How to Play Online Baccarat?
If you want an expert guide teaching you how to play online baccarat, you’re in the right place. Our team explains everything about online baccarat, from the basic rules to the different bet types and which casinos offer the best baccarat games.
Get started right away with any of the online casino links here, each offering excellent online baccarat options. Or scroll down to read our full, free guide on how to play online baccarat.
Online baccarat rules
Whether you’ve played a few hands before, or you’re brand new to online baccarat, it’s essential you have a firm understanding of the rules. Baccarat is a simple game, but some of the rules can be a little confusing for new players. Here, our experts are going to explain how to play baccarat.
Aim of the game
The aim of baccarat is to get the highest-ranked hand possible, which is a nine. However, you have very little influence over this, as play happens automatically. Instead, you bet on the hand you think will win before the hand is dealt, then hope for the best.
Punto banco is the most common form of baccarat, and one you’ll find at all the excellent casinos linked to on this page. There are two hands. One is called punto, which means player. The other is called banco, meaning banker. You can actually bet on either; there is no onus on you to bet on player.
Calculating your hand value
Each card has a value. Many are self-explanatory. For instance, any three is worth three points, and any four is worth four points. An ace is worth a single point, while 10s, jacks, queens and kings are each worth 10 points.
Each hand receives two cards face-up. Add the total together, then use the last digit only to calculate the value of your hand. For example, a seven and a queen would be 7 + 10, making 17. We ignore the first digit, so the total is seven points. This is one aspect that can make some players wonder how to play online baccarat but, once it’s been explained, it suddenly seems very simple.
To draw or not to draw?
Once the hands have been dealt, there may be an opportunity to draw a third card. This is decidedly automatically, like most of the game.
First, the punto hand is assessed. The punto hand either remains as it is (stands) or adds a third card (draws). Action is decided based on the total of the two cards. Here are the potential outcomes:
Note that a natural only wins if the banco doesn’t also have the same natural, in which case a tie is announced. If you know how to play online baccarat, you’ll want to avoid the tie bet due to its significant house edge.
Banco drawing happens after punto drawing, and the action is usually determined based on what happened with the third punto card. See the table below for an explanation of when the banco hand will draw and when it will stand.
|3||Draw – unless punto’s third card was an 8|
|4||Draw – unless punto’s third card was a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7|
|5||Draw – unless punto’s third card was a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7|
|6||Draw – unless punto’s third card was a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7|
|7||Draw – unless punto’s third card was a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7|
Note that a natural only wins if the punto doesn’t also have the same natural, in which case a tie is announced.
Different types of bet
Now that you know how to play, you need to learn how to bet on baccarat.
Betting is, like all aspects of baccarat, simple. There are three potential outcomes: punto to win, banco to win, and tie. As you’ll have noticed, the game is largely automated, which means you pretty much have to guess who will win. But there is in fact a slight difference in which hand is more likely to win.
Banco or punto?
If you don’t have an in-depth knowledge of how to play online baccarat, you might assume banco and punto each have a 50/50 chance – but there are some subtle differences.
Punto has a 1.24% house edge and pays at even odds. Banco, which decides to draw based on punto’s actions, has a smaller house edge of 1.06%. It often pays out at 19/20 instead of evens, too.
With this in mind, banco is the better bet, as it has the smaller house edge.
Ties and other bets
If you want to get maximum value out of your bets, you should avoid betting on the tie. It has appealing odds of 8/1 but the house edge is much higher than the punto or banco bets at 14.4%
Depending on which casino you play at, you may also find a number of side bets. These can range from straightforward bets, like betting on the total value of a hand, to bets like ‘three giving eight’. In this bet, the banco hand must only have a value of three with two cards, while punto must be eligible to draw a third card and hit an eight, paying out at a whopping 200/1.
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