Online Baccarat is a relatively popular game for Kiwi players in New Zealand in 2017. With that being said, Baccarat has never obtained the same levels of popularity as Roulette and Blackjack. This doesn’t change the fact that Baccarat is an extremely fun casino game to play and very rewarding for players. The game itself has some similarities to Blackjack, but while Blackjack requires the player to get as close to 21 as possible, Baccarat’s goal number is 9.

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There are three main versions of the game, excluding any minor variations made by specific companies, and all three of these will be available at online casinos. The first version players will probably encounter is Punto Banco, which is quite a bit simpler than the other two and offers very little strategy. However, the next two versions of the game allow for the player’s skill to affect the result a little more. These other two versions of the game are called Baccarat Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque.

Baccarat and Bond

The game of Baccarat even gained some fame after it was selected as the casino game of choice for fictional super-spy, James Bond. Being the favoured game of the legendary 007 has no doubt helped Baccarat to gain popularity, but the game was already established before Bond was a household name.

The History of Baccarat

As with many casino games, the exact details of the game’s origin are often a bit murky, and the same is true for Baccarat. The game can trace its history back to the 14th century when it was created in Italy. The man credited with its creation went by the name of Felix Falguerein. The name Baccarat is derived from the Italian word for Zero, Baccara, which has a special significance in the game.

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Baccarat eventually made its way to France and was originally played with tarot cards. However, once the 52-card deck became the norm, this was then used for the game. It was thought that Baccarat was a game for Kings and other noble citizens. However, it didn’t take long for Baccarat to filter down and find its way to the common people.

Baccarat-The journey continues

Eventually, the game made its way to the Americas, but it took a while to catch on. This was mainly because the majority of players in North America were obsessed with Blackjack at the time. Baccarat eventually made its way to Cuba where a new version was created called Punto Banco, which means Player Banker. Knowing that there was now a North American version of the game gave its popularity a kick and it started to gain traction.

Online Baccarat, what is it?

The simple answer to this question is that it is simply the online version of the game of Baccarat. In essence, the game of online Baccarat is the same as the game you’d play in a land-based casino. There are still two hands in the game, one belonging to the player and one belonging to the banker. The goal is to try and get your hand closer to 9 than the banker’s hand, and there are only three results. Either the player’s hand wins, the player’s hand loses, or it is a tie. What makes baccarat interesting is that the player doesn’t have to bet on their own hand. While playing, you can bet on the banker’s hand being closer to 9 and win yourself some money that way.

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Online baccarat, why play?

What makes the online version of the game different though is the experience of playing. When you play Baccarat online, you are in the comfort of your home. You can wear what you want, and you haven’t had to travel anywhere. On top of this, there aren’t hundreds or thousands of other people around you playing games, so it is much quieter than playing in a land-based casino. This might not sound like a huge advantage, but the reality is that this allows you to focus more on the game and eliminates many distractions. The result of this is players can concentrate more and make smarter bets when playing.

How to Play Online Baccarat

Now that we’ve gone over the history of Baccarat and some other information relating to the game, it is time to tell you how to play Online Baccarat. In some ways, it is similar to Blackjack, as the goal in both games is to get a hand with a value as close as possible to a specific number. In Blackjack, that number is 21, while in Baccarat it is 9.

The other difference is that in Blackjack if you exceed 21 you immediately lose the round. Online Baccarat is different in this regards, as exceeding 9 doesn’t mean you lose. The way it works is that if you exceed 9, the value of your hand will have the ten subtracted from it. So, if your hand has a value of 10, its final value is 0, which is the worst possible result in the game. A hand with a value of 15 is worth 5 and so on.

As for the value of cards in the game, their values are as follows:

  • 10, J, Q, K: 0
  • 2-9: Face Value
  • Ace: 1

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One of the interesting facts about Baccarat is that the player doesn’t have to bet on their hand. The ultimate goal is to bet on the hand you think will get closer to the value 9. If you believe that will be the dealer, or Banker’s hand, then you are free to bet on their hand instead of your own. The good news is that there isn’t much of a penalty in doing so either. If you win while betting on the banker’s hand, the only drawback is you have to pay a slight commission, usually 5% or less.

Online baccarat cards and hands

Typically, you’ll find that the games will use six or eight decks of cards in the shoe. These will be properly reshuffled after every round to ensure everything is completely random and fair. The participants in the round are limited to three cards in their hand. When the game begins, the player will be dealt their cards first. Initially, players will be dealt two cards, but if the value of their hand is between 0 and five, they’ll get a third card. Next, the banker will be dealt their hand and will stand if the value is 7, 8 or 9. Whether the banker draws a third card or not is determined by the following rules:

Drawing Rules in baccarat

One of the things that makes Baccarat quite easy to play is that once bets are placed and the round starts, everything is determined by set rules. This means that the Dealer/Banker won’t consult the player, and the player won’t have to make any decisions. As we’ve mentioned, the highest valued hand that anyone can have is nine. If you manage to get 9 with just two cards, this is an instant win and is known as a natural. If you have two cards with a value of 8, this is also called a natural and is the second best hand you can get. The basic rules are as follows:

  • If the player or banker have a hand with a value of 8 or 9, they both stand. This rule overrides all others and there are absolutely no exceptions.
  • Should the players hand total 6 or 7, the player stands.
  • If the player is standing, the banker will be required to hit if they have a hand with a value of five or less.
  • The player will be given a third card if their hand has a value of 5 or less.

If the player is given a third card, the following rules will then be applied to the banker to determine if the banker draws a third card.

The Third Card Rules for the Banker in Baccarat

Banker’s hand value Banker’s Action
2 or less Banker will be dealt a third card
3 Banker will draw a third card if the player’s third card had a value of 1,2 ,3 ,4 ,5 ,6 ,7 ,9 , 0. If the value was 8, the dealer will not take a third card.
4 Banker will draw a third card if the player’s third card had a value of 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6 ,7
5 Banker will draw a third card if the player’s third card had a value of 4, 5, 6, 7
6 Banker will draw a third card if the player’s third card had a value of 6 or 7
7 The Banker will Stand

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Online Baccarat Tips, Tricks and Suggestions

If you’re looking at trying out Online Baccarat, you may be wondering what you can do to make your first Baccarat experience as enjoyable as possible. Well, there isn’t much you can do to try and make sure you win more rounds, but there are some tips we can give you to enjoy your time with the game a little more. First, we recommend that you find an online casino that offers Microgaming titles, as the Online Baccarat versions from this casino game developer are some of the best around. Micogaming’s table games in general are some of the best ever made, so you can’t go wrong with playing Microgaming Baccarat for the first time. Secondly, always do thorough research on the online casino you’re planning to play at.

More Online Baccarat tips to help you win

Make sure that the online casino is properly licensed, regulated and tested by the likes of the Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling commission and eCOGRA. Then make sure the online casino offers proper security, such as 128-bit SSL Encryption, to ensure your private details are kept safe. Finally, you’ll want to check what forms of currency and banking options are offered. It is always easier to gamble at an online casino that accepts your own local currency and you want to make sure there are several viable banking options available to you. As for tips and tricks for the game of Baccarat itself, these are some of the things we recommend you do in order to have more fun and, hopefully stand a better chance of winning.

Know the rules

Always make sure you are familiar with the rules of any new game before you start playing. Read through guides like this one and we also highly recommend you play for free before spending any real money on the game. Almost all reputable online casinos will allow you to play for free, which will give you the chance to try online Baccarat out first. Free play mode ensures that you understand the game.

Understand the odds

Make sure that you understand the odds of winning on each of the bets. As we’ve mentioned, there are only three bets available. These are betting on the Player, Banker and a tie. It is good to understand what the odds are with regards to each of those bets.

Less is more

We highly recommend you try to pick a Baccarat game that uses fewer card decks. Some will use six, some will use eight. Generally speaking, you’ll have a better chance of winning if you’re playing a basic version of the game with fewer decks. However, the betting limits in these games will generally be lower as well.

Bet on the banker

It is also advisable to bet on the banker in many situations. Betting on the Banker gives the casino the smallest house edge and you the best statistical chance of winning. The house edge when betting on the banker is around 1.17%, while it is 1.36% when betting on the player’s hand.

Avoid betting on a tie

Yes, the payout is 9:1 but ties are very rare and the house edge when betting on a tie is 14.44%.

Play responsibly

As with any gambling, please play responsibly. We suggest setting yourself a budget and sticking to it, while also deciding how long you’re going to play. Finally, stay away from alcohol while gambling, it has a tendency to impair judgement and make players make stupid bets.

Types of Online Baccarat

When looking for online baccarat versions, Kiwi players will likely find many online casinos running Microgaming software. This is the same throughout the world and New Zealand is no different. This isn’t really an issue though as Microgaming make some fantastic Online Baccarat variants.

Traditional Online Baccarat

The first version of the game you’re likely to find is Traditional Baccarat. This is the most basic version of online Baccarat that you’ll find at an Internet casino. The game is played on a mini table and a single 52-card deck.

High Limit Online Baccarat

The next variant is High Limit Online Baccarat, which is very similar to Traditional Baccarat. One of the main differences is it allows for players to place larger wagers. The game also uses eight decks of cards in the shoe.

Online Baccarat Gold

Finally, we have the beauty of the group, Baccarat Gold. This is currently the most advanced version of Baccarat that Microgaming has made and features some really impressive visuals. These are noticeably better than any other version the company has made. It also uses a full-sized Baccarat table, which doesn’t really affect the game as it is still going to be the player versus the banker.

Play Online Baccarat Free of Charge

Many Kiwi players don’t quite understand why you would play an online casino game for free. We all play casino games to win big payouts, but if you’re playing for free, you can’t win anything. Seems like it defeats the point doesn’t it? However, ignoring the free play option and only using the real money gameplay is a big mistake as you’re not using one of the biggest advantages online casinos give to players.

Why use free play?

Almost any online casino that you can log into from New Zealand will allow you to play for free and this will include the game of Baccarat. While playing for free, the game will be exactly the same, with the only difference being the fact that you’re using imaginary money.  This allows Kiwi players to try out the game and play for an extended period of time as they learn the rules and get more comfortable with Baccarat before spending real money on it. It will also allow you to test out new strategies without risking your money. Playing for free may lack some of the risk and reward, but it can certainly pay off in the long run.

Online Baccarat Strategies

If you’re looking to increase your chances of winning, you might be excited to go and learn some thrilling new Baccarat strategies that promise to make you rich. While Baccarat is mainly about chance and things are out of the player’s control, a good strategy might help you keep more of your money, although it might not necessarily help you win more often.

Strategies that don’t work

Before we look at some strategies that might help, let’s first look at some things that definitely won’t help you win. What we have listed below is unlikely to make any difference at all and will just land up costing you money.

Using the past to predict the future

This is something that many Kiwi players do in all sorts of casino games, not just Baccarat. Many players believe that by looking at the previous results, they can better predict the next outcome but this is simply not true. Players need to forget the previous hand’s result and treat each new round as something completely separate from the previous rounds, because it is.

Placing a bet on a tie

As we mentioned earlier, betting on a tie is something you should avoid doing. It offers some very impressive payouts and if you manage to get lucky and win, you’ll make yourself a nice payout. The problem is that ties are so rare, that you’re likely to just throw money away by betting on a tie. In fact, the house edge when betting on the banker and player is 1.17% and 1.36% respectively, while the house edge when betting on a tie is a staggering 14.44%.

Trying to count cards

Card counting is very difficult to do correctly, so difficult in fact that most casinos around the world don’t even consider it to be illegal. The reason is that most people who try, fail and the casino can cash in on this. When it comes to Baccarat, most games will use more than one 52-card deck, which makes card counting almost impossible, even if you can do it effectively.

A Strategy that might help

Before we go any further, we just want to state again that, like most casino games, Baccarat is a game of chance and anything could happen. There are no guarantees that any strategy will improve you odds but there are some that might help.

The 1-3-2-4 Strategy

This is a betting strategy that hopes to help you mitigate losses and win a little money overall. It is essentially a sequence betting system that sees you increase the amount of money you bet after each win, but if you lose, you start from the beginning again. So, for example, let’s say you are betting $10. If you win, you then bet $20. If you win again you bet $30 and if you win again you bet $40. Once you win four times in a row, you start from the beginning again. The same is true if you lose a round at any point during the sequence.

Being Indifferent

There is another school of thought that suggests players should be indifferent to their wins or losses. No matter how good your strategy might be, the results are still down to luck. Therefore, players will still win and lose rounds and it is best to try and remain calm and enjoy the game.

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Baccarat Glossary

If you want to become the very best at the Baccarat table, either online or at a land-based casino, you need to be able to talk-the-talk as well as walk-the-walk. These are some of the most important terms you need to know if you’re going to be a pro.

  • Banco – This term refers to the Banker or the Casino. It can also be used to refer to placing a bet on the banker’s hand, as opposed to the player’s. Betting on the Banker’s hand has a slightly higher chance of winning, although the player will have to pay a small commission.
  • Chemin de fer – A version of Baccarat that was popular In France
  • Commission – When the player bets on the Banker’s hand to win and it does, the player will be required to pay a small commission to the house. Typically this will be 5% of the However, some casinos may make it lower.
  • Face Card – This term refers to any card with a face on the card, which includes the King, Queen, and Jack. These three cards, along with 10, are worth zero in Baccarat.
  • Mini Baccarat – This is normally found in online casinos, as well as the floors of land-based casinos, where the game is played on a smaller version of the Baccarat table. In addition to this, it tends to offer lower betting limits. Traditional Baccarat, with full sized tables, is normally reserved for high-roller players.
  • Natural – A broad term referring to when a hand of two cards is valued at 8 or 9.
  • Punto – This term means Player and can also refer to placing a bet on the player’s. This is generally not advised as there is a lower chance of winning.
  • Standoff – This refers to when both the Banker and player’s hands have equal value. In this situation, there is no winner. Unless, the player bet on a standoff, in which case they’ll win 8:1 or 9:1. This is a risky bet though as ties are very rare, and the house edge is quite large.

Online Baccarat FAQs

Can I play Online Baccarat for free?
Do I have to bet on my own hand?
What do I need to look for in a good hand?
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If I bet on the Banker’s hand, is the payout the same?