Common Questions About Online Baccarat Games
In the online casino world, baccarat is one of those games that seasoned punters will love, but casual players might shy away from. Despite being a centuries-old game that's hugely popular in Asia, baccarat is often viewed as too complicated for those just starting out in the virtual betting world. Well, we're here to change your perspective and show you that baccarat is not only simple to play but highly lucrative.
Once you peel back the layers and play baccarat online or via your mobile, you'll quickly find that the mechanics of the game can be learned in just a few minutes. In fact, to help you strip away any misconceptions, we've compiled a complete guide to baccarat rules, casino sites and more.
How to Play Baccarat
Before we breakdown the rules of baccarat, let's start with a general overview of the game. When you play a round (known as a coup) of baccarat via your desktop or mobile, the aim is simple: choose the hand you think will make the best total. In this context, "the best total" is a number closest to 9 or 9 exactly.
Naturally, the route to achieving a winning total requires a few moves, but what you need to know before these is that you have the option to choose one of two hands at the start of a coup. Unlike other card games such as blackjack where you have to play the hand you're dealt, baccarat allows you to bet on the "Player" hand or the "Dealer" hand. Once you've placed a bet on either hand, the dealer will give each player two cards which are valued in the following ways:
- Ace = 1
- 2-9 = Face value of the card
- Picture Cards = 0
Once you've noted how each card is valued, the next thing you need to understand before you play baccarat online is how you arrive at a total. As we've said, the aim of the game is to make the best total (i.e. 9) and to do this you take the sum of the two cards and then look at the number on the right.
For example, if you were dealt an 8 and an ace, the sum of these two cards would be 9. Because there is only a single digit, the number on the right is 9 and that means this hand's total is 9. In contrast, if you were dealt an 8 and a 6, the sum of these two cards would be 14. In this instance, the number on the right of this total is 4 and that means the hand's total would be 4.
Once you've established how a baccarat hand is scored, the final thing you need to know about is the draw. Unless an opening hand has a total of 8 or 9, a draw takes place based on a series of conditions which we'll outline in the next section.
When you play at the best online baccarat sites, the draw portion of a coup is taken care of for you. However, if you want to really understand the game and make the best moves possible, it's worth understanding the following steps:
- If the player hand has a total of 0 to 5, they get to draw another card.
- If the player hand has a total of 6 or 7, they don't get a card.
If the player hand isn't given a third card, the dealer hand can draw if they have a total between 0 and 5. However, if the player hand has been given a third card, the dealer has to draw based on the following rules:
- If the player draws a 2 or 3, the dealer must draw with a total between 0 and 4 and stand with 5 to 7.
- If the player draws 4 or 5, the dealer must draw with a total between 0 and 5 and stand with 6 to 7.
- If the player draws 6 or 7, the dealer must draw with a total between 0 and 6 and stand with 7.
- If the player draws 8, the dealer must draw with a total between 0 and 2 and stand with 3 to 7.
- If the player draws an ace, 9, 10, or face-card, the dealer must draw with a total between 0 and 3 and stand with 4 to 7.
Although these rules may look slightly complicated, it really is a matter of reading through the list and memorising the facts. If that seems too much like hard work, then don't worry because our recommended baccarat sites will handle all of this for you.
Finding the Best Baccarat Casinos
How do you find the best baccarat casinos? Well, personal preference is hugely important in this context, but there are some things you can look out for when you're choosing a place to play.
- What Games Are On Offer? | If a site has at least one variant of baccarat, it can be classed as a "baccarat casino". However, if you want the best experience possible, you need to see examples of more games. Whether that's live dealer baccarat or a variant such as Punto Banco, the most popular sites all offer more than one game.
- What Limits Are On Offer? | As well as offering more than one version of baccarat, a site needs to have betting limits to suit all players. In our opinion, free baccarat games are a must. If you can't ante-up with virtual chips and practise the basics, don't sign up. Beyond this, small stakes bets should start from around £0.10 while high stakes tables should allow you to bet £500+ per coup.
- What Bonuses Are On Offer? | To really get the most out of your time online, you need to at least have the opportunity to pick up a baccarat bonus or two. In the first instance, a welcome bonus that doesn't exclude baccarat from the wagering conditions is preferable. Beyond this, you should check out a site's specific baccarat offers, such as free bets, cashback and even onsite tournaments.
How to Choose Online Baccarat Sites
Once you've got a handle on the things you need to look out for when it comes to choosing the best baccarat sites, the final thing you'll need to do is make a move. Fortunately, we've done most of the hard work for you. Using our team of experts, we've trawled the wealth of baccarat casinos out there and picked out the very best.
Using our list, you can look through reviews and ratings to see which ones have something that suits your playing style. If you're fairly new to the game, go for the sites that have traditional variants with free and/or low stakes games. If you're more experienced, choose the platforms with exotic offerings and better betting limits.
Whichever sites you choose, we'll offer a secure link to the sign-up page so you can get the best deal with the minimum amount of fuss. Indeed, if you're looking for a new game to play and you think baccarat might be for you, check out our top sites and get into the action today.