How to Play Baccarat Like a Pro

Alongside Poker and Blackjack, Baccarat is one of the most popular games enjoyed across the globe in both online and land-based casinos. Although it comes in third place, we think it deservingly fits to be among the most popular card games. There are several reasons for this, some being:

  • The game has a low house edge
  • It has very easy to follow rules
  • It’s less involving when you compare it to poker and blackjack
baccarat

Above anything else, technology advancement has played a considerable role in the spread and popularity of baccarat. Initially, players had to travel for hours just to sit in a brick and mortar casino to enjoy the game. Today however, all the action you thirst for is readily available in a click from a selection of top-rated online casinos. Millions of players can now participate in a baccarat competition from anywhere without having to visit a land-based casino.

Better yet, there’s also the live baccarat setting where you will find yourself face to face with a real-life dealer through a live HD video stream and multiple camera angles. So, players who miss the thrill of playing in real time can as well enjoy live baccarat action from the comfort of their homes. It has never been this easy for Indians and players from other parts of the world to access their favourite baccarat games and have unlimited fun.

If you are eager to start playing the game, hold your horses and read our comprehensive guide. This exhaustive guide will furnish you with valuable information right from the basic poker rules all the way to tips and strategies. By the time you are done reading it, you’ll be playing baccarat like a pro.

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Where Did it All Start?

The baccarat game is believed to have originated back in the 15th century in some parts of Italy and France. There is no specific information about the cradle of this game or where it was first played between the two countries. However, experts are convinced that it was first played in Italy before spreading to other parts of France. Moreover, if you consider that ‘baccarat’ is an Italian word that means ‘zero’ in Italian, then you’d also be convinced that it first originated from Italy and not France. From there it spread to other parts of the world, including India.

Most of us got a glimpse of Baccarat while watching James Bond classic movies while growing up. Five of the ‘007’movies have featured this game, including Gold Finger, one of the highest-rated films of the series.

A lot of Indian players are often discouraged from playing baccarat because most online casinos make the game look like a high roller game. As a result, interested players end up backing off from playing the game thinking that it’s an exclusive game for players with deep pockets. However, that is far from the truth because baccarat is one of the best card games that anyone can play. You only need to do understand how to play the game and that’s it.

Game Overview

Most casino games usually rely on luck to win, but baccarat like poker also requires some skills if you are to stand a chance of winning. Since you need a bit of experience to play this game, we advise that after studying the rules and gameplay strategies, take on the free to play version first. That way, you won’t find yourself risking your money before you actually master the rules of engagement in baccarat.

Take note that baccarat can be played using eight decks of cards dealt from a shoe. The game begins after four cards are drawn. The 1st and 3rd card are part of the player’s hand while the second and fourth cards belong to the banker’s hand. After the banker and the player received their cards, their total points are shown on the screen.

You should be aware that the dealer solely does most of the action and decision-making of the game. The game begins when the dealer draws the cards and at this stage, the player does not need to make any decision. During the gameplay, players are however allowed to make two decisions on the progressing game. These include choosing the position which they believe will win the next hand as well as determining the amount to bet with.

Versions of Baccarat

Same as other table and card games that you will find online, baccarat comes with a range of variants to cater to the tastes of different players. While the basic structure of the game is often similar, baccarat variants come with a few differences in rules which typically introduce more excitement. The most common baccarat versions that are available today include;

a) Punto Banco

This is the most popular variant of baccarat in both online and land-based casinos. The game follows the standard rules that we’ve already discussed here and is usually played using a shoe with six or eight decks.

b) Mini-Baccarat

This is a smaller lower-stakes variant Punto Banco, the main difference coming from the generally lower limits and a smaller size of the table. Other than a couple of gameplay rules, Mini-Baccarat also varies from the standard game given that players aren’t allowed to pick the cards. You may also be interested to know that this version of the game comes with two offshoots by the name EZ Baccarat and Punto 2,000 which also goes by the name Super 6.

c)Chemin de fer

Chemin de fer is a French term which means railway, owing to the fact that this version of baccarat is much faster than the standard game. It was first played in the 19th century, and the name was adopted because at that time, the railway was the fastest means of transport in existence.

Here, six cards are used, and the most significant difference from the standard is players perform that dealing of cards. Each player is given a chance to assume the banker’s role and the role rotates around the table. Additionally, another distinct difference in this variant is that players are allowed to stand or take an extra card in case their hand total is 5.

d) Baccarat Banque

In this baccarat variant, the shoe comes with 3 decks that are inter-shuffled. Unlike in Chemin de fer where the banker’s role is rotated, here, the banker’s role is auctioned to the player who is open to taking the biggest risk. However, the card drawing rules of this variant are generally similar to those in Chemin de fer.

If you come across any other version of this game, it will obviously be a spinoff of any of the four types that we’ve already discussed above. Don’t forget that if you pick any other variant of the game other than the standard version, you should spend time studying the rules. With every variant, the rules are slightly different, and the odds change as well. Besides, some baccarat versions also come with side bets that often open you up for bigger payouts. Thus, for the best experience, you better understand what you’re getting yourself into before jumping right in.

How to Play Baccarat Online

The standard baccarat table can accommodate up to a maximum of 14 players in a single session, and it comes with three dealers as well. This table usually has markings from player 1-15 where players can place their bets. Take note that number 13 is skipped for superstitious reasons, meaning that there is no 13 on the table. The game uses a 52-card English standard deck; typically, 6 or 8 shuffled and placed in a shoe.

Three boxes are marked on the table right in front of every participating player. One box is meant for wagers on the player, another box for wagers on the banker, and lastly a box for a tie wager. As a player, you’ll be able to place your bet on one of the boxes mentioned above. The cards are dealt on the larger player and banker boxes set in the middle of the table. The gameplay uses 6, 8 or 9deck cards which undergo a re-shuffled for every new hand. These vary depending on the casino itself.

The aim of the game is to get a card value which is the closest to 9 points as possible. The rules are quite simple. You are just required to choose where to place your bet. Either on the banker, player or a tie of the two options. Mind you, the banker in this case doesn’t refer to the house. Instead, the banker represents one of the two betting options that has been marked on the table. After placing the bets, the dealer draws the cards, and the game begins.

üCard and Hand Values

When playing online baccarat, it is imperative that you understand the rules of the game as well as the card values. Here’s a highlight of how the cards are valued in the baccarat game;

  • The Ace card value is equal to 1
  • Cards 2 to 9 are counted as their face value
  • Face cards, i.e. King, Queen, and Jack have no point value, and so, they are equal to zero. The same goes for the 10 card.
  • The Joker card isn’t used in the game

Having received your cards, you need to add the value of the cards together. The aim is to achieve the total sum of between zero and nine with nine being the best and zero being the worst. While playing in an online casino, the quick math will be carried out for you automatically and displayed on the screen.

You should, however, note that the total value of the cards can still be more than nine; for example, when your cards consist of a King and number3. Every time the value of your cardssurpasses9, you should then subtract 10 from that total. For instance, in the above example, the grand total is 13 which is more than 9. Therefore, you deduct 10 from the value to achieve a value of 3. The simplest way to remember this is to remove the first number. The second number which remains will be your value.

üGameplay

To start playing baccarat, you are supposed to stake your chips. Wager on the banker, player or a tie in the boxes available in front of you. Unlike most card games, the dealer won’t start dealing the cards until all the sitting players have placed their bets. Having placed your bet, all players will receive two cards face-up in the player box. The banker or dealer will also receive two face-up cards in the banker box on the table.

After all the players have received a pair of cards, the second step will involve a comparison of the strength of the hands. In a live casino, the casino dealer(croupier) will hand out and call out the total amount of points, and how the game will progress.

In case the worth of the banker’s or the player’s hand is worth 8 or 9, the hand that is closest to 9becomes the winner, this usually is referred to as a natural hand. The hand will then be over and you’ll receive money from the bets that you won.

However, if the Banker and the Player have the same number of points, then the tie bets win. If nobody has a natural hand or a tie, then the value of your cards will determine your next move. When you have 6 or 7 points, then you should stand. On the other hand, if you have a value that’s lower than 5, you will require another card which will finish your hand as the player. All that is indicated in the table below;

Total of Player’s First Two Cards Action for Player
0-5 Draws a Third Card
6-7 Stand
8-9 Stands on a Natural – Hand over

Below is an extension of the basic baccarat rules that guide the game direction depending on the hand of the croupier/dealer and that of the player.

  • If the croupier has a 7, 8, or 9 points he stands
  • If the croupier has 6 points, and the player’s 3rd card was either 6 or 7, he takes another card
  • If the croupier has 5 points, and the player’s 3rd card was between 4 and 7, he takes another card
  • If the croupier has 4 points, and the player’s 3rd card was between 2 and 7, he takes another card
  • If the croupier has 3 points, and the player’s 3rd card was not number8, he takes another card
  • If the croupier has between 0 to 2 points, he can take another card

With the dealer’s and the player’s hand having been played, the comparison is made again to determine who wins. The hand closest to 9 is considered to have won. Finally, you shouldn’t forget that winning a baccarat game entirely depends on the hand which you chose and placed your bets on.

Glossary of Common Baccarat Terms

Another critical part of understanding the baccarat game is knowing the lingo used on the table. Whether you play online or on a land-based casino, some of the most common terms you’ll come across include;

  • Action: refers to the amount of money wagered at a given time on the table layout. It can also be used to refer to the total amount of money a player stakes in a session as well as the hands played on a given table layout
  • Banco: a Spanish term which means banker. Banco refers to the dealer that runs the game and issues cards to players.
  • Banker: the player that deals cards to players, runs the shoe and also plays the various hands to participating players.
  • Burning: this refers to the removal of the top 3-6 cards at the beginning of the game having shuffled the cards
  • Burn card: a discarded card that is removed from the deck after shuffling
  • Callman: casino staff that turns cards and calls out points. Also referred to as the croupier
  • Carte: French term for requesting a card to be dealt
  • Coup: French term for a given round of play
  • Dealer: a casino staff at a table that handles bets and money and not cards
  • Discard tray: this is a tray that is used to store all the discarded cards in a live casino
  • Fading: refers to placing bets
  • La Grande: winning hand of two cards equalling 9 points
  • La petite: winning hand of two cards equalling 8 points
  • Monkey: slang for ten or a face card
  • Muck: Eight 52 card decks that are used to start a new shoe
  • Natural: when the first two cards dealt to a player equals 8 or 9
  • Punto: French word referring to a Baccarat player
  • Punto banco: refers to the player banker.
  • Shoe:a device used to hold cards that are to be dealt in the game

Winning and Payout Odds for Baccarat Betting Options

Unlike blackjack, players do not play against the dealer in baccarat. Each of the three wagers you can place in the game come with their average house edge and winning probability, as highlighted below. While the odds indicated are specifically for an 8-deck baccarat game, these odds remain roughly similar even with a different number of decks.

üBetting on a player: this is also referred to as “Punto Bet.” This bet predicts the player that will have the best hand and has a house edge of 1.36%. It pays even money, i.e. 1:1.

üBetting on the banker: This betting option has a house edge of 1.17%. Compared to the other two bets, the probability of winning is higher. The banker bet pays even money too, but since the house often takes a 5% commission, the payout ratio goes down to19:20.

üBetting on a tie: This type of wager has the highest house edge at 14.4%, meaning that it’s the riskiest bet of the game, as the probability of a tie happening is very minimal. In most cases, this type of wager pays well at about 8:1.

And in case you were wondering, irrespective of the number of participating players in the game, the player hand and the banker hand are the only two hands that are dealt in the game.

Tips for Winning in Baccarat

Having read and understood the game rules and the gameplay, here are some of the tips you can use to improve your winning chances in the game.

üStay away from the Tie Bet

While a tie bet offers the most lucrative payout odds if you make the right prediction, you shouldn’t fall for the trap. Keep away from the tie bet as it has a very high house edge. The chances for winning with this wager are pretty low, especially if you compare with the other types of bets.

üBet on the Bank

The bankers bet is usually the best and safest of all the three betting options. While the payout for betting on the player is a tad higher than that of the bank, the house edge of the player is slightly higher. This, therefore, means that you have better chances of betting on the bank than betting on the player.

üAvoid pattern prediction

Like any other card game, you shouldn’t be too caught up on trying to beat the system. Trying to predict the winning pattern is one of the most common mistakes that newbies are notorious for making.

You should stay clear of making predictions from the game patterns because the result is generated from a previous event that has passed. If you genuinely want to enjoy and understand the game, you better relax and have fun without stressing too much trying to predict the next move.

üWalk away after bagging a win

Compared to other table games, baccarat comes with much shorter winning streaks that tend to come about once in a while. Based on that, take advantage of such winning streaks and then leave the table as soon as you can. That is to say that you should leave with the little profit you’ve gained before losing it all trying to make more money in the next round.

üPlay in tables with less than eight decks

While eight decks of cards are the standard number of decks in most baccarat tables, there is still a selection of variants that come with fewer decks. Fewer cards will give you an edge over other players and it’s often easier to track the cards during the gameplay.

üKeep betting on the Banker until it loses

Owing to the short winning streaks of this game, you should keep placing your bet on the safest betting option (the banker) until it loses. When the banker finally loses, that is when you should strategise further before jumping in with another bet.

üMoney management is critical

Like any other game, you are supposed to manage your bankroll correctly, and the same goes for your winnings. For instance, you shouldn’t bet all your cash at a go, divide it into equal portions depending on how long you would like to play the game. And again, if your winning streak comes to an end, give yourself a break from the game before you continue with the play. That way, you won’t end up pumping the money you won back into the game.

Why Should You Play Baccarat in an Online Casino?

As thrilling as it is to visit a brick and mortar casino to play baccarat, there are plenty of perks if you take part in the game via an online casino. Some of the most attractive benefits of gaming online include;

1.Flexibility to play whenever you want

Before we even go to other benefits, we cannot emphasise more on the flexibility of playing through the internet. You don’t have to think about travelling, planning a trip or even leave your couch at home. On top of that with online mobile baccarat, you can also enjoy the game while you’re on the move for instance, during your morning commute or when waiting in line for your morning coffee.

2.Affordability of bets online

Typically, the size of wagers availed on brick and mortar baccarat tables are too high for regular players just looking to have a good time. It’s no wonder why the game is touted as a rich man’s endeavour. However, in online casinos, you can easily play with wagers that start from as low as 500 rupees. You don’t have to have a big budget to play this game via the internet.

3.A range of Baccarat variants are available online

Land-based casinos usually offer only a single type of baccarat, the standard version. Online casino platforms, on the other hand, provide a range of variants so that players can pick what they like most. You’ll come across the likes of Chemin de Fer, Mini-Baccarat, Punto Banco, Baccarat Banque and Live Baccarat.

4.Juicy bonuses and promotions

Unlike land-based casinos, online casinos come with exceptional casino bonuses that could help you make the most out of gaming sessions. You can grab lots of baccarat bonuses, including matched rewards and no-deposit deals, which will award you some extra gaming cash.

5.You can play for free

For rookies who are still trying to figure out the baccarat game, online casino platforms allow you to practice through demo mode games. These are free-to-play versions on the game and through them, you can get a grasp of the gameplay. In the demo mode action, mistakes are lessons that give you a better outlook of things. If you get to a brick and mortar casino on the other hand, you won’t be allowed to spend money, meaning that every mistake you make is costly.

You must, however, bear in mind that while playing via the internet is more convenient, there are things that you can’t do online. For instance, card counting when you’re playing via the internet is pointless because every single hand is dealt automatically and is independent of the hand before it.

Online Baccarat in India

Baccarat just like in the rest of the world, is among the popular card games featured in Indian online casinos. All players in India who love baccarat can access the game whenever they wish in a click.

As standard procedure, states and jurisdiction that have officially legalised gambling tend to have a land-based operator with a locally acquired licence. However, the majority of Indian players who enjoy betting instead turn to online casinos registered in offshore jurisdictions. They usually go for offshore online casinos because they are in the hunt for a world-class baccarat gaming experience.

This practice however, still doesn’t disregard the fact that both the players and the operators have to act within the legal laws of the region. Indian baccarat fans are free to participate in online gaming from worldwide casinos that accept Indian players. To date, no law specifically prohibits Indian locals from gambling through the internet. Most of the gambling laws that are present across different states are directed to land-based casinos and not online casinos.

While multitudes of Indian players keep looking for secure and trustworthy online casinos to enjoy online baccarat and other gambling games, it’s sometimes not easy to find a reliable platform. For starters, plenty of online casinos have resorted to restricting players that are based in India because of their generally restrictive laws on gambling. Moreover, most of the online casinos do not accept payments via money transfer channels that are exclusively available to the Indian players. As a result, most baccarat lovers in the country hardly ever get a chance to experience the game in India.

Banking Options for Indian Players

Before signing up for an account in any of the online casinos, you should first find out whether the platform accepts players from India. Only after you confirm that you can play there should you create your account. Otherwise, if a platform doesn’t take members from your jurisdiction, you will be barred from performing any action on the site, including depositing and withdrawing funds.

You should ensure that the casino you sign up to play in allows you to use the local money transfer channels that are readily available for you in India. Some of the most common payment options that you can use to deposit and withdraw money in India include:

  • eWallets
  • Credit/debit cards from Visa and MasterCard
  • Wire transfer
  • Cryptocurrency

A key point not to leave behind is that the transaction channels available vary from one casino to another.

Additionally, most of these casinos sometimes have different withdrawal methods from the deposit options that you used to credit funds into your account. Thus, you have to take a closer look at the payment channels so that you can fully understand the options that you have

On top of that, if you’re a player that wants to play in an offshore internet casino, you should consider casinos that accept rupees as a currency for carrying out transactions. That way, you won’t have to suffer through expensive currency exchange fees to convert your money to Indian Rupees.

To be on the safe side, you should also make it a point to read through the terms and policies of the international casinos. That way, nothing will catch you off-guard, especially when it comes to jurisdictional restrictions.

Where Can you Play Online Baccarat in India?

To ensure that online baccarat fans in India still get a chance to enjoy the game, we decided to scour the internet, searching for websites that are friendly for Indians. Some of the most reliable online casinos where Indians can play online baccarat and other casino games include the likes of Comeon Casino, Dafabet, Mobilbet and Get Lucky Casino. All these gaming sites come with lucrative bonuses plus a host of action-packed games other than online baccarat alone. 

Final Thoughts

By now, you should already be acquainted with all it takes to be a successful baccarat player. The ball is now in your court. Visit a casino of your choosing, particularly the platforms that we’ve already recommended for you, then apply the above strategies and see how things go for you! Good luck and happy gaming!