Before, the game of baccarat was reserved for the bourgeoisie, the high class. But that was before! Without having lost its glamour and chic side, the game is now accessible to the masses, especially online, where it is one of the most popular casino games. Do you want to go for it and play it like James Bond? Then don’t move! This detailed guide tells you everything about the game, from its origins and rules, to professional tips on how to beat the casino. Are you comfortable? Let’s get it on!
The history of the game of baccarat
To understand a game and its fundamentals, nothing is better than a little history. And as you will see, the history of baccarat (which is also spelled “baccarat”) is quite particular. It is impossible to say with certainty where the game of baccarat comes from and when it was created. Several peoples and countries, especially European ones, claim authorship of the game. Some think it is French, while others are convinced of its transalpine origins.
Although we are very chauvinistic and would be delighted to put the “French” label on this card game, the theory that baccarat was invented in Italy seems more likely to us. This approach is based on various accounts dating back to the 15th century, evoking parts of a game very similar to baccarat as we know it today, and which would have been thought up by a certain Felix Falguerein. This hypothesis of the Italian origins of baccarat is further supported by the very name of the game which, in Italian, means “None” or “Zero”, like the value of the tens and face cards in this game.
At the end of the 15th century, Charles VIII and his soldiers brought back from their war against Italy, the game that spread quite quickly in the circles of the aristocracy. The nobility adopted it and made it a game reserved for the upper classes. The simple rules of the game encouraged players to bet big and playing baccarat soon became a way for the wealthy bourgeoisie of the time to demonstrate their love of risk, but also to display their wealth.
It is in very posh circles that the game knows its best hours, and that variants such as the “Chemin de Fer” are developed. It was then exported across the Channel, then to the British colonies of the time, particularly in Asia, and then to America, from the 19th century onwards.
However, it wasn’t until the early 1950s that the first baccarat tables appeared in Nevada casinos. The Dune Casino in Las Vegas was the first to open a baccarat table in the “city of sin”. It was soon followed by other establishments in the city where mini baccarat and Punto Banco, the most popular variation of baccarat in American casinos, gradually developed.
From then on, the game gradually abandoned its elitist image, largely thanks to the cinema. When James Bond, Agent 007, inspired by the works of Ian Fleming, appeared in several films as a baccarat enthusiast, interest in the game rose sharply. Then, starting in the 1990s, the advent of online casinos made the game of baccarat definitively accessible to all players, including those with small budgets.
The rules of the baccarat game
If you don’t know how to play baccarat yet, don’t worry. The rules of the game are frankly simple and easy to understand. No need to think too much or do a lot of calculations. The dealer (or computer system) takes care of most of the actions. The only real requirement is to be able to count to 10..
As with other casino games, bets are placed before the start of each baccarat game. Within the allotted time, you must place your chips on one of the slots provided for this purpose. As mentioned above, you can bet on :
- the banker’s hand: if this hand wins as you predicted, you will get your bet back plus one more time. Please note that the casino deducts a 5% commission for this type of bet;
- the player’s hand: If you win this hand according to your prediction, you will also receive the amount you bet, in addition to your original bet. The casino commission does not apply here.
- a Tie: If you predicted a tie between the two hands and it comes true, you will receive a payment of 8:1. In other words, you get your original bet back, with a bonus profit of eight times that amount.
As far as betting limits are concerned, they vary depending on the table you are playing at. Online, these limits are pretty wide and really allow all types of bettors to try their luck.
Example of a baccarat game
The game of virtual baccarat differs slightly from that in hardcore casinos. In the latter, things are fairly ceremonial, with up to three different croupiers intervening during the course of a game. 2 to 8 decks of 52 cards are used and can accommodate up to 12 decks. In the classic version of the game, each of these decks plays the role of the banker in turn.
Online, things are somewhat simplified. You’re usually alone with a dealer for the live versions. After placing your bet based on the options described above, the dealer (or the system as the case may be) deals the first cards as follows: the first and third cards for the player’s hand, the second and fourth cards for the banker’s hand. All cards are placed face down at the beginning. Once the deal is complete, they are all turned over.
There are two main scenarios:
- one or both hands are worth eight or nine points: We’re talking about “Natural”. In this case, the hand with the higher value is declared the winner. If you bet on this hand, you will receive a payout as detailed above and the game ends;
- There is no “Natural”: in this case, the game continues, with the rules for drawing the third card. In summary, remember that a third card will be added to the player’s initial hand only if its value does not exceed 5. Above this value, no more cards are added to the player’s hand.
As for the banker’s hand, it receives a third card if its value is less than or equal to two points. If, however, the initial hand is worth 7 points, no more cards will be added to it. Finally, if the Banker’s hand is worth 3, 4, 5 or 6 points, a third card will be added under certain conditions, depending on the nature of the player’s third card.
But don’t worry, you don’t need to master all those decision patterns. On a virtual baccarat, the system takes care of everything automatically. All you have to do is place your bet on time and cash out your winnings if you win.
Strategies for winning at baccarat
It is often said that baccarat is a game of chance and that you just have to rely on luck. In reality, things are a little more subtle than that. There are a few strategies that are well known to experienced baccarat players that will maximize your chances of winning. These are strategies related both to how you manage your bets, as well as specific techniques to gain a certain advantage over the casino. Here are the three baccarat strategies that we recommend:
Tips to improve your chances
If you don’t want to just play extras anymore and want to play smart, here are some tips that will be very useful:
Master the rules of the game
You can’t get enough of it: learn the rules of the game and take the time to understand them before you start playing in real mode. It’s true that your actions during a baccarat game are quite limited, but you still need to understand the dealer’s actions to know how to apply your strategies;
Make the right choice of variant
There are many variations of baccarat today. Some of them have very advantageous rules for players. While waiting to come back to this below, you should already know that in some of these variants, the banker’s commission is abolished. In others, the casino’s statistical advantage is reduced. So look for these variants and play in priority on them.
Prioritize bets on the banker’s hand
If you’re going to win at baccarat, you need to know the odds associated with each bet. The upside is, there are only three of them. Keep in mind that bets on the player’s hand have an average probability of 44.6%, while those on the banker’s hand win in 45.9% of cases. The latter therefore have a slight statistical advantage. During your games, therefore, give preference to this type of betting as much as possible. Remember, however, that the casino normally recovers a 5% commission if you win with this bet.
Betting on a tie: better to avoid!
With only 3.3% average probability, a tie bet is the riskiest bet in baccarat. So don’t be dazzled by the 8:1 payout promise. Play it cautiously by avoiding this option as much as possible.
Set limits and respect them
That’s good advice for all gambling. In the specific case of baccarat, it is important not to be tempted by the desire to burn by imitating certain gamblers who sometimes have very large budgets. Set betting limits right from the start and withdraw in time to avoid losing all your capital.
In virtual casinos, different variations of baccarat are offered to players. All of them are based on the same basic principle, but include some specificities in their rules. Here are the 5 most popular ones:
The best online baccarat software
Several publishers specializing in the design of virtual casino games offer online baccarat games. There are certainly not as many as for slot machines or roulette, but the choice offered is still quite interesting. To access the most successful games of the lot, refer to the creations of the following software publishers:
Advantages of playing baccarat online
Although it is now much more accessible than in the past, the game of baccarat is still absent from many hardcore casinos. Online, however, it is systematically included in the game libraries of almost all virtual casinos. And to play baccarat, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your couch or office chair to go to a casino.
Make yourself comfortable, with your glass of Vodka-Martini in your hand and your cigar on the spout if you wish. No one will be able to forbid you. The other great thing about playing online is that you can really play 24/7.
Online, there are also more choices. The large number of online game publishers gives you access to new variants that you won’t find in any hardcore casino.
Is it possible to play baccarat online for free?
Like other table games, online baccarat is offered in demo mode at most virtual casinos. In order to allow players to familiarize themselves with their various creations, the publishers make them available in a free version. All you have to do is go to a virtual casino that offers the game and launch it to start playing.
The software provides you with a fairly large fictitious bankroll that allows you to bet as if you were playing with real money. The only difference here is that you will not be able to cash in any winnings. Of course, you won’t actually lose any money in the event of a losing bet either.
This form of gambling is ideal for those who just want to play baccarat for fun, but also for anyone who wants to take the time to get used to the game or integrate strategies before starting to bet real money.
What bonuses are available to play baccarat?
Bonuses are part of the benefits of playing casino games on the internet. Every good virtual casino offers a number of bonuses to attract players and encourage them to play more. However, these bonuses are still mainly aimed at slot machine enthusiasts. Although it is possible to use most of them to play baccarat, special conditions are usually imposed.
Most of the time, bets made with bonus money on these games are not 100% taken into account in the wagering imposed by the casino. You may have to wager 10 times as much at these tables in order to withdraw your winnings. This logically makes this type of bonus unattractive for baccarat players.
Some online casinos offer special bonuses for table games. These promotional offers are less frequent, but can be very interesting for baccarat, blackjack or roulette lovers. They generally take the form of deposit bonuses. Very few online platforms offer no-deposit bonuses for playing baccarat.
Finally, baccarat tournaments are a fairly common form of promotion in virtual casinos. They offer the opportunity to win interesting prizes and, for some, to take advantage of the casino’s generosity.
Is it possible to play online baccarat on mobile phones?
Well in tune with the needs and expectations of players, the companies in charge of designing casino games now offer creations with “Mobile Responsive” interfaces. This means that these games are designed to offer optimal rendering on all types of screens, even small screens, such as those on smartphones and tablets.
This is the case with most of the baccarat games available on virtual casinos today. So you can have fun and play as often as you want, from your mobile device.
For purists, online baccarat using Random Number Generators can be disappointing. Indeed, the absence of a croupier and the fact of being alone can make these creations uninteresting or quickly tiring.
To remedy this, casino game publishers are now offering baccarat with real live dealers. Also called Baccarat Live, this type of game puts players in the same conditions in a real live casino. Thanks to the live streaming equipment used, you live the action and can participate in real time. In addition, various features integrated into the game interfaces make the game even more user-friendly and realistic. This is the case, for example, with live chat, which allows you to chat live with the dealer and/or other online players connected at the same time as you.
Some of the most popular live baccarat publishers include Evolution Gaming. A true genius when it comes to live games, the Riga-based publisher now offers a truly exceptional range of baccarat tables with live dealers. The Riga-based publisher offers an exceptional range of live dealer baccarat tables, including such novel variants as Baccarat Squeeze, Controlled Baccarat Squeeze, Speed Baccarat and No Commission Baccarat. Each of these variants is unique and provides an uncommon playing experience.
As you may have discovered throughout this guide, the game of baccarat is quite simple to understand and easy to play. Online, things are even simpler and the options are more varied. However, it is important not to skip the steps and start by learning the rules. Then take the time you need to assimilate the strategies developed here, and keep our little tips in mind. This will allow you to get the most out of your games and maximize your chances of winning. And if you’re feeling lucky at baccarat, you might also want to try your luck at another casino card game that’s close enough: blackjack. To become a pro, check out our detailed online blackjack guide and become a complete casino player.
Check out our other online casino game guides here :
FAQ baccarat game
✅ Is the game of baccarat popular in online casinos?
Yes. Along with blackjack and roulette, baccarat is one of the most popular table games in online casinos today. In land-based casinos, the game is also more present than in its early days, as you can discover by reading the history of baccarat.
✅ Are there many bonuses for baccarat players?
No. Unfortunately, bonuses offered for playing online baccarat are quite infrequent at the moment, although there are more and more being offered now. For more information on online baccarat bonuses and promotions, please visit here.
✅ What is the record amount of money ever won in online baccarat?
Australian billionaire Kerry Packer holds the record for baccarat winnings at that time, with more than $20 million won in a single game at a U.S. casino in 1995.
✅ What is the oldest variant of baccarat?
The Railway is probably the oldest variant of baccarat still played in casinos. Click here to learn more about this and other variations of this table game.