How to Play Online Baccarat

The sophisticated atmosphere surrounding the baccarat table has made it an exclusive game in most offline casinos. The truth is, the game is not at all intimidating and winning isn't limited to an elite few. Online baccarat has made it much easier for people to discover the simplicity and enjoyment of the game.

Baccarat is a European game that originated in Italy in the early 13th century. It quickly spread to France and the surrounding countries before eventually making its way to the US. In most casinos, 8 decks are used and the competition is between each individual person at the table and the house. There are only 3 possible wagering options; you either wager on the banker (house) winning, the individual winning, or that the two will tie. The winner is the person who comes closest to a total hand value of 9, based on the outcome of 2 or 3 cards. Two cards are then dealt for each side. An Ace is worth 1 point; 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings count as zero; and all others are scored at face value. If the score is a 2-digit number, the first digit is ignored and the remaining number is the score. A nine and a four, for example, is a score of 3.

The casino rules determine what happens after the first deal. Usually, the player takes another card if his or her score is 5 or less. The house will hit with a score of 5 or less, but only if his or her opponent chooses to stand. Otherwise, the rules vary based on the 3rd card. When the winner is determined, all wagers are paid out accordingly. The tie bet typically pays out 8 to 1, but is very unlikely. A winning wager on the player usually pays out even, while the house option pays slightly higher but generally carries a commission fee. Payouts and odds can vary depending on the casino, but the winning house bet usually has the best return and the lowest edge, even with the commissions.

If you want to become a baccarat pro, betting on the banker is the best strategy, whether you're playing online baccarat or at a live casino.