What do James Bond and the 15th Century French aristocracy have in common? They both loved to play Baccarat! What is it about this card game that has the rich and famous sitting on the edge of their seats?
Online Baccarat is a fun game that is relatively easy to play and that has a low house edge, making it a huge hit for players from all over the world. And don’t worry, as classy as the game is, you don’t need to be a fat cat to play it – anyone can play online Baccarat! At South African Online Casino we’ve put together this table of the best online Baccarat casinos for SA players:
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How To Play Online Baccarat
Baccarat is a casino card game that is played at a Baccarat table with special betting areas. Your aim is to bet on which hand will get closer to the number 9. Each card has its own point value to contribute towards this total – cards 2-9 are at face-value, cards 10 through King are valued as 0, and Ace is 1.
- The game starts outs with the participants placing their bets by putting chips on the table. They can either bet on the player, on the banker, or on a tie
- The dealer will deal two cards to the player and two to the banker.
So what comes next? This all depends on the point totals from the original two cards. The player doesn’t get to hit for more cards like in Blackjack; instead it happens automatically depending on what is in that first pair of cards.
- If the point total sums to a double-digit number, then the second digit only will be used. If the player’s total is between 0-5, he’ll be dealt another card. If the player holds a total of 6 or 7, he’ll stand. If the player or the banker have an 8 or 9, this is known as a natural win and the game is over.
- Whether or not the banker is dealt a third card depends on his first two cards, and also on what the player has been dealt as the third card. The banker automatically stands on 7, 8 or 9; and draws on 0, 1, or 2. Anything else depends on the player’s hand, and this is where it gets more complex.
- The banker will hit a number 3 card except if the player’s third card is an 8, and will hit a number 4 card unless the player’s third is a 1, 8, 9, or 10. Only if the player’s third card is a 4, 5, 6, or 7 will the player hit a 5; and a 6 will only be hit if the player’s third card is a 6 or 7. After this the playing ends, the points are tallied up, and winnings are paid out.
This chart shows when a third card will be drawn by the dealer:
Odds in Baccarat
A bet on the banker has the lowest house advantage of 1.06%, and a bet on the player has a house edge of 1.24%. To bet on a tie is not recommended, even though it pays out at 8:1, because it has a high house advantage of 14.36%.
Overall Baccarat has a low house edge, especially when compared to other casino favourites, such as Slots (2%-15%) and European Roulette (2.70%). If you’re comparing to other card games, Baccarat beats many of the poker versions on the house edge factor, but Blackjack is still numero uno with a very low house advantage of 0.28%.
Top 5 Online Baccarat Tips
Baccarat does not rely on strategy as much as Blackjack because it’s mainly a game of chance. You do get to choose though which bet you’re going to place, so this is how you can influence your odds of winning. Here are some basic Baccarat strategies you can follow:
1. Apply a money management system.
2. Quit while you’re ahead – set yourself limits to quit after winning a few hands.
3. Don’t bet on a tie.
4. Look for the Baccarat version with the lowest banker’s commission – the standard banker bet has a 5% commission. Obviously the lower the commission, the bigger your winnings.
5. Try to find Baccarat games the use the minimum number of decks. This increases your odds of winning.
Bottom line about Online Baccarat
Online Baccarat is a firm favourite all over the world. Players get to enjoy a fun card game that has a low house advantage and doesn’t require much skill. The game has an air of sophistication thanks to its aristocratic history and was made even more famous thanks to a certain Mr. James Bond.Check out the list that we’ve put together of the top casinos that offer this popular casino game to South African players, and choose the best Baccarat casino for you!