asian baccarat, then the right currency is critical. Our top casinos will accept INR and a wide variety of other Asian currencies.
It’s all about the baccarat. Our recommended sites offer you a range of exciting play online options. Dig in and find your favourite online casino.
You can’t beat a bonus, a special offer, or a cash kickback. We’ve dug deep to find the best deals online.
Small but perfectly formed. Our selection of baccarat casino’s offer mobile play which allows you to put this classic game in your hand.
The best site for playing baccarat online is one that’s secure, rewarding, and varied. Luckily for you, all of our recommended baccarat sites offer these things. We’ve checked their licenses, their safety measures, their bonuses, and their game collections. Choose from our list for a great baccarat online experience.
Unfortunately, baccarat is mainly a game of luck, so there’s no guaranteed way of winning. That said, you can improve your chances by following some basic rules. Our experts advise you to always bet on the banker or the player (never a tie), and to stick with a plan throughout. You should also play at a safe and reviewed casino, to ensure the game is fair.
Yes, of course you can play baccarat online for free. In fact, you can play it at this very site today - no strings attached. You can also choose an online baccarat site that allows you to play in demo mode. Then, once you hone your skills, you can deposit via various payment methods and move onto real money games.
Most of our recommended baccarat sites offer both video and live versions of this exciting game. When browsing online casinos, look for those with respected live game providers. This includes NetEnt, Playtech and SG Digital.
The house edge in baccarat online varies depending on what bet you place. A tie bet has the highest house edge of usually around 15%. In contrast, betting on the player gives you a low house edge of around 1.24%. Betting on the banker is even more profitable, with a house edge of just 1.06%.