Baccarat is famous for being James Bond’s game of choice, most notably in the 1953 Bond novel Casino Royale. But the origins of the game go back much further. It rose in profile as a game popular amongst the French nobility in the 19th Century, with many people believing that it was invented in Italy in the 15th Century and was brought to France by soldiers who had been fighting in the Franco-Italian war. This aristocratic reputation lingered and for a long time baccarat was notorious for being a game for high-stakes gamblers that took place in the more exclusive roped-off areas of casinos. However, nowadays baccarat is becoming increasingly popular, especially across Asia, and you can find many baccarat tables with high and low stakes at casinos worldwide, and of course, there is online baccarat.
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Online Baccarat Basics and Rules
The basic objective of Baccarat is for a set of cards to add up to 9. It is game played between the player and a banker, with bets placed at the start.
The three outcomes you are betting on is the player’s hand winning, the banker’s hand winning or a tie. Therefore, it is not a game that requires technical skill. However, there are betting strategies that can help you win, which we will explain after introducing you to the many variants of Baccarat.
The cards are worth their pip value, aces are low and tens and face cards are worth zero. The dealer deals two cards to both the player and the banker and should either party have cards that add up to either an eight or a nine they win automatically, this is called a natural win and the game is over quickly.
Otherwise, the point totals decide whether either the player banker draw additional cards, with the players hand being counted first. Any hand with a total sum of up to 5 draws again. Once the third card has been drawn, the winner is decided by who is closer to 9. Any points higher than 9 automatically are deducted by 10 to ensure all totals are 9 or lower.
How to Play Baccarat
A round of Baccarat is full of suspense. It is possible to have a win on the first, second or third draw. Further variants of Baccarat can change the nature of the game, for example; involving multiple players, but the essence of chance remains the same.
Time needed: 5 Minutes
Tools required: Mobile, Tablet or Computer
Funds required: unlimited
The banker puts up a stake and the players bets against the banker
Before the game can begin, all players place their bets. The total of all players’ bets must not exceed the banker’s stake.
The hands are dealt by the dealer for both the banker and the player
However, while many players are at the table, each game is between only one player’s hand and one banker’s hand. Others players bet on this.
The value of each hand is determined by adding together the cards
Most cards have pip value, aces are low and tens and face cards have a value of zero (Baccarat is old Italian slang for zero).
The game is won or tied and bets are paid
Winning bets placed on either player or banker are paid 1:1, however, there is usually a 5% commission on bets on the banker.
Different Types of Baccarat
There are many variations of online baccarat with different levels of popularity around the world. For example, most recently ‘Mini Baccarat’ has become popular in many casinos as a lower-stakes version of the game that also requires fewer players, making baccarat more accessible to anyone.
The same is true online as for brick and mortar casinos; the choice available for baccarat players has vastly increased in the last few years. While the basic rules and objectives remain the same, slight differences in play make each game a different experience.
(The most popular variant played worldwide and the favourite of high rollers)
This form of the game originated in Cuba in the 1950s. The highest number of players (Punto) is 14 in addition to the banker (Banco). It is an automatic game of chance, with the dealer doing all shuffling of 6 to 8 decks and distribution and with neither player nor banker having a choice over the third card. The only decision to take here is how much to bet and on which side.
This chance element makes it popular amongst those looking to bet big and this version of the game is especially popular in Asia, where players have developed all sorts of superstitious rituals such as blowing on cards to blow away bad numbers.
Super 6 / Punto 2000
Chemin de fer
(The oldest version of the game with more elements of choice)
Chemin de Fer comes from the game played by French aristocracy. It is played using six decks and by six players, all of whom are overseen by a croupier from the casino. Each player takes turns to be the banker, which makes it a more active and involved game. Furthermore, in contrast to Punto Banco, the player is able to decide to draw the third card.
The order of play is decided by putting the player who makes the biggest bet first. Due to the element of choice, this game proceeds more slowly than other versions, which is probably why it is less favoured in the modern-day.
(A variant where the role of banker holds more power)
Played with three decks, Baccarat Banque has a permanent banker who presides over the game, unlike Chemin de Fer. The banker role goes to whoever is willing to bet the most, leaving those looking to win big with the best route to do so.
The banker also has the right to shuffle the cards and to choose who cuts them. The cards are then dealt to two players around the table by the banker, first to those on his right or left, then in the next round likewise around the table. This version of the game is most popular in European casinos. Again a croupier presides over the table.
(A version where all players are dealt cards and actively involved)
The banker deals each player a card and then further cards may be decided to be bought. The aim is to quickly acquire nine points or the closest value to nine points. As soon as a player has more than nine points they are bust and lose their stake.
If the same should happen to the banker then all players win who have nine or fewer points. Single stakes are won by either the player or the banker having the greater points under nine. If a tie should occur, the winner is decided by who has the least amount of cards.
Baccarat Betting Systems
Baccarat, in most variants, is largely a game of complete chance, which makes having a strategic approach difficult. For that reason, those who love the thrill of unpredictability in their gambling flock to baccarat. However, those who are fans of skill and strategy have still found ways to play baccarat without relying solely on luck, by approaching the game with an eye to its statistical odds.
While not changing the fact that in its essence, baccarat is chance-based, if carefully applied these ideas might help you win.
1 3 2 6 System
This system is useful in any bet where the chances are 50:50, like a coin toss, or close to that rate, such as Baccarat. The rules are very simple: You follow the sequence 1,3,2,6 with your bets. So, if you bet €1, and it wins, you progress to betting €2. Then if that €2 bet loses, you return to betting €1. Once you have followed the sequence through once, you return to 1 and continue to do so. If at any point you lose, you return to 1.
Easy to remember
As long as you win the first two bets, you definitely break even
A simple strategy for any chance-based game
If you lose in the fourth bet you have lost all your accrued units from the first three
For big risk-takers, it is not a strategy for big wins
This strategy is also based on the idea that in a game of luck, two outcomes have an equal chance of occurring. The first step is to decide on your staking unit, for example, 1% of your total roll. Then on the first cycle of the game, stake one unit. Then for every cycle you lose, you must increase the stakes. For example, if you bet €1 on the first cycle and lost, then bet €2 in the next. If you lose again, bet €3. However, if you win, you must decrease your stake. In the example we are using, if the next cycle saw you win your €3 bet, reduce your wager back down to €2 again.
If you win about the same as you lose then you still come out on top
An easy principle to implement
A low-risk strategy as you increase the stakes slowly
Any sequence of results can happen and some can be very costly using this system
Because of this, this system doesn’t really have many advantages over betting even stakes
Named after an Italian mathematician, the Fibonacci method is based on the sequence of the same name, where each number is the sum of the previous two numbers. This series of number occurs in many natural phenomena.
To use it, first decide upon your unit, say €1 and bet that in the first cycle. Then after losing a round, double that number, moving up the sequence. After winning, move one step down on the sequence, decreasing your wager. Even for subsequent losses or wins, keep increasing or decreasing your wager in accordance with the wager. Furthermore, if you are in profit at the start of a cycle then start again at the beginning of the sequence.
Same in principle as all negative progression methods
Can help you avoid a long losing streak
Has a certain flair for those interested in mathematics
Not the simplest of systems to remember under pressure, if playing online think about keeping track on paper
There is still every chance the stakes will get too high
The Labouchere system attempts to recover multiple losses with multiple wins. First, write down a series of numbers. Added together, these numbers represent the total possible profit of the game.
Your bet is then the sum of the first and last number. If you win; cross these numbers off the list. Should you lose; add the sum of them to the end of the list. If you are ever left with just one number, then wager that amount only. For example if your sequence is 1,2,3 then you bet €4 in the first cycle. If you win then next time bet €2. If you lose, then your list now reads 1,2,3,4 as 1 plus 3 is 4.
Can return a profit even when loses outnumber wins
Fun to use
Easy to adapt as a game progresses
Complicated and needs some practice to use effectively
Once you hit a losing streak, you lose all profits easily
Incredibly simple, the Martingale System is based on two rules. First; double your stake after a loss. Second; reduce your stake to a base unit after you win. It is a good idea to use a small base unit however, as with this method it is very easy for the stakes to become sky-high after even a short string of losses.
The principle is that even after these losses, just one win will leave you with a profit of one betting unit. However, it is not as great as it seems at first as a losing streak easily leads to your profits being wiped when the stakes get too high too fast.
You place a bet of €5 and lose (bankroll at -5)
You place a bet of €10 and lose (bankroll at -15)
You place a bet of €20 and win (bankroll at +5)
You place a bet of €5 and lose (bankroll at 0)
You place a bet of €10 and win (bankroll at +10)
You place a bet of €5 and win (bankroll at +15)
One of the most well known betting systems
Uses only simple maths
Easy to remember
It doesn’t take losing many bets in a row for the stakes to escalate
Named after the owner of a casino who promoted it to make his customers lose money
5 Baccarat Strategy Tips
Ready to play? Here are 5 Baccarat Strategy Tips provided by Casinokix to help you get off to a winning start. These tips apply to all Baccarat variants but don’t forget to do some further research into the exact type that you want to play to be completely prepared.
1. Know the rules in detail before you start the game
For your own enjoyment and to be able to formulate a betting strategy, make sure you are well familiar with the rules of the specific variant you are playing.
2. Understand the house edge and odds of each outcome of the game
While it is less than other casino games, the casino still has a house advantage in Baccarat; around 1%. This is on the banker’s hand, which still means the odds are close to even.
3. Don’t bet a lot on ties, instead focus on player or banker wins.
Statistically, a tie is less likely with an only 9.5% chance. So, don’t waste too many bets on this outcome.
4. Set yourself a budget and remember to stick to it.
Before you start to play set yourself a budget for your bankroll and make sure that you can afford to lose it. If you should go past your budget then stop and cut your losses.
5. Play with bonuses including welcome bonuses and deposit and no-deposit offers
No deposit bonuses are yours to bet with even without any money of your own involved, whereas deposit bonuses match a percentage of your own deposited cash increasing your available funds.
Play Baccarat for Free
Many casinos offer a Free Play Version of baccarat which is a great way to get to know the rules of the game and see whether you enjoy the experience of playing. A Free Play means that you do not have to put down any of your own money, making it the perfect way to begin playing baccarat.
Online Baccarat FAQ
If you have any further questions about online baccarat or the best baccarat casinos you can read our FAQ. If you choose a EU casino or a UK casino, we let you make that decision according to your location. Online baccarat is available in most of the online casinos if not all. We recommend you to check that out.
What is the best baccarat winning strategy?
Look into different statistical strategies when placing your bets to try to avoid a losing streak. However, Baccarat is a game of chance, not so much of skill or strategy. When it comes to the cards themselves, it is just the thrill of seeing whether luck is on your side.
What different types of baccarat are there?
Baccarat has many variants, some of which are more popular than others. Mini Baccarat, Punto Banco, Baccarat Banque and Macao are amongst the most common found in online and brick and mortar casinos. Chemin de Fer is an older version that is not played as often now.
What are the winning odds when I play baccarat?
Excluding the possibility for a tie, the odds in baccarat are slightly in favour of the Banker, and your chances of winning as a player are around 49%. The game is close to 50:50 but even if you bet on the banker winning remember that many casinos take a commission of around 5% on bank bets.
Can I play baccarat on my mobile?
Absolutely. Baccarat is available on many online casinos and gambling apps. Just choose one that fits your needs. Some even offer live video streamed games. Other things to consider include: ease of use of the interface, required stakes, available bonuses and what different variants of baccarat are on offer.
How much can I win when I play baccarat?
How much you can win depends on each individual game. Obviously playing for higher stakes increases your chances of winning more, however also of losing! As a chance-based game baccarat offers few chances to control the outcome through strategy. Remember to cut your losses if you are losing more than you can afford.
With over 5 years of experience within the gambling industry, Alina has decided to dedicate her set of skills to Casinokix. She has great knowledge of online casinos and knows exactly what makes a fair and reputable casino. For the time being, she is responsible for our content production and tries to provide readers with the best information about the casino world. Her professional approach is part of our success story. Alina also has a Diploma in Journalism.