Baccarat is one of the oldest and most exciting games of chance in the world. Everyone seems to know Baccarat as an enigmatic card game you find in movies where high-rollers such as James Bond play in stunning casinos.
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So, new players might feel overwhelmed when seeking to learn how baccarat works. Due to the above-mentioned facts, you might think that baccarat is a very complicated game.
However, the reality is far from it. Baccarat is a very easy-to-learn game. No matter your experience level, you will be able to pick up all the essentials within minutes.
That is where we come in. If you are unsure where to start with baccarat, then this is the right place for you. Let’s go over all details of online baccarat so you learn all nuances of this exciting card game.
Where to Play Online Baccarat
Well, there is a very simple answer to this question. Thankfully, the UK online gambling market is one of the better-regulated ones in the world, so finding a reliable online casino shouldn’t be a problem for any punter.
The first and most important aspect you should pay close attention to is the operator’s license. The UK Gambling Commission is the regulatory body in charge of overseeing the entire iGaming market in the country.
So, once you open any UK online casino, scroll down to the footer of the page. There, you should see information about the license from the UKGC.
If that piece of information is missing, then leave the site immediately as there is a strong chance it is a fraudulent one.
All reputable online casinos in the UK offer various baccarat versions for punters to enjoy, but which operator is the best?
Once again, we can help you out with that. We pride ourselves on being an independent and objective team of iGaming experts.
Baccarat Rules and Gameplay
We can now get into the fun part of online baccarat – its overall gameplay. As mentioned above, online baccarat is a very straightforward game, so all newbies shouldn’t have a problem mastering the rules.
To save you precious time on research, below is our guide on the basic baccarat rules that will help you start playing in no time. Let’s dive deeper into the details.
Calculating the points in baccarat is much more different than what you can find in other games. A very unique baccarat trait is that nine is the highest score. Card values in baccarat add up as follows:
- Pictured cards and tens – these cards are worth zero points
- Numbered cards – cards valued 2-9 in baccarat are worth their face value
- Aces – aces in baccarat are worth one point.
How do Points Add Up?
Adding up points in online baccarat is also a straightforward process. Once your hand gets a double-digit value, you eliminate the first digit and the second one becomes your hand value.
As an example, should you have a hand totaling 12, you remove the 1 and your hand value is now 2. Rules in baccarat stipulate that the hand that’s closest to 9 wins the round.
A Round of Betting in Online Baccarat
Now, you need to know how cards are dealt in baccarat. Before hands are dealt, you need to place a bet on the following outcomes:
- Banker’s win
- Player’s win
- A tie
Once you are done with that, four cards are dealt on the table. The dealer first puts one card in your box, then one in the banker’s box. This process is repeated so both participants have two cards each.
Of course, if you or the banker get a points total of 8 or 9 with the first two cards, then this is a natural win and the game is over. The winner gets a payout accordingly.
However, if neither you nor the banker gets a score of 8 or 9 with the first two cards, then an additional card may be dealt. Rules about the third card in online baccarat are very straightforward, as you can see below.
Player’s Third Card
The player always goes first in baccarat, so the banker’s hand depends on the player’s one. The rules for a third card for a player go as follows:
- If your hand totals 8 or 9 you win, no third card is drawn
- If you have a total of 6 or 7 you stand
- If you have a total ranging from 0-5, you get a third card, unless the banker wins with an 8 or 9.
Banker’s Third Card
Moving on, there is a special set of rules for when the banker draws a third card, which is a bit more extensive than the previous one. It goes as follows:
- The banker gets a third card unless you have an 8 or 9, which gets you the win
- The banker gets a third card if yours is 0-7 or 9, but they stand if you have an 8
- The banker gets a third card if you have a third-value card of 2-7, but they stand if you have 0, 1, 8, or 9
- The banker gets a third card if your third one is in the range of 4-7, but they stand if you have any of the following: 0, 1, 2, 3, 8, or 9
- The banker gets a third card if you have a 6 or 7, but they stand if you have 0-5, 8, or 9
- The banker stands if you have a 7
- The banker wins with an 8 or 9
Thankfully, there are several baccarat variations that punters can enjoy at all our recommended UK online casinos. That itself speaks volumes about how popular this card game actually is. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common baccarat variations you can find online these days.
Punto Banco is one of the most played baccarat versions. High-rollers and beginners are in love with this variation that sees the player go head-to-head against the banker.
Of course, the outcome of Punto Banco is left to pure chance. This is a variation that is played with a 52-card deck. As mentioned above, each card has a different numerical value. You and the banker both get two cards and depending on the score, you can get a third card or you can stand.
Moving on, some argue that Baccarat Banque is the original form of 19th-century baccarat. This version is a bit different from the previous one, as it is played with three 52-card decks.
In Baccarat Banque, you have two sides to the table. Players are positioned on the left and right-hand side of the dealer. One card is assigned to each of them, with the banker who sits in the middle also getting a card. Both players are up against the banker, not against each other.
Chemin de Fer
Chemin de Fer is another very popular baccarat variation that is very similar to Baccarat Banque. Early James Bond movies featured this variant, and in contrast to the standard baccarat version, here, you are not always able to draw a third card.
Moreover, at least six players need to participate in this game. Just like with the previous versions, two hands are dealt here – the player on the right side of the banker gets the card first, with the dealing rotating in a counter-clockwise fashion in the online baccarat table.
Moving on, Mini Baccarat is a very similar version to Punto Banco. The big difference is that you can play the Mini version with low stakes which makes it ideal for new punters.
Moreover, you get to play Mini Baccarat at a much faster pace and 8 card decks are in play in this version.
Up next, we have European Baccarat, which is a game very similar to both Punto Banco and mini Baccarat, but with some notable differences:
- The banker chooses whether to draw a third card, unlike other variations where it is determined by the rules
- If you have a hand score of 5, you can choose whether to draw or stand
Finally, EZ Baccarat is also a version that deserves a mention. As is the case with the other baccarat variants, here, you can bet on whether the player or the banker wins the game.
However, in this baccarat variation, the letters EZ mean that it is commission free. So, you can expect more money to be won whenever the banker or the player wins, except when the banker wins with a total of 7 when they draw the third card. This scenario is known as Push on banker bets.
Another novelty with EZ Baccarat is that there are two additional side bets players can make:
- Dragon 7 – a bet that sees you back the banker to win with a three-card 7. The payouts here are 40:1
- Panda 8 – you bet on the player to win with three-card 8. The payouts are 25:1
Live casino gaming is an aspect that grows in popularity among UK punters, and it is easy to see why. Advancements in technology have made online gambling even more social, interactive and fun, so it is only natural that game providers put plenty of resources into developing live dealer games.
So, live baccarat is exactly what it sounds like – a live casino game that you play in real-time against real human dealers with whom you can communicate.
You don’t need to leave your home and head to a land-based casino to enjoy your favourite baccarat variant. You can do so from the comfort of your own home thanks to the providers’ streaming services.
The studios from where providers stream live baccarat are full of cameras, so you will not miss any part of the action. Moreover, thanks to the live chat option, you can communicate with the dealers, which just adds to the overall gaming experience.
All of our recommended online casinos above have a live dealer section on their sites. In those sections, you can find live versions of all the baccarat variants we mentioned, so you will not be short of options.
Online Baccarat Side Bets
One of the best aspects of online baccarat is that besides the standard winner bets, you can place various side bets. Let’s see which are the most popular ones.
All Red or All Black
As the name suggests, this type of side bet will see you bet on whether your hand is comprised of red or black cards. There is a difference in the payout for both types of bets. Namely, an all-red bet has a 22:1 payout, while the all-black bet has a payout of 24:1.
Combined Value Bets
Moving on, you can make several side bets on the combined value of your and the banker’s hands. As an example, you can bet on whether both hands will have a value of over/under 9.5. An over 9.5 bet usually has a payout of 1.66:1, while an under 9.5 bet has a payout of 2.23:1.
Furthermore, you can wager on whether the value of both hands will be odd or even. The first one has a payout of 1.92:1, while the second has a payout of 1.91:1.
As you can imagine, there are various other combinations with different payouts for a combined value bet:
- 18 – a 25:1 payout
- 15-17 – a 1:1 payout
- 4-14 – you lose the bet
- 1-3 – a 1:1 payout
- 0 – a 50:1 payout
Big and Small / 4, 5, 6
Up next, we have another very simple side bet in online baccarat. Here, you need to wager on the number of cards you and the banker will finish the round with. If you bet on four cards and you win, you can expect a payout of 3:2, while a winning bet on five or six cards has a 2:1 payout.
A Bellagio Match bet is a bit more complicated to guess. It represents a wager on whether you or the banker have a hand that contains three-of-a-kind. If the player has a hand like that, the payout is 75:1, while the banker’s three-of-a-kind hand is worth 68:1.
A Double 8 bet in online baccarat is a very straightforward one – you wager on whether the player and the banker’s hands have a value of 8. The payout for this type of side bet in baccarat is 15:1.
A Dragon bonus side bet sees you wager on whether the player wins with a natural 8 or 9 by a certain margin. You can get a payout of up to 30:1 if the margin is 9 points.
This is a very interesting side bet that presumes the round is tied and yours and the banker’s hands are of specific value. The payouts can go up to 225:1 if the specific value of the hands is 2.
Lucky or Unlucky 8
A Lucky 8 side bet sees you wager on whether the banker or the player wins the game with a hand totaling 8. If you get this wager right, you can expect a return of 4:1.
On the other side, an Unlucky 8 side bet sees you wager on whether the player or the banker loses the game with a hand that has a value of eight. This scenario has a bigger payout – 8:1.
Next, we have a Super 6 Bonus side bet that has a payout of 12:1. As the name itself suggests, here, you wager on whether the banker wins the round with a hand value of six.
Here, you will need to wager on the number of same-ranked cards you and the banker will get. You lose the bet if no matching cards are dealt, while the payouts can go up to 100:1 for six same-ranked cards.
With a Perfect Pair side bet, you will need to predict whether the banker or the player’s opening hand has cards of the same rank. If these cards are of the same rank, but different suits, the payout is 5:1, while same-suit cards have a 25:1 payout.
A Royal Match side bet sees either the player or the banker getting a King and Queen in their opening hand. There are two different payouts for this side bet:
- 30:1 if the cards are of a different suit
- 75:1 if the cards are of the same suit
Suited three-card 8
As you could imagine by the name of this side bet, it determines that the banker or the player gets three cards of the same suit and are worth 8. If one of the participants gets it, the payout is 25:1, but if both get this, the payout is 200:1.
How to Start Playing Online Baccarat
Now that you know all the details about online baccarat, it is time to take a look at how you can start playing the game for real money. All you have to do is follow the next few steps and you won’t face any difficulties.
Choose an Online Casino From Our List
As mentioned above, bonuscasinossites is your place to go if you search for the best UK online casinos offering online baccarat. All casinos on our list go through a very strict grading process in terms of their license, security, game library, payment methods, bonuses, etc. Your preferences will determine which online casino you choose.
Sign Up and Make Your First Deposit
Once you choose an online casino from our list, you can now proceed with the sign-up process, which shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. When you are done with it, you will need to make your first deposit and top-up your account. Keep in mind that different UK casinos have different minimum deposit amounts.
Claim the Welcome Bonus
Usually, UK online casinos will have a deposit match bonus waiting for you for your first deposit. You can use the welcome bonus on all baccarat games as you see fit. Check out the terms and conditions of the bonus, and if you are fine with them, proceed with claiming it.
Start Playing Online Baccarat
Now, the fun can begin as you are ready to dive into the action and start playing online baccarat for real money. Check out the casino’s game library, filter through the baccarat variants, and choose your favourite one.
Thanks to advancements in technology that never seem to stop, mobile baccarat games are increasingly becoming a big attraction for UK punters.
Moreover, the number of active smartphone users in the UK is expected to grow to 94% by 2025, which just paves the way for mobile casinos to hit the market.
Therefore, all online casinos make sure to optimize their sites for mobile devices or create fully functional apps that you can download for free. Mobile baccarat gaming is seen as the future of the game, and some of its main benefits include:
- Convenience – you can play online baccarat from any location and any place as long as you have a stable internet connection.
- Special bonuses – certain online casinos in the UK try to promote their mobile apps by offering special bonuses to punters who download them and play online baccarat.
- Better gaming experience – some punters argue that online casino games such as baccarat look much better on a mobile phone. We will let you decide on this once you try out playing your favourite baccarat variant from your smartphone.
At the end of the day, if any UK online casino wants to be competitive in the saturated iGaming market, the very least it needs to do is optimize its site for mobile devices.
Free vs Real Money Baccarat – Which is Better?
Well, there is no simple answer to this question. It mainly depends on what type of player you are, as both versions of baccarat have certain advantages and disadvantages.
Free baccarat is always a good way for new UK players to test out their skillset and learn all rules about the game before they wager real money. However, as you don’t wager real money, you cannot win anything, as you just play for free.
You can play online baccarat for free without registering an account at gambling sites, and there is no limit on how long you can play demo versions of the game.
On the other hand, real-money baccarat games require you to sign up and make a real-money wager on the game. Once you learn all rules about the baccarat variant you chose, it is time to dive into the real action and place real-money bets.
Baccarat Tips for Beginners
As is the case with any online casino game, there is no winning strategy that will guarantee you certain wins whenever you load any online baccarat version.
However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot shift the odds at least a bit in your favour. Therefore, we at CasinosGamer can recommend you some basic tips that you can implement the next time you play online baccarat.
Stick to Your Strategy
One of the very basic pieces of advice that we can provide you is that you should choose a baccarat strategy and stick with it. Don’t even think about changing your game plan in the middle of the game, as it will ruin your entire flow.
As an example, if you use the Martingale betting strategy that sees you increase your bets whenever you lose, it wouldn’t make much sense to stop it mid-game.
If you think that your strategy does not work for the day, just quit the game. There is always tomorrow, and it is a better way than to change plans and strategies.
Play Free Baccarat Games
Demo baccarat versions are great if you are new in the iGaming industry. They can provide you with much-needed practice before you dive into the real action.
Moreover, there is no limit on how long you can play free baccarat. So, we strongly advise you to practice with demo versions of baccarat and once you feel ready, you can register at one of our recommended online casinos and play for real money.
Bet on the Banker Until They Lose
This advice is especially valid if you decide to play live baccarat. It would be best if you bet on the banker, as they have a little more than a 50% chance to win all the time. When they eventually lose, don’t jump with placing another bet, stay calm and make an informed bet.
Play Short Sessions
Well, at the end of the day, the house edge will get to you if you play longer than you should. No betting system in baccarat will help you overcome the house edge, so it would be wise to play a smaller number of games during the day.
Once you play the specified number, walk away, regardless of whether you have made a profit or a loss. A vital rule in online gambling in general is to never chase your losses.
Set a Budget and Stick To It
Finally, we can mention arguably the most important rule of online gambling – manage your bankroll. Whenever you play online baccarat, make sure to set a monthly/weekly/daily budget and never go over it.
After all, playing online baccarat for real money should be a fun pastime activity, not a main source of income.
Online Baccarat Bonuses
A good sign of a reputable UK online casino is its promotions section. It is also one of the very first things we check when we review online casinos active in the UK gambling market.
All of our recommended online casinos in the list above ensure to offer various promotions for new and loyal punters alike. Promotions vary from one casino to another, but some of the most common ones include:
- Welcome bonuses – usually, a deposit match bonus that you can use to boost your potential winnings in baccarat
- Cashback – cashback incentives are usually given out every week and they can let you amortize your losses for the past week of playing online baccarat.
- Reload bonuses – similar to deposit match bonuses, but they are offered to loyal casino players
- No deposit bonuses – as the name suggests, the online casino may give you bonus money that you can use on baccarat games. You cannot withdraw those funds, you can just play with them
- Loyalty programs – by playing real money baccarat games, you will be enrolled in the operator’s VIP Program. Depending on your VIP status, you can expect various prizes, such as personalized promotions, birthday gifts, etc.
Promotions at our online casinos change all the time, so you can expect different baccarat tournaments and other special bonuses from time to time.
Online Baccarat – Final Thoughts
Overall, baccarat is one of the most cost-effective games you can find in UK online casinos. It has a much lower house edge compared to other online casino games, so it comes as no surprise to see that it is among the most played games in the UK.
Advancements in technology have made the game even better, especially when you consider that you have the chance now to play live baccarat games.
Thanks to this guide, you are now equipped with all the necessary information to start playing online baccarat. So, choose an online casino from our list and enjoy a thrilling baccarat gaming experience!
What is the best baccarat strategy?
As a game of chance, there is no way you can influence the house edge of baccarat. However, sticking to general guidelines such as budget control and playing shorter sessions can boost your chances of being victorious in the long term.
What is the best baccarat variant?
This mainly depends on what type of player you are. We advise new UK players to start off with the basic baccarat version, which has very straightforward rules.
Can I play baccarat on my mobile phone?
Thankfully, all online casinos that we recommend have a fully-functional mobile website or a mobile app. This means that you can enjoy mobile baccarat at any time and at any location, as long as you have a stable internet connection.
Should I bet on the banker or the player more?
Well, as we mentioned above, if you play live baccarat, it might be a better idea to bet on the banker. The reason behind it is very simple – the house edge is always on their side.
Where can I play online baccarat for real money?
There are tons of online casinos active in the UK gambling market, but not all of them are world-class. So, we advise you to check out our list of online casinos and choose one that matches your taste the most.