Baccarat has rightly become known as the king of all casino table games. A thrilling, simple and expansive casino classic, baccarat was initially played exclusively by the French aristocracy.
Live Baccarat is one of the most powerful and successful game markets in the online casino world, attracting endless gamers at every level and limit value. Whilst there are three variations of the game played around the world, the most influential and popular by far is the ‘Punto Banco’ version of play, coming from the literal meaning ‘punto’ (player) and ‘banco’ (bank). The game is especially suited to high-rollers and high-limit play, although it is by no means an inaccessible game as there are tables to found with extremely low and flexible minimum buy-in rates.
On this page, you will discover all you need to know about the undisputed casino classic that is baccarat. We will run through some of the rules and strategies of the game as well as have a look at exactly what makes the live baccarat experience such a thrilling and enduring online casino pastime. Whether you are an experienced baccarat connoisseur or a baccarat newbie getting into this fascinating game for the first time, you’ll be sure to find some tricks and tips here that you can use at the table to help you get the best out of your game and maybe even win big.
How to Play Live Baccarat
Baccarat could not be an easier game to jump into. It is notoriously easy to play, and whilst there is scope for strategy and depth of play, the game is more than accommodating to starters and those unaccustomed to the rules. The basic premise of baccarat is to correctly bet on who will win the round—the banker of the player—or if they will tie. Which of these three potential outcomes prevails (banker, player or tie) is your job to predict.
The card structure of baccarat differs significantly from other popular casino table games such as Texas hold’em in that so-called ‘high cards’ tend to hold little value in this game. Queens, kings, tens and jacks have no point value in baccarat, whereas cards 2-9 are each worth their face numerical value in points. The ace is worth 1 point, and the joker is not used. The value of a hand is measured not by the combined value of its cards but by the ‘right-hand value,’ or right-most digit of this sum. So, for example, a hand made up of 2 and 1 would equal 3, but a hand made up of 5 and 6 would equal 1, as 1 is the right-hand digit of 11, which is the sum of 5 and 6. Because of this distinct card structure and the ‘righty’ points system that baccarat employs, 9 is the best possible hand that a player can hold, with the hand closest to 9 winning the game.
The Rules of Baccarat
While the off-kilter card value structure may throw you off a little at first, just remember that baccarat is a fun and simple game that can be enjoyed by players at every level. The rules are minimal and the game is chance-based rather than skill-based, which may come as a relief to newcomers to the live baccarat setting.
There can be a maximum of twelve players in each round or sitting. The game is played with 6 to 8 decks of mixed and shuffled cards. Cards will be dealt face-up by the dealer and distributed in twos to both the player and the banker. Whichever hand has a value that is closest to 9 (based on the ‘righty’ card point system), is the winner! It really is that simple. The only decision one has to make when playing baccarat is who is most likely to win the hand—the player or the banker?
Because of the ‘righty’ value system, the suits of cards are obsolete. It is only the combined numerical value of cards that is important in baccarat. As we outlined above, high cards such as queens and kings are obsolete in baccarat, whilst the ace has the lowest value in the pack at just 1 point. Because the total score of a hand cannot exceed 10, a hand of double digits will automatically have the ‘left hand’ digit removed. For example, if you achieved a hand of 6 and 6 at the Baccarat table, the total would not be 12, but 2. A perfect land on 9 is considered a ‘natural’ win, and cannot be beaten at the baccarat table.
The Purpose of Baccarat
As we have already established, the purpose of a game of baccarat is to correctly bet the outcome of a round of play between a player and a dealer. By accurately choosing the outcome from the three possible outcomes (player, banker or tie), you can win big at the baccarat table.
Baccarat Game Probabilities
Baccarat is special because unlike the majority of dealer-facing casino table games, the ‘house,’ or casino, has a very low advantage and can thus be beaten more easily. Baccarat is so popular and accessible precisely because of the easy play and generous probability rates. Players can really feel that they have a chance of winning big and outsmarting the casino at its own game.
A tie is rarely the outcome of a round of Baccarat, and as such, the house holds an advantage of 14.44% in the event of a tie-break situation. It is commonly accepted that in baccarat, the player commands a more than slight advantage over the banker or the dealer. This advantage is the difference between 1.24 (player) and 1.06 (banker).
Strategy in Baccarat
Baccarat is a simple game that is based on chance. Despite this, there is massive potential for skill, strategy and attention to detail that may result in better odds. Because all bets must be placed before any cards have even hit the table (or been ‘shown’), there is little room for strategy within the superficial confines of the game, however there is plenty of space for players to adpot their own playing regimes, betting patterns or financial goals to make the game more tailored, focused and interesting for high-rolling players. While you may not have any control of the cards on the table, you can certainly control your playing regime whilst maximising your chances of walking away with a big win.
By setting a limit for yourself, you can maximise your repeated short-term winnings whilst minimising losses and never falling into reckless or self-destructive betting patterns in a long or heated session. By being careful with the games you play and always adjusting your play to the limit value of any particular table (as well as your own wallet), you can get the most out of this freewheeling and risky casino classic that never fails to thrill and excite. Always remember that games using fewer card decks will usually be easier to navigate and less punishing on the pockets, and many of the best online casinos now encourage high-limit players to set personal limits on certain games. Similarly, most casino sites offering a range of live baccarat games and tables will offer the option of how many decks you would like to play with, which helps to lessen the risk factor and provides a tailored and responsible playing experience.
Let’s take a look at some of the top strategies gamers use to beat the bank in baccarat.
'Break the Doubles' Baccarat Strategy
This classic baccarat strategy shows the importance of stamina and that persistence pays off—most of the time. The ‘Break the Doubles’ strategy could not be easier to employ. All you need to do is double your bet every time you lose. While this may at first seem like an exercise in self-punishment, it is important to remember that no matter how many times you lose at the table, a single win is guaranteed to ensure profit on your initial bet. Because of the erratic, streak-heavy nature of parallel player/banker play in baccarat, it is certainly possible to ride the waves of the game and continue to capitalise on ‘doubled’ bets to maximise winning capacity whilst reducing the impact of losses at the table.
'Bandwagon/ Trend Switching' Baccarat Strategy
This strategy might remind you of that football supporter who changes his team from season to season depending on who holds the cup that year. Similarly, the ‘Trend Switching’ strategy in baccarat involves capitalizing on the highly erratic and fluctuating nature of play and the peaks and troughs that both the banker and the player will inevitably go through in each shoe. To put it simply, if the banker is on a winning streak, bet on the banker. If the player is on a winning streak, bet on the player. By following this simple and discriminatory betting pattern, you are sure to maintain some kind of stability and control as the game spirals back and forth between the house and the challenging player. By recognizing and honing in on certain trends in the game (such as zig-zags and streaks), players can heighten their capacity to read the shape and narrative of the game.
The 'Solo/ One-Sided' Baccarat Strategy
In effect, this strategy is the polar opposite of the ‘Trend Switcher.’ It is basic and timeless, being perhaps the oldest and most instinctive baccarat strategy that there is. By choosing a side and sticking with it, players eliminate any over-analysis of the flow of the game and card patterns and instead zone in on their running bet, whether that be the player or the banker. The ‘One-Sided’ strategy adds some stability to the game and is based on the logic that streaks and trends that may seem attractive are in fact negatively influential. They can cloud judgement and result in sudden or unexpected losses. By sticking with one side, be it the player or bank, you can ensure that your odds of winning 1 out of every 2 games are approximately 3 to 1. By employing your gut instinct, in perhaps the most satisfying act of all gambling, you can capitalise on the probabilities of the game and employ a firm strategy that is sure to produce the goods in the end, one way or another. If it isn’t broken, why try and fix it?
The '1324' Baccarat Strategy
The ‘1324’ Baccarat strategy is a recently developed, modern tactic that has come to prominence in online and live baccarat circles. It is a steadfast and reliable way of ensuring some kind of overall win even in the midst of losing hands and losing bets. It is a thoughtful and numerical way of playing the game, and it’s one of the most direct, aggressive and high-limit oriented ways to approach the baccarat table.
When employing this strategy, the player progresses through rounds using the 1324 sequence with each incremental win. So, while a loss would result in starting the sequence from the beginning, a win would allow the player to progress to the next number. Once all four hands have been won, the player would restart the process and begin a fresh sequence of 1324 hands. If the first two bets are accurate, then the following two wins would be bonuses, while two losses would not affect the profit margin of the shoe or the success of overall play.
High-Limit Baccarat Heaven
Because of the rapid rate of play and the possibility for huge wins, live baccarat has become a natural online home to casino lovers of every playing level, inclination and financial capacity. While baccarat is all-inclusive and popular with gamers of every type, it is especially attractive to high-rollers and high-limit casino table gamers. Because so much of the game rests on a competitive blind draw with tight odds between the house and the player, baccarat truly represents the spirit that exemplifies classic high-stakes casino play.
Baccarat is naturally suited to high-limit gamers, so countless online casinos have developed platforms and networks especially crafted for high-rollers looking for the hottest games. Live online Baccarat platforms are instantly accessible and easy to use on the go, enabling high-limit heaven with minimal hassle and maximum wins. With online live baccarat, you can enjoy thrilling and competitive baccarat games of premium quality and at the highest limits. Get in on high limit action with limits reaching into the tens of thousands and winnings breaking into the hundreds of thousands. At online casinos especially developed for high-limit gamers and high-rollers looking for some hardcore play, you can find exclusive VIP tables designed for bare-knuckle, no-holds-barred baccarat with limits and buy-ins to keep you firmly on the edge of your seat. You can find some of the best quality high-limit baccarat online casino action at the casinos outlined on this page and in the reviews on our site.
Live Baccarat: Up Close & Personal
The internet has been a godsend for the casino industry and the gamers alike in that it has enabled easy and accessible international play, a massive base of passionate and skilled casino players and a marked increase in the quality of the output of casino software and gaming providers. Baccarat is especially suited to mobile and online live casino platforms because the format of the game is quick, snappy and straight to the point. It is perfectly adaptable to the mobile and online formats due to the interactive nature of the game. Streaming, live feeds and fast internet speed has enabled online casinos to offer live baccarat action with some of the best professional dealers from across the globe. This lets players get in on the live action at real tables with real players and real dealers from the comfort of their own home (or anywhere else!).
Live baccarat is one of the most popular live games on the online casino market for a reason—it is fun, rewarding and timelessly thrilling. Play with the best international players and get your very own seat at the top tables with the hottest buy-ins and jackpots. You can access premium live baccarat action from your mobile, laptop or tablet, and the majority of high-limit casino websites offer generous welcome bonuses to get you started. So, whether you fancy a quick round of baccarat on the train, in the office or with your morning coffee, you’ll find the best live action at the touch of a button. Find high-limit live baccarat games today at some of the casinos reviewed on our site, including the three below:
History of Baccarat
Baccarat is a relatively modern card game that has become much loved and appreciated in the past couple of centuries. The origins of the game are disputed, although it is generally thought to have originated in either the 15th or 19th centuries. It is also said to have been created in Italy in the 1400s, although the birthplace of the game is hotly contested. Baccarat is commonly thought to have arrived in America in the 19th century, travelling in mutated forms via France, Britain, Ireland and Cuba on the way. In this day and age, the undisputed and most commonly accepted form of the game is punto banco, which is the preferred mode of play in the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. Baccarat is also incredibly popular in China due to its fast and easy playing style and capitalisation of the cultural significance of the number eight.
Less common variations of the Cuban-named punto banco include Mini-Baccarat, EZ Baccarat, Midi and Mini Punto, Macao, Baccarat Banque and Chemin de fer. Chemin de fer is most famous for being the game of choice of the super-spy with a license to kill, James Bond. However, these days, it is not commonly seen in the casino room.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about baccarat as a casino game is that such a simple, blind premise has endured for so long and continued to thrive and change with time and the casino industry itself. While the game may be as old as the hills, it remains a casino fixture that won’t be disappearing any time soon.
Beat the Bank with Baccarat!
To summarize, baccarat is a gamer’s game that is loved around the world. Whether you are looking to break into a new game, get a new buzz, change your casino scenery or even learn some new skills and tactics, baccarat is useful and rewarding. Similarly, the game is equally attractive to newbies and casual gamers alike.
Due to the breezy and rapid nature of the game, baccarat is easily dipped in and out of, so it’s perfect for quick, fun flutters as well as long, tactical session games.
The game is easy to learn, and games can be found to suit any pocket from small bets to the high-limits. Baccarat could not be easier to play, and the simple format and basic, minimal rule structure allow accessible play without requiring any particular skill set to get involved.
Because the house maintains a low edge in baccarat, it is one of the few high-limit casino games where the player actually has a feasible chance of winning over the house. There is no doubt that baccarat allows a player advantage that is rarely seen in the casino at this level.
Live baccarat is a mighty force in the online casino industry that cannot be contested in its popularity, accessibility and the potential for quick, big payouts. It is a game of sheer luck and chance that is fast-moving, action-packed and full of highs, lows, streaks, peaks and troughs. Live baccarat gaming at online casino platforms has never before been so easily accessible at current levels of quality. Software and gaming providers are enabling online casinos to offer users a live online experience that is as good as, or even better than, the real thing. This near perfect replication of the genuine live casino experience is unparalleled and cannot be ignored by any serious high-limit casino gamer.
We hope that our run-through of live baccarat has been useful for you. By understanding how the game works and the potential strategies that can be used to play, and by knowing how to access the platforms and playing resources that are available for you to use, you can enhance your online casino experience and find your place at the baccarat table. Whether you are an experienced player or looking to play baccarat for the first time, we are sure that you’ll find some action at some of the casinos listed on this page.