So, you’ve finally decided it’s time to give online baccarat a shot. Congratulations – you’re making a wise decision. Baccarat has one of the lowest house advantages in the casino and it’s super easy to play. That’s a rare combination indeed. Usually, the simplest casino games are the worst for the player. Baccarat is the lone exception and that makes it a prime candidate for the “best game of all time” award.
Now it’s time to make your next decision: where to play baccarat online. Don’t know where to start? No problem. The first order of the day is to give you a list of the best baccarat casino sites based on my own experiences.
I’ve searched the internet high and low in my time as a gambler and let me tell you, there are some really good and really bad places to play real money games. I’ve played at wonderful casinos and downright scary casinos. I’ve won money, lost money, gotten paid and gotten stiffed. The worst experiences always came when I failed to do my due diligence. Don’t make the same mistakes I did; get started on the right foot with a quality operator.
You can always go it alone, but it never hurts to take a friend. Please read on for valuable advice about choosing and evaluating online baccarat sites.
How to Find Reputable Baccarat Sites
There are hundreds of options out there and they all claim to be the best. The following guidelines will help you narrow down the list to find a baccarat website that works for you. These considerations come in no particular order but I consider them all important. Any high quality operator will have no problem covering all the most important things a player needs.
Safety is a big deal when it comes to real money baccarat online. You can’t see the dealer so you just have to trust everything is on the up and up. If that sounds scary, worry not. Even real world casinos rely on trust. Dealers are very good at manipulating a deck of cards and in the end, it comes down to trust no matter where you play.
It is my opinion that trust is earned, not given. It’s hard to put your faith in an operator that you’ve never dealt with or even heard of. So my first piece of advice for choosing a place to play is to only stick with big-name casino sites. If you’re not sure how well-known a website is, run a search on Google. The big brands pop up all over the place. You know a site is popular if a search yields hundreds of reviews and news links.
For example, open a new tab in your browser and run a search on the name of any of the casino sites recommended above. You’ll find thousands of reviews published on legitimate review websites, news items and maybe even an official Facebook page or Twitter account.
Now, go run a search on some random casino like the “El Dorado Palace Casino.” Yes, that’s a real gambling site that I’d never heard of until about five minutes ago. The search returns lots of results, but look closely and you’ll see mostly weird garbage pages and a few discussion threads started by people asking if anyone knows anything about this casino. Nothing against El Dorado Palace, but that’s not what you want to see.
Big name casinos have more money and make more money. This means they are less likely to encounter financial difficulties, more likely to offer valuable promotions and have more to lose if they decide to go rogue. Big name casinos have more money to throw at software, invest in security and pay for a good customer support team. It’s a no brainer; always stick with well-known gambling brands.
Baccarat doesn’t require the most advanced computer software in the world, but I like to see nice, clean graphics and smooth animations. You could say these are frivolous factors, but high quality software does at least indicate some degree of professionalism. It’s always scary to play a real money game at a site that looks straight out of the 90s.
Most baccarat casino sites today give you the option to download and install the software as a standalone program or access the game through your web browser. Both options are fine but I prefer the full download because it grants access to a more games if you like to switch it up. The full download also tends to run better in terms of graphics and performance.
No download baccarat games are best if you run a Mac, Linux or are visiting via some mobile device. Just visit the casino’s website and choose the “instant play” option to get started in your browser. You don’t have to download anything but you can still play for real money.
Like any of us needed yet another reason to glue our noses to our phones. Yes, mobile baccarat casinos put the game in the palm of your hand. Any iPhone, iPad, Android or other tablet will do the trick whether you’re hiding from your boss in the bathroom or waiting in the airport lobby.
Most gaming websites have a mobile-friendly no download option that works using your device’s browser. Just direct your browser to the casino website and log in with your username and password. You’ll get the pared-down version designed to fit the smaller screen with buttons that are easy to click.
There are also a few non-US casinos that have actual apps you can download through the App Store or Google Play store. These apps aren’t available in the United States, but our readers from other parts of the world do have the option.
Speed of Withdrawals
One of the most important things to consider when looking for a place to play real money baccarat online is how quickly withdrawals are paid.
Some brands tend to pay winnings by check or wire transfer. If you stick with a big name casino site, you can expect to get your money within a couple days of asking for the withdrawal. This may sound slow, but it’s good by today’s standards. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of dealing with sites that take months to pay out and that is no good.
If you use an e-wallet such as Skrill or Neteller, you should expect payments within days. The big UK brands all have an excellent reputation for paying quickly.
Online Baccarat Bonuses
Baccarat is one of those games that don’t play nicely with bonuses. You see, the problem is that baccarat is too good for the player. It has such a low house advantage that casinos fear you’ll clear the entire bonus without giving up much of your hard earned cash to the house advantage. Casinos are more comfortable giving out bonuses to high house advantage games like slots and keno.
Whenever you sign up at a new casino, check the terms of the bonus. In all likelihood, the terms will tell you that baccarat cannot be used to clear the bonus. If you do find a bonus that works with baccarat, consider yourself lucky. Those are hard to come by.
Any bonus that does work with baccarat will come with wagering requirements that you must meet before you can withdraw the bonus or any winnings that derive from wagering the bonus. These requirements are expressed in terms of “rollover.”
A rollover of 20x, for example, means that you need to wager 20 times the deposit and bonus amount before the bonus money is released. This does NOT mean you need to lose that much, only that you wager that much. There’s a difference.
The purpose of the rollover is to keep people from signing up, depositing, getting the bonus and then cashing everything out without playing a single hand. That’s just not a sustainable business model. Casinos are only interested in giving bonuses to people who are actually there to play. Additionally, forcing you to meet the wagering requirements exposes you to the house advantage and helps offset the cost of the bonus.
Deposit bonuses are great for slots and keno players but not so much for baccarat fans. My advice is not to spend too much time worrying about bonuses. You’re already playing a low house advantage game. Just focus on finding a safe casino and enjoying the occasional baccarat bonus they throw your way from time to time.
How to Deposit to a Baccarat Casino
Hopefully I’ve given you all the tools you need to find and join a safe baccarat casino site. Now it’s time to make a deposit and hit the tables. You’ll need to fund your account if you want toSkrill (formerly Moneybookers)
- Prepaid cash voucher such as Ukash
- Prepaid debit card
- Electronic funds transfer
This is by no means an exhaustive list but it does cover the most popular methods for depositing. Casino sites are always coming out with new ways to help players fund their accounts.
Live Dealer Baccarat
Competition breeds innovation, and the online gambling industry is rife with competition. One of the most interesting developments to come from the industry in recent years is the advent of live dealer games. If you miss the real casino experience, live dealer baccarat sites have something new you’ll have to see to believe.
Live dealer baccarat takes a real life dealer, a real card table, real cards and puts them all in front of a live webcam to bring real world action to your computer. You can join in the comfort of home but still play with a human dealer. You use your mouse and keyboard to place your bets and chat with the dealer and other players.
After you place your bet, the dealer shuffles and deals the cards in the real world as you watch via streaming video. This is the closest you’ll get to playing at a casino without actually filling up the car with gas and driving to the nearest casino. The games move a little slower when played with live dealers but it’s well worth it.