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Baccarat, also known as Punto Banco, is extremely popular in Canada and in James Bond films. Whereas Las Vegas is mainly about slot machines, Macau, and Canada, are mainly about baccarat. You can also play baccarat at the Canadian online casinos, while every online casino has some baccarat machines and gaming tables with live baccarat.

In the casino, you play a somewhat simplified version of the original baccarat game. There is no need to bid for who the banker will play or adjust a palette at the table. You simply bet on a win for the players (punto or players), a win for the banker (banker or banco) or a tie. Live casino providers have added some side bets over time.

Below you will find the explanation of the best baccarat strategy. This baccarat strategy is easy to learn and remember.

Baccarat Game Explanation

You don’t have to play baccarat yourself. All you have to do is place a bet. You can bet on the players (punto or players), the banker (banker or banco) or a tie. You bet on what you think will be the outcome of the baccarat game played by the dealer.

The house rules are fixed. For every possible situation, there is a description of what the dealer has to do. The players (punto) and the banker (banco) must get as close as possible to 9 points. The ace is worth 1 point, the pictures are worth 0 points and the cards with a number are worth the value of the number. For example, 6 hearts is worth 6 points.

After placing the bets, the dealer puts two cards down to both players (punto) and the bank (banco). Next, the house rules apply. This means that players (players or punto) are dealt an extra card if their score is between 0 and 5.

Whether the bank (banco or banker) gets an extra card depends not only on the point total of the bank but also on the point total of the players. On the right, you will find a table with all possible situations and what the dealer should do in that case according to the baccarat house rules.

Whoever comes closest to 9 points wins. Are the players and the banker equally close to 9 points? Then it’s a draw.

What Bets Can I Place in Baccarat?

Basically, you have the choice of betting on players, the bank or a tie. If you bet correctly, this will give you the following payouts:

  • One time your bet if the players win.
  • 0.95 times your bet if the bank wins.
  • 11 times your bet if it ends in a draw.

A banker’s win earns 0.95 times the stake because a 5% commission is deducted. This is the commission you normally pay in baccarat to play banker.

What Is the Best Baccarat Strategy?

You pay that commission for a reason. The odds are highest that the banker will win. That chance is 45.86 percent. The probability of the players winning is 44.62 percent. And the chance of a draw? That is 9.51 percent.

The best bet is on banco (also called bank or banker). This gives you the highest winning chance. The high odds also more than make up for the 5% commission. The payout percentage for a bet on the banker is 98.83 percent. That means a house edge of 1.17 percent. That’s not much, even in an online casino. A bankroll is therefore one of the best bets you can make in the casino.

The punto bet, the bet on players, has a slightly higher payout (you don’t pay 5% commission), but a slightly lower chance of winning. This brings the house advantage to 1.36%. The payout percentage is therefore 98.64%.

Finally, the bet on a tie. You get paid 8 times your stake if you bet on a tie and the game actually ends in a tie. However, the odds of a tie are slim. Therefore, the casino has a house edge of 14.36%. In the UK, a draw often pays out 9 times. That makes the casino’s house edge slightly more acceptable, but still high: 4.85%.

Side Bets

In the live casino, we see more and more side bets popping up. These are extra bets that you can make in addition to the regular game. The only condition for placing a side bet is that you also bet on players, bankers or ties.

In general, side bets offer high payouts, but not exactly a favourable house edge. Online baccarat is no different.

Four side bets are about the first cards dealt with the players and the banker by the live dealer:

Player pair: The first two cards dealt by the players are a pair, i.e. two cards of the same rank. This gives you 11 times your bet.

Banker pair: The same, but for the banker. The payout is 11 times your bet.

Perfect pair: Both the player and the banker get a pair. This pays 25 times your bet for one pair and 200 times your bet for two pairs.

Either pair: at least one pair comes on the table, no matter for whom exactly. This will pay 5 times your bet.

Payout percentages range from 86.29 percent for either pair to 91.95 percent for the perfect pair. That’s a house edge of 8.05 percent to 13.71 percent. That’s high. Way too high. Experts, therefore, advise you to disregard these side bets.

Side Bets on Player and Banker Bonus

With these side bets, you bet on the outcome of the game. The payouts depend on the difference you win. You bet on players or the banker.

A natural win is a win immediately after the cards are dealt. This gives you one time your bet. Is there a third card involved? Then the payouts vary from one time your bet for a win with a 4-point difference to up to 30 times your bet if there is a win with a 9-point difference. It makes a big difference whether you bet on a player bonus or a banker bonus. The house edge on the banker bonus is 9.37 percent. This is considerably higher than the house edge on the player bonus which amounts to 2.65 percent.