Baccarat General Information and Odds:

Baccarat (pronounced Bah-kah-rah), its later version, baccarat a un tableau or chemin de fer (aka chemin de fer) – a combination between the two – punto banco, as well as mini-baccarat are all available to play on the internet. Baccarat, which is played in a sequestered area on the floor of brick ‘n mortar casinos, is one of the oldest betting games to become a permanent fixture at casinos. Hugely popular in Asia and South Africa, Baccarat could arguably be called the King of Macau.

In terms of playing rules, Baccarat is one of the easiest casino games to learn. Interestingly enough, Baccarat is a high stakes game suited to high rollers. Could it be due to the ease of play? Maybe, but probably more so, it’s because Baccarat has a long history of attracting high rollers and offers one of the lowest House Edges in the casino. Depending on how many decks are used, the edge can range from 1.01% (banker bet with one deck) to 15.75% (tie bet with 1 deck)

In general, players have the best odds with fewer decks, however, considering that the tie bet has an increasing edge with fewer decks, the differences are very slight. Two factors that can help the lower edge (albeit rare) is a commission on the Banker bet at less than 5% and 9 to 1 odds on the tie bet (as opposed to the standard 8 to 1).

On the internet, Baccarat is mainly played with 6 decks. The cards are automatically reshuffled after each hand, and bet values traditionally range from

In a brick ‘n mortar casino, there can be as many as 14 players and 3 dealers at a Baccarat table. One of the rules of the game is that the dealer shoe rotates from player to player after each hand. As long as the Banker bet continues winning (the player dealing traditionally wagers on the Banker Hand), the shoe will remain with this player, aka the Banker. When the Banker bet loses, the shoe rotates to the next player, who has the option of either assuming the role of Banker or passing it to the next player. Playing Baccarat online in SA – unless you are playing a multi-hand game – it is just you and the dealer. For every hand, you will have the option of wagering on the Banker, Player or Tie bet.

At online casinos in South Africa, the setup is slightly different. Unless playing a multi-player Baccarat game, it will be just you and the dealer. Every game you have the option to either bet on the Banker, Player or Tie hand.

The Banker bet by itself gives the lowest House Edge (1.06% for 6/8 deck games), however, keep in mind that a 5% vig (commission) is charged on all winning Banker bets. While this ups the House Edge for the Banker bet, in correlation with the Player bet (1.24%) and Tie bet (14.44% for 6 decks) the Banker Hand still offers the lowest edge. At a land-based casino, be sure you still have some chips left in your bankroll when leaving the table, for you will have to pay out the dealer your vig. At an online casino, the vig is automatically taken out.

Odds payout for winning Banker bets is 19 to 20 (minus the 5% vig). Odds for winning Player bets pay 1 to 1. Odds for winning Tie bets pay 8 to 1 (9 to 1 in rare cases).

Game Setup and Playing Mode:

Consulting the image below of an online Baccarat table, you will notice that the first step is to choose your bet. After selecting either the Banker, Player or Tie bet, your next move is to select a wager amount. Looking at the table limits posted near the top-left of the table, you will see the minimum wager is $5. After selecting your wager, simply click DEAL let the software play the hand out.

Game Objective and Rules for Online Baccarat in South Africa:

The objective of the game is to get as closest to the value of nine. It is impossible to bust, and the hand values will always range from 0-9. All numbered cards are worth their numeric value (aka pip value), Aces are worth 1 point and all face cards (J/Q/K) are worth 0 points. Hand tallies are calculated by adding the value of both cards. For hands that exceed 9 points, subtract 10 to get the final hand value. To simplify, just reference the righthand integer. For a hand consisting of a 7 and 9, the initial total is 16, making the hand worth 6 points. For hands that do not exceed, 9, nothing else is to be done. For example, a hand consisting of a Queen and 3 is worth 3 points.

If either the Player or Banker has a hand total of 8 or 9, both hands must Stand (no further cards are drawn). If the player’s initial two-card hand is worth 5 or less points, a third card will be dealt. If the player stands (with a 6 or 7), the banker will hit if holding a hand of 5 or less. If the player is obligated to hit (a 5 or less), the banker will either hit or stand depending on the value of the player’s third in conjunction with the value of the banker hand. This is automatically tabulated by the software, and if you are interested in the exact combinations, the odds guru, Michael Shackelford, aka Wizard of Odds, has an excellent chart on his Baccarat page.