The Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Online Baccarat: Tips for a Winning Strategy

When you enter any casino or visit any online casino, you are bound to encounter a Baccarat table or two. In fact, Baccarat has been part of casino lore dating back to the Napolean Bonaparte era. While many debate about Baccarat’s true origins, with some claiming it came from Italy with the original name Baccara or named in honor of the French town of the same name, one thing is clear: Baccarat is an integral part of today’s online casino’s fabric.

Before you sit down with the live dealer, take a moment to learn about the subtle nuances of Baccarat. With these tips, you’ll feel confident playing James Bond’s favorite card game just like in the movies.

Understanding the Basics

Sure, Baccarat shares many of Roulette’s strategies, but let’s review the basics before we get to them. Baccarat has three main variants that you’ll find and play online, Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer, and Baccarat Banque. Punto Banco is the most popular variant, available at most reputable online casinos and more establishments like the ones in Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

In these variants, the banker with the shoe deals each player two cards face down. The banker also deals themselves two cards. The aim is to get to eight or nine to win the round. If your first two cards amount to nine, that’s considered a natural hand.

If no player or the banker has eight or nine from their first two cards, the strategy and intrigue of Baccarat begins. They must hit if the player’s initial hand is five or less. However, if the player’s value is six or seven, they must stand. The banker also has to follow strict rules for hitting and standing, but they revolve around the player. If the player’s hand dictates they stand, and the banker’s hand is worth three points or less, they draw a third card no matter what.

Baccarat counts cards slightly differently from Blackjack. The Tens and royalty cards count for zero, while Aces always count for one point. The deuces through nine carry their card’s value. Also, unlike Blackjack, you don’t have to worry about going bust. If your cards, including the third card, go over nine, the last number is the Baccarat value. For example, if the cards add up to seventeen, the Baccarat value would be seven.

Understanding Baccarat’s Bets

Most Baccarat variants revolve around the three basic bets: the player’s bet, the banker’s bet, and the tie bet. The player’s bet is when you wager on the player having the winning hand and the opposite for the banker. Baccarat stands out from other table games with the tie bet. You can wager on both the banker and the player finishing with the same hand. However, the tie bet carries a house edge of 14%.

The bankers’ bet has a house advantage of 1.06%, while the player’s bet is slightly higher at 1.24%. Compared to Blackjack side bets are more common and available in online variants, some Baccarat variants feature side bets, but they are rare. You might usually encounter the Dragon bonus, which relies on you guessing the margin of the winning hand correctly. Or, you might have the option of the pair, where the first two cards are a pair.

Working with Baccarat’s Strategies

If you come from a Roulette background, you might already be familiar with concepts and methods like the Martingale, Paroli, and D’Alembert. If so, the learning curve should be small because many of these methods are available. The Martingale requires you to double your next bet should you lose, while the Paroli, otherwise known as the Reverse Martingale, calls for you to double the next bet if you win.

Consider Your Bankroll

While retail casinos might have exclusive high table limits, online casinos are usually very budget-friendly. When played online, Baccarat and the Super 6 variant are usually available with the live dealer. Depending on the site, you can get in on the action for little, and for those who prefer higher stakes, you can make $500 bets or more. No matter where you fit in, please remember to have fun and play responsibly.