How to Play Baccarat Online
It is pretty obvious that before you play baccarat online you need to know the rules of the game and the betting structure. This is especially the case if you are going to be playing for money.
We mentioned the simplicity of the game of baccarat and that is because there are only three bets that you can make in the player, banker, and tie. Before the game begins you make a bet and then the dealer will deal, face-up, two cards each to the player and the banker. You can bet on either hand and if you bet the tie you are betting that the two hands have the same point total. The main object of the game is to have a 2-card or 3-card hand closest to 9.
The card values in baccarat are:
- 10 and face the cards (Jack, Queen, King) are 0 points
- Ace is worth 1 point
- 2-9 are worth their face value
In baccarat, if the first two cards exceed 9 then you will take the second digit and count it as the point total. For example, if a 6 and 7 are dealt that is 13 with a point total of 3 taking the second digit. If a 6 and Jack are dealt that is 6+0 and the point total is 6. After the point totals are calculated for each hand the player hand acts first. If the player hand has a point value of 8 or 9 it is called a natural and an automatic winner unless the banker hand is an 8 or 9.
Here is the action of the player hand depending on the point value:
- 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – The Player hand will receive one more card
- 6, 7 – The player hand stands not receiving another card
- 8, 9 natural
After the player hand is over then the banker’s hand is played. Just like the player hand, the action taken will depend on the point value. If the player hand does not take a third card the banker hand follows the same rules just above.
Here is the action of the banker hand depending on the point value of the player’s third card:
- If the player hand draws a 9 through Ace the banker will take another card having a score of 0-3 and stands having a score of 4 through 7.
- If the player hand draws an 8 the banker hand will take another card having a score of 0-2 and stands having a score of 3 through 7.
- If the player hand draws a 6 or 7 the banker will take another card having a score of 0-6 and stands having a score of 7.
- If the player hand draws a 4 or 5 the banker will take another card having a score of 0-5 and stands having a score of 6 or 7.
- If the player hand draws a 2 or 3 the banker will take another card having a score of 0-4 and stands having a score of 5 through 7.
When the banker hand is complete the scores are calculated and the bets are paid off. For example, If you bet the banker hand and it has a 3, 4, and Ace that is 8 points (3+4+1) and the player hand is a 2,3, and King that is 5 points (2+3+0) so you would win since the banker’s hand has the higher total. Obviously, if both hands are the same the round ends in a tie.
Payouts and House Edge
Here are the payouts and the house edge for all three of the baccarat bets:
- Player Hand – 1:1 (1.24% house edge)
- Banker Win – 0.95:1 -5% commission (1.06% house edge)
- Tie – 8:1 or 9:1 (14.4% house edge)
As you can see the banker bet has the lowest house edge, which is why online casinos will typically take a .5% commission for that bet. Also, the tie bet, which has the highest house edge, will be either 8:1 or 9:1, as it will depend on the online casino.
It was mentioned before that many baccarat side bets may be available at online tables. You need to make sure if the table you are playing at has them and if they do what do they mean in terms of payouts. Just a few baccarat side bets include Small Bet, Big Bet, Panda 8, Royal Match, Dragon 7, and Even/Odd.