Baccarat is one of the easiest to play online casino games. Because of the simple rules and the high potential rewards, it’s a very popular choice for players in online casinos in the Philippines. Although there are some similarities with blackjack, baccarat involves less decision-making. Hence, this is a game largely about chance and requires no strategy to play and have fun.
Besides, the low house edge of 1.06% makes for higher chances of winning. Moreover, baccarat is available online in many different variations to suit all preferences. Our complete guide has all you need to know about the variety of baccarat games on the market and how to play them. In addition, here you will get some useful tips on how to win and how to find a great baccarat casino.
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History of Baccarat
Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games. This game of chance is incredibly easy to learn how to play hence its popularity. It first appeared in the 14th century in Italy before it found its way to other regions. However, the first-ever recorded reference to baccarat’s original version is from 1847. At the time, Charles Van-Tenac documented his mathematical study of the game. But it wasn’t until 1931 when it was mentioned in the Nevada casino gambling legislation.
Because of the simple rules, baccarat quickly gained momentum and by the end of the 19th-century it was very popular in the U.S. Chemin de Fin was the first version of baccarat to reach Las Vegas casinos in 1958. Of course, new variations came about as the game spread around, and soon a Cuban variant, Punto Banco, appeared on the scene. Nowadays, these two versions are still the most common options in online and land-based casinos.
How to Play Baccarat
Online baccarat is largely about chance and therefore requires no strategy to play. Moreover, the only decision you really have to make is about what bet to place. Hence why this is a particularly suitable casino game for novice gamblers. But if you already know how to play blackjack it will be even easier.
In a nutshell, your objective here is to predict the hand that will sum up to a total value of 9. Or as close to that as possible without exceeding 9, much like in blackjack. However, baccarat involves 8 full decks and you can bet either on the player or the banker. Alternatively, as a third option, you may also choose to bet on a tie. Of course, the value of the hands is calculated once all cards are dealt.
Calculating Hand Values
In baccarat, face cards and 10s count as 0, Aces count as 1, and all other cards are worth what they show. However, if the total value of the cards in a hand exceeds 9 then 10 will be subtracted from that sum. So if the hand had a value of 5+5=10, after subtracting 10 it will be worth 0. Similarly, if the hand was originally worth 11 it will count as 1 after subtraction.
If a hand adds up to 8 or 9, it’s referred to as a ‘natural’, and getting it ends the game as the other cannot draw more cards. Otherwise, baccarat follows strict rules about who draws and when.
Whether or not the player or banker draws more cards depends on the value of their hand. From the player’s point of view, it’s quite simple. The player ends the game with a natural hand (8 or 9), stands if it is worth 6 or 7, or draws with a hand of 5 or less.
However, for the banker, it’s a little more complicated. Of course, if the banker has a natural hand the game ends because the player can’t draw more. Moreover, if the banker has a hand worth 7 then they have to stand. Otherwise, the banker draws following these rules:
- With a hand of 3, the banker draws unless the player has 8.
- With a hand of 4, the banker draws unless the player has 1, 8, 9, or 10.
- With a hand of 5, the banker draws if the player has 4, 5, 6, or 7.
- With a hand of 6, the banker draws if the player has 6 or 7.
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Basic Terms in Baccarat
Like with any other casino game, there are some terms that are specific to online baccarat. Here are the most common ones that you should know about:
- Banco – from Spanish, meaning bank or banker.
- Banque – a popular variation of baccarat common in Europe.
- Bankroll – the amount of money you set aside for betting.
- Burn – refers to omitting the top 3-6 cards after shuffling and before starting a new game.
- Caller – the person responsible for the cards on the table.
- Coup – a round of baccarat including a banker hand and a player hand.
- Down Card – a card facing down.
- Face Cards – jacks, queens, and kings are all face cards.
- La Grande – the best hand in baccarat.
- Push – a bet that neither wins nor losses.
- Up Card – a card facing up.
Pro Tips and Strategies
Although baccarat is a pure game of chance, there are some baccarat tips that can be useful and help you to gain some advantage. For example, avoiding betting on a Tie which the lowest odds of winning. Instead, choose to bet on the Banker as it has better odds. Despite the 5% commission when winning this bet, in long run it can still be more profitable. Pro players have used various betting tips and systems like this to boost their winning chances. Some of the most popular strategies include:
- The Fibonacci System follows a sequence where every new number is a sum of the two preceding numbers.
- The Paroli System combines flat and progressive betting systems to create the first losing hands and shifts to progressive to boost bets.
- The Labouchere System is designed to make up for the initially accrued losses through a series of smaller wins.
- The Martingale System works between flat and progressive systems, where you flat the bet when you win and double wagers when you lose.
Common Baccarat Variations
There are many different versions of baccarat available on the market today. Here are the most common variations available for free or real money play:
- Punto Banco is the most popular version which uses 6 decks of cards. The gameplay follows a 2-hand format – one for the player and one for the banker.
- Mini Baccarat is similar to Punto Banco but it has low stakes and no bells or whistles. Moreover, this variation has a faster pace and uses 8 decks.
- Chemin de Fin is a multiplayer version where you bet on the banker or the player and each player takes a turn. This game uses anywhere from 6 to 52 decks.
- Banque is a European version of baccarat where only 3 cards are used to play. In this game, you can bet on one or both of your hands. However, you cannot bet on the banker’s hand.
Play Baccarat For Free or Real Money
Online baccarat is normally available both for free and for real money play and each has its merits. For instance, free play is great for those who want to learn how to play, test out a new game or a new casino altogether. However, playing for free also means you won’t be able to win any cash either.
Hence, for those looking to have fun and profit at the same time – playing at a real money casino is the right choice for you. Especially in the case of online baccarat, you can win loads of cash for a small investment upfront. Not to mention the thrill of the risk and, of course, the access to various bonuses and a wider range of games.
Playing on Your Mobile
Similar to other online casino games, baccarat is also available for mobile play. Of course, whether you need to download an app or not depends on the casino you play in. But even if your real money casino doesn’t offer a mobile app you can still enjoy baccarat games. Simply visit the casino’s website via any standard mobile browser and if the site is instant play optimized you can start gaming. Generally, you can play almost all baccarat variants on the go.
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Playing Baccarat Online
Playing baccarat online entails not only learning the rules but also finding a good gaming destination. Several factors will make or break your gaming experience, so to make sure you select a great casino keep in mind the following:
- License and Regulation: The casino must have a valid license from a recognized authority.
- Security and Fair Gaming: The website must protect your data with the latest security systems and be regularly audited by an independent firm.
- Casino Bonuses: There should be a decent selection of casino bonuses and frequent ongoing promotions to boost your bankroll.
- Payment Options: The casino should support multiple safe and fast banking options, including debit/credit cards, e-wallets, and cryptocurrency.
- Games and Providers: The site should offer titles from various reputable software companies. Additionally, it should have a wide selection of casino games like slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, etc.
- Customer Support: The support service should be available 24/7 via multiple channels like email, live chat, and telephone.
Baccarat is one of the easiest casino games to play and it has been around for a long time. Players in the Philippines and around the world love this game of chance for its low house edge and huge profit potential. Of course, you can enjoy baccarat online and on the go but first, you’ll need a good casino. So head to our library of casino reviews to discover some of the best platforms on the market.
Betting on the banker in baccarat has a very low house edge of 1.06%, so it’s certainly worth it.
Baccarat is a game of chance. Of course, you will eventually win or even hit a streak but expecting to always win is unreasonable.
There are 4 main versions of baccarat - Punto Banco, Mini-Baccarat, Banque, and Chemin de Fer. Of course, there are many others.
It works the same way as non-live games. The only difference is that the dealer is a real person and not a computer.
We recommend betting on the banker since the house edge is at its lowest in this case.
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