The object of online baccarat
The goal of online baccarat couldn't be simpler: you just have to predict who has the highest hand. It could be 'the player' or 'the banker'. Remember that the player is not necessarily you; and the banker is not necessarily the online casino: these are simply the names given to the two hands. The highest hand for the game is nine – this is labelled a 'natural hand' if it is made of just two cards.
So how does it work?
You can compare baccarat to blackjack in the sense that both are card comparing games: however, baccarat is not based around an element of skill.
There are variations of baccarat online: however, for the sake of this guide, we will focus on the most popular variant.
- Hand valuations
All cards between two and nine match their face value: while all face cards are worth zero points and aces account for just one point.
If you're confused about how the highest hand can possibly be nine when a single card is worth that much, then let us explain. The hand value is actually calculated using the number furthest to the right. So for example, if you hold a hand that consists of two nines then your actual value is eight because 9+9 = 18: meaning the number on the right is eight. You don't have to spend too much time worrying about calculating hands however, because when you're playing baccarat online the software does the job for you.
- Rules for drawing
Cards for internet baccarat are dealt with a pre-set number of rules. This decides whether it is necessary to draw a third card or not. A player will draw a third card whenever his hand value is between zero and five. The player stands when the value is six or seven.
The rules for whether or not the banker draws a third card are a little more complex, however. When a player has only two cards, the banker follows the same rules: meaning he draws between zero and five; and stands between six or seven. If the player has drawn a third card, however, the rules become more complicated:
- In the case of a deuce or three, the banker draws a hand from zero-four and stands at five-seven.
- For a four or five, the banker draws with a hand from zero-five and stands with six-seven.
- In the case of a six or seven, the banker will draw based on a hand of zero-six; and stands at seven.
- With an eight, the banker draws a hand with a value of zero-two; while standing at three-seven.
- As for an ace, 10, nine or face card, the banker will draw between zero and three and stand from four-seven.
So what bet types are available?
If you play baccarat online, you can bet on several outcomes for each hand: betting that your hand will win (with a higher count of points), that the banker will win, or that it will be a tie.
Generally – games vary depending on the online casino you choose – pay-outs will be given at even money odds for the player and banker: meaning you win an equal amount to your wager. The banker's best however, usually comes with a five per cent commission. Tie bets will typically pay out with odds of eight to one. In the case of a natural hand, of eight or nine points with just two cards, there are no drawing rules and the winner is automatically rewarded.
So what skills do you need to win at online baccarat?
As you don't make any decisions with online baccarat then there is no way to impact the value of your hand.
However, there are several baccarat systems that can be used that are fun to try: such as Paroli, Martingale, Labouchere and d'Alembert. However, do not be fooled into believing that any of these systems will change the odds of actually winning the game.