The game of Baccarat is one of the original casino games and has been played since the mid-15th Century. The game was thought to have evolved from older games and spread from Italy into France and subsequently the rest of Europe. The game formed the basis, along with Roulette for the birth of the European casino, the forefather of what we know today as the modern casino.
While it may not be considered as popular in Canada as some other casino games like slots and Blackjack, it may yet surprise you to know that this easy and interesting game enjoys a strong following, particularly with online Canadian casino gamers. If you have ever been curious whilst playing your favourite online casino game as to what Baccarat actually is and how it works, read this fascinating article about Baccarat to learn what the game entails, how to play it, what the house edge is and much more. You never know, this might just become your next favourite Canadian casino game!
Rules of Baccarat
The rules of Baccarat are very easy to understand as is the gameplay itself. Baccarat is what is known as a single play game which simply means that there is essentially only one move in the game per hand. This is quite different to Blackjack for instance, where players can make several moves after the initial deal.
In Baccarat, all players can really do is decide to bet on the Player, the Banker or a Tie between them. All versions of Baccarat follow more or less the same rules with only slight variations according to the specific type.
Generally speaking, the aim of any Baccarat game is to get a hand as close to a total of nine without exceeding this total. In this way Baccarat is similar to Blackjack and also shares a similar method of assigning value to different cards.
Card values in Baccarat are:
All tens, jacks, queens and kings (face cards) are valued at zero
All ace cards are valued at one
Number cards are valued at their face value
A two card total that exceeds ten will have the ten disregarded (eg: 10 + 3 = 3)
A natural hand is a two card hand that totals either 8 or 9
The Baccarat table is just as simple and easy to understand as the game itself. It consists of various markings that are laid out for betting purposes which includes a space to bet for the Bankers hand or the Players hand, or a Tie between the two.
A game of Baccarat will begin with the dealer dealing two cards each to the Player and Banker which are placed on two separate squares marked Player and Banker. All players at the table would have bet on one of three options marked on the table. The dealer will then overturn the cards to see which of the two may have the winning hand. Whichever hand totals 8 or 9 wins the round and if neither hand is a winner, a third card is drawn based on the rules of the game:
The Player hand stands on 6 or 7 but draws on 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
The Bankers drawing rules are dependent on the result of the Player hand
The Banker draws if his hand = 3 and Player hand = 0-7
The Banker draws if his hand = 4 and the Player hand = 0/2-7
The Banker draws if his hand = 5 and the Player hand = 4-7
Odds in Baccarat
The odds in Baccarat are quite interesting and the house edge (the advantage that the casino has in a particular game or hand) are quite different depending on whether it is the Player hand, Dealer hand or Tie that is in question.
The easiest way to demonstrate the differences in Baccarat odds based on which hand is bet on is to show it like this:
Banker bet: House Edge = 1.06%
Player bet: House Edge = 1.24%
Tie bet: House Edge = 14.36%
As you can no doubt see from this comparison, the Banker bet presents the lowest house edge while betting on a Tie presents the highest house edge percentage.
Variations in Baccarat
There are quite a few variations on Baccarat and it really depends on whether you’re playing in a land-based casino or online, although most online casinos also offer traditional Baccarat variations. There are three different versions of Baccarat that you can choose from:
Punto Banco – This version of Baccarat was originally popular in England and was the version that initially crossed the ocean to the Americas and is often referred to as “North American Baccarat”.
Chemin de Fer – This version of Baccarat was the favoured version played by the French aristocracy and is commonly known as “Chemmy”.
Baccarat Banque – Also known as “A Deux Tableaux” this version, along with Chemin de Fer are considered the two versions of the game that require skill, while Punto Banco is considered a purely as a game of chance.
One of the most popular online Baccarat variations is High Limit Baccarat which follows the same basic rules as traditional Baccarat but with the notable difference being that High-Limit Baccarat allows the additional combination of Player-and-Tie or Banker-and-Tie betting options. This gives you a total of five different betting options in online High-Limit Baccarat.
Top 5 Baccarat Tips
Naturally there a few great tips that can be applied to the game of Baccarat just as there are in Blackjack and Roulette. Check out these great tips before heading out to your nearest Baccarat game:
Always bet on the Banker as this bet presents the lowest house edge percentage
Keep paying session fairly short to avoid the inevitable house advantage catching up with you
Always practice consistent bankroll management and set your personal playing/betting limits
If using a Baccarat strategy, be sure to stick to it as deviations will cause problems during a game
Avoid betting on the Tie bet, even though this is a tempting bets (considering the payout) it has the highest house edge of all bets
5 Reasons Why Online Baccarat is a Great Casino Game
Online Baccarat is one of the easiest casino games to learn to play and provides plenty of variety as well as a certain amount of strategy too. Many believe that the game is easier to play than Roulette and is also popular as a starting point for players that are new to table games, otherwise known as classic casino games.
An interesting fact, the word ‘baccarat’ is actually an Italian word meaning ‘zero’ which is in reference to the fact that all face cards as well as tens have a value of zero. The world also has another meaning, just like ‘blackjack’ refers to a hand of 21 (ace and face card) ‘baccarat’ refers to any hand that totals zero (seven and three for example).
Essentially all versions of Baccarat are based on the same basic principle. The idea is to compare two sets of cards or hands. On the one side you have the Players hand and on the other side you have the Banker’s hand. You have a total of three choices which you can bet on, either for the Player, for the Banker or a Tie between the two.
The idea to back one or the other is popular with Canadians and the game of online Baccarat has caught on in a big way. The game is really quick to play, easy to learn and offers strategy without a lot of the complexity that some Roulette bets require.
Getting started with a game of Baccarat is actually a lot easier than you may think and you can safely try this exciting table game for yourself at anyone of our recommended Canadian online casinos. You can also enjoy great bonus offers and can even try the game for free to see how you like it.
Baccarat is one of the oldest and also one of the most elegant of all casino games and is the chosen game of James Bond (not Roulette). Besides this sort of prestige, online Baccarat is simple, quick and can be easy as well as challenging depending on the strategy employed and the type of game played.
It is little wonder then that this classic is becoming more and more popular with Canadian online casino gamers. If you haven’t already, why not try this fantastic table game for yourself at any one of our recommended Canadian-friendly online Baccarat casinos right now?