Is there a game which appeals more to the stylish gambler than baccarat? Maybe not. After all, not every game can be claimed to be the favourite of the world’s most famous spy, James Bond.
Baccarat is that and more. A game which exudes elegance and is the first choice of those with a finer taste in casino games. This is a game which is may be favoured by players with an air about them, hanging around the yachts and bars of Monte Carlo. Make no mistake, the game is not just reserved for those considered to be the classier clientele.
Anyone out there can play the game, as there is no restriction on who can get in on the action. That is, providing they are aged 18+. Providing players are old enough to gamble, they should find most casinos have at least one version of the game. There are three main types of baccarat which are played, which are: Punto Banco, Baccarat Chemin De Fer and Baccarat Banque. UK players will almost always play the former, as it is the highest regarded version of online baccarat in Britain.
Top 3 Best Baccarat Casinos Online:
Most online casinos will have at least one version of baccarat but there are some that go much further and offer something really special for baccarat fans. The top online baccarat casinos will take extra care to make sure that their baccarat games do justice to this elegant and classy high roller favourite.
Offering a wide choice of baccarat games is a must for a top online baccarat casino these days. There are not as many rule variations as there are with blackjack, in fact, you’ll find the rules the same in pretty much every version. The variety comes from offering things like progressive jackpots, side bets, live dealers, and a choice of low to high betting limits.
The top baccarat sites should offer the squeeze option where the sides of the card are turned up gradually one side at a time in order to build the excitement before the final flip. Many versions of baccarat available online don’t have this option and are just basic card flipping games which aren’t what you should be looking for in a top baccarat site.
The best baccarat casinos do not neglect this casino favourite and we have hunted down and tested the very best baccarat versions you can play online, with special attention given to variety, graphics and sound and overall casino quality.
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Is Baccarat Popular in the UK?
It is true that the average casino player in the UK will be more likely to play slots, video poker, roulette, or blackjack than online baccarat. However, there are a high proportion of those players who have no interest in any of the former. Baccarat is a game which many players who value, well… value, play. In other words, the house edge is not as heavy as in many casino games.
It is also a very easy game to play. Baccarat has often been compared to other card games. In baccarat, cards hold their point value, but it is more complicated than a game like Blackjack, for example. Cards 2 to 9 hold their usual value, while tens, jacks and queens are worth 0 points. Aces are worth 1. We will explain the rules as we progress through this guide.
Who Invented Baccarat?
There are two countries who hold the most viable claim to inventing baccarat. As such, the game has origins which are disputed. The game is widely believed to have first came to the wider consciousness in the 19th century. Soldiers returning from the Franco-Italian War in the 15th century are also credited with introducing a primitive form of the game. The original name was said to be ‘baccara’ which translates to zero and is likely to reference the face cards having 0 value. Felix Falguiere, a man who is credited by some as having invented the game, is said to have introduced definition to the game which had four individual dealers, where all players may be the banker and players could play against one another.
King Charles VIII of France was said to have been a huge fan of the game and was the reason why it became popular with the aristocracy. The version which many players in the UK enjoy, punto banco, is said to have its roots in Cuba. Though it never became a common casino game played by the average Joe, it is considered a high-class game played by VIPs, for high stakes. Despite this, many players of all different backgrounds play the game.
Different Versions of Baccarat
There are a few different versions of baccarat which players will likely encounter in a casino. Super 6 (also known as Punto 2000) pays money on winning banker bets instead of 19 to 20, with the exception of a banker win with 6. In this case, only 50% of the bet can be paid out. This is considered a quicker game to play.
Another is Chemin de fer, which takes its title from the railway due to the speed at which the game can be played. In this version, the player is the banker, which will change according to each round. Baccarat Banque is not too different from chemin de fer. The bank is performed by one individual at all times and the players are dealt their cards as two groups, which are split into two sides, which surround the banker.
Punto Banco is a game of chance. There is no skill involved whatsoever. As such, the outcome of games is decided by cards as they are revealed. The results will lead to either the player or banker winning, or less commonly, a tie between player and banker.
In terms of the meaning behind the game, ‘punto’ means the player and ‘banco’ the banker. These are not roles which can be swapped as are simply part of the rules which players must adhere to as part of the game. With each coup, two cards will be dealt to the player and banker with the aim of achieving an 8 or a 9. More cards can be dealt if there is no defined achievement.
Punto Banco, and baccarat, in general, may not enjoy the same level of popularity as other games online such as roulette or blackjack. There is no doubt that it has a pretty major fanbase, however.
Before you play, learn the rules. It will definitely pay off further down the line. In baccarat, there are a number of points which determine how things go. With punto banco baccarat, for example, there is a set of rules which are known as the ‘tableau’. The banker and player receive two cards each, then add the totals together to get a score.
The digit to the right is the one which matters, meaning that a 15 becomes a 5. If the player or the banker hits an 8 or 9 (a ‘natural’) they will win the game. If they both have the same score, then this will be declared as a tie. A tie bet has the highest odds in the entire game.
If the player and banker fail to score an 8 or 9, the game will follow the tableau to determine the next step. From here, the player’s rule is checked first, then the banker’s. Should the player have an initial total of 0-5, he will draw an additional card, standing at a 6 or 7. The banker will have to adhere to the same rules, meaning they will draw on 0-5 and stand on 6-7.
The banker will act a different way if a player draws a third card:
- If the Player drew a 2 or 3, Banker draws with 0–4 and stands with 5–7
- If Player drew a 4 or 5, Banker draws with 0–5 and stands with 6–7
- If Player drew a 6 or 7, Banker draws with 0–6 and stands with 7
- If Player drew an 8, Banker draws with 0–2 and stands with 3–7
- If Player drew an ace, 9, 10, or face-card, the Banker draws with 0–3 and stands with 4–7
In the event of a tie, current bets can remain in place for the next round or they may be reset. This is more often than not down to the casino and their own particular rules when it comes to Baccarat. The best thing to do if you are unsure and require clarification prior to playing is to ask the casino to provide their own rules to the game before you play. This is one of the most important aspects of baccarat.
Real Money Online Baccarat
If you have played free games and want to try to win some money, it might be time to graduate to playing for real money. Some players may be a little confused when playing for the first time. As the game is not as common as others out there, this is natural. There are many cards on the table, for a start. Another reason is due to the way the game works, but it is a lot more straightforward than it looks.
While most table games have scores or levels to get to, baccarat operates in another way. In blackjack, the ultimate number is 21. In baccarat, it’s 9. Unlike blackjack, players cannot bust in baccarat, which means that there is a greater chance of walking away with some tasty winnings.
Before you deposit and play for real money a player must understand that you will have the opportunity to bet on the bank or the player. You are essentially betting on one or the other’s hand. Both will be dealt two cards, both of which will face up. You can receive a total of three cards, with the final only being dealt under certain circumstances, as mentioned above.
Baccarat on Mobile
The internet has also made more and more people fall in love with baccarat. On account of this, a high number of players have found a game which suits their needs. With smartphones making things even easier, you can play baccarat pretty much anywhere, providing the casino supports in-browser or downloadable software in order to play baccarat through their mobiles.
Baccarat played via browser is more popular than the downloadable version. You can also acquire a casino’s app, which means downloading it first, but it can be pretty handy to have everything in one convenient place.
Choosing the Right Baccarat Casino Site
Online baccarat can be great when a player has all bases covered. For example, if played through the right device and with the right software. It is a simple game which transfers well over to the digital platform. The casino or software you play with can either make or break the experience for you, of course. There are a number of online casinos which provide access for players to have to a number of sites which specialize in the game. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.
So what should players do? If pushed, the first recommendation is to do your homework before you sign up. The best way to do this is by finding a casino which has a nice number of baccarat games or at least one solid version. Before you deposit with any casino, be sure to confirm that they are responsible. Once you are happy with the casino and their reputation, you can then get down to business and enjoy playing this casino classic in style.
Security and safety should be of major importance when choosing a site. A site that keeps its players protected will always be desirable. You will find a number of methods an online casino can use to keep the security of the site watertight. These can include things such as a 128-bit SSL encryption put in place to protect transactions and safeguard sensitive information should be in place in any casino you choose to play in.
Online Baccarat: Conclusion
Despite the game of baccarat having provable links to the Middle Ages, it has never been more popular. Many novices have the wrong impression of the game, which is a little bit of a shame. For example, some think it is simply too old to be considered popular. One thing which should change their mind is that baccarat is among the best games you can play inside of a casino.
There are many different versions of baccarat which can be played by one and all. Included are the classics like Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer, American and Mini Baccarat. There are also other versions which are not as famous but still popular in their own right. Although, maybe not as renowned among the baccarat-loving contingent in Britain.
It is not just in the UK where these games are popular. Baccarat is incredibly popular around the world and can be found in the lobbies of land-based casinos and online casinos alike. Players from all four corners of the world have become converts of the game, which makes it almost a certainty that any real casino will have at least one version of this game in their collection.
While James Bond and the Monte Carlo glitterati may love the game of baccarat, many a blue collar casino enthusiast has championed the advantages of the game. The low house edge, exceptional gameplay, and the chance to really make some money while loosening up the old cravat makes this a great choice for players of all backgrounds, skill levels, and understanding of casino games.