Online Baccarat is among the most famous and well-liked card games in online casinos worldwide. It’s also the original game of James Bond before he discovered poker – but that’s just a glimpse of its rich history.
Players enjoy it because it’s fun and simple to master – as soon as you pick up on the rules!
So, this quick guide will cover the game’s origin and the basic rules applicable to the most popular game variants, with a few practical tips that will help you win.
Learn more about it and other similar games in our live casino glossary. And once you’re ready to bet and earn, take a peek at GemBet’s free online baccarat games!
History VS. Myths: Origins of the Baccarat Game
Baccarat games feel like they’ve been played since the dawn of time. According to some sources, they date from the 1400s in Italy.
Felix Falguiere is widely considered to be its creator, naming it after the Italian word for “zero,” hinting at one of the basic rules of Baccarat – all the tens and face cards were worth zero points.
However, one of this game’s origin stories relies on a dark legend. Some researchers suggest that Falguierein got the idea from an old Etruscan folklore tale. It was about a woman who threw a nine-sided die, and its outcome was to decide her fate. Eights and nines would turn her into a priestess, while any number lower than six would send her to her death.
Still, Baccarat’s immense popularity started in the 19th century among the French nobility. Back then, it was a three-person game played in private gaming rooms.
How Modern-day Baccarat Took the World by Storm
Baccarat we know and love today captured the attention of players worldwide when it got to America from Europe. Due to its simplicity and huge potential to cash in, it’s been an integral part of Las Vegas casinos since the 50s.
It’s also the most trendy game in Southeast Asia, allowing countless players to test their luck and aligning with another essential point – Asian players’ firm belief in wealth distribution.
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How to Play Baccarat: A Brief Overview of Card Values
All popular Baccarat games entail the same card values. The numbered cards carry the values stated on them, while the tens and face cards (Jacks, Queens, and Kings) don’t add any points to a hand. The aces always count as one point. And finally, Jokers are never used in this game.
Every player’s goal is to get to a total closest to nine, which is this game’s maximum permitted value.
Each hand gets two cards at the beginning, and their values add up to a total. So, if a player got a two and a three, their total would amount to five points. However, if they got a four and a King, its total would be worth four.
Playing Baccarat Online: Winning Outcomes to Bet On
This game’s winners rely on good fortune more than on developing elaborate tactics to triumph. However, stats and figures favor some outcomes more than others. And some simple Baccarat strategies work like magic! To implement them correctly, you should get familiar with the basics first – starting with possible outcomes and winning odds for each one.
Every round of play in Baccarat has three possible winning outcomes:
- “Player” (Player has the higher score),
- “Banker” (the Banker has the higher score),
- “Tie” (the Player’s and Banker’s scores are even).
According to research, the Banker’s hand tends to win around 45.8% of the time. These odds are somewhat higher than those for betting on the Player’s hand, approximately 44.6%. Ties are the rarest outcomes, with bettors who placed their wagers on this type of outcome winning 9.6% of the time.
Online Baccarat Games: The Most Popular Variations to Explore & Play
While there are many Baccarat game variants, Punto Banco, Chemin De Fer, and Baccarat Banque are the ultimate choices of seasoned players across the globe!
Punto Banco Basic Rules
Punto Banco is Spanish for “Player Banker,” and that’s the first key point to learn – as this game is a contest between the Player and the Banker. This crowd-pleasing variant has been played for decades and is the most widespread version across online Baccarat casinos today.
In Punto Banco, players must choose the round winner, opting for the Player hand, the Banker hand, or a Tie.
Each hand is dealt two cards, and the value of these cards determines the scores of the hands:
- 10, Jack, Queen, and King = 0 Points
- Ace = 1 Point
- 2 to 9 = Face Value (2 scores 2, 3 scores 3, and so on)
The goal is to get as close to 9 as possible. If the number exceeds 9, then only the second digit is used. So, a 9 and a Jack will score 9. A 9 and a 9 will score 8.
If the value is between 0 and 5, another card is drawn.
Chemin De Fer Basic Rules
Chemin de Fer is a French term roughly translated to “Railway.” And while it’s not as popular as Punto Banco, it still has a rich history. Namely, French King Charles VIII thought it was thrilling and turned it into a popular game for the aristocrats.
In this variant, players compete against each other. There are usually between 8 and 12 players at the table.
Each participant takes a turn as the Banker while all the others are the Players. The Banker places a wager they’re willing to risk.
The Players and croupiers are dealt two cards each. As with Punto Banco, the goal is to get close to 9.
If the Players beat the Bankers, they are given a 1:1 payout. If the Bankers win, they collect all of the Players’ bets. If the game ends in a Tie, all bets remain on the table, and another round is to start.
Baccarat Banque Basic Rules
Way before we could play Baccarat online, we had Chemin De Fer and its old but gold match called Baccarat Banque, or, Baccarat on Two Tables. It also originates from 19th century France, introducing players to the first banking casino version.
While similar, there’s one major difference between the Chemmy and Banque versions. Here, the casino holds the bank without exceptions. But the card values remain the same as in other game variations.
Players can draw the third card if the total worth of their cards is 5, while the Banker draws the extra card only if one table wins out of hand.
And here, the Banker usually plays against the table that places higher bets, while the best option for players is to bet on the table with the lowest wager placed.
Baccarat Banque is prominent in all brick-and-mortar and online casinos in France and the rest of Europe.
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Baccarat is an easy-to-learn yet thrilling card game! You can use this quick guide to learn how to play it online or in real life, but don’t forget that land-based casinos require higher stakes!
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