Live Baccarat Rules
Baccarat is a rather simple online casino game, which is the reason why so many high stakes gamblers enjoy it. The accent is on action rather than strategizing and figuring out optimal plays, making if fast-paced and very exciting to play.
Unlike blackjack, baccarat is not played against the house in a traditional sense of the word. Players bet on one of two hands, a player or a banker, and depending on which hand wins, they receive a payout or lose their bet. Players can also bet on a tie, meaning that both hands will end up having the equal value, in which case they receive an 8 to 1 payout.
Live baccarat online is very similar to the one played in a brick and mortar casino. There is a live dealer at the table dealing out cards and, depending on the game type, there can be just one or more players at the table.
The standard baccarat rules apply in live baccarat games:
- The live game is played using 8 standard decks of cards
- At the start of the hand, players place their bets on either a banker’s hand or a player’s hand. Players can also bet on a tie (known as Standoff)
- Both hands then receive two cards
- Cards from one to nine are counted according to their face values; tens and face cards have a zero value. Aces are valued as one.
- When the hand total is in double digits (when third card is dealt), only the second digit counts, e.g. for total of 16, the final value is 6.
- When players bet on the bank, they will usually be taxed around 5% on their winnings. This is because betting on the bank provides better odds overall.
- The hand closest to a total of nine (9) wins.
Additional Cards Rules
In a majority of cases, both hands will only receive two cards and their totals will be compared. The hand with the total count closest to nine will be declared the winner by the dealer and all players betting on that hand will be paid accordingly (if there are more players). The rest of the bets are lost.
However, there are certain situations when third card is dealt as well to either the player or the bank (or both, in some instances)
For the first two cards:
- When either of the hands has a total of 8 or 9, no additional cards are dealt out
- When player’s total is less than 5, another card will be dealt out always
- When player does not have to draw, bank will not draw on 6+ total and will draw on 5 or under
When the player receives his third card, the bank will or will not draw, based on the following rules.
- When the bank’s total is 2 or less, bank will draw regardless
- If the total is 3, bank draws unless player’s third card was an 8
- When the bank’s total is 4, another card will be drawn if the player was dealt 0, 1, 8, or 9 as his third card
- If the total is 5, the bank draws if the player’s third card was between 4 and 7 (inclusive)
- If the total is 6, the bank draw’s it the player’s third card was 6 or 7 only
- Finally, when the bank’s total is 7, the bank will always stand
These rules may seem a bit complicated, but after you’ve been playing for a while, you will get a hang of it. Additionally, when playing online, you can always have rules nearby and check them out as often as you like until you’ve learned them by heart.
Live Baccarat Playing Tips
Since there isn’t much you can do to influence a live baccarat game as a player, there aren’t that many strategy tips one can use to increase his winning odds. However, there are still some tips you should observe when playing in a live casino:
- Make sure to know all the rules. Although the dealer will keep track of the game, it is still better if you know the rules as well to avoid confusion and enjoy the game better.
- Know your odds. The house advantage in baccarat is 1.17% when you are playing the bank and 1.36% when betting on the player. However, most casinos will charge a commission when you are betting the bank, negating the difference.
- Never play Standoff. Although it may seem attractive, offering 8 to 1 odds, the house edge is, in fact 14.12% on this bet, making it the worst bet you can make at the tables.
Live Baccarat Pros & Cons
Live baccarat can be very exciting and fast-paced game, especially when played with more players at the table. It can create an exciting gaming atmosphere, adding an interesting social element to the mix.
Although initially the game of high stakes gamblers, online live baccarat nowadays can be played for relatively small stakes and you can find the games offered on nearly all of our recommended Canadian casinos.
One downside is the fact that it is the game of relatively small edges and it doesn’t really involve much strategy, so it may not provide as much excitement as you will be winning many bets and losing many bets, with prolonged winning streaks being rather rare.
If you are looking for a game that will provide you with some fun without too high of a risk, definitely give live baccarat a shot. While you will not be able to negate the casino’s edge, it is small enough to let you enjoy the game without having to worry about it too much.