Not only is online baccarat one of the simplest casino games on the Net, it also offers some of the best value bets out there. We’ll explain the different types of wagers, their respective odds and house edges, and detail all the variants available at our top-ranked casino sites.
Best Online Baccarat Casino Sites
The websites listed above all carry multiple versions of online baccarat, from top developers such as Microgaming, Net Entertainment, BetSoft and Evolution Gaming. Each of these trusted online casinos is 100% secure and fully licensed by a recognised gaming authority, with approval from respected industry watchdogs like eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance).
USA online baccarat casinos
There are strict online gambling laws in many parts of the United States, but this does not mean you can’t play online baccarat. You just have to find the right website that has it and deals in the US dollar. Some of our favourite US-facing casinos include BetOnline, which boasts live dealer, and the Bodog brand Bovada, which is one of the most well-known.
Depositing money from the USA has always been one of the biggest issues to playing high-stakes baccarat online, but 2018 has seen giant inroads in this area, with many staunch anti-online gambling advocates now saying the industry should be regulated. To make deposits you will have several options including Visa and other credit cards, bank transfers and online payment services.
Best online baccarat games
Most people have a have myriad choices when it comes to playing baccarat on the Web. Most digital variants follow the same basic rules, but there are a few titles which standout for their superior gameplay, rich audio-visual quality and liberal betting options.
Microgaming is Europe’s leading casino software brand, with an illustrious history that stretches all the way to back to the early 1990s. It offers several versions of digital baccarat:
- High Limit Baccarat
- Baccarat Gold Series
We love Microgaming Gold Series Baccarat, as it is one of the few online games which uses the classic ‘big baccarat’ table – you get to squeeze the cards and everything.
If it’s fast gameplay you want, however, the other two come with the same core features and are every bit as entertaining, but without as much window dressing. Both Baccarat Gold and High-Limit Baccarat accept real cash bets up to 500 units per hand.
NetEnt Professional Series
Net Entertainment is Microgaming’s biggest rival in the online gambling business, and its Professional Series table games are the real deal. Baccarat Pro and Punto Banco Pro are the same game in essence, but the latter offers an alternative layout with ‘punto’ and ‘banco’ bets rather than ‘player’ and ‘banker’.
Aside from the reliability and overall quality we’ve come to expect from NetEnt casino games, the Pro Series baccarat titles are exceptionally flexible. For rather than a single fixed betting range, each version offers three optional table limits:
- Standard – $1/$100
- Low Limit – $0.10/$10
- Hi Limit – $10/$1000
There are very, very few casino games online which allow players to bet anywhere from $0.10 to $1000 per hand. This innovative feature makes the NetEnt Pro Series games accessible to all sorts, from micro-stakes players to VIP high rollers.
More digital baccarat games
Baccarat Star – Developed by AppleJack Gaming, this sleek design is inspired by the punto banco tables of Macau and comes with several bonus bets which pay up to 30 to 1 odds.
Baccpo – This unique AppleJack release combines baccarat’s scoring system with multi-hand blackjack’s gameplay rules for a fast, interactive experience which requires a little bit of skill.
BetSoft Baccarat – A simple mini baccarat game featuring a $1/$100 bet limit.
Live dealer baccarat
Live dealer baccarat brings the casino floor to your computer screen, with real hand-dealt games captured on High Definition video feeds. Most of our top-ranked real money casinos offer live dealer baccarat, including some of the best high-stakes casino tables on the Net.
Microgaming live dealer – Like its leading digital titles, the Microgaming live baccarat tables are among the best in the business. Each version features multiple stake options, from $2/$50 up to $10/$200. Playboy Baccarat is one of the sexiest games on the Web, with stunning croupiers dressed as Playboy Bunnies, while those who like more hands per hour will really enjoy Baccarat Turbo.
Evolution Gaming baccarat – Evolution is Europe’s top live dealer provider, with live blackjack, roulette, casino hold’em and more at several of our secure casino sites. Both of EG’s real-time mini baccarat games feature side bets and generous wagering rules, but the big spenders will be all over VIP Baccarat and its hefty $2/$1000 bet limit.
Ezugi live casino games – Ezugi is a leading European developer which offers a high-quality alternative to the Microgaming and Evolution live dealer platforms. The GdayCasino.com live croupier baccarat games feature a $500 maximum bet and side wagers such as perfect pairs, banker pair, player pair, and big or small.
How to play real money baccarat
With the exception of rare hybrid games like Baccpo, all online baccarat titles use punto banco rules. This is the simplest form of the game, where you have only one essential decision to make: whether to bet on the player, the banker, or the tie. While there is little strategy required there are ways to maximise your chances of winning.
The winning hand is whichever comes closest to nine points. Aces count for one point, Deuces through Nines score at face value, but all 10-point cards (10, Jack, Queen, King) are worth zero.
Nine is the highest possible score, as all totals of 10+ use only the second digit. For example: if the player hand draws a Seven and an Eight, the score is five rather than 15. This means it is impossible for either hand to bust out.
Online baccarat is available to play via desktop, mobile or downloadable baccarat apps.
Once all bets are placed, the croupier will deal two cards each for the player hand and the banker hand. This is where the name ‘punto banco’ comes from; it literally translates into English as ‘player banker’.
The next part depends on the scores of each initial hand. If either player or banker has eight or nine points (called a ‘natural’), the hand is over and the winner (or tie) declared. If neither hand scores a natural, the following drawing rules are used:
- If the score is six or seven points, no more cards are dealt
- If the score is five or less, a third and final card is dealt
- If the player stands with two cards, the banker follows the same rules as above
- If the players takes a third card, the banker acts according to the chart below
|Banker score||Dealer action|
|Six||Hit against six or seven, otherwise stand|
|Five||Hit against four through seven, otherwise stand|
|Four||Hit against two through seven, otherwise stand|
|Three||Stand against eight, otherwise hit|
|Two or less||Always hit|
It doesn’t matter if you can’t remember all that information – that’s for the dealer to worry about. You don’t need to know any of this stuff to play real cash baccarat, especially in digital online games where the deal is 100% pure and human error is not a factor.
Baccarat payouts and house edge
There are three core wagers in punto banco baccarat:
- Player – Bet on the player’s hand to win at even money odds (1 to 1). For example, a $10 bet on the player pays $10 plus your $10 stake back.
- Banker – Bet on the banker’s hand to win at 19 to 20 odds (1 to 1 minus 5% house commission). For example, a $100 bet on the banker pays $95 plus your $100 stake back.
- Tie – Bet on both hands to score the same number of points at 8 to 1 odds (sometimes 9 to 1). For example, a $1000 bet on the tie pays $8000 plus your $1000 stake back.
So, the question is: which is the best baccarat bet? We will start by saying that unless you know something we don’t (i.e. you’re cheating), stay away from the tie. This is an awful wager which favours the casino by upwards of 14.36 per cent, so don’t ever take it if you fancy making anything like a profit in the long run.
Despite its commission fee, the banker bet is actually the pick of the bunch. In a standard eight-deck game, it carries a house edge of just 1.06 per cent – less than half the damage on an outside bet in European roulette. That figure goes down to just 1.01 per cent in a single-deck baccarat game.
The player bet is also very good value compared to most other casino games. While it doesn’t win quite as regularly as the banker wager, even money odds and lack of a commission charge mean you get a theoretical return of 98.76 per cent – again, much better than just about any table game besides blackjack or pontoon.
Why is baccarat so popular?
Baccarat is one of the oldest games in the casino, and yet only recently has it begun to catch up with real money blackjack and roulette in worldwide popularity. This is largely due to a huge boom in Macau, where punto banco games now dominate the main floor – not just the VIP rooms. But what is it that makes baccarat such a favourite amongst Asian gamblers and high rollers in particular?
It’s easy to play – Unlike blackjack, video poker and other strategy-based games, you don’t need any skill to play punto banco well. By sticking to the player and banker bets, a first-timer has the same likelihood of success as any seasoned veteran. Baccarat banque is available for those seeking a bit more spice.
It’s good value – Some casino games are pure rip-offs. Baccarat, on the other hand, favours the house by as little as 1.01 per cent, so you get regular wins and don’t have to forfeit a big chunk of your bankroll straight off the bat.
It’s classy – From the opulence of the Monte Carlo Casino to the shenanigans of a certain Agent 007, baccarat has always been associated with the gambling elite. Simple rules, big bet limits and a low house edge make punto banco a no-brainer for high-stakes casino players who want big returns for minimal effort.
It’s fun – Macau-style baccarat incorporates features from traditional Asian games such as sic bo, offering side wagers on incidental outcomes like pairs and hand totals. They’re not great value (often worse than the tie), but casual punters seem to enjoy taking the risk in search of bigger bonus payouts.
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