Best UK Baccarat Casinos
About the game
A casino card game that is enjoyed all over the world. Baccarat is a game that is thought to hail from 15th century Italy, but scholars are not too sure about its exact origins.
Baccarat is an easy game to play, and only has only three possible outcomes – ”Player”, ”Banker” and ”Draw”. In Punto banco – which is the most common version of the game – one can bet on all three outcomes for each round. In baccarat Banque however, a player will hold the banking position for a number for an extended time period.
The three outcomes of the game each have a specific mathematical probability of happening:
- Banker wins 45,84% of rounds
- Player wins 44,61% of rounds
- Draw has a 9,55% percent chance of occurring
Different versions of Baccarat
Much like there are different varieties of rose bushes, different versions of Baccarat also exist. Three versions are internationally known: Chemin De Fer, Banque and Punto Banco.
Punto Banco is a game of luck where neither skill nor strategy has anything to say. In Baccarat Banque and Chemin, the player has the possibility to employ skill and strategy in the game.
When you play baccarat at an online casino, it will almost with no exception be Punto Banco that is played, and the player has no influence during a game round. Instead, he simply bets on the position that appeals to him and watch the dealer draw the cards.
Baccarat Squeeze takes the excitement from the original Baccarat to a whole new level!.
Generally, there is no significant difference between original Baccarat and Baccarat Squeeze, except for one thing. When you play Baccarat Squeeze, the dealer tries to make the game as exciting as possible by revealing the cards slooowly… The painstaking slowness of the card revealing makes the game so much more exciting.
It is possible for you to play Baccarat squeeze as a live casino version, which adds a bit more excitement than usually. It also gives you an authentic feeling of being a part of this game, because this version involves real-life dealers who are ready to give you the best real-life experience.
You also have the possibility to squeeze the cards yourself in the Baccarat Controlled Squeeze version. You can choose to reveal the cards slowly or quickly, if you think it’s to nerve wrecking! You wouldn’t get a more realistic feeling in any other game.
Rules of the game
Much in the same way as blackjack, Baccarat is a card counting game with the objective to get as close as possible to a given card value:
- In Baccarat, the highest possible score is 9.
- Aces count for 1, picture cards count as 10, and all other cards have their numerical score.
- If score is 10 or higher, it is only the last number that counts.
As stated above it’s only the last number of the total score that counts. For example, if you draw 3+8, in principle you will have a score of 11, but you will only count it as 1. Another example would be that you draw 10+4 = 14, but since only the last number counts, your score will be 4.
Basic Game Play
Baccarat is played between a ”banker” and a ”player”. In the Chemin De Fer and Banque variants players take turns for acting as bank and player, but in Punto Banco, a casino dealer will act as bank and player simultaneously. In this variant, players can bet on both bank, player and draw for each round.
In all versions of Baccarat, a round begins with both banker and player being dealt two cards. If one or both hands has a value of 8 or 9 the game is a draw.
- If player has a score of 6 or 7 he must stand
- If player has a score of 0-5 he must draw another card
- If player has a score of 6 or 7 bank as well as player must draw another card
- If bankers score is 2 or less bank must draw a card, no matter what value the third card of the player has.
- If bankers score is 3, banker must draw another card, unless players third card was eight
- If bankers score is 4, banker must draw another card, unless the value of player’s third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
- If bankers score is 5, banker must draw another card, unless the value of players third card was 4, 5, 6 or 7
- If bankers score is 6, banker must draw another card, unless players card was 6 or 7
- If bankers score is 7, banker must stand
If you win your hand in Punto Banco as either bank or player, you will be payed 1:1, albeit sometimes a fee of 5% is subtracted from Banker winnings. If you win on a draw, this will pay 6:1.
The history of Baccarat supposedly goes back to 15th century Italy, but there are some doubts about the origin of the game. In any case, it is only in 19th century France that the game gains popularity. The Banque variant was the ”original” version of the game. This version of quiet slow paced, which was why a faster version of the game was introduced. This version was called Chemin De Fer, which means locomotive in French. After all, at that time the railway was the fastest way of transportation possible!
As casinos grew larger and more organized during the 20th century, the Punto Banco variant became prevalent. In Punto banco it is only the casino dealer that draws cards, which increases the speed of the game and makes it possible for more players to participate. The basic principles of the game remain the same, though. More than 90% of the Baccarat that is played on casinos today is of the Punto banco variant.
Baccarat is played at casinos all over the world, but the place where it enjoys the greatest popularity is Macau in Asia. If you’re not familiar with Macau, it’s an island out of coast of China. It’s Asia’s answer to Las Vegas – just bigger and crazier!
In Macau the gamblers love Baccarat. Actually, about 75% percent of Macau’s revenue derives from Baccarat alone! Part of the explanation is that is a game with a social feeling to it – the other that it’s a thrilling game to play!
In Europe too, there is a long-standing passion for the game. Here it is known as the high roller game and is surrounded by an exclusive atmosphere.
Traditionally, Baccarat has been where the big money was at stake. There is more than one story of rich men who have gone wholly bankrupt after just a few hours in the card room. This is portrayed in several James Bond movies, where Baccarat is the favorite game of the British agent.
Advice for new players
Baccarat is a thrilling and fast paced casino card game. It’s faster and easier than blackjack but maintains an extremely high return player. Perfect for the brave gamblers with ice in their stomachs! Here are a few advices for those who are new to the game:
- The game can be played for free in demo versions at most online casinos. Practicing before putting money at stake can be handy!
- Learn the rules of Baccarat before you begin
- Don’t use strategies such as Martingale with Baccarat – it has no effect.
There are plenty of reasons to get started with Punto Banco. The excitement is over the top, so let your inner James Bond out and go for the big wins today!