Baccarat Gold

Baccarat Gold logoBaccarat Gold is a popular online baccarat variant, that plays just like its predecessor. The “Gold” version of the game includes special gameplay features, like the ability to “squeeze” your cards and History charts. The charts display the pattern of results from previous hands.

Online Baccarat Gold tends to offer a few side or “bonus” bets. These add to the player experience, but severely increase the house edge.

This Baccarat Gold guide will show you the change in rules, as well as a step-by-step process of how to play. Players can find Baccarat Gold at local casinos within the United States, as well as at several online casinos. With the rule changes, the gameplay strategy also changes. Get an in-depth look at the strategy players can use as they play and win at Baccarat Gold online.

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Baccarat Gold Rules

Aside from three primary adjustments to the basic rules, Baccarat Gold is played just like ordinary online baccarat.

Rule Adjustments

  • 1. Taking a cue from baccarat’s forerunner, the French banking game is known as Chemin de Fer, Baccarat Gold allows players who have wagered on the Player bet to decide between hitting or standing when they show a total of 5.
  • 2. When the Player hand has drawn a third card, the Banker’s rules for drawing are as follows:
    • When Banker’s hand totals 0 through 3, a third card is always drawn.
    • When Banker’s hand totals 4 or 5, a third card is only drawn when the Player hand’s third card ranks between 3 and 7.
    • When Banker’s hand totals 6 or 7, a third card is never drawn.
  • 3. A winning wager on the Banker and Player hands producing a Tie pays out at 9 to 1.

By comparing these three rule adjustments to traditional baccarat, we can see what makes Baccarat Gold its own unique gaming experience.

Rule Changes

Rule Change #1

During a hand of regular baccarat, players who wager on either the Player or Banker hand have no ability to decide between hitting or standing. Instead, the Player hand (which always acts first) will receive a third card when showing a total of 5 or less, or stand with a total of 6 or higher. As for the Banker’s hand, a complex system of drawing rules known as the “tableau” is used to automatically determine when a third card should be distributed, and the dealer will always enforce those rules.Baccarat Gold flips this dynamic, however, borrowing an essential aspect of Chemin de Fer to afford players with an opportunity, however, limited it may be, to influence the outcome of a particular hand.

Rule Change #2

The second rule change found in Baccarat Gold serves to simplify the convoluted nature of traditional baccarat’s drawing tableau, narrowing down 80 possible scenarios (based on the Banker hand’s total and the Player hand’s third card) to just three basic dictums. Once again, Baccarat Gold is designed to be more player friendly than its age-old counterpart, by removing much of the tableau’s mystique in favor of a straightforward system which can be easily remembered.

Rule Change #3

Finally, the third discrepancy between basic baccarat and Baccarat Gold applies to the Tie bet. In the game’s traditional format, winning wagers on Player and Banker hands producing identical totals for a Tie pay out at an 8 to 1 ratio. In Baccarat Gold, however, this payout has been slightly increased at 9 to 1.

Aside from these changes, Baccarat Gold is essentially a clone of its predecessor, following the same structure and organization as regular baccarat. This means you’ll be playing through a shoe containing eight standard 52 card decks of playing cards. Players can elect to place their wager on either the Player, Banker, or Tie bets, and the dealer will distribute two cards each to the Player and Banker spots on the table. Once the drawing round has been completed, both hands are then compared to determine a winner.

Playing Baccarat Gold

Baccarat Gold gameThe object of the game is to wager on the hand which reaches a total closest to 9, and totals can never go over or “bust.” Instead, when the sum of two or three cards in a hand creates a two-digit number, the left most digit is always removed to render final total. A hand consisting of a 6 and an 8, for example, would total 4 (6 + 8 = 14, removing left most digit leaves 4).

Winning wagers placed on the Player bet are paid out at even money while winning Banker bets are charged a 5 percent commission (payout ratio of 19 to 20). So, if you bet $10 on the Banker bet and wind up with a winning total, your payout would stand at $9.50.

Whenever either the Player or Banker hand shows a total of 8 or 9 on the first two cards, this is considered a “natural” and both hands are forced to stand.

Step-By-Step Guide to Playing

#1

Place Bets and Cards Dealt

The player will need to place their Ante bet before the game can start. They will place their wager on the Player, Banker, or Tie box to determine what hand they will be playing on. Once the bet has been placed, the dealer will hand out two cards to the Player and Banker positions.

#2

Third Card Dealt

Once the player has checked their hand, a third card may be dealt based on the hand total. Once they have received their third card, the dealer will now take the appropriate actions to taking a third card. This is determined by the second rule adjustment mentioned above.

#3

Winning Hand

Now that both the player and dealer have ended their turns, it is time to compare the hands. The lowest hand will win. If the player wins, they will get paid 1 to 1; unless they bet on Tie and it ends in a tie.

Best Places to Play Baccarat Gold

Recommended iconAs mentioned above, Baccarat Gold has been a staple in land based casinos throughout California for the last six to eight years.

Specifically, the San Pablo Lytton Casino in San Pablo, California is home to a number of Baccarat Gold tables, and players consistently report finding the game there.

With that said, the game’s trademark appears to have lapsed in the intervening years, meaning many alternative versions of Baccarat Gold can likely be found under slightly different names. The best way to determine whether or not your favorite casino offers Baccarat Gold is simply to contact the property and ask to speak with a floor manager. Ask about the game by name, before explaining the basic rule changes to see if a knockoff version of Baccarat Gold can be found at the casinos you frequent.

Online Baccarat Gold Casinos

microgamingWhen it comes to online casinos, Baccarat Gold is a popular title found at Microgaming powered casinos. As Microgaming powers dozens, even hundreds of individual online casinos, a simple search will produce several different venues offering either Baccarat Gold or Baccarat Gold Series. You can check out our full listing of trusted online casinos and decide where you prefer to play.

Fair warning, though, these games are not the same as the live tables found in brick and mortar casinos. The rules for Baccarat Gold described above, including the option to decide between hitting and standing on Player bets when showing a total of 5, are not included in the online versions of the game. Instead, online Baccarat Gold or Baccarat Gold Series tables offer traditional baccarat with the inclusion of a few side bets and bonus propositions.

Strategic Considerations for Baccarat Gold

Baccarat Gold strategyWhen playing traditional baccarat, despite the fancy accouterments and sophisticated atmosphere, players are simply gambling on a pure game of chance.

Of course, basic baccarat offers some of the lowest house edges for table games on the casino floor, so the gamble isn’t as bad as other games of chance like roulette or keno. During a normal game of baccarat, the house edge on Banker bets stands at just 1.06 percent, while the Player bet is slightly higher at 1.24 percent, and Tie bets offer an unbeatable 14.36 percent house edge. As you’ll see below, these numbers have been tinkered with by the designers of Baccarat Gold, with the goal being to make the house edges for both the Player and Banker bets as close to identical as possible.

Despite the relatively generous house edges on traditional baccarat bets, the game’s rules leave players with no ability to influence the outcome of a hand, making baccarat a game devoid of all but the simplest of strategic concerns. In effect, the only strategy one needs to know when playing baccarat is to always bet on the Banker’s hand, as the house edge of 1.06 will always offer better odds over the long run than the 1.24 percent house edge on Player bets.

In the game of Baccarat Gold, however, the crucial caveat allowing players with a wager on the Player hand to decide between hitting or standing on a total of 5 adds a new wrinkle to the mix. Rather than watching as a passive observer – placing your bets and waiting for the dealer to enforce the tableau, draw cards, and determine a winner – you will have the opportunity to make decisions which will directly affect the result of certain hands.

House Edge versus Odds

We can run through a brief comparison of the house edges on each bet to determine exactly how this rule change alters the odds and probabilities associated with baccarat.

Player Draws 3rd Card on 5 Total

First, when players decide to hit and draw a third card on a total of 5, the house edges stand as follows:

  • Banker Bet = 1.144 percent
  • Player Bet = 1.147 percent
  • Tie Bet = 4.908 percent

As you can see, the house edges for the Banker and Player bets have been normalized to give either bet virtually the same prospects of winning. When compared to normal baccarat, this means players can feel free to alternate between Banker and Player bets without sacrificing a substantial amount of equity in terms of house edge. Additionally, the house edge on Tie bets has fallen considerably, making baccarat’s “third” wager a much more reasonable proposition.

Player Stands on 5 Total

What about when the player decides to stand on Player hands with a total of 5 showing? In this case, the house edge breakdown on the three bets looks like this:

  • Banker Bet = 0.918 percent
  • Player Bet = 1.386 percent
  • Tie Bet = 7.555 percent

As the player with a wager on the Player hand, and a total of 5 showing, your decision should always be to hit and draw a third card. By comparing the house edge on Player bets when hitting on a total of 5 (1.147 percent) to the house edge when standing (1.386) percent, it’s clear that hitting offers the most advantageous decision from the player’s perspective.

Furthermore, by always hitting on totals of 5 for the Player hand, you can ensure that any wagers on the Tie bet face a house edge of 4.908 percent (lower than double zero roulette wheels), rather than a much stiffer rate of 7.555 percent.

Banker Bet Impact

One revelation to emerge from these house edge comparisons that you should take note of concerns the impact of a hit or stand decision on the Banker bet. The player in control of the Player hand with a total of 5 showing should always be hitting, per proper strategy, and when they do this means the Banker and Player bets share nearly the same house edge (1.144 percent and 1.147 percent, respectively).

When the player in control of the Player hand with a total of 5 showing elects to stand instead, deviating from optimal strategy, the Banker bet’s house edge drops all the way from 1.144 percent to 0.918 percent. While the difference between these two numbers may appear to be negligible, in reality, this reduction represents a drastic swing in favor of players with a Banker bet in place.

Use Traditional Baccarat Strategy

In effect, Baccarat Gold mimics traditional baccarat, because, despite the rule adjustments and the introduction of a player based decision, the best bet on the table will always be the Banker bet. When the Player hand correctly takes a third card, the house edge on your Banker bet will effectively remain the same as the Player bet.

But when the Player hand mistakenly decides to stand – which will happen quite often at a live table with inexperienced players simply trying to have fun – the Banker hand immediately benefits from a reduced house edge.

Boiled down to the most basic terms, the optimal strategy for Baccarat Gold is to always bet on the Banker’s hand while advising players taking the Player hand to always hit on their 5 totals. By following these basic guidelines, you’ll enjoy a house edge that never rises above 1.144 percent but occasionally dips down to 0.918 percent.

Brief History

The original trademark application for a new casino game known as “Baccarat Gold” was filed in 2007 by Dolchee LLC, a company based in Hayward, California.

As such, the game first appeared in casinos and poker rooms throughout the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas. Over the years, Baccarat Gold spread to California’s tribal casinos, and today, the game is a staple offering found in most online casino software packages.

The game known as Baccarat Gold or Baccarat Gold Series that is included in the Microgaming online casino software suite doesn’t adhere to the same rules as the Baccarat Gold live game. Hybrid table games like Baccarat Gold have revitalized the casino floor, expanding on the foundation of conventional games by adding new rules and gameplay elements.