How to Play and Win at Online Baccarat

Dating back to around the 1400s, Baccarat is one of the oldest card games that's still played today. With the ability to access casino games from anywhere, you can now enjoy this surprisingly easy game from wherever you are in both RNG and live dealer versions. Made famous as the game of choice of the fictional British spy James Bond, online Baccarat carries with it an air of mystery, intrigue and sophistication. But how do you play online Baccarat? Often mistaken for being a little complex, online Baccarat is actually very easy to learn and start playing, with only three main betting options available. It's this simplicity that makes the game so attractive, as well as being easy to learn. So whether you're exploring the game of online Baccarat for the very first time, or you want to brush up on the rules, you're in the right place! Read on for everything you need to know about how to play and win at online Baccarat.

How to Play Online Baccarat

Many online casino players shy away from the game of Baccarat, thinking that the game is too complicated to enjoy. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! You could argue that online Baccarat is even easier than Blackjack in that there are only three betting options to choose from compared to the five or more bets available in a basic game of online Blackjack. There are no difficult decisions to make in online Baccarat: you simply bet and watch the results!

To familiarise yourself with how the game works, it’s important to first take a look at a typical online Baccarat table. We’ll then take you through the basic rules of the game, including those that determine whether a third card is dealt, before checking out a few variants of the game and exploring some side bets. Let’s get started!

The Table

There is some variation in the appearance of online Baccarat tables, most of which is down to whether the game is RNG-based or live, which provider it’s from, and whether side bets are available. However, they all have one thing in common: a prominent betting area where you can choose one of the three betting options of Player, Banker or Tie. Some tables may display these options once, with Player, Tie and Banker displayed from left to right, while others arrange the options by seating position, with several player seats available per table.

The table itself is usually semi-circle shaped, with the dealer at the flat side and the player(s) at the rounded side. Chips are placed on the betting options of Player, Tie and Banker and the cards are dealt and placed slightly above these positions. It’s important to note here that the Player betting option does not refer to you, the player, nor does the Banker position refer to the dealer. These are just the names that determine the two sides that are playing against each other in each round (or coup).

The Rules

Here’s how the game of online Baccarat works. Four to eight decks of cards are used in a game, each of which are given a points value, with 10, J, Q and K cards valued at zero points, and all others given face value. Two cards are then dealt to both the Player and the Banker positions. Depending on the points value of these cards, additional cards may or may not be dealt. The aim is to get a points total of 8 or 9 to win the round (or coup). If this is done in the first two dealt cards, it’s called a natural. Your goal is to bet on which side, Player or Banker, you think will win, or if you think it will be a Tie.

The aspect of the game that tends to put players off is the table of rules that determines when a third and subsequent cards should be dealt. Before we get into those rules, bear in mind that it is not necessary to know these in order to play the game of online Baccarat! The rules will always be available to check at whichever online table you decide to play. There’s also no need for any input from you as the cards are dealt according to the rules automatically.

Baccarat Variants

There are a few variants of the game that you may come across, so we’ll briefly look at a few of the most common ones:

Side Bets

Some players find that having only three betting options in the game becomes a bit monotonous, which is why many good online casinos have introduced a range of side bets. Let’s take a look at some of the most common side bets:

How to Win Baccarat

Now we know what bets and side bets are available to you in online Baccarat, how much do you get if you win?

First of all, in the main game, a win is determined by whichever (Player or Banker) gets an 8 or a 9. If neither has an 8 or 9, the winner is whoever has the higher points total (ie. the closest). If you bet on the Tie, your bet wins if the Player and Banker end up with the same points total.

Let’s find out how these wins pay by taking another look at the bets, this time with their payouts:

Online Baccarat Strategies

Is there any way you can improve your chances of winning playing online Baccarat? In a word, no, not really. Online Baccarat is purely a game of luck in that there are only three bets and all the action is predetermined by a set of rules. While that means that certain strategies such as card counting, systems and betting techniques will be pretty much useless here, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re playing optimally so you can maximise your winning chances.

Practise

It goes without saying really, the best way to get better at anything is to practise! Take advantage of the opportunity to play online Baccarat for free at online casinos and play a few rounds to familiarise yourself with the game and how it’s played. This is a great chance to explore the bets and side bets, though remember that most live dealer games are not available in demo mode.

Know the Rules

Though you don’t need to know the rules that determine when the Banker is dealt a third card in order to enjoy online Baccarat, you may find the additional knowledge gives you a broader understanding of the game.

Try Different Variants

You may find that the different online Baccarat variants offer a more preferable experience for you. For example, many players prefer the No Commission games that eliminate the 5% commission for most Banker bets. Others enjoy the drawn out excitement of the Squeeze variant. Explore and find the one that works for you.

Check the Payouts

Be aware of what each betting option pays out so you know what you stand to get back if you win. This will also give you a good idea of how likely each bet is to win so you can choose accordingly.

What About Side Bets?

Side bets offer you the chance to potentially win more playing Baccarat without interfering with the main bets of the game. However, their higher odds means there’s less chance that they’ll come up, making them expensive in the long run. Try a few for a bit of fun but best to keep it at that.