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Baccarat ruled as a high end card game during the early years of casinos in Riviera and the like. It has remained a popular game to this day and is available in most casinos under table games. You can find it next to such games as blackjack, craps, poker or roulette. The game has somewhat steep learning curve, but this can easily managed by reading the rules and practicing with free games. Baccarat is available in many varieties, including completely chance based games where the rules have been converted into an automatic card game. The basic or the normal versions are of course available, as are live and 3D and other themed games. Baccarat has a long history and is present in many cultural products, lately the most famous being James Bond. While he might run around high end casinos the game is best reached by logging into your favorite online casino and playing a few rounds for free to learn, or to simply deposit and start playing the cards.The game is quite simple to learn once you understand the scoring system. There are some basic variations as mentioned, the first one being Punto Banco. This is the standard game in some casinos, and you should steer away from it as the cards are drawn according to fixed rules. That is not to say the game isn’t enjoyable in itself, but the two more common versions are called baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque, and they both offer player the ability to make choices whether to draw cards or not. Naturally in all games the house edge stays well on the casinos side.
The game is quite simple to learn once you understand the scoring system. There are some basic variations as mentioned, the first one being Punto Banco. This is the standard game in some casinos, and you should steer away from it as the cards are drawn according to fixed rules. That is not to say the game isn’t enjoyable in itself, but the two more common versions are called baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque, and they both offer player the ability to make choices whether to draw cards or not. Naturally in all games the house edge stays well on the casinos side.
The best way to start learning baccarat is to head for a casino, online casinos being the quickest, easiest and probably cheapest choices, and start playing the game. Playing baccarat online has the advantage of giving you the ability to practice completely free. Play baccarat online free at any of our recommended casinos and you are sure to find how easy the game is to learn and enjoy. Many casinos offer live baccarat with real dealers these days and often the cooperation is done with traditional casinos. First thing first, as to start the game you need to understand the very basic of the game.
Baccarat is a comparison card game played between the dealer and the player with player deciding which hand is his. There can be up to 14 players in a table but you are not playing against them. The goal of the game is to get the score of your hand, or the hand you are betting on, as close to 9 as possible. Depending on the type of game played there are three to eight decks in use and you can bet on the dealers or your own hand, either way higher hand wins. The hands are called “banker” and “player” but these are just placeholder names. The ranking of hands goes as following:
- All 10s and face cards are counted as no value.
- All cards lower than 10 are counted at face value.
- Aces count as one
The most important thing to remember is that any hand that reaches double digit drops the first number. So for example 15 is 5, 13 is 13 and 21 is 1. Given that the goal is to get as close to nine as possible this opens up some interesting plays and unexpected results. In these situations it’s also good to remember that the bankers hand has a slightly lower house edge, and is therefore the better bet in some situations. To test these and to learn the basic rules simply play baccarat online for free.
The automated version of the original game starts by the player deciding which hand he wants to bet on. After the bet is placed the dealer start the deal by placing two cards on both hands. The turn which the cards are dealt alternates starting from the player. At this point the totals are summed and if neither side reaches 8 or 9 points more cards are drawn. The player gets a third card if his total points are under 5, after which the banker draw a third card depending on a bit complex set of rules:
- If Player drew a 2 or 3, Banker draws with 4 and under
- If Player drew a 4 or 5, Banker draws with 5 and under
- If Player drew a 6 or 7, Banker draws with 6 and under
- If Player drew an 8, Banker draws with 2 and under
- If Player drew an ace, 9, 10, or face-card, the Banker draws with 3 and under
This might seem complicated but the system is automated and the draws are done quickly and announced with the correct scores. In other version of baccarat it is sometimes the player’s decision if he draws or not. For example by staying put at 7 the player can force the dealer to risk going over the score limit, much the same way as in blackjack. Starting with free online baccarat
by playing the Punto banco version of the game as is gives you a good overview of how the scoring works.
Betting and strategy
Baccarat pays with 1:1 odds, although some casinos might take a 5% commission from the slightly lower house edge on the bankers hand. That is of course if there is one. Playing free baccarat online is a good way to determine which bet size is the best way for you to play, and which betting strategy is the best choice. Winning is what matters here, and the game is especially popular among high rollers who can suck millions out of a single casino in a night or even in a few hands. Online casinos offer the same thrill for most players, although with smaller bets. Getting access to the high rolling rooms with hundreds of thousands and more on the table is a matter of playing a lot and being a loyal VIP customer. This of course comes with a lot of perks such as bonuses and promotions that are offered especially to baccarat players.
The strategy is baccarat centers around recognizing trends and controlling your own betting. If you win big it might be best to lay down for a few hands until you see the banker failing again. One way to add an extra dimension to the strategy is to look for casinos that offer side bets on the game. There are so called egalite bets that offer up to 111:1 pay. These are often betting on certain outcomes such as ties and are of course not to be played on every round, but when the trend, again, is correct. With a good guess you can walk away from the table after just a few hands. Other side bets are just as dependent on the casino, and there are for example some that pay for the player betting on the right hand winning by a certain amount of numbers. Another example is betting whether both hands have a high or a low number. The choices are many and you are sure to find ones suited for your gameplay quite easily.
The real strategy comes into play when you get to choose if you take the third card or not. This requires memorizing and a good head for math as odds need to be calculated for whatever outcome. No clear cut formula exists, but you can gain a slight edge to the normal house edge, which when used on the right time can turn a winning hand into a winning streak. Remember also that the amount of decks in play changes the odds slightly, with more decks favoring the bank. This is often offset with other features or side bets, and again depends on your personal favorite.
Playing baccarat online is the way to go and offers the same thrill as any other form of entertainment. The game is quick moving and offers strategic thinking and mathematical analysis for those who want it. Others can enjoy the excitement of betting in the multiple side bets, or simply riding the correct trends to big money. The game is easy to learn in its basic version, and offers aficionados a hobby for a long time to tinker with. Blackjack, poker and baccarat are the most famous casino games for a reason and will certainly continue to be so with their popularity exploding with the help of online casinos.
Look out for special offers in your chosen casino, as baccarat is associated with high rollers and loyal players. The game is very entertaining and has earned its place and popularity by giving a solid gaming experience for centuries. If you’re already a member at one of our recommended casino just head over and start playing, otherwise register and redeem your bonus which you can easily use to enjoy online baccarat, be that live or any other of our many versions on offer.