Baccarat is an extremely fun game. It’s incredibly fast-paced, which plays a huge role in it being so popular. Avid iGamers enter the best online casinos, sit down at a baccarat table, and enjoy round after round of endless betting. A stream of rewards awaits those who are good enough to consistently get wins at this fantastic card game.
However, although the dealer does most of the work for the player when a round of baccarat starts, knowing when to bet is crucial and will become the make-or-break factor to determine whether you win or lose. Mastering the art of wagering at this game is fundamental to becoming a true winner and an expert at this game.
We know that you’re more than eager to learn the ins and outs of Baccarat. Don’t worry – there are far fewer complexities than in other card games. You can pick up the game much quicker than Blackjack, for example.
Becoming an expert isn’t going to be easy, but we’re sure you’ll walk away from a better player after reading our full guide to online Baccarat – specifically tailormade for beginners who want to get good!
What is Baccarat? The Basic Rules of the Beautiful Game
If you want to learn how to play baccarat, it’s safe to say that you’ll be able to learn in a matter of minutes. The game is very straightforward and, as a beginner, you can bet on the outcome by simply using your logic depending on the hand that the dealer has as well as which cards the player is dealt.
The first thing you need to know about baccarat, though, is that it’s irrelevant whether you bet on the player or bet on the dealer. You don’t have to bet on your own hand (the player’s). All you need to do is bet on the hand that seems to have a better outcome of happening.
In baccarat, there are three options. You can bet on the player’s hand, on the dealer’s hand, or on the tie. You will get twice the amount of money that you’ve bet as a reward, should you happen to get it right.
However, betting on the dealer does put you in a bit of a disadvantage. If the dealer wins and you’ve bet on them, you will end up paying 5% of your winnings to the casino. Tie bets and player bets does give you the entirety of your money. That 5% represents part of the house edge, though, and it’s necessary to keep the game fair for the player as well as for the casino.
Betting on Baccarat
Once the game starts, the dealer will proceed to add a couple of cards on the table. One of the cards goes to the banker (which is the dealer himself, or the house) and the other card goes to the player. Once that happens, you will have to place your bets. You may not place any bets after the dealer has dealt a second card – even if additional cards are required to be placed.
Bets can be placed as soon as the banker and the player have one card each.
Baccarat Side Betting
As you can see, betting in baccarat us extremely easy. Everyone can make a killing in rewards if they are just a tad lucky. However, it can also lead to boredom after a few rounds if you’re one of those who enjoy variety when playing. That’s why many online casinos offer different types of bets, which we’ll call “side bets”.
These side bets allow you to bet on different things that happen in the game rather than on who wins or who losses.
The most common types of side bets that you can place in most baccarat tables are:
- Player Pair
- Banker Pair
- Perfect Pair
- Either Pair
- Big and Small
The names of these bets pretty much explain themselves. You can bet on whether the player has a pair on their first two cards, you can bet on the same on the banker, you can bet on either side getting a pair as well as a perfect pair. Lastly, you can bet on the hand size (small pays out if the total cards on the table is 4, whilst big pays out if the total is 5 or 6). These bets apply to the first draw only.
Again, this all sounds a tad complicated, but it’s far easier than you think. It all goes down to the outcome of each draw.
Baccarat Card Values
In baccarat, all cards have a face value. However, unlike blackjack, symbols have a total value of 0 instead of 10. You will need to make your bets based on this. The ace has a value of 1 regardless of the value of your hand. It’s not a variable value – the ace will ALWAYS be worth 1.
Your main goal when playing baccarat is to get your hand to 9, or as close to 9 as possible, without exceeding it. Always remember the card values when placing your bets.
When are Additional Cards Drawn?
In most baccarat hands, four cards are dealt in total. Two cards go to the player, whilst another two go to the dealer. However, there are certain instances in which additional cards must be drawn. Bear this in mind when placing your original bets.
There are certain listed cases in which the player gets a third card, and some of these cases also apply to the banker. However, for clarity’s sake, we’ll be exploring all hands in which the player or the banker gets an extra card:
- Whenever the player has a hand worth 5 or less, a third card will always be dealt to them
- There’s a similar rule that also applies to the banker – if the banker has a hand worth 2 or less, they get an additional card; regardless of which card is the player’s third.
- However, if the banker’s hand is worth a total of 3, they will only draw a third card if the player’s third card isn’t worth 8.
- If the banker has a 4 with their two cards, they will only get an extra card if the player has one of the following cards as their third: 0, 1, 8, or 9.
- The banker will draw an extra card if their hand has a total value of 5 and the player’s third card is one of the following: 4, 5, 6, or 7.
- The banker will only draw on a 6 if the player’s third card is a 6 or a 7.
- If the banker has a 7, the banker will always stand. The banker cannot draw on a 7 in any fair baccarat game.
These rules might sound a tad complicated – especially if this is the first time in which you’re playing baccarat. However, you don’t really need too much of a strong grasp on them. The dealer does all the work for you, which is why baccarat is such a noob-friendly game. You just need to be aware of how the rules work if you wish to place informed bets.
There are betting systems, however, that rely on consistency rather than in betting smartly. These are often the best systems to be used by beginners. Understanding how a baccarat deck moves can be trickier than working with decks in blackjack and poker, as there are far more rules as to when the dealer draws or stands.
Player’s Hand Rules at Baccarat – Odds of Winning
First thing’s first – the player has a total chance of winning of 44.62%. That’s less than a percentile lower than the chances of winning than the dealer, but alas, the dealer (or banker) will always have better odds than the player. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should always bet on the dealer. Betting on the player can lead to large profits if you do it right.
You should always bet on the player whenever you feel confident that doing so will be betting on the best hand. However, given that there are only two cards at play whenever you place your first bet, it’s almost impossible to determine which bet will be better and which one would be worse when betting.
If the player has an 8, for example, you might be better off betting on them. 7s do wonders, too. It all depends on the strategy that you choose. We’ll be diving into strategies and strategic tips later in our guide.
Dealer’s Hand Rules – The Dealer Always Has the Edge
Betting on the dealer is a legitimate strategy and one of the best ways to play baccarat – even though a win on a dealer’s bet would represent the player losing a small sum of money in return for their profits. In any case, the dealer winning has odds of 45.8%.
Whenever you bet on the banker to win and they do, you will get the same amount of money than you would get from a player bet. However, 5% of your money would have to return to the casino as a premium for betting on the banker win.
Many players utilize strategies in which they never bet on the player. It all depends on what you’re looking to achieve and how many risks you’re willing to take. In any case, banker bets are really safe and these should be your go-to bets if you’re unsure of what to do or if you have forgotten to count or predict cards.
The commission is existent in all forms of baccarat that allow banker bets (which is almost all of them, really). This small commission is a premium fee necessary to be charged by the casino to keep the house edge fair.
Betting on a Tie
Betting on a tie gives you a ton of money, should you happen to guess it correctly. The problem with betting on a tie is that the outcome is highly unlikely to occur, which is why many players stay away from tie bets when playing baccarat. In any case, a tie bet pays 8/1, which is the money that you bet plus 8 times its value.
Please bear in mind that there’s a reason why tie bets payout so much money. The chance for a tie to occur in a regular baccarat hand is really, really low.
The problem with betting on a tie is that, even though it pays out 8 times the amount of your stake, the chances of you winning are just below 10%, standing exactly at 9.53% in a regular game of blackjack. The house has a massive edge on all of these bets, and betting on a tie is basically like giving away money to the dealer for free.
Most online casinos count tie bets and dealer bets as the house edge, which translates into a rough average of 51% for the house to win.
There’s a good argument for tie bets when gambling online, though. Most land-based casinos only allow the player to bet high amounts of money, whilst online casinos permit lower betting thresholds. With lower thresholds you will be able to take more risks as you will be losing less money anyway. Betting on the tie could be a good thing to do if you can afford to throw a few extra cents or euros into the pot.
Land-based casinos, however, make it difficult for the player to risk it on a tie bet as it would signify them losing anything from €5 and upwards. Again, with a larger budget, these are things that players can afford. The regular player, however, will want to stay away from tie bets.
All Versions of Baccarat that You Can Find Online
There are over five different versions of baccarat that are considered to be very popular in most of the world’s online casinos. Whenever you click on the game gallery of any site, you will be presented with many of these titles and it will be up to you to choose whichever one you like the most.
The most important thing you need to know about them is that they all have very similar rules. If you know how to play “base” baccarat, then you’ll have a strong grasp of what to do in all versions of the game.
With that said, the most common baccarat game is often known as “Punto Banco” Baccarat. It is not only the most common type of blackjack game in the world, but also the one that most people play in North America and Europe.
- Punto Banco
- Mini Baccarat
- Super Pan 9 Baccarat
- EZ Baccarat
- Chemin De Fer
Pattern Spotting in Baccarat and Why You NEED to Avoid Doing It
We’ve come across some insane pattern spotting strategies which people use, in land-based casinos as well as online casinos, to determine when and when not to bet. However, these strategies are nothing but insane and they do more harm than good. Table game strategies in other games are different and some might work, but baccarat pattern spotting is just one to avoid.
Pattern spotting is the art of keeping track of which hands have been dealt in the game, to see which outcome has been more positive and therefore bet on the hands that have been dealt the most. It’s basically the gambler’s fallacy but taken to the extreme.
There are players who firmly believe in Pattern Spotting at baccarat, though. There are even special ways and strategies of pattern spotting that apparently give you better odds of winning by determining how the game is going and helping you properly evaluate outcomes.
If you want our advice, never do this. It just doesn’t work. In fact, land-based casinos actually give you sheets to keep track of the game. When a casino actually helps you use one of your so-called “strategies”, that’s a clear indicator that they don’t work.
Pattern Spotting Versus Strategies in Baccarat
Our beginner guide to online Baccarat makes one thing very clear – Baccarat strategies are based on statistics and chances, whilst pattern spotting is pure superstition. If you want to play with strategies or have a semblance of a plan, the best thing you can do is utilize the strategies and system that we’re about to tell you.
These systems might not give you flawless winning odds, but they do a much better job of doing it than those pattern spotting sheets. We can’t stress this enough – pattern spotting sheets are not proven methods by any means and they do nothing but give you a false sense of security when gambling in baccarat tables.
Baccarat Betting Systems – Don’t Fall Victim to Spotting and Use Proven Methods
There are many baccarat betting systems that could work, although most of them focus on the amount of money that you wish to bet rather on when to bet on certain outcomes. The latter is often left to you to decide. However, you can make a killing in winnings if you stick to progressive betting systems or negative progression systems.
There are four types of betting systems that could work perfectly in baccarat. Let’s take a quick overview of them all so you can determine which one to pick.
First, though, there’s one thing that we always like to remind our readers. Betting systems are meant to be a small workaround on how to overcome certain negative odds, but they aren’t magical nor perfect. You can (and most likely WILL) end up losing money in the long run.
Our guide to online baccarat will present you with four of the best baccarat systems in the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect.
If you get lucky using any of these systems, you might want to retire on a high. If you want to keep putting your luck to test, you will most likely lose money. Use these systems to your advantage, but don’t tempt your fate!
The Martingale system is one of our favorite betting systems. We’ve explained how to use this method in roulette and blackjack before. Using it in baccarat is rather simple and works very similarly to how it works in the other aforementioned games.
The Martingale system is a negative progression system, which means that you will increase your bets every single time that you lose one. It doesn’t sound as tempting at first, right? Truth is, hundreds of players have found success with this method because it basically gets you really good odds of winning money in the short term.
Let’s say, for example, that you place a bet of €10 on the banker to win.
However, the player losses or there’s a tie. In such cases, you’ll want to place another bet, this time doubling the amount of your original stake, making it worth a total of €20.
If you lose again, increase it to €40. Rinse and repeat until you win. Once you do, go back to the original value of €10.
The base value of your first bet will depend on your budget. The Martingale system adapts perfectly to all sorts of budgets, which will allow you to play and win money at your own pace as well as to your own liking. It’s a fantastic method for beginners.
Based on the Golden Scale or the Fibonacci number, this is one of the most popular gambling methods in the world. Much like the Martingale system, this is a negative progression system in which you will increase your bets as you lose. However, the first time that you lose, your bet will remain the same.
The Fibonacci system doesn’t increase the bets on doubles or triples. Instead, the method consists of utilizing the Golden Rule to increase each bet according to the outcome of the last one. It’s also much less aggressive than other betting methods as you’re not taking twice the risk with each bet. It aims to recoup losses and increase winnings over a longer period of time.
If you want to play with less pressure than you would with a traditional betting system such as the Martingale or the Labouchere, this is a good choice for you to try.
Basically, each number will be a sum of the previous two. You can assign a base value to “1” in the following sequence, according to how much money you’re using to gamble: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377.
You will only move to the next number in the sequence whenever you lose. If you win, you go back one number (or, ideally, you go back to square one). It all depends on your budget and how risky you like to be when using a strategy such as this one.
The Labouchere system is another one that we love, and one that you’ve probably already mastered if you’ve read our roulette guide. With this system, you will have to start by setting a base value of money that you wish to win. Let’s say, for this example’s sake, that you want to win a total of €150. In that case, you will have to divide that number into various smaller numbers.
Let’s divide 150, our base number, the following way: 20, 20, 10, 10, 30, 30, 10, 10, 10. Now that you’ve divided it, you will have to start by adding the rightmost number and the leftmost number. In this case, the total would be 30 (€30).
If you win the bet, then you would go on to remove the two numbers from the list. It would look like this: 20, 10, 10, 30, 30, 10, 10.
However, if you lose the bet, you will have to add the new number to the rightmost part of your list and start the system again. The list, according to our example, would look like this: 20, 20, 10, 10, 30, 30, 10, 10, 10, 30. Your next bet should be 20 + 30, which would be €50.
Keep in mind that the Labouchere system is pretty risky when using it in baccarat, but it’s a fun method to use as it keeps you adding and removing numbers as well as paying attention to what happens on the table. We recommend using this system with either player or dealer bets.
We don’t often cover positive progressive systems, as we feel that negative progression systems often yield the best results. However, this is a matter of perspective and many people still prefer to use positive systems in their daily iGaming life. The Paroli system is, by far, one of the best betting systems for positive players out there.
If you love to add more value to each winning bet, then you’ll want to give this system a try. It has been around for almost half a millennium as it has been used in gambling games for much longer than online casinos have existed.
Much like in other systems, you will have to designate a number that will be your original fixed stake. To keep things simple, we’ll make our example with the number 1. As such, your first bet should be equal to €1. If you lose, you keep the same bet. If you lose again, you bet €1 once again. It’s pretty simple.
The Risks of a Positive System and How to Overcome Them
However, each time that you win, you will double the amount of cash that you bet. There are two ways in which you can apply this system as well. The first one is you double as much as you want, which could prove to be quite catastrophic if you don’t know when to stop. Positive progressive systems have this huge consequence, as you don’t really know when to stop.
The second way, which is the safer option as well as the one that many players prefer, is to only increase your wager in three consecutive wins.
Let’s say that you bet €1 on a player win and it happens. Then, you double your bet to make it a €2 wager on the player. If it happens again, then you will have a €3 bet to make. Win that €3 bet and go back to square one. It’s a way for players not to temp their fate and knows when to stop.
Possible Outcomes at Baccarat – The Best Casino Table Game?
One of the best things about the game of baccarat is that the RTP is extremely high. Of course, if you only focus on betting on the tie, your chances of winning will be as reduced as can be. However, there’s a reason why the game is so widely available in casinos from all over the world as well as the best online casinos on the planet – it’s really easy to get a good RTP even if you’re just starting to play the game.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anything about baccarat – you have very good odds of winning if you solely focus on placing bets on the banker. Most baccarat games offer odds of at least 97.5%.
When it comes to beginner card games, baccarat is one of the best ones that you can play. Learn the odds progressively if you wish to take more risks, or become a casual player by sticking with traditional house bets in most rounds. It’s up to you to decide how you want to bet your money and how good you want to get at the game.
Baccarat Strategies & Tips – What to Do to Win Consistently
Let’s be clear on one thing – it’s not possible to win consistently in this game without cheating or having a ton of luck. However, there are some fantastic tips that we can give you to help you reduce the house edge and put it as much in your favor as possible.
None of these tips is anything that a pro player doesn’t know, but one thing’s for sure: they will do a world of difference to a newcomer if they properly apply them. Be sure not to underestimate them if this is the first time that you’re playing this highly popular card game.
Betting on the Ties and Why You Might Be Better Off Not Doing It
Whenever a game’s tight, you might be extremely tempted to bet on the tie – especially if the first two draws are very similar. However, betting on the tie is by far one of the worst things you can do in Baccarat. Your odds of winning are very low – it’s pretty much like when you decide to split 10s in blackjack. The risk is simply not worth it.
There are situations in which you might want to take the risk. However, if you’re a beginner, you’ll be better off not betting on any draws. Trust the math over your instincts if you wish to have the best chance of winning.
Put Limits on Yourself – The Game Can Drain Your Balance
This advice applies to almost all types of online casino games, but we can’t help but repeat it given how useful it has proven to be for us: set limits for yourself.
You have no idea how carried away you can get when playing a game like baccarat, where the pace is extremely high and rounds come and go. It makes it really easy for you to lose the perspective of your money and empty your wallet in a matter of minutes.
Even though all casino players should follow this advice, those who spend their time playing baccarat are even more prone to the consequence of not putting limits on themselves. We’ve been playing the game for years and its pace can still be a problem.
If you don’t feel comfortable playing with real dealers, you should play baccarat against virtual dealers instead. The game is widely available in the “table game” sections of almost every single online casino that we’ve reviewed on The Casino Wizard. Take advantage of this and don’t let yourself (and your wallet) fall victim to the pressure of playing against a real dealer.
Thoroughly Understand the Rules
Strategies, pattern spotting, card counting; the list of ways to get better odds at the game could go on for days. However, the one “trick” that you should use to overcome negative odds and become better at the game is to simply read the rules, play baccarat, and keep going until you master every aspect of the game.
A thorough understanding of the rules goes a long way into making your rounds much more productive, as your brain will know when to bet even if you consciously sure of it.
This online baccarat guide is the best first step that you can take towards learning the ups and downs of the game, but don’t settle for a single source of information. Read, study, and become better at the game. Just try to avoid any sources that recommend pattern spotting as a valid source of overcoming the odds – that’s just bollocks.
Take Advantage of Banker Bets
Knowing when to bet on the dealer (aka the banker) could go a long way into helping you win more money playing baccarat. The house always has the edge, but it does help a lot that you can actually bet on the house to win. That’s one of the best ways for players to play it “safe” and get better odds of winning.
The only problem with betting on the banker is that you have to leave a percentage of your money on the house. Don’t be discouraged by that, though. Chances are that you’ll make it back sooner rather than later – provided that you’re one of the lucky ones, that is.
Don’t stick to ONLY betting on the house, though. That could (and will) end up with you losing most of your money.
Practice Before Playing for Real
Another important piece of advice that cannot be ignored is to play baccarat with fake cash before you make a deposit in any of the best online casinos. Don’t underestimate just how important it is to get a strong grasp and understanding of the game. Reading the rules is not enough – practice makes perfect and perfection cannot be reached unless you spend a solid amount of time playing.
Besides, you might not be making any money, but playing baccarat is extremely fun even when you’re not under the pressure of winning or losing cash. You can learn all there is to learn about the beautiful game whilst also having a good amount of fun playing against virtual dealers!
System Don’t Work – Understanding the Game Does
We really can’t stress this enough – avoid using pattern spotting strategies at all times. You will often read about apparent systems that tend to work more often than not, but these are only subject to sheer luck. You cannot expect these systems to provide you with better odds because they aren’t based on anything related to statistics – they’re pure speculation.
However, if you thoroughly understand how baccarat works, you will be able to reduce the house edge to the minimum. There’s a huge difference between understanding the game to use strategies and thinking that past outcomes have any influence on present outcomes and results.
Keep this in mind – it doesn’t matter what the last 10 hands have been; they aren’t related to the present hand or any future hands. The outcomes of each hand are independent and not linked to each other in any way.
This might seem like something a tad logical for us to put as much emphasis on it, but there’s a cult belief among baccarat players that pattern spotting works. This is nonsense and will only help you lose more money in the long run.
Only use pattern spotting if you know that it’s bogus but it makes the game more entertaining for you.
The Best Baccarat Casinos & The Best Baccarat Bonuses
There’s no better way to play baccarat than using money that the best online casinos give you for free. Why spend your own cash when you could be getting better at the game with bonus money? In fact, if you happen to get lucky with this cash, you will even be able to claim the winnings as your own. Gone are the days of you taking unnecessary risks!
We’ve compiled a list of our 4 favorite online casinos in which you can play baccarat. All of these sites have baccarat games created by the world’s leading casino game developers. Quality is a given in whichever site you choose to visit.
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Strategize and Win at the Best Baccarat Tables
There are some absolutely brilliant baccarat tables on the internet. Using your recently-learned wits and tips will allow you to get the best outcome possible whilst playing in any of them. Do remember, though, that none of the strategies and the things that you’ve learned here are flawless. There’s always a margin of error.
Most importantly, you have to keep in mind that the house always has an edge. There isn’t a single online casino game in which you can turn the odds completely in your favor. However, using all of the tips that we’ve given you here, you will be able to get as close to perfect odds in baccarat as it is physically possible.
Enjoy the fine selection of online casinos that we’ve presented here and check out each individual bonus. If you add them all up, you could end up claiming hundreds of euros in free rewards – and that’s not even mentioning all of the free spins that await those who visit these online casinos!