Online casinos have really helped players become familiar with new games and the one which arguably benefited the most from the iGaming industry is baccarat. The expansion of this simple but exciting card game has been very impressive over the last decade and it is safe to say that it is now one of the most played table games at online casinos.
This means that a lot of new players are enjoying baccarat and while the game is very straightforward and easy to learn, there are some things that can slip by most users and can have a big influence on the overall results.
A good example of this is in the available bets and there are some which should be avoided by experienced players in order to not damage their playing bankrolls.
Breaking down the bets
The game is influenced by the available bets and this is where the player has to decide. Baccarat has four games available. The banker bet is the first and it comes with a house advantage of 1.06%, making it one of the smallest edges in a casino. This makes it the best bet to place in the casino game but it is not that far ahead of the player bet, which gives the house an advantage of 1.24%.
It is important to keep in mind that winning bets on the banker side will result in a 5% fee taken by the house but even with this string attached, it remains the best bet to place in baccarat.
Compared to other live casino games, the house edge is a bit smaller for both the banker and the player bets than the advantage found in single-zero roulette or in blackjack without following the correct strategy.
Players can also choose to wager on a tie bet. This is a bet with a very high house edge and should be avoided. While it can differ among casinos in different markets, the advantage the house has on a tie bet is about 14.4%. In the United Kingdom, the pay is increased to 9:1 for a tie bet and this means that the house edge drops to about 4%. Not playing this bet despite the potential to win big is the recommended move and many new players are fascinated by the chance to win a big prize and they forget to look at the actual numbers involved.
The fourth bet available in baccarat is the pair bet. This is not available in all versions of the game but has been gaining quite some popularity among online players because it offers more options to the already existing card game. The pair bet is basically a side wager on either of the two hands getting a pair and it normally pays 11:1. Unlike in poker, pairs and combinations don’t matter in the regular game of baccarat as the only goal is to get as close to 9 as possible.
However, with this bet, the game adds a poker element and it comes with the biggest payout in the game, if successful. The bad part is that by considering the odds and the prize, this bet comes with a house percentage of 10.36% and while it isn’t as bad as the normal tie bet, it is still significant enough to be avoided.
Popular baccarat variants and odds
There are several popular variants of live baccarat online that come with slightly different odds and should be considered as alternatives to Punto Banco, the most common version found in casinos.
EZ Baccarat is the first to stand out as it has no commission for bets placed on the banker side. The rules remain pretty much the same but banker bets will pay 1:1 and not 19:20. This lowers the house edge even more and makes it 1.018% by betting on the banker side. The reason is that this variant comes with an additional charge which makes every three-card hand of a 7 a push, adding basically a 4.912% commission on every banker bet.
For even money on banker bets, the Super 6 version of baccarat also pays 1:1 on this wager but when the banker wins with a 6, the payout is halved. This game can also be found as Punto 2000 and it actually has a higher house edge on banker bets of 1.46%.