If you want to branch out from pokies or video poker, online baccarat is an easy-to-learn game that’s heaps of fun. A classic card game that is a staple at many online casinos, baccarat is similar to blackjack due to every card having a certain value, with the highest hand winning.
What do you need to know about baccarat, and where can you play online games in Australia?
Baccarat can be played at the majority of online casinos, though it will usually use punto banco rules. Punto banco, Italian for “player banker”, simply means that there’s a hand for the player and a hand for the banker. The reason for this is that in punto banco, the dealer plays out both hands based on fixed rules. The only input needed from any players is which hand they’re betting on, and how much they’re betting. Because of the minimal involvement needed from punters, punto banco is the easiest version of baccarat to automate.
Heaps of casinos are also letting punters play baccarat online through live dealer games. Instead of playing the game through an application, live dealer games let you have the full casino experience in the comfort of your own home. An on-camera banker will deal hands and take bets in real time, giving punters who have never played baccarat in person the chance to see what it’s like. Live dealer games are actually becoming so popular that they are the only way to play online baccarat at some casinos.
If you want to play online baccarat with a live dealer, you’ll need to sign up for a casino that offers it and deposit money into your account. Since you’re playing with other punters, live dealer games can only be played with real money.
The Rules of Online Baccarat
We mentioned above that almost all online baccarat uses punto banco rules, and so games start with players around the table placing bets on if they think the player’s hand or the banker’s hand will win. They can also choose to bet if they think it will be a draw.
Each game of online baccarat starts with two cards being dealt to both the player and the banker. The goal is to have a hand that, when added, is the closest to 9. 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings have no value, and Aces are worth one. Baccarat is a single-digit game, so if your hand adds up to 10, it’s actually worth 0.
Where baccarat might be seen as a little unfriendly is in those fixed rules we mentioned above. These rules dictate if extra cards are drawn to add to a hand, and how many. Since online baccarat uses punto banco rules, you don’t need to worry about doing this yourself, but it’s important to understand why something is happening.
If the two cards in either hand don’t add up to 8 or 9, the fixed rules come into play:
If the player’s hand is 5 or below, a third card is drawn for it. If a third card isn’t drawn, the banker’s hand follows the same rule.
If the player’s hand had a third card added, the banker’s hand follows a different rule depending on the added value of its two cards.
If it adds up to 2 or less, a third card is added.
If it adds up to 3, a third card is added unless the player’s third card was an 8.
If it adds up to 4, a third card is added if the player’s third card was a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
If it adds up to 5, a third card is added if the player’s third card was a 4, 5, 6, or 7.
If it adds up to 6, a third card is added if the player’s third card was a 6 or 7.
If it adds up to 7, no cards are added.
After the fixed rules are followed, if applicable, the game ends.
Depending on which hand won, or if it was a tie, there will be a different payout. If the player’s hand won, it pays out 1-to-1 to whoever bet on it. If the banker’s hand won, it pays out 19-to-20. Since ties are incredibly rare, they pay out 8-to-1.
Because online baccarat follows a pattern and specific rules, there’s nothing you can do in the game to make yourself more likely to win. That said, there are a few things that you can try that might improve your chances.
Since draws are worth so much, you might want to bet on there being a draw. This is a bit of a trap, because even though it’s worth a lot of money, it almost never happens. You can get much further in online baccarat by betting on either of the two hands. While you won’t win every time, over time you’ll win far more than you would on a single draw – and you might still be waiting to see it happen.
According to simulated outcomes, the banker’s hand is 1.2% more likely to win than the player’s hand. One popular baccarat strategy is to bet on the banker until they lose. Even if a bet on the banker is worth slightly less, the win is worth more than the loss in the long term.
Use any casino bonuses you can to extend your bankroll. You might have to make at least the minimum deposit to claim a new bonus, or maybe you haven’t used all of bonus you’ve already claimed. Remember that online casinos all have different rules on wagering contributions and requirements, so you might want to read the Terms & Conditions before you hit the deposit button.
Payment Methods at Online Casinos
Online baccarat has a bit of a reputation for being confusing, but the best way to learn and get better at a game is to play heaps of it. Playing with real money can help punters understand how payouts are done, and since winnings are based on how much was bet, even playing with small amounts can be a lot of fun.
Online casinos have heaps of payment options that are all safe and secure. To play baccarat online for real money, you can make a casino payment through popular credit cards, eWallets, pre-paid cards, cryptocurrencies, or wire transfers. Your online casino of choice might not accept every available type of payment, but they do try to provide as many as possible.
When you add money to your casino account, you might be able to claim a deposit bonus. These include match bonuses, which add more money to your account depending on how much you’ve deposited. There are no specific baccarat bonuses, but you can get pretty far with match bonuses. Australians do love a good bonus!
Online Baccarat FAQs
What Are The Odds of Each Hand Winning?
Across almost five quadrillion simulated games – that’s heaps! – the banker’s hand won about 45.9% of the time. The player’s hand won about 44.6% of the time, and there was a tie the remaining 9.5% of the time. The banker probably has a slight advantage due to online baccarat’s fixed rules, adding a card if the total is too low and reacting to the player’s hand.
What Are Some Other Types of Online Baccarat?
Even though punto banco’s straightforwardness make it the game of choice for online casinos, you might come across other rulesets elsewhere. “Chemin de fer” is a popular French version, named after the country’s railways, that is played more quickly. The key differences in Chemin de fer are that the banker rotates among the players, and every individual player has their own hand. The core of the game is the same, though, as the hand of the highest-betting punter will represent all players.