Guide to Playing Baccarat Online
Online casinos carry many traditional land-based casino games such as online poker, online roulette and the popular online slot games. Baccarat is one of the best online casino games for players because the house edge is very small. In Malaysia, you can easily play the Baccarat game in our online casinos with real money or digital credits. It is one of the favourite games played in the Pacific Rim, especially in Macau, where bets are sometimes as high as $1,000,000. The game today is typically banked by the house, but players are neither playing against the house nor the other players.
Four to eight standard 52-card decks are used at Baccarat. No jokers or wild cards are used. Each card has its standard pip value – aces count as one, and 10’s and face cards count as zero. The name Baccarat may have originated from the Italian word baccara, which means “nothing.”
In North American casinos and most online casinos, the game of Baccarat is more accurately known as Punto Banco, where players are offered a chance to bet on either the “player” or the “banker” and may also make a third bet, the “tie.” In this game, the cards drawn by the “player” spot and the “banker” spot dictate whether additional cards are drawn. Two other games that might be found are Baccarat Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque, and in these versions, there is an option to draw, not a rule that must be followed. A new game, 3 Card Baccarat, takes the best of Punto Banco and Baccarat Banque and is normally offered as a live dealer game that is easy to learn and play.
Online Baccarat in Malaysia & Beyond
Playing Baccarat online is both simple and quick. You don’t need to do anything more than choosing your bet and your wager size. The software will take care of all the rest. Unlike online blackjack, the decks in the shoe are likely to be completely used before they are re-shuffled. As with land-based casinos, you can keep track of streaks of “player” and “banker” wins or how long it has been since a tie has occurred.
At land-based casinos, your commission from wins on the “banker” are tallied and collected at different intervals, sometimes at the end of the shoe, sometimes at certain dollar amounts. Your commission on “banker” wins when playing Baccarat online will be collected immediately from your table stakes.
Live Dealer Baccarat Online
By far, the most popular way to play Baccarat online is by using a live dealer. 5 years ago, the majority of online Baccarat games in Malaysia and the rest of Asia were played using a standard automated flash game. Nowadays, thanks to massive advances in technology, players can now play Baccarat online using a real dealer based in either a casino or a special live dealer studio, setup specifically for broadcasting live casino games on the internet.
Using this setup, you can see the dealer shuffle and deal the cards in real-time, as well as placing bets and watching other people place bets on every hand. It is basically the exact same as playing in a casino, except that you are using your mouse to place the bets.
Variations of Traditional Baccarat
‘Punto Banco’ is one of the American variations of the popular Baccarat game. The object of this Baccarat variation is to choose which spot, the “player” or the “banker,” will end with the best hand total, 9 being the best. When the player bets on “player”, the dealer will settle all bets and wagers and decisions are made by the dealer based on a set of rules explained below. The house edge on the “player” wager is just 1.24%. When the player bets on “banker”, the dealer will again settle all bets and wagers and follow the set rules, but when the “banker” spot wins, the house charges a 5% commission. After factoring in the commission, the “banker” wager has an even smaller house edge of just 1.06%.
Wagers placed on “tie” are won if the “banker” and “player” end with the same point total. This bet is usually paid at 8 to 1 odds, for a house edge of 14.4%. When the payoff is 9 to 1, which is often found at online casino sites, the house edge is just 4%.
Chemin de Fer
Chemin de Fer is a French variant of the Baccarat card game. Its name comes from the French equivalent of “railway” because this variant is a faster way of playing than the original game. In this version, the players bet against each other instead of the house.
The designation of “banker” is passed down counterclockwise, and each round, the banker wagers the amount he is willing to risk. The other players take turns to announce “Banco!” and match the wager of the bank. Only one player may make this wager. If no player “goes bank” (Banco), play resumes, and each player will make an individual bet. If the total from the players are less than the bank, the spectators may place bets to cover the amount of the bank. If the bets from the players exceed the bank, the banker may choose to raise the bank to match; if he does not, the redundant wagers are removed in reverse play order.
The banker deals four cards face down, two to the banker and two to the player with the highest individual wager. The player who makes the highest bet (if there are more players with the same wager, then the first player in order) will represent all players.
If either the banker or player has a hand that totals 8 or 9 (the ‘natural’ numbers), the game ends immediately, and that hand wins.
If neither has that hand, the player is able to choose if they want to take a third card (if their hand is worth 5). If the player accepts the third card, it is dealt face up. Initial hands are then revealed. Once the banker has decided, as appropriate, whether to take a third card or not, hands are compared, and the round’s winnings are distributed.
Chemin de Fer and Punto Banco are very similar, with a few key differences. Chemin de Fer normally uses six decks, with every player taking a turn to act as the banker. Players play against each other.
Chemin de Fer is still popular in casinos in France, but typically land-based casinos in other regions like the Pacific Rim do not offer this Baccarat variant in their casinos. Online casinos also do not normally carry Chemin de Fer on their sites, preferring to play the Punto Banco version of the Baccarat game. This is because the amount of interactions among players in a game of Chemin de Fer does not make it a suitable casino game to be played online. Punto Banco does not require inputs from other players at the table.
Online Baccarat Rules of Play
All decks of cards are shuffled together and placed in a shoe. A cut-card is placed 7-cards from the end of the decks and when play reaches the cut-card, it signals the last hand of the shoe. After all players have their wagers in place, the dealer will deal the game. The “player” and “banker” spots each receive a card, face-up, starting with the “player,” and then a second is delivered to each spot, again face-up.
If either spot has a total of 8 or 9 (a natural) the hand is over. The higher total wins. If both hands are naturals and tie, the “player” and “banker” hands push, no money is exchanged. However, any wagers on “tie” are winners. For any other outcomes, the dealer must follow a set of rules. Players do not need to know the hit and stand rules, since the dealer handles all the action. However, it is good to know what to expect.
- If the “player” receives two cards that total 0 to 5, a third and final card is drawn.
- If the “player” has an initial total of 6 or 7, no cards are drawn (an 8 or 9 natural would stop the action, as discussed earlier).
- If the “player” had 0 to 5 and drew a card, the “banker” follows the same rules and draws a third and final card to a total of 0 to 5 and stands on a 6 or 7.
- If the “player” drew a third card, the “banker” must follow a set of rules based on what the “players” third card was, not what their current point total is.
- If the player drew a 2 or 3, the banker draws with 0 to 4, and stands with 5 to 7
- If the player drew a 4 or 5, the banker draws with 0 to 5, and stands with 6 to 7
- If the player drew a 6 or 7, the banker draws with 0 to 6, and stands with 7
- If the player drew an 8, the banker draws with 0 to 2, and stands with 3 to 7
- If the player drew an ace, 9 or 10 (including face cards), the banker draws with 0 to 3, and stands with 4 to 7.
- After the banker draws their one card the two hands are compared and wagers are paid or taken, a tie is a push.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Baccarat
Is Baccarat easier than Blackjack?
The Baccarat game is a simple game to pick up and play. With a low house edge and large wagers, the possibility of winning big in Baccarat is high. While blackjack typically needs some form of strategy to lower the house edge and maximise winnings, the house edge for Baccarat is dependent only on the rules. Online Baccarat is a straightforward and stress-free game where you place your bet on only two or three options (the third being the “tie” option).
Is it safe to play Baccarat online?
GamingSafe reviews and evaluates many online casino websites, both in Malaysia and globally. We have compiled a list of the best and most trustworthy websites where you can play and win real money. To play Baccarat online safely, do take a look at our reliable online casinos sites that we have reviewed! Our recommendations are great for such online casino games as well as general sports betting and Malaysian football betting.
Can I play baccarat online for free?
Our list of online casinos allows you to play for real money as well as for digital credits. Many of them offer welcome bonuses of several hundreds in RM! You can use this to play and get a hang of the games first before playing and winning real money. If you’re feeling lucky our list of casinos also have attractive and reliable lotteries online.
Check out our list of online casinos in Malaysia that offer free credits when you start playing on their sites!