Baccarat is one of those casino games that not all gamblers are familiar with, despite it being a staple casino game. Baccarat, for many players, ranks right up there with Hold ‘Em, Blackjack, or Roulette. In short, baccarat is a major player at any casino and shouldn’t be overlooked when looking to play at online casinos.
While somewhat daunting for beginners, baccarat is a very simple game. Baccarat also generally has the lowest house edge of any casino game, with a few minor caveats. This makes it easy for anyone to pick up and play without worrying about losing as you learn. Additionally, there is a wealth of tried and true strategies to keep in mind in order to take your play to the next level.
Online Baccarat Basics
On the surface, baccarat can look like an overly complicated game to many beginners. Fortunately, it’s actually quite easy to pick up the basics with minimal fuss. When playing baccarat, players sit around a table, accompanied by a dealer. Or if you are playing online baccarat, it’s usually just you and the dealer so the options are even more limited.
The game plays out with an initial betting round. Cards are then dealt and the result of the hand is determined. At the end of the day, baccarat hands pretty much come down to a coin flip and are totally random. Players don’t really have the ability to influence the outcome of the game at all; they can only place their bets and hope for the best, which is why people either love or hate the game.
How to Play Baccarat Online in New Jersey
Bets are placed before the cards are dealt and players have three options to begin with; they can place their wager in either the Player field, the Dealer (or Banker) field, and the Tie field. If a player places their wager in the Player field, they are betting that they’ll have a better hand than the dealer. The opposite is true if a wager is placed in the Dealer field. Players can actually bet on the dealer, and “against” the player.
Once all bets are placed, each player and the dealer are all dealt two cards. A winning hand is one with a total closest to nine (9). If the Player hand ends up with a 0-5, they draw a third card (they must stand on an initial deal of 6 or 7). If the Banker totals a 2, then he grabs a third card, no matter what the Player’s cards are. The Banker also gets a third card if his total is 3 (unless the Player has an 8, which is known as a “natural”), and the Banker also draws a third card if the total is 4 and the Player has 2-7. If the Banker total is 5 then he draws a third card if the Player’s total is 4-7, and if the Banker has a 6, he only draws a third card if the Player has a 6 or 7, but the Banker stands whenever he has a 7.
Seems confusing right? But that’s all there is to the game. There is no splitting or learning how/when to double down in online baccarat, therefore, in order to excel at baccarat, all you need to know is how to read and learn a basic strategy chart.
Online Baccarat Strategy
Baccarat strategy starts with learning a few statistics. This comes down to the chances of both the Dealer or Player winning the hand, along with the chances of a Tie. Many people assume that the Dealer and Player have equal odds, but this isn’t exactly the case.
The Dealer has the highest odds of winning any given hand, traditionally coming in with a 45.843% success rate. The Player, on the other hand, only has a 44.615% chance of winning a particular hand. A Tie statistically occurs 9.543% of the time. It’s also worth noting here that any wagers made on the Dealer field incurs a 5% commission.
Even though there’s a 5% tax on any Dealer wagers, many players still prefer to stick with it. Others suggest placing a bet in the Dealer field until it loses, as it has a better chance of streaks. This sounds like a solid bet right off the bat, but there are plenty of other, more advanced, strategies. If you’re going in without a clear system in mind, a Dealer bet technically offers more consistent wins.
If playing the Dealer option isn’t for you, many players also prefer Player bets. This works great with many strategy systems, such as the Martingale system. This sees a player doubling their bet with every loss. If you opt to play a system, you’re probably going to end up going this route, despite its lower odds. This is especially true for any progressive system because of the 5% commission on Dealer bets.
When we mentioned earlier that baccarat has the lowest house edge of any casino game, we neglected to mention this particular bet. The Tie bet carries a hefty house edge of 14.4%, which is definitely a lot of baggage. For this reason, almost everyone at a baccarat table can agree that avoiding placing a wager in the Tie field is rule number one.
Online Baccarat Betting Systems
There are a few main types of betting systems that baccarat players frequently employ:
This sees the player increasing bets after each win and reducing them after each loss. This system doesn’t really increase your chances of winning. By the same token, it doesn’t increase your chances of losing, either.
This sees the player increasing bets after each loss and reducing them after each win. This system has some basic flaws baked in and isn’t recommended.
This sees the player constantly and regularly placing the same flat bet for each hand. This is actually the best and most consistent baccarat betting system, despite its simplicity. That said, it won’t result in big wins and is instead a ‘slow and steady’ approach.
Online Baccarat Tips to Remember
Many online casinos will offer lower commissions than others, albeit with a reduced RTP (Return to Player). There are also a lot of baccarat variants to help spice things up. These are easy to find when playing online. Bear in mind, however, that each of these will have slightly different rules and odds. As such, learning each variant and potentially playing a free version a few times to get the hang of things is worthwhile.
Many online casinos will also offer loyalty and rewards programs, along with unique offers and bonuses. These can help you earn points and additional goodies as you play, so signing up before you play any online casino games is generally recommended.