What You Need to Know
Online Baccarat is a simple card game that can be played at online casinos around the world. Read our online baccarat guide to learn the different aspects of this popular casino game. We show you how the game is set up and played using a simple step-by-step guide. The rules players should know before they play Baccarat online are listed below. Get basic tips and a general baccarat strategy that all players can use to improve their odds.
We have a great section about brick and mortar casino baccarat found at locations in Las Vegas and Macau. For those that want to expand their knowledge can pick up one of the many baccarat books and learn more from expert players.
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Guide to Playing Baccarat Online
To play online baccarat, sign-in to your casino account and find Baccarat in the lobby under the Table Games menu. If you don’t have an account, register and make a deposit to play for real money. Accept any bonuses, then click on the appropriate link to either download casino software or play a no-download version of baccarat in the web browser. Now you’re ready to play a session of online baccarat.
Place a Bet
Choose to bet on the Player, the Banker, or a Tie. You can bet on only one option per hand.
Deal the Cards
The player hand and banker hand each receive two cards, dealt face-up.
Player Third Card
Determine whether the player hand receives a third card. 0-5 receives a card, while 6-9 does not.
Banker Third Card
Determine whether the banker receives a third card. These rules are more complicated, so look at the chart below.
Resolve the Bet
Compare hands to see which of the three bets win. Winners receive their payouts at this point.
Even if you’ve accepted a deposit bonus and no-deposit bonus, remember to check for daily and weekly bonus offers anytime you make a deposit.
Online Baccarat Setup
The online baccarat table setup allows for three bets: Banker, Player, and Tie. Made in the game menu at the bottom of your screen with a few clicks. The Banker bet has a house edge of 0.79%, but you have to pay a 5% commission on winning hands. The Player bet has a house edge of 1.52%. The Tie bet on a 9:1 payout is 17.27%, meaning it is a sucker bet. Never bet on the tie proposition.
Baccarat players are likely to find three types of online baccarat games. Big table baccarat is traditional Punto Banco, in which one player acts as the Banker, but this is impossible in online baccarat. Mini Baccarat is similar to traditional online baccarat, as the house deals the cards in a much faster version of the game. The players have the option of betting on the Banker or Player hands. Midi Baccarat is quite similar to Mini Baccarat, though it is more likely to contain side bets like Dragon Tail.
Online Baccarat Payouts
The payouts of online baccarat vary according to the number of decks used in the shoe. The more decks are used, the higher the house edge is. The differences are largest between one-deck baccarat and multi-deck baccarat. Players should be aware of the differences in gambling on 1-deck, 6-deck, and 8-deck baccarat. The table below shows the house edge according to the three most popular forms of online baccarat.
|WAGER||1 DECK||6 DECKS||8 DECKS||PAYOUT|
Online Baccarat alternate name, “punto banco“, means “player-banker”; check out our guide for more common terms. The name explains how wagering happens in the game. Players have 3 betting options for the main game to start each hand. Your best options are the Player and Banker bets, which have roughly the same house edge. Banker is considered better, but only by a small amount. The Tie bet should be avoided. The banker’s hand has better odds, but you have to pay a 5% commission on wins. The player hand odds are not as good.
The score is kept differently in online baccarat than most table games. Face cards are worth the numbers on their faces. The ace is worth 1 point. All face cards are worth 0 points. So is the 10-card. The object of the game is to have the highest hand, with 9 as the best hand possible.
Once you make your bets, two cards are dealt to the banker hand and two cards are dealt to the player hand. According to specific rules, the third card is dealt to one, the other, or to both. Rigid rules determine when to deal a third card, so no strategy is used. The rules for each hand are below.
Tie Bet Rules
The tie bet wins if the Player hand and Banker hand tie. This is relatively rare, but has the biggest payout in baccarat. Unfortunately, the house edge is over 15%, making this a sucker bet.
Card counting does not have a role in online baccarat. Counting cards would help in Chemin de Fer in brick-and-mortar games, but has no place in Punto Banco. Baccarat cheats use a technique called edge-sorting in offline play, but this once again is not helpful in online baccarat.
At the beginning of each round of play, each hand is dealt 2 cards. The hand’s value is determined by adding the two card values together. Only the second number is used, so a 10-card is worth “0”; all face cards are “0”. The count rolls over at 9, meaning a 5 and 6 card equals “1” and not “11”.
The player with the higher hand wins. If a tie happens, bets are returned, except for those who bet on the tie. Most casinos have 1:1 baccarat payouts for banker or player hands, and 8:1 for ties. Some casinos offer 9:1 for ties. In either case, it’s a bad bet.
Player Bet Rules
The player draws first in any hand of baccarat. When you choose to bet on the player’s hand, follow the rules below. Online baccarat software uses the rules below, but you’ll want to know these rules for the sake of enjoyment.
Player Hand & Third Card
- 0-5: If the player’s hand is 0 through 5, then a third card is always drawn.
- 6-7: If the player’s hand is 6 through 7, then no third card is drawn. The banker might draw a third card in this scenario.
- 8-9: If either the player or banker hands are 8 or 9, then neither hand receives a third card. The winner of the hand is determined immediately.
Banker Bet Rules
The banker bet rules follow the same actions. These are more complicated, because they are dependent on the hand value the player is holding. To help, we’ve placed these in a handy table. While the software plays the hand for you automatically in an online baccarat game, you’ll enjoy the game more if you know why you received a card.
Banker Hand & Third Card
- 0-2: If the banker’s hand is 0, 1, or 2, the bankers always hits, if the player hit.
- 3: If the banker’s hand is 3, then the banker hits unless the player’s hand is 8.
- 4: If the banker’s hand is 4, then the banker hits on a 2 thru 7, but stands on 0, 1, 8, or 9.
- 5: If the hand is a 5, then the banker hits on a 4 thru 7, but stands on a 0, 1, 2, 3, 8, or 9.
- 6: If the hand is a 6, then the banker hits only when the player’s hand is a 6 or 7.
The banker bet rules might be hard to follow at first. When you play baccarat online, though, most casinos have rules printed in the Help section of the games menu. If you can’t find handy rules on your gaming site, return to this article and open to our Banker Bet rules in a separate tab. Study this while playing and you’ll have the rules down in a short time.
Several variants of baccarat exist. Online game designers develop variations of these games for either downloadable or live casinos, so it pays for players to associate these terms with baccarat. Online casinos might or might not assume gamblers know the difference, so I’ve included a short description of each.
This is the game played in the roped-off section of most American casinos. Punto Banco rules are the basis for online baccarat rules.
Chemin de Fer
Play this version in France and Monte Carlo. Chemin de Fer has room for strategy. Before playing online, read a Chemin de Fer strategy guide.
Las Vegas casinos offer this in the main game area for lower bet limits. Mini Baccarat uses Punto Banco rules, but plays with a dealer, making it faster.
It’s important to note that Mini Baccarat and Punto Banco have the same basic rules. These are the rules most online casinos use, so it’s accurate to say online baccarat is like Punto Banco and Mini-Baccarat.
Additional Baccarat Games
Seeing as how it is a popular casino card game, which is why there are are a few variations of the game that have been created and distributed. You can find the online baccarat versions or at brick-and-mortar casinos, so check them out here:
Live Dealer Baccarat
Online gamblers wanting a game experience more similar to brick-and-mortar baccarat should try live dealer baccarat. Find live baccarat at online casinos, but supported with live casino software in its own section of the site. Real life dealers deal hands of baccarat while being filmed in a live studio. This video streams in real time to your computer screen, allowing you to play baccarat without a random number generator or graphic simulations.
Live baccarat played online is most similar to Mini Baccarat, because the dealer handles the cards. Our site has a full guide to live dealer baccarat, including a discussion of the best live casino providers and recommendations on online casinos which offer live casino baccarat.
Mobile Online Baccarat
Mobile online baccarat is playable on smartphones and tablet computers. Mobile casinos which offer baccarat always support Android devices, iPhone, and iPad. A few mobile casinos support Blackberry, Windows Phone, and Symbian devices. The ability to play with an Android smartphone or an iPad tablet makes gambling for real money more convenient for rail commutes, vacations, or waits in an office.
Advantages of Mobile Baccarat
- Smartphone baccarat is playable anywhere Wi-Fi is available.
- Tablet computer baccarat is available anywhere in or around the house.
- Live dealer baccarat is mobile-compatible
- Sites offer mobile deposit bonuses.
Online Baccarat Strategy
Online baccarat strategy is minimal, though wise players should be familiar with money management, the drawbacks to progressive betting, and the dangers of tie bets. Baccarat cheats, like edge-sorting, cannot be employed against online casino software, so players need to be aware that certain strategies in brick-and-mortar baccarat do not apply. Here’s a quick guide to online baccarat strategy.
Learn How to Play Baccarat
This might seem obvious, but get a real understanding of how baccarat works. Learning how to play baccarat means a gambler can debunk myths and misconceptions when they encounter them. You’ll enjoy online baccarat more if you understand the game. You can always use the basic strategy table on whether to Hit or Stand:
Avoid Progressive Betting
Progressive betting is a way to beat the casino, but they don’t. Instead, they increase the chances you’ll lose a lot of money. Martingale bet techniques stipulate exponential bets, so the risk of losing your whole bankroll is much larger.
Stay Away from the Tie Bet
I wrote this in another section, but it bears repeating. The Tie bet is a sucker bet, worse than the house edge on any airport slot machine you’ve ever played. Never make the tie bet, because you’ll lose ten times more money consistently betting on this proposition.
Always Bet on the Banker
If you want a one-step strategy to online baccarat betting, make the banker bet always. Like in real life, baccarat players should always bet on the banker. The house edge is smaller on the banker bet, despite the commission paid to the casino.
Players can stretch their bankroll by using money management techniques, limiting losses and maximizing winnings. Money management does not do is give players the edge over the casinos, because changing the size of your bets does not beat the house edge. Money management throttles your betting to an amount which lengthens your gaming sessions. Experts suggest 3% to 10% bets are the best range, depending on your preference or aversion for risk. Thus, I stipulate wagers of $3.00, $5.00, and $10.00 for players with a $100 bankroll.
Money Management Table (Using $100 Bankroll)
- 3% Wagered Each Hand @ 1.06% = 3,143 hands before losing your bankroll.
- 5% Wagered Each Hand @ 1.06% = 1,886 hands before losing your bankroll.
- 10% Wagered Each Hand @ 1.06% = 943 hands before losing your bankroll.
This assumes your gambling losses are exactly the same as the house edge. In reality, some players will have higher losses and some will have lower losses. Some players are going to win more than they lose. Players should remember that you could theoretically lose your entire bankroll on 10 bets, if you wager 10% of your bankroll each time. The risk of busting out is much greater, if you stake a large percentage of your bankroll on one hand.
Baccarat in Las Vegas
Many gamblers see baccarat as an elite game in the casino. In Las Vegas, classic punto banco is played in the roped-off section of the casino. Players wear a coat and tie if they want to gamble at the high-stakes tables. The casinos reserve the game only for high rollers. $25 a hand is considered a low-rollers game. Since the real advantage is in being the banker who covers everyone else’s bets, the game can get expensive.
Another version called mini-baccarat has become popular in certain parts of Las Vegas since the 1980s. This game is called mini-baccarat. It dispenses with the elaborate ritual of the player-banker. Instead, the casino supplies an employee to handle the deal. This makes the game go faster, which increases the number of times gamblers face the house edge in an hour. For this reason, the game is considered inferior from a player’s perspective.
EZ Baccarat online is a game some casinos offer. It is similar to mini-baccarat, but it has side bets called the “Panda 8” and “Dragon 7” bets. The side bets do not require a 5% commission on banker bets but have a high house edge (10.19%). Players can attempt to count card on the Panda 8 bet though card counting is not recommended in casinos. If you can play the traditional game, it’s a better bet.
As more Las Vegas gamblers have become interested over recent years, some casinos offer traditional baccarat for $15 a hand, or even the occasional 10$ a hand. These casinos tend to limit this gaming to certain non-peak times of the week, so regular gamblers and research-oriented tourists are often the only ones to know about these games. A more common decision is to offer mini-baccarat, midi-baccarat, or EZ baccarat.
Low Limit Baccarat in Las Vegas
Las Vegas is an ever-changing city. Its casinos try new promotions and then move on to some new idea. Baccarat in Las Vegas is no different. Here are the current low-limit games in Las Vegas, though these are subject to change.
Generally speaking, $25 baccarat is considered low limit. Las Vegas Strip casinos which offer mini-baccarat sometimes provide games for $15, which is considered low limit for that game.
- Caesars Palace
- MGM Grand
- Monte Carlo
- Las Vegas Hilton
- Wynn Las Vegas
MGM Grand has a reputation for offering the most pleasant gaming experience because their gaming rooms are quietest. When playing baccarat, it’s best to stay on the Vegas Strip. Most of the Downtown Las Vegas casinos got rid of their baccarat rooms in the last few years.
Of the Off-the-Strip casino, Gold Coast, and Easy Station are known to have cheap mini-baccarat table. Golden Nugget has mini-baccarat, but their tables are not quite as cheap. Binion’s Horseshoe no longer offers baccarat.
EZ Baccarat in Las Vegas
At the moment, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino offers EZ Baccarat, also known as “no commission”. The Monte Carlo Casino offers $10 tables throughout the week.
The Paris Casino offers $25 minimum, Harrah’s Casino has no commission tables. In the past, Harrah’s was known to offers occasional free hands of baccarat, to spur interest when no one was playing.
In Macau, casinos are designed around the baccarat lounges. Asian gamblers prefer punto banco over all other table games. Their reason for doing so is based on the Asian concept of chi (qi), meaning “energy flow” or “to breath”, depending on the translation.
Due to the influences of philosophers like Mo Di, Confucius, and Mencius, many Asians believe chi exists in everything: people, objects, places, and events. It is very much like “The Force” in the Star Wars movies – and energy source that permeates everything. Many gamblers in Macau believe every game of baccarat has its own energy flow.
That’s why you’ll see baccarat players seem to hesitate when they approach the punto banco tables. They gambler studies different gaming tables and tries to find the one with the best chi. Once a player makes a decision, he or she joins the game.
Baccarat has as many (or more) misconceptions about it as any game in the casino. In Asia, it has a mystique as a predictable game, which is wrong. Traditionally in Las Vegas and Monte Carlo, it is a game for high rollers and skilled players, because of its exclusive nature, its players’ fine clothes, and the James Bond movies. In truth, almost none of the assumptions are correct. Playing online baccarat lets gamblers in on the secret; it is a simple game with few real decisions.
Card Counting Works
If you played Chemin de Fer in Monte Carlo, card counting might help. In online baccarat, card counting has no meaning. Don’t bother.
Baccarat Hands Have Patterns
This is a common myth in Asian betting, where baccarat is most popular. Baccarat does not have a “flow” or “Chi” any more than any other game. Those trying to find a pattern are trying to make order of chaos, because the cards are random.
Martingale Betting Assures Wins
Martingale betting causes many small winning sessions. It also causes a few catastrophic losing sessions. Avoid progressive betting.
Online Baccarat Is a High Stakes Game
No, online baccarat can be played for small bet limits, if you find the right casino. Read through our tips for finding the best online casinos and we’ll recommend US-friendly online casinos which offer low-limit baccarat.
Baccarat Is a Game for Elite Gamblers
People assume baccarat is a game for elite players with good strategy, because people in suit-and-tie in a private area play it. That’s only because baccarat has the lowest house edge of any game without strategy requirements. It is an easy game to learn.
The great thing about online baccarat is it lets players play a game with no strategy elements that has a low house edge. It lets online players behind the roped-off section of the casino — and you don’t even have to wear a suit.
Edward O. Thorp, who wrote the original book on card counting, determined that card counting is not sufficient to overcome the house edge in baccarat. Thorp determined card counting was about 9 times less effective in baccarat than in blackjack.
Nevertheless, gamblers have tried to learn ways to gain an advantage. Below is a short synopsis of famous cheats in the game of online baccarat. This is provided for entertainment purposes only; this site does not recommend gamblers attempt to cheat the casino.
Over the years, stories have circulated about ways to beat baccarat. The subject of “flashing dealers” is discussed, in which the banker mistakenly flashes the next card as they deal. Since high-roller punto banco is dealt by amateurs, this is a possibility. The Wizard of Odds estimates that the player advantage when the dealer always flashes is 6.76%.
That would be a tremendous advantage, but it would be unlikely to find that kind of advantage in a casino for any length of time.
Flashing dealers are not the only way players have tried to gain an advantage; but this method doesn’t work for online baccarat. Over the past couple of years, a lawsuit involving the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City and professional poker player Phil Ivey made headlines. That lawsuit has brought to light the practice of “edge sorting”.
The Borgata alleges Phil Ivey gained an unfair advantage edge sorting the playing cards because he knew the casino was using faulty card decks. As the story goes, a card company named Gemaco out of Missouri manufactured defective cards. The backside of certain card ranks in their purple decks did not look the same as other cards in the deck.
Because a player could tell (within a small range) the number value of the cards being dealt, a banker could sort the deck in a way to gain an advantage. Borgata alleges in its lawsuit that Phil Ivey and a friend used his high roller status to ask for purple Gemaco cards, then sorted the cards in a way to give themselves a large probabilistic advantage playing at $50,000 a hand.
The lawsuit shows that Borgata encouraged Ivey to return later for $100,000 hands of baccarat, expecting the poker pro’s luck to turn. It didn’t, and eventually Phil Ivey won $9.6 million from Borgata over several gaming sessions. Borgata only learned what happened when the Ritz Casino in London refused to pay Phil Ivey his winnings and accused him of edge-sorting.
It should be noted that flashing dealers and opportunities to stack the deck in your favor are rare. We do not recommend players try to cheat the casino in any way because the laws are on the side of the casinos. Baccarat has a house edge but is a fun game for those who want a low house edge and no strategy decisions. Many locations require a high stake to gain these advantages. Gamblers should look at their losses at the casino table as the price of entertainment.
Online baccarat is a major table game from a software designer’s point of view. Developed for all forms of online gambling: download, instant play, mobile casinos, and live casinos. It is a great and simple game that gives players better odds of winning than other casino card games. This page has shown you how to play online baccarat and the rules that come with it. Play at any of the best online casinos and start betting on the banker.
Bookmark this page and refer back to this complete baccarat guide when it’s time to play baccarat online. For those want to know more in-depth information or have questions they want answered, you can look at our FAQ.