Guide to playing Baccarat Online for Real Money

November 4, 2010

Baccarat is a very old, popular casino game. It is not quite as popular online as blackjack and roulette, but it does have a loyal following. It is always important to be very familiar with an online casino game, the rules, the odds, the strategies, before playing, especially when you are wagering real money.

In Baccarat a player and the banker go head to head. Whoever has the most points at the end of the hand wins. Two cards are given to both players in the beginning, after all bets are made. 10’s and face cards have a value of 0, Aces are worth one point, cards 2-9 are worth their respective point value [3’s are worth three points, 5’s are worth five…]. The score you have is the right digit of whatever point value you have. Your score is only affected by this rule if you go into double digits [I.E. A score of 12 is worth 2 points, a score of 18 is worth 8…].

Rules on when a third card is given out are complicated, which is why you should not play Baccarat until you know exactly what is going on. If a player or the banker has a total of 8 or 9 points both stand [They stay at 2 cards, whoever has the most points wins the hand]. If a player has a total point value of 5 points or less he/she gets hit, if not they stay with their two cards. If the player stands the banker hits on a total of 5 points or less. If the player does not hit the rules regarding whether the house hits gets very cloudy and complicated.

Bets are placed before play begins. You can bet on the house, the player, or you can bet on a tie. Here are the following probabilities assuming the casino is using 8 decks, which is standard for the industry:

Banker bet: 45.8% chance of winning, .95 to 1 payout, house edge 1.06%

Player bet: 44.6% chance of winning, 1 to 1 payout, house edge 1.24%

Tie bet: 9.5% chance of winning, 8 to 1 payout, house edge 14.36%

As you can see betting on a tie is going to make you broke very quickly. Banker and player bets both have a very respectable, low house edge. The difference in house edge between 1.06% and 1.24% seems miniscule, just .18%, but that is a 17% increase in house edge between the two bets. 1.24% is a great house edge for most casino games, it is lower than all popular casino games minus blackjack, but you still HAVE to bet on the banker every time. Picking the player over the banker is tempting, especially if the player has won 4 times in a row or the banker has won the majority of the time recently and the player is “due”, just do not do it.

There are no real strategies other than betting on the banker and hoping for the best. The house edge you will experience is just a hair over 1 percent, which is leaps and bounds better than many games more popular than Baccarat [Roulette, Craps, and Pai Gow poker for example] and the game is as fun as any. Baccarat is a lot of fun and presents an excellent value to players, however it is important to limit not only the amount you wager [Only gamble with money that you can afford to lose], but the number of hands you play. Let’s say you theoretically play 10,000 hands of Baccarat and bet on any combination of the player, banker, and tie, you literally have no chance of coming out ahead. Reduce the number of hands played to 1,000 and you have a small chance of breaking even, when you go down to 100 and then 10 hands you legitimately have a chance at not only breaking even but becoming profitable. After playing for 30 minutes you will know all of the ins and outs of Baccarat play smart and have fun!

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