Table of Contents
If you want to play free baccarat, chances are you’re quite new to the game – or maybe you’ve never played before at all. In either instance, our experts are here to give you a quick rundown of how the game works. We’ll be focusing on punto banco, which is by far the most common version of online baccarat (free or otherwise).
Punto vs banco
There are two hands in free baccarat: punto (meaning ‘player’) and banco (meaning ‘banker’). You can bet on either hand to win.
Each hand receives two face-up cards. The numeric value of the card shows you how many points it’s worth. For instance, any five is worth five points. An ace is worth one point, while 10s through kings are worth 10.
Calculating your hand’s value
Once you’ve received your cards (e.g. punto), add the total together and only count the last digit. For example, if you get a five and a king, the total is 15, so your hand value is five. If you have eight or nine, you’ll win – or draw if the other hand has the same.
If you have six or seven, you stand. And if you have less than six, you draw a third card. Similar rules are followed by the other hand (banco), with a few variables when both players draw.
Whoever has the highest-value hand is declared the winner, with nine being the highest possible score. Remember, adding one to nine in free baccarat brings your total back to zero.
Free baccarat vs real money baccarat
If you’re wondering whether to try free baccarat or jump straight in to real money baccarat, there’s no one answer that will work for everyone. Instead, our experts will touch on the pros and cons to help you decide what works best for you.
Perks of free baccarat
Baccarat rules are pretty straightforward, but it’s not a game which is played as commonly as other casino classics like roulette or blackjack. Because of this, people are often worried about making a mistake when they first play. If that’s how you’re feeling, free baccarat could be the perfect choice for you.
Playing free online baccarat gives you the safety to make errors without it costing you any money. The irony is that, in free baccarat and real money baccarat, it’s very difficult to make any mistakes because the rules effectively play out automatically!
Perks of real money baccarat
Unlike free baccarat, real money baccarat means you can win cash while you play. Most players tend to get bored when playing free baccarat or any free version of casino games, moving towards the real money version sooner or later. Most people would agree that real money baccarat is more exciting than free baccarat.
If you’re a high stakes player, you’ll also get special treatment when playing baccarat. In physical casinos this can mean a private room to play in, top-tier table service and much more. At online casinos, think VIP rewards, cashback offers and so on.
The best free baccarat bets
So, if you’re new to the game and trying free online baccarat for the first time, what is the best bet to make?
There are plenty of side bets available in baccarat, but for this guide we’re going to focus on the most common, universal bets. There are three main bets in punto banco:
Pretty simple, right? You just bet on which hand you think will have the higher total. Or, if you think they’ll end up the same, you bet on the tie.
Understanding free baccarat odds
Interestingly, the odds aren’t quite 50/50. Punto pays out at even odds, but banco pays out slightly less at 19/20. Additionally, the house edge is different on each bet. Banco, the lower-paying bet, has a house edge of 1.06% - while punto’s house edge is larger at 1.24%.
In other words, it makes more sense for you to bet on banco, pretty much every hand.
The tie has an outrageously high house edge, making it one to avoid. The odds of 8/1 may lure you in, but the house edge of 14.4% should be a clear warning sign to look elsewhere.
Where to play free baccarat
You can enjoy free baccarat at many online casinos available to players in Canada and beyond. And to make things even easier, our experts have already put together a list of the top online casinos which currently offer free baccarat.
If you’re ready to play free online baccarat, just click any of the links to online casinos on this page and get signed up for some free casino chips!