In the United States, and the rest of North America as well as the United Kingdom, this card game is called baccarat. In Europe and other parts of the world, they call it baccara. Whether you are an advocate of the “T” or not, the card game has achieved a lot since it became public in the 15th century. This was when an uncertain number of Italian soldiers brought the game into contact with the French during the Italian War of 1494 to 1498, under King Charles VIII. However, other stories tie the origin of baccarat to the 19th century.
Just like most casino games, the origin is unclear but the focus is on how fun it is to play the game and, of course, how easy it is to win. Baccarat indeed thrives in both elements. While the game is similar to the considerably more “famous” blackjack, it is even easier to understand the rules and play the game. One similarity is the low house edge both games have to offer; baccarat offers between 1.01% and 1.23% while blackjack can be as low as 0.2% if you know your way around strategies -these are some of lowest you will find in the casino.
In land-based casinos, baccarat is often enjoyed by high-rollers. In fact, James Bond is seen playing a version of baccarat in novels and films like GoldenEye, Casino Royale, and Thunderball. However, the game is now open to people of varying wallets as online baccarat is becoming more popular every year. With all major gaming software developers offering at least one baccarat game, real money baccarat is now within easy reach at practically every online casino.
The best thing about the Internet is how vast and diverse your options are. No matter what you are looking for, there is always more than one service or product offering it. But, with the number of scams or disreputable names out there, this pro often turns to a con. This is why World Casino Index has put up a list of just three casinos you can trust to have a wonderful experience playing your favourite baccarat game, relishing the best odds, and cashing out without any shenanigans. To do this, we put six elements into consideration:
– Availability of games
– Speed of payments
– Reputation of the casino
– Security technology used
– Gaming software
– Customer support
Then, we considered the gameplay of each baccarat game (do note that most websites only offer one to three baccarat games), the rules of playing, and – most importantly – the payouts. With all these put together, we reviewed dozens of websites and eventually concluded on the three websites listed below.
One of the strongest reasons why Cherry Gold Casino is often considered a good contender for the best casino on the Internet is simple. The casino has been successfully active for more than half a decade now. The year was 2011 when Web Services Online Ltd launched this gambling website for players to enjoy their favourite games. From state-of-the-art slots to elegant table games, Cherry Gold Casino pack just enough to satisfy everyone.
The website’s theme is evidently inspired by the vibrant and sophisticated atmosphere of Las Vegas. When it comes to software, Cherry Gold Casino uses the world-famous Realtime Gaming (RTG) software. And their customer support service really works 24/7; this is one of their best pros.
If you want to play standard baccarat, the Baccarat game at Cherry Gold Casino is your best bet. It follows all the standard rules, with an exception of the payouts.
– Two cards are dealt: one to the Player and the other to the Banker. If there is no natural (a total of 8 or 9), a third card is dealt.
– The Tie pays 9 to 1. The Banker pays 1 to 1, as well as the Player.
– The Tie has a house edge of 4.93% while the Banker and the Player have 1.06% and 1.24% respectively.
– Chips are in the form of $1, $5, $25, $100, and $500. But, the table limits are $1 minimum and $250 maximum.
– There is a “History” tab on the left-hand side of the game interface, in which you can access all your previous bets.
– You can use the “Cashier” button to deposit money, withdraw, or check your past transactions.
– The “Player Options” button puts you in control so you can set the mode (full screen or not), volume, dealer voices (on or off), card speed, and Autoplay options.
Cherry Gold Casino has two live baccarat tables powered by RTG.
– Each table has table limit ranges of $5 to $100, $25 to $500, and $50 to $1,000.
– The chip denominations are $1, $5, $10, $25, and $100.
– The game is played from a six-deck shoe, and each hand consists of three or fewer cards.
– The Player pays even money. Banker also pays even money but with a 5% commission. The Tie pays 8 to 1.
– There is a “Clear Bets” button to clear all bets currently on the layout.
– The “Rebet” button is used to place the same bet from the previous game. “Auto Rebet” does this on automation until the checkbox is unchecked or the “Clear Bets” button is clicked on.
– The “Undo Last” clears the last bet on the table.
– The live croupier deals a card to the Player and another to the Banker. A third card can be dealt to either or both the Banker and the Player. The dealing of the third card depends on the three-card-rules.
– Baccarat Pairs are also available, which can be played alongside a Player or Banker wager or instead of either wager. These are side bets and they win only if the first two cards dealt to either the Banker or the Player result in a pair. That is, the first card and the second card must have the same value, e.g. 10, 10. The odds are 11 to 1 for a winning pair and 5 to 1 for either pair. Do note that any other outcome results in a loss.
– Dragon Bonus is another side bet, which you can participate in by betting in the “Player Dragon” area, “Banker Dragon” area, or both. This bet wins when the hand is a Natural (a total of 8 or 9 on the first two cards) or the hand wins by at least 4 points. Natural winners pay 1 to 1, but the bet is pushed when a Natural ties. Winning by at least 4 points also pay 1 to 1 and the payout is proportional to the margin. The highest winner possible is by 9 points, which pays 30 to 1.
– This side bet has its own table, which you can access by clicking on the “Dragon Payout” tab on the right side of the game. According to the table, a natural pays 1 to 1, winning by 4 pays 1 to 1, winning by 5 pays 2 to 1, winning by 6 pays 4 to 1, winning by 7 pays 6 to 1, winning by 8 pays 10 to 1, and winning by 9 pays 30 to 1.
– Both side bets (Pairs and Dragon) are not enabled for the concluding 20% of the shoe.
– The bet limits are as follows: main bets are $5 minimum and $100 maximum while pairs bets and dragon bets are $1 minimum and $10 maximum.
Live Super 6 is very identical to the aforementioned Live Baccarat. In fact, the same live dealer handles both games at the same time. However, there are a few rule variations:
– Both Banker and Player pay 1 to 1 but when the Banker wins with a point-count of 6, it pays 1 to 2. The Tie pays 8 to 1.
– There is an insurance in Live Super 6, which pays 12 to 1. You only win when the Banker wins with a point-count of 6. The “6” button in the betting area is used to trigger this side bet.
Apart from these two, Cherry Gold Casino’s Live Baccarat and Live Super 6 are exactly the same.
Ultimately, it boils down to how reputable the casino is. Even though Cherry Gold Casino started 7 years ago, that does not necessarily mean they are a secure service. The casino knows this, so they employed Technical Systems Testing (TST), an Accredited Testing Facility (ATF) owned by GLi and based in Canada, to test the fairness and efficiency of their games.
They also make use of SSL encryption to prevent eavesdropping, hacking, and data theft. Couple that with their Curacao license, and you have a trustworthy casino where you can enjoy baccarat games. If you are in the United States, you can access the website but do make sure online gambling is legal in your locale.
BoVegas is another casino running on the Realtime Gaming platform. The casino is licensed through the jurisdiction of Curacao and prioritise fairness and security. Slots are numerous, with well-known titles and attractive new names. Table games are not left behind; roulette, blackjack, craps, and – of course – baccarat are all available. Also, there is an assortment of specialty and video poker games.
Even though BoVegas started in 2016, which is relatively new, they have proven their worth with their fast payments, generous promotions, Vegas-style theme, and around-the-clock customer support. Also, the website is mobile-friendly so you can access it regardless of where you are.
BoVegas features the Flash version of RTG’s baccarat game, which is exactly the same available at Cherry Gold Casino. The only downside is that you can only play it on your mobile phone using a trick. On desktop and tablet devices, the game is right in front of you and just waiting for you to click. But on mobile devices, you have to set your preferred browser to desktop mode so the phone tricks the software into believing it is a tablet device.
– The game pays 9 to 1 for the Tie, instead of the common 8 to 1.
– As usual, the Banker and the Player pay even money and the Banker attracts a 5% commission on the winnings. Commissions are rounded up to a quarter of the lowest chip denomination.
– The house edges are 4.93% for the tie, 1.24% for the player, and 1.06% for the banker.
– There are six decks of cards used, which are reshuffled after each hand, and the game progresses with one hand per round.
– There is a “History” tab, where you can revisit your previous actions.
– A little tip is to bet in a rise of five. That is, you should stick with $5, $10, $15, and so on. This is because wins are usually rounded off to the nearest quarter, especially winner Banker bets.
– The chip denominations are 1, $5, $25, $100, and $500. But, the table limits are $1 minimum and $250 maximum.
This is the live dealer version featured at Cherry Gold Casino. There are no changes whatsoever to the rules, odds, or house edges. Both side bets (Dragon and Pairs) are available. The game uses the same table limit ranges ($5 to $100, $25 to $500, and $50 to $1,000) and there are two tables available.
Of course, the gameplay has not changed as well. Like other RTG’s live dealer games, there is an interactive chatbox at the top corner, in which you can interact with other players and see their actions. Most amateur players just use this to find out what the experts are using to beat the house.
Similar to Cherry Gold Casino, Live Super 6 only features a few differences from Live Baccarat:
– There is a side bet in Live Super 6, which wins when the Banker wins with a point-score of 6. This side bet is called 6 and can be triggered by clicking on the “6” button. It pays 12 to 1 and generally considered an insurance bet.
– When the Banker wins with 6 points, the Banker pays 1 to 2. The Banker pays 1 to 1 for other outcomes as well as the Player. The Tie pays 8 to 1.
As stated earlier, BoVegas is still very young in the online gambling scene. But one can tell they mean business. They create an excellent environment where you can enjoy real money baccarat and many other games powered by RTG. On top of that, they secure connection and financial transactions using 256-bit SSL data encryption technology so your mind can be at rest when you are playing a game or withdrawing your money.
If any question or enquiry, customer support is available 24/7 via email, live chat, and phone (four different toll-free numbers: Australia, France, the US, and the UK). Moreover, players situated anywhere in the United States are accepted; only players from Israel, Belarus, Ukraine, and Costa Rica are not.
According to our analysis, Realtime Gaming seems to be the king of online baccarat games. Las Vegas USA is also powered by the RTG software but, unlike Cherry Gold Casino and BoVegas, there is no live dealer version.
Pertaining to the casino, they have been one of the best online casinos accessible across the length and breadth of the United States since they launched in December 2002. They are licensed in the jurisdiction of Panama and employ 128-bit SSL encryption technology to handle website security. The randomness in the outcomes of their games has been certified by world-famous ATF Central Disputes System (CDS).
The Baccarat game at Las Vegas USA is Punto Banco. It is available via instant play on the website and via the application for Windows devices.
– It has table limits of $1 minimum and $250 maximum. Chips are in the order: $1, $5, $25, $100, and $500. A $500 bet is quite impossible since the highest bet possible is $250.
– The suit of a card has the value of zero while cards 2 to 9 have the value of the numbers. Aces are equal to 1, and the total values of each hand are summed up to determine the outcome. But if the total value has two digits, you go with the second digit. For example, cards 6 and 7 are equal to 13, so the number 3 is the outcome.
– Wagers can be placed on the Player, the Banker, the Tie, or a combo. As you may know, the hand with the highest overall value wins.
– The Player pays 1 to 1, the Tie pays 9 to 1, and the Banker pays 1 to 1 (minus 5% commission).
Las Vegas USA is an excellent platform to enjoy the standard baccarat game online. They accept US players and welcome them with several promotional bonuses. In case you want to contact the customer support service, you have two efficient 24/7 options: live chat and email.
I personally contacted the service and they replied to my email in a few minutes. However, the correspondents do not have a widely extensive knowledge of the rules of their games – they know the basics and a little advanced of course, but do not expect them to decipher every bit for you. Payments are as quick as possible and their Fair Play page claims they have paid a whopping sum of $17 million in winnings.
It is fair to say all casino games have undergone some variations during their widespread growth. These variations normally depend on the location or country in which the game is being played. That is why we have European Roulette and American Roulette – two different variants with varying odds, payouts, house edges, and even rules.
In the case of baccarat, there are a few variants available today. In land-based casinos, you will likely find four variants depending on where you are:
– Punto Banco
– Chemin de Fer
– Baccarat en Banque
– Three-Card Baccarat
Similarly, all these are widely available online with other lesser-known variants such as:
– Super 6
– Super Pan 9
– EZ Baccarat
– Multiplayer Baccarat
– 21 Baccarat
– Live Baccarat
– Live Speed Baccarat
– Live Multiplayer Baccarat
– Live Baccarat Squeeze
– Live Super 6
The first is popular in the continents of North America and Australia, and it is dubbed “North America baccarat.” This is also the standard baccarat game on the Internet because it follows the basic rules of the game and the casino acts as the banker. On the other hand, Chemin de Fer (otherwise known as Chemmy) is the version with wide acceptance in the whole of Europe, which means “railway” in French because the cards were originally kept in iron boxes. This variant uses six decks of cards and has two obvious differences: the role of the banker rotates between players and if the total hand is five, you can stand or take a different card.
Similar to Chemmy, Baccarat en Banque or Baccarat à Deux Tableaux (Baccarat on Two Tables) is popular in Europe. There are three decks of cards and the banker is assigned to whoever is willing to spend most or take the biggest risk. Also, the player wins in a situation where the banker bets against the player’s hand and hits a total of 8 or 9 using three different cards.
The craze for Three-Card Baccarat is covered in Macau, Russia and the whole Asian continent. The major differences are that the player and banker have three cards each so three face cards are the best hand possible, and two decks of cards are shuffled at the same time. Another variant available online is Super Pan 9, which features only 36 cards in a deck instead of the usual 52 cards.
21 Baccarat tries to mix baccarat with blackjack, in that the counting system of blackjack is used. Hence, all cards have the value of their face but Aces are 1 or 11 while face cards (Jack, King, and Queen) are 10. There are two types of Natural: A-A (two Aces) and an Ace and a card of value 10. Yet, the former is rated higher than the latter. Four cards are dealt: first and third to the Player and second and fourth to the Banker. The Tie pays 10 to 1 while a pair (the first two cards, e.g. KK) pays 3 to 1, three-card 21 (e.g. 55A) pays 5 to 1, three-card straight (e.g. 234) pays 12 to 1, three of a kind (e.g. 333) pays 35 to 1, and 777 pays 80 to 1. Lastly, soft 17 and the soft 17 rule are available in 21 Baccarat.
Super 6 (or Punto 2000) pays evens (1:1) instead of the usual 19:20 when you win banker wagers (i.e. there are no 5% commissions). It also pays 12:1 for side bets, which is a bet on the banker’s hand with any other outcome apart from 6 being a loss and even when you win, you only get 50% of your wager. EZ Baccarat also pays 1:1 like Super 6. However, you are at a loss when the banker holds three cards and wins with an aggregate point-count of seven. Super 6 is possible online while EZ Baccarat is not. Pertaining to the former, it increases the house edge to 1.48% – which makes it the least friendly variant. The latter, however, has a house edge of just 1.018%.
Moving on, we have the live versions, which brings real-life dealing to your screen. Live Baccarat is the standard game while Live Speed Baccarat cuts the time of each round to 27 seconds instead of the usual 48 seconds. Live Multiplayer Baccarat (and Multiplayer Baccarat) sets you up with other customers of the casino, so the fun is double. Live Baccarat Squeeze does not affect the game; the only difference is that the live dealer slowly shows the cards dealt to the player with the highest wager.
As a side note, baccarat – no matter the version – uses between one and 12 decks of cards. The industry standard is 8 decks, in which the banker has a probability of 44.62% and the player has 45.86%. Ties only occur 9.72% of the time, so it has the highest odds. Additionally, the house edges are 14.36% on the tie, 1.24% on the player, and 1.06% on the banker.
The elements that distinguish offline baccarat from online baccarat are basically the same as those that create a difference between offline and online blackjack. Needless to say, the objective of baccarat is to have your total cards equalling nine or a number closest to nine. This simplicity is the main cause of its worldwide fame as cards like spade, heart, and clubs have the same value – unlike other card games. This rule applies to both offline and online baccarat games so you can enjoy its simplicity regardless of which version you opt for.
Sorry offline baccarat games but your online counterparts are just more convenient. Without any bias whatsoever, we can all agree that online gambling is generally more convenient than going to a land-based casino. This way, you will find it easier to place your bets and quicker to watch the outcome unfold. Talk about being able to play your favourite baccarat game on your mobile, tablet, and desktop devices.
As stated earlier, online baccarat is faster than its offline peer. In fact, there are some specific variants available online (e.g. Live Speed Baccarat), in which the gameplay is ridiculously faster – close to 150 hands per hour. Apart from especially swift variants, the standard online baccarat game is still faster than its offline counterpart. The offline option normally spreads between 50 and 70 hands per hour. Online, on the other hand, spreads close to 100 hands per hour.
Nonetheless, there is an exception to this. Mini Baccarat – which is a version of Punto Banco, with a smaller table and especially for low-stakes players – often spreads close to 120 hands per hour.
The pro in the case of online baccarat is that you can play at your own pace. If you prefer to brainstorm before making a move, your speed does not affect others – and even in Live Dealer versions, the actions of other customers do not affect you. Once the cards are shuffled, you simply wait for the next hand.
The consensus is that baccarat is a game of pure luck and zero skill. Regardless, there are a few strategies used by players of varying mathematical prowess. Two popular strategies are the Fibonacci betting system and the 1-3-2-4 system.
In the former, you are to place each bet according to the Fibonacci sequence, i.e. 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, etc. The trick is to follow the sequence when you lose a round and go two numbers back when you win. For example, if you win your fifth round at five units, you are to bet two units in the next round. If you lose that fifth round, you are to bet eight units in the next round.
In the latter, you are to place your bets according to the numbers, i.e. first round at one unit, second round at three units, and so on. And in summary, these strategies are possible to use in both offline and online baccarat.
These strategies are called progressive betting systems, which include the likes of the Martingale, the Labouchere, the D’Alembert, and the Paroli betting systems.
In both online and offline baccarat, you can use these systems as long as you have memorised the units to bet on as you progress. But, strategies are easier to use in offline baccarat games than their online peers.
Offline casinos usually have a minimum wager limit of $10 because baccarat has a relatively small house edge, so it makes more sense for casinos to place high table limits on it. Maximum wager limits are just as they come. Small casinos often stick with $100 to $1,000 as their maximum wager limit. Large casinos (think Macau and Las Vegas) can go as high as $20,000.
This is not the case with online casinos. They normally go with the standard table limit: $1 minimum wager and $500 maximum wager. As expected, there are exceptions (especially live dealer casinos) but $1 is almost always the minimum. Interestingly, some online casinos offer minimums as little as $0.1; this table limit is, however, impossible for live dealer baccarat games.
If you have ever been in a casino and wanted to play more than one hand, online gambling is the savior. There are tons of online casinos that allow you to bet on multiple hands at the same time. Thanks to this opportunity, you will lower your variance and up your chance of winning.
As stated earlier, baccarat does not have as many variations as its distant relative, blackjack, but it does try its best. The main problem with offline gambling variety is that land-based casinos always offer games that are popular in their location. For instance, a casino in Macau would definitely offer Chemin de Fer and Three-Card Baccarat but Punto Banco would be a big no. Likewise, American casinos offer Punto Banco but only a few offer Chemin de Fer.
But in the online aspect, you are open to many varieties. Despite the fact that most online casinos offer one or two baccarat games, there are several websites at your disposal. If you do not find your preferred variant on a website, you can easily switch to another website. Still, be mindful to only deal with trusted websites. Even so, there are some variants that can only be found online, e.g. Live Speed Baccarat.
If you have ever gone to a casino for at least one day, you would know dealers are often driven by their mood and the tips players offer them. They might get biased to those who offer them tips. Apart from that, some can be in a mood or just hate his/her job. With online casinos, you can eliminate this possibility. If you opt for instant play baccarat, you are playing against a piece of computer software which neither hates its job nor work on tips. The issue of annoying dealers is further awakened with live dealer baccarat but I have never met a sulky live dealer online.
For the sake of arguments, the rules and payouts/odds of both online and offline baccarat are fairly the same. Pertaining to the rules, baccarat games found in land-based and online casinos follow the same rule as long as they are of the same variation. So, the Punto Banco that you play in Las Vegas is the same you will find online. This idea agrees with payouts/odds as well, as they are the same regardless of the platform you opt for.
With land-based casinos, promotions are usually tied to loyalty programs and how active you are at spending on the casino’s services. As you know, casinos are often operated by large companies and these companies set up programs that put loyal customers in a special space. These promotions normally include free or discounted accommodations, dining, shopping, and entertainment; invitations to exclusive events; participation in special programs; and other non-cash promos.
On the other hand, online casinos offer percentage bonuses. Most casinos have deposit bonuses, in which you get a predefined percentage of the amount you deposited provided it is within the eligibility range. Deposit bonuses also spread through multiple deposits, i.e. your first, second, and third deposits. With the terms and conditions understood, you should keep note of the rollover requirement of each game.
Since baccarat games have some of the smallest house edges, the rollover requirement is often tremendous. Take roulette as an example, its house edge is very high so casinos often place a small rollover requirement and still cover their business. Baccarat is a bad business for them so they would require you to roll the bonus over and over before you would be able to transfer the bonus balance to your real balance.
For instance, games like roulette would have a rollover requirement of 10x while baccarat could be as high as 50x. Contribution percentage is another way to go about this. With this method, each casino game is given a different contribution percentage. Slot games are the best games here, as they can be an exact 100%; wagering $100 counts as $100. Baccarat could be a disappointing 2%, so wagering $100 would count as just $2. Therefore, baccarat would take far more time to clear your bonus than most other games.
In summary, offline casinos award non-cash rewards depending on how much you spend. Online casinos, however, offer cash rewards based on the amount you wager regardless if you win or lose, but activating them is quite demanding.
Pertaining to the gameplay, online baccarat wins by a handful. As explained earlier, online baccarat respects your speed and how you play your game. If you are slow to decide, it is no shame and online baccarat understands that. If you are fast, it is still a win for you. Also, you can configure the design of the game in some online variants – sometimes depending on the casino.