Written 26th August 2020
Baccarat is considered to be one of the most simple table games in the industry, which also makes it one of the most popular live casino offerings. This guide is designed to teach you everything you need to know about how to play Baccarat online, as well as letting you know about the history and origins of the game. We’ll also explore some of the versions of Baccarat we host in our online casino collection at Bet UK, as well as taking a look at some of the terms you may come across as you play Baccarat online in the UK.
What is Online Baccarat?
Baccarat is a simple card game that you can play online and in casinos, and like several different table games, it can trace its roots back to France. You may see some sources attribute the game’s creation to Asia, but this is inaccurate, and is usually based on the fact that Baccarat is extremely popular across that continent. However, the late Napoleonic era is where we find the early form of Baccarat, which was favoured in private settings across French noblemen at the time.
Originally beginning as a competitive game between small groups, Baccarat slowly expanded into the Punto Banco format, which is the most common that you’ll come across in the modern day. This sees bettors place wagers on whether the round will be won by the Player hand, Banker hand, or whether it will be a Tie.
While Punto Banco is the most customary version to find in land-based and online casinos, it is not the only one available. Baccarat Chemin de Fer has garnered significant popularity over the years since fictional spy, James Bond, first appeared in 1953. In his debut outing, Casino Royale, Chemin de Fer is the version of Baccarat that most of the plot is built around, and is notable for allowing players to make decisions on their own hands. However, Punto Banco is the form that we will discuss here.
How Do I Play Baccarat Online?
If you’re new to table games Baccarat may at first glance appear to be confusing, and therefore better suited to expert players. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as Baccarat is in fact one of the simplest card games you could hope to come across. Once you are aware of the fact that the ‘Player’ and ‘Banker’ hands are just names, and are not directly influenced by players or dealers, it becomes much more straightforward. Two separate hands will be dealt two cards each to begin with, and you are offered the chance to bet on which you think will win before these cards are dealt. Whichever has the highest total at the end of the round wins.
Furthermore, a lot of the confusion with playing Punto Banco appears to come from the moves that the dealer makes after each hand is dealt. Known as the ‘tableau’, the rules on drawing additional cards depending on hand values is a fixed system, and the dealer will make the relevant moves automatically. This means that unlike Blackjack, for example, you have no input as a player in deciding if a hand receives an additional card or not. Despite this being an established process, you may still be interested in understanding the drawing rules.
Baccarat Tableau (Drawing Rules)
Unless the Player or Banker hand is a ‘Natural’ (a hand with a total value of 8 or 9 in accordance with the Baccarat card values) then the tableau will be used to settle the Player hand first, followed by the Banker hand if necessary.
If the Player hand has a starting value of 0-5, then it is awarded a third card. If it has an initial value of 6 or 7, the hand is left to stand.
If the Player hand stands with just the first two cards, then the Banker hand follows the rules listed above. However, if the Player hand is now made up of three cards, then the Banker hand will make one of the following moves:
If the Banker hand value is 2 or less, an extra card will be drawn in all circumstances.
If the Banker hand total is 3, a third card will be dealt unless the Player hand’s third card was an 8.
If the Banker value is 4, a third card will be drawn if the Player hand’s third card was a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
If the Banker hand total is 5, a third card is dealt if the Player hand’s third card was a 4, 5, 6, or 7.
If the Banker value is 6, the hand draws a third card if the Player hand’s third card was a 6 or a 7.
The Banker hand stands on a total of 7.
Baccarat Card Values
In order to work out the hand totals for each round of Baccarat, you need to know the individual card values. It’s a fairly easy system to remember, with Aces having a value of 1, and cards with a face value of 2-9 retaining that total. However, 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings have a value of zero. Hand totals are made up of the sum of the cards, but if that total exceeds 9, the first digit will be dropped. In Baccarat, therefore, a hand is more valuable if it is made up of a 2 and a 6 (for a total of 8), than if it is made up of a 7 and an 8 (for a total of 5). The best hand total that can be achieved in Baccarat is a 9. Once the initial totals have been tallied, the tableau listed above comes into effect.
How to Win in Baccarat Online
Winning in Baccarat is a fairly simple process, as all you need to do is place a wager on a specific hand to win, and if it does then you also win. However, the amount of money you win is dependent on the size of your wager, as well as which hand you predicted to win. Despite it seeming like an even-paying choice between the two, the odds in Baccarat are rarely laid out in that way, with a slight house edge usually being taken for winning bets placed on the Banker hand.
The odds in Baccarat can change between different versions of the game, so it is always best to check each table’s rules when you arrive. However, the general pattern is that bets on the Player hand will return even money, at odds of 1:1 (much like several of the outside bets that you can read more about in our how to play Roulette guide), while bets on the Banker hand will retain 5% of your winnings as commission.
However, there is some discrepancy in the value of a winning Tie bet. A lot of casinos around the world, both online and land-based, settle Baccarat Tie bets at odds of 8:1. However, in a lot of UK casino games, you’ll find that the listed returns are often 9:1 instead. This seemingly tiny change actually significantly reduces the house edge in Baccarat from over 14% to less than 5%.
What Online Baccarat Games Can I Play at Bet UK?
If you’re looking to play Baccarat online for real money, then here at Bet UK we offer you plenty of variety. From tables that can boost your returns, to games played at a quicker pace, alongside variations that offer an extra degree of intrigue, there’s something for everyone in our collection. We know that Baccarat forms a huge part of the best live casino experience, which is why we endeavour to provide the sleekest, most immersive surroundings available from the comfort of your own home.
Live No Commission Baccarat
The pesky commission that we talked about earlier - which is paid on any winning Banker bet - is a thing of the past in our Live No Commission Baccarat tables. This means that winning bets on both Player hands and Banker hands will result in a 1:1 payout. What’s more, you can even place additional side bets, such as ‘Super 6’, which earns you a 15:1 payout if the Banker hand has a 6 point value.
Live Baccarat Squeeze
There’s a version of Baccarat that adds a little bit more suspense by slowly revealing the values on the cards in each hand, and you’ll find that in our Live Baccarat Squeeze alternative. The dealer will pinch the cards to gradually reveal their value, so if that’s an element that appeals to you, this could be the online Baccarat variant that’s right for you. You can also place side bets on the Player or the Banker hand consisting of a pair, which both pay out at odds of 11:1. To help you decide which bets to place, you can see the recent results history clearly displayed on the screen.
Live Speed Baccarat
If you’re new to Baccarat online and want to get as many rounds under your belt as swiftly as possible, or if you’re an experienced live casino aficionado looking for quicker rounds of gameplay, then Live Speed Baccarat probably sounds like it might be perfect for you. The window in which you can place your Baccarat bets is shorter than in other instances of the game, while the rounds see the cards turned over rapidly, unlike in Baccarat Squeeze.
Key Baccarat Terms: A-Z
Something else you may find helpful as you play Baccarat online is a list of the terms that you’re likely to come across, and what exactly they mean. You can use this Baccarat glossary as you play this popular live casino game, or between gameplay sessions.
The name of the game itself. Occasionally it is used to refer to a hand with a value of zero, but this is rare, and based on mistranslation.
One of two hands dealt in Baccarat. It is the second to be settled, and bears no relevance to the dealer - it is just a title.
Chemin de Fer
A variation of Baccarat that is popular in French casinos, in which players make decisions on the Player hand.
A small percentage (usually 5%) that is generally taken off all winning bets on the Banker hand and kept by the casino.
The mathematical advantage that the casino has to make a profit on any outcome of a round of Baccarat.
This is a slang term that refers to any card that has a value of zero in Baccarat (10, Jack, Queen, or King).
A hand that totals 8 or 9 from the first two cards is referred to as a natural. This hand automatically wins unless the other hand forms a natural of matching value.
One of two hands dealt in each round, and the first to be settled. It is not related to players of Baccarat, and is just a name, something that can confuse new players.
The most common variant of Baccarat, and the one that we have described in this article as well as host here at Bet UK.
A method in which the dealer lightly manipulates the cards to slowly reveal their value.
The rules of drawing another card for each hand in Baccarat is referred to as the tableau.
The third main betting option, if you believe the Player hand and Banker hand will end up with a matching value.
How to Play Baccarat Online at Bet UK
So now you have all of the information at your disposal to start playing Baccarat straight away, and you can do so right here, simply by choosing to register an account at Bet UK. Or perhaps you’re already part of our online casino and sports betting community, and you were just keen to brush up on a few key areas of your Baccarat knowledge, or find out about the variety of games we have on offer.
In either case, hopefully you have found what you were looking for. If this guide to Baccarat has been useful, perhaps you’d like to read some of our other articles, such as how to play Blackjack, in order to master all that the Bet UK live casino has to offer.