Baccarat is widely available in Australian online casinos, so it’s normal to wonder what the basic rules are and how to play baccarat and win. The beginners’ guide that follows will help you understand the basics of baccarat. However, it’s essential to appreciate that it’s only by putting in the hours that you’ll have the chance to develop a winning strategy at this game, even if baccarat is relatively easy to play.
Did you know that baccarat is one of the oldest games in the world? Its roots may surprise you. So before diving into the nitty-gritty details about the game. Let’s look back at history and find out where it all began.
The history of baccarat
Without a doubt, people’s views on baccarat’s history vary. However, one thing is sure baccarat was not made in Australia, even if available down under today.
Often believed to be a French game, baccarat started in Italy over 600 years ago. According to history, a man named Felix Falguiere or Falguierein created it. And because “Baccara” means zero in Italian and nothing in French, it’s evident that the game we can all enjoy today started in Italy.
Initially, baccarat was mostly enjoyed by aristocrats in mediaeval time. Perhaps this is why folks nowadays still believe that baccarat is only for high rollers or those with deep pockets. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, game providers and online casinos understand that when a game boasts such a low house edge (1.06%), it’ll appeal to all types of players.
Basic rules of baccarat
No matter if you sit at a mini-baccarat table, which can seat up to 8 players or at a full baccarat table, which can host up to 14 gamblers. The basic baccarat rules and the aim of the game are the same.
Indeed, when you play baccarat, your goal is to predict if the Banker’s or the Player’s hand total will be closest to 9. Alternatively, you could bet on a tie if you think the Banker’s and the Player’s hand total will be equal.
If the basic baccarat rules are the same, what’s the difference between mini-baccarat and standard baccarat?
As stated above, mini-baccarat tables are much smaller. However, it’s not the only difference. Suppose it’s a mini-baccarat game that entices you. You should know that only the dealer touches the card. Alternatively, you can squeeze the cards as much as you’d like at a standard baccarat table since you’ll hold them.
As a rule of thumb, mini-baccarat games also boast much lower table limits, at least when it comes to brick-and-mortar casinos. Meanwhile, online casinos offer similar table limits for mini-baccarat and standard baccarat.
Without a doubt, mini-baccarat games dominate live casinos. In the rules below, we’ll primarily focus on this variant of the game. But know that what you’ll learn here is not lost if you play standard baccarat online or offline.
How to play baccarat online
To bet on baccarat online—drag chips on Player, Banker or Tie. Generally, the table minimum starts at $1. The maximum you can wager is around $10,000 a hand in a standard salon. VIP and Gold tables, of course, boast higher limits. It’s also worth knowing that the limits can vary depending on where you play and the game provider that hosts the game.
So after the casino accepts players’ wagers, the game will start. This means the dealer will draw 4 cards from the shoe, placing one at a time on the Player and Banker and alternate between the positions. In some cases, the dealer may also draw 2 additional cards as the rules stipulate.
Generally, the cards are dealt face-down. But you may also find games where the cards are dealt face up. The dealer will first reveal the Player’s hand, then the Banker’s. The idea here is to predict who’ll make the best hand. So you can win with a tie, Banker or Player bet. The total of the 2 cards determines the best hand.
Just like in blackjack, in baccarat, the cards hold different values. Let’s recap them, so you can understand how to play baccarat online.
To sum up, aces are worth 1, and cards between 2 and 9 are worth face value. Face cards such as jacks, queens and kings are worth 10 points or 0, and so are the 10 cards. Now, if cards are worth more than 9, how is it possible to win since your goal at baccarat is to get as close to 9 as possible?
Well, it’s easy to understand. The first digit is taken out of the equation when the total exceeds 10. For example, suppose the Banker gets 7 and 8 (15). However, if you only consider the last digit, the total is 5. Therefore, a hand totalling 6, 7, 8 (a natural), or 9 (a natural) will beat it.
How to win at baccarat
It’s often believed one of the best strategies to win playing baccarat online is to spot sequences in the game’s roadmap. Some players also opt to use progressive betting strategies. However, if you’re new to baccarat, it’s not a tactic we recommend since it takes a large bankroll to generate expected value (EV) in the long run.
Spotting sequences in online baccarat
In all online baccarat games, you’ll have access to hands history. In some cases, it may contain up to 500 hands. But theoretically, the last 100 hands should be enough to guide your next wager.
Suppose you spot that the Banker wins every 3 hands in the roadmap. You should bet on the Banker every third hand. Alternatively, if you’re playing online baccarat, you could also put your money where most players bet. You’ll know this by looking at the betting mat. It indicates how many players wager on what and gives you a percentage of the bet spread.
The best way to learn how to play baccarat online and how a game unfolds is to load up a live baccarat game and check out how others play. Observing a live baccarat game from game providers such as Evolution, Pragmatic Play or Playtech (for example) will allow you to familiarise yourself with the interface, chip colours (for wagers), sequences and side bets before putting money on the table.
Nowadays, most baccarat games are hosted in live studios. So, if you’re unsure how the game works, you can use the chat for further assistance.
Another thing worth pointing out is that side bets such as the Player pair and Banker pair pay best contrary to a straight on Banker (1:1), Player (1:1) or Tie (8:1). However, sticking to the Tie, Banker, and Player is best until you master baccarat. At the same time, there are no sure ways to make money playing baccarat online since it’s a game of chance. But know that you’ll always win if you’re having fun and playing responsibly.