Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games and a favorite among high-stakes players. Online baccarat moves at a much faster pace and has proved popular among players of all stakes. Baccarat is a simple casino to game to play and has a small house edge, making it a popular table game at most casino sites.
Now it’s time to decide where to play baccarat online. Below is a list of the best baccarat casino sites based on my own experiences.
Best Online Baccarat Sites
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Introduction: Baccarat is a table game in which two hands are dealt. One hand is dealt to the “player” position and another hand is dealt to the “banker” position. The unique baccarat scoring system is then used to determine which of those hands is considered the winner.
As the player, you bet on the outcome of the hand. You can either bet on the banker, the player or the tie. Winning bets on the player pay out even money, winning bets on the banker pay out even money minus a 5% commission and winning bets on the tie outcome pay out 8 to 1.
Note: The “player” position is actually played by the house. The players in the game do not receive cards at any point. When you play, you are only betting on which of those two positions will win the hand.
The first step in playing baccarat for real money is to find a betting site that offers the game. This shouldn’t be a problem because the vast majority of online casinos host at least one variation of baccarat.
There are plenty of online baccarat sites, but it is important to choose carefully. Always stick with baccarat websites that are time-tested and proven to pay out winners and host fair games. Any of the brands mentioned here will treat you well.
As long as you choose a reputable baccarat website, your funds will be safe and you will be paid if you win.
Beyond the safety considerations, there are a couple of other factors that you can consider to further narrow down the list and determine which are truly the best online baccarat sites.
Online Baccarat Bonuses
Baccarat bonuses are designed to give you an incentive to sign up and deposit. Baccarat offers look nice at first glance but you need to be careful before accepting any promotion. If you read through the fine print, the odds are baccarat cannot be used in conjunction with most welcome bonuses.
The vast majority of online casino bonuses are reserved for games with higher house advantages.
The problem for baccarat players is the game’s low house advantage. Out of all the games at the casino, baccarat has one of the lowest house advantages. Many sites restrict the game because it is likely that you’ll clear the bonus without giving anything back to the house. The reason online casinos are able to afford such large bonuses in the first place is because you expose yourself to the house advantage while clearing the bonus.
Always read the fine print and 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 Baccarat-friendly bonus 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.
Online Baccarat Game Variations
There are a few different versions of online baccarat – such as Chemin de Fer, Punto Banco, and Baccarat en Banque – but you can expect most baccarat sites to offer just the standard variation.
Some baccarat websites offer a different variation called “mini-baccarat. ” This game is nearly the same as regular baccarat except it is played at a smaller table and moves at a slightly faster pace.
Mini baccarat was first introduced at brick-and-mortar casinos to make the game accessible to casual players. Mini-baccarat was introduced to move faster, seat more players, and make it financially feasible for casinos to spread the game at lower stakes.
But overall, mini-baccarat and standard baccarat are the same. One just seats more players and moves a little faster. There are no real differences in the general idea of the game. All the same rules and wagers apply in both versions.
Where you might see some differences in the game at various baccarat sites is in the commission charged. The casino takes a commission on any winning bets on the banker’s hand. This is commonly set at 5% but it can be lower at some baccarat sites. You might also see slightly different pay out odds for the tie bet.
The odds for a tie are typically 8 to 1 but at some baccarat sites you might find the odds can be a little higher or a little lower. It is not very common, but a few online baccarat sites might also offer bets on specific ties, such as 5-5 or 3-3.
Live Dealer Baccarat Sites
Live dealer baccarat sites pairs you with a real dealer using webcams and streaming video technology to connect players with live online baccarat dealers. It’s just like playing in person except it all happens online.
Live dealer baccarat websites are a nice option for those who prefer land-based casinos but don’t live close to any major casino. Another advantage of live dealer baccarat online is that it cuts down on travel, food and lodging costs. It gives you all the advantages of live casino play without any of the expensive downsides.
And last of all, live dealer baccarat uses real cards instead of digital representations of cards. If you have a hard time putting your faith in the random number generators that power online casinos, live dealer baccarat is the answer.
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 as you watch via streaming video. This is the closest you’ll get to playing Baccarat games in person.
Find Reputable Baccarat Casino 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.
Online Baccarat Software
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.
Mobile Baccarat Casino Sites
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 casino 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.
Baccarat Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
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 to play baccarat for real money.
One other easy way to narrow down the list of potential baccarat sites is to take a look at their accepted deposit methods. Ideally, you’ll find a site that accepts your preferred deposit method. Credit and debit cards are the most common banking options for players in all parts of the world.
- 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.
Baccarat Betting Tips and Playing Strategy
The entirety of baccarat strategy can be summed up with one simple rule:
Always bet on the banker!
The banker bet in baccarat is one of the lowest house-advantage bets in all of gambling. Under standard rules and a 5% commission, the house advantage on the banker bet is just 1.06%. The player bet is slightly higher at 1.24% (still not too bad). The tie bet is absolutely terrible and should be avoided at all times. The house advantage for tie bets exceeds 14% in most cases.
There are no other real strategies that you can use to do better at baccarat. The simple game rules rule out any other strategies. The only things you can do are bet on the banker and keep a close eye on your bankroll.
Some people go to great lengths to detect patterns in past hands of baccarat. It is not uncommon to see players keeping meticulous track of every hand. Pattern tracking may fulfill some need to feel “in control” of the game but remember, past results NEVER indicate future outcomes.
The reality is that there is no real strategy to beat the house edge at online baccarat. Because the house edge is so small, it is certainly possible to go on a good run and bank some decent winnings. As with any casino game, it is always advisable to practice smart money management.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.