Baccarat is a traditional casino game, and one of the oldest, that rewards ambitious bets and, due to its simple rules and low house edge, is currently one of the most popular at online casinos. The game has many variations, including punto banco, chemin de fer, and baccarat banque, which are the most played versions at land-based and online casinos.
Made famous by James Bond films like Casino Royale and For Your Eyes Only, the game was created in Italy, and its first accounts date back to the 1400s. It was introduced in France, at the end of the 15th century, by soldiers returning from the Franco-Italian War, and had become very popular among French nobility by the 19th century. Baccarat punto banco, the most common variation at American casinos, was created in Havana in the 40s, and made its way to Las Vegas in the 50s, when most of the luxurious casinos we know today were being built.
The game’s popularity among US bettors has been increasing in the past decades, and the selection of online casinos that offer Baccarat tables is almost endless, so websites like OnlineCasinoGames.com come in handy to aid players who are still unsure where to find the best bonuses and rewards.
Since baccarat is a game of chance, primarily driven by luck, there isn’t a single strategy that guarantees wins, but there are a few things players can do to significantly improve winnings.
In baccarat, two hands are dealt every round: the player hand and the banker hand. The goal is to make hands that add up to nine or as close as possible, and similar to blackjack, the player and the banker can opt to stand or draw another card, depending on the value of the initial hand. Each card represents the same value of its number, except 10, J, Q and K which represent a zero and the aces that represent one.
Players can bet on the player hand to win, the banker to win, or for a tie, which pays out more than the other choices.
Just like many other casino games, game selection is an important factor to improve baccarat winnings. Most casinos offer baccarat tables using eight decks of cards, six decks and one deck. In eight-deck games, the house edge is 1.0579%, while the six-deck game presents a 1.0558% edge, which is slightly better, but not much noteworthy. However, single-deck games offer a 1.0117% house edge. This might not seem that much, but it represents a 4.4% decrease of the house advantage, in comparison with eight-deck games.
Most online casinos today feature single-deck games, although live dealer games are often played with eight decks. Punters should always opt for single-deck games, especially beginning players, as this is a simple way to drop the house edge.
Play the banker bet
Statistics show that banker hands tend to win 50.68% of the time. So the most important factor when learning how to handle standard wagers and trying to improve winnings is to always play the banker bet, unless a specific condition causes the player bet to be the better option, like the banker bet commission.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that there are no circumstances in which the pair or tie bets are better than the player or banker wagers – the house edge of those bets is too high, therefore bettors must never play these wagers.
Banker bet commission
Usually, there’s a 5% commission on every winning banker bet, whether playing at a traditional brick-and-mortar casino or at an online room.This means a $100 bet on the banker hand will result in a $95 payout.
However, many venues and websites round bets down to the nearest $0.25, notably in live dealer games, and this can lead to significant losses. For instance, a $1 wager on the banker bet will only get a $0.75 payout.
To avoid these losses, there’s a simple trick: multiply $0.25, or any other denomination used for rounding, by 20. The result, and its multiples, will be the best wagers to avoid losing money from commission rounding. In this case, $0.25 multiplied by 20 results in $5. So $5 bets, and all of its multiples, will provide better payouts.
If a punter wants to wager a different value than the result of the multiplication, then the player bet becomes the optimal wager.