Live Dealer Baccarat
What You Need to Know
Live Dealer Baccarat allows you to gamble at a table full of players, just like at a brick-and-mortar casino. It gives players a chance to bet at an online casino, from anywhere in the world and get a real life gambling experience. The games are held in a live casino studio, then streamed to the player’s computer.
Keep reading to learn how to play live baccarat online on your desktop PC, mobile smartphone, or tablet. We briefly discuss the various types of games, along with the rules played in most live casinos. This page also gives technical details for playing, along with dozens of suggestions for websites which offer live baccarat.
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Bringing Live Dealers to Baccarat Players
Online baccarat is one of the most popular games in brick-n-mortar casinos. In the online gambling world, baccarat maintains that high level of popularity, as such, live dealer baccarat came in to unite both worlds.
In an online live casino, baccarat is dealt by a trained dealer. Players can talk with the dealer and the other players using the Live Chat box and the dealer will reply via streaming video. This restores the game to the way baccarat was meant to be played.
How to Play Live Baccarat Online
To play live baccarat at online casinos, you’ll need to set up an account to play for real money in the casino of your preference. While free-play versions of live casino baccarat exist, it is rarer than free online or mobile baccarat. The providers have to pay employees, so they don’t offer that many free looks at the game. With that in mind, here’s how to sign up for an account and play live dealer baccarat.
Live Dealer Baccarat Gameplay
Where to Play Live Dealer Baccarat
Due to the growing popularity of online baccarat, more and more casinos are offering its live dealer version. At Online United States Casinos we take our job seriously and we’ve gathered the best online casinos so you can experience the best. Our list compiles safe and reputable casinos for Non-US and USA players, betting limits and available bonuses.
Play Live Dealer Baccarat at These Top USA Online Casinos
International Casinos Perfect for Live Baccarat
Make sure to read our reviews to ensure you are playing at the highest quality live casinos. We suggest players proceed with caution if they decide to play at casinos we have not reviewed for accuracy and legitimacy.
Mobile Live Dealer Baccarat
Players can enjoy playing a round of live dealer baccarat using their mobile device. This would include Android and iOS devices, tablets or smartphones. Live casino software developers design mobile-optimized video streaming technology to allow players to interface with their studios. Players can use iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones or tablet to wager while playing live online baccarat.
The games load in the phone’s browser, so mobile live dealer baccarat streams instantly through your Wi-Fi connection; or a data plan. Anywhere you go throughout the day, you’ll be able to play baccarat with live dealers.
Setup of Live Dealer Baccarat
Live dealer games are mainly hosted by separate companies to the main casino software providers. These are found in a separate section of your casino lobby, which you will be able to access with the same account and cashier as the main section.
While each live dealer casino is slightly different when it comes to the layout and lobby options, especially if the online casino caters to Non-US or USA Players, however, there are some key similarities between them. You’ll first come to a list of the different games available, which are often accompanied by a picture of the live dealers in action at the baccarat tables at that moment.
Once you choose Baccarat, the only further options will be based on your buy-in level. Stakes range from just a couple of dollars per hand to high-roller tables where you may be able to bet $10k or more each time.
Table and Player Options
Clicking on the table will bring up a game interface where the dealer and table can be seen – along with a lot of betting options and other controls. You bet in the same way you would for an online baccarat game, by clicking on the chip size first to select, and then clicking on the betting square where you want to drop the chip.
There are also chat options, sometimes with an expandable window for the text. You will also be able to access hand histories and setup options for such things as sound and video quality.
Betting is controlled by a timer. Once the hand begins it will not be possible to make any more bets. This keeps the game flowing smoothly since a single hand will be bet on my many players simultaneously. After the hand is completed, the bets are settled automatically and any winnings added to your account. You can then use a ‘rebet’ button to continue with the next hand at the same stake.
Other Live Dealer Baccarat Games
Why Gamblers Like Baccarat
Baccarat is a game with a certain showmanship. Superstition in baccarat plays a bigger role than it does in most other casino games. Players have a number of unspoken rules and traditions. A certain number of those reasons have to do with accentuating the drama of the game. This live game experience is brought back with live dealer baccarat.
This might be immaterial to some players, but they are missing the point if they think rituals and traditions have no place in the game. Here’s a list of reasons why gamblers prefer baccarat with live dealers.
- Players believe they can find the patterns in the game. In Chinese terms, this is the flow of the game or “chi”. That’s why you see new baccarat gamblers standing back from the table and watching a few hands before deciding on a table.
- Baccarat players use betting systems. These can be similar to progressive betting techniques like the Martingale, though players often have their own idiosyncratic bet patterns.
- Nostalgia plays a part. It’s in their blood, so to speak. Some of the first memories of Asian baccarat players involving wagering on the game. Many recount stories of playing when they were 4 or 5 years old.
- They like the suspense of slow-playing cards. This is why so many players prefer Punto Banco to Mini-Baccarat because they get to handle the cards. The equipment is discarded at a high rate because some bankers enjoy bending and ruining the cards while they play.
- Players like the slow pace of the game. In brick-and-mortar casinos, a table might have 15 to 25 hands an hour. In mini-baccarat, the hands are much faster and the hand count can be in the range of 100 to 150 hands an hour.
- They consider the bets as fairer. That is, a tie is a push, where a tie loses in a game like Live Dealer Sic Bo.
- To many players, the fairness is important. Baccarat is better than blackjack in this regard because you could win any hand if you choose correctly. In blackjack, certain hands are going to be losers, no matter what you do.
- Baccarat appeals to a certain sense of fatalism. You can learn about your fate by playing baccarat. Many westerners would say this is setting oneself up for a fall because the odds are against you. While other players would add that this is not a fallacy, but an insight of life.
Why Live Dealer Baccarat Is Better
When playing on your computer or smartphone, live Baccarat is so much better than online or mobile baccarat played with casino software. The random number generator is a somewhat lifeless way to play. The virtual software is equally soulless. Gambling with real people is quite important when it comes to baccarat. Thus, there are several substantial reasons live dealer Baccarat is better.
Live Dealer Baccarat Pros
- The social aspect makes Live Dealer Baccarat better. Each new player adds their energy to the table.
- Even when you don’t win, seeing the drama of others win has a certain entertainment value. It’s the human drama which makes baccarat so entertaining.
- Casinos which allow the drama to play out make the game better. A certain part of the fun is the drama of which bet to make: Banker or Player. Thus, good live casinos allow a certain time for this drama to unfold.
- Relationships are formed if you play at a single site long enough. You’ll start to recognize certain dealers and certain players if you’re a regular.
- For those rebels at the gaming table, the more impersonal nature of live baccarat online allows them to go against the banker more often. Social pressure keeps many gamblers loyal to the Banker, but this pressure is less over the computer.
- Many people don’t like random number generators. RNGs have been in real life casinos since around 1980 when they began to be installed electronically in slot machines and video poker machines. The technology is safe and easily audited for fairness and security. People still like a table game to have a human aspect, even if simulated baccarat with an RNG is safe and fair.
It should be said that Live Dealer Baccarat is going to play like Mini-Baccarat in many ways because the dealer must handle the cards. For this reason, finding good dealers is something of a problem and you’ll want to shop for the best package. Dealers with a certain flair are nice, especially if they play at a slightly slower pace.
Online Baccarat Variations
Baccarat has several variations, we will mention the three main ones so players understand the differences and know which version they are playing.
Punto Banco (“Player Banker”) is the most common form these days. It is Punto Banco which live baccarat casinos usually feature. The main feature of Punto Banco is the ability to wager on either the Banker’s hand or the Player’s hand. A third option, a tie wager, is available (but not advisable).
Payouts for the Banker and Player bets are 1:1, while payouts for the tie bet are much higher.
Chemin de Fer
The original version of baccarat was a French game called “Chemin de Fer” (“Railroad” or “On the Railway”). While this variant looks similar to Punto Banco, Chemin-de-Fer has a strategy aspect. The Banker decides whether to take a third card. The remaining players bet against the Banker and select a representative.
This Player decides whether to take a third card or not. A form of basic strategy (akin to blackjack) exists to determine when a third card is taken, though social sanctions dictate the decision to a great degree. As a general rule, players are expected to ask for a third card when they hold a 0 through 4 while declining a card when holding a 6 or higher.
Mini-Baccarat is offered in certain Las Vegas Strip casinos. Mini-Baccarat is low stakes baccarat offered by Vegas casinos to players who don’t play in the roped-off section. It has the same rules and odds as Punto Banco but dispenses with players dealing the cards. In this way, Mini-Baccarat is like Live Dealer Baccarat. Mini-Baccarat diverges in other ways because it is a banked game.
Still, other versions of baccarat exist, including Midi-Baccarat and Baccarat Banque, but these are not likely to appear in a live dealer casino.
Rules and Strategy for Live Dealer Baccarat
You’ll have 3 options for the main game (plus any side bets) to start each hand. The golden rule among experienced Baccarat players is to avoid the ‘Tie’ bet. This has a high house edge compared to either the ‘Player’ or ‘ Banker’ bets, and even though the odds on offer are bigger it is best avoided.
Each hand of live dealer baccarat begins with two cards dealt to the banker and two cards to the player. In certain cases, a third card might be dealt to either hand. Specific rules are followed when dealing a third card, so no strategy is used.
Live Dealer Handles Cards
In a brick-and-mortar casino, the Banker is a player who deals the cards. In a live casino online, the live dealer must handle the cards. Otherwise, the rules of Punto Banco are used.
Two Hands are Dealt
Two sets of hands are dealt by the dealer: the banker hand and player hand. Each gambler decides which hand to back with money.
The hand closest to 9 wins. The first number is not considered, so a 10 or a face card is worth “0”. An ace is worth “1”.
- If two cards equal 10 or more, the number simply rolls over. Thus, a hand which adds up to “13” is really a “3” and you probably lose.
- If either hand forms an 8 or a 9, then no more cards are dealt. The 9 wins automatically unless the other hand is a 9. Otherwise, the hand closest to 9 wins.
- A third card might be dealt to either side, following their three-card rules. These are rigid, so no deviation is allowed from the three-card rule.
Player Third Card Strategy & Rules
There are a complex set of rules determining whether a 3rd card is dealt. The dealer will know these by heart and will add cards where required. If you are interested in the behind the scenes rules of the game, here is a summary of when the extra cards are drawn.
|#1||If the player’s hand is equal to or less than a 5, then a third card is drawn.|
|#2||If the player does not take a third card, then the banker takes a third card when they hold a 5 or less. The banker stands if they hold a 6 or more.|
|#3||If the player takes a third card, then the banker takes a third card according to the third-card rule.|
Banker’s Third-Card Rules
- If the banker holds a 2, he or she always takes a third card.
- When holding a 3, the banker draws a third card unless the player’s third card was an 8.
- When holding a 4, the banker draws a third card unless the player’s third card was a 0, 1, 8, or 9.
- When holding a 5, the banker draws a third card unless the player’s third card was a 4, 5, 6, or 7.
- When holding a 6, the banker draws a third card unless the player’s third card was a 6 or 7.
- When holding a 7, the banker always stands.
When all the cards are dealt there are only 3 possible outcomes, the ‘Player’ wins, the ‘Banker’ wins or the round is tied. Since the Player wins slightly more often, this pays out at 0.95-to-1, while the Banker pays out at 1-to-1 and the tie pays 8-to-1. With the bets being automatically settled by the software, all you need to do is to decide how much to bet on the next hand while the baccarat cards are shuffled by the live dealer.
Live Baccarat Strategy
Real live dealer baccarat strategy and tips are few and far between. The game has little strategy. In fact, the game allows little deviation in the way the hand plays out. The only strategy to discuss is why side to back. The banker bet has a slightly better house edge than the player bet, but this is negligible enough that players who see the energy flowing away from the banker have no problem wagering on the player bet.
The main advice here is to avoid the tie bet. The banker bet has a house edge of 1.06%. The player bet has a house edge of 1.24%. The tie bet has a house edge of 14.36%.
That is not a misprint: the tie bet has a house edge over fourteen percent. In other words, it’s a sucker bet. Avoid it at all costs. To further understand the house edge in baccarat, make sure to visit the Wizard of Odd’s baccarat strategy page.
Side Bets on Live Dealer Baccarat
Some live baccarat casinos allow side bets. These usually are based on whether a paired or suited set of cards appear. Like the tie bet, these wagers tend to have a high house edge and should be avoided. Baccarat’s appeal is its low house edge for a game with no strategy.
Stick with the traditional wagers and maintain the game’s appeal. These bets, which are usually on paired and suited cards being dealt, can offer some big prizes. We recommend you should only indulge if the prospect of a big payout is worth the long-term cost to you.