A Short History of Baccarat in Canada
Baccarat has a history dating back some 600 years and is one of the oldest recorded casino games. Baccarat remains hugely popular to this day among regular casino goers, online players and the wealthy high-rollers, who play this game in private VIP areas of major casinos around the world.
From the 15th century on, the great houses of France and Italy were said to bet vast amounts on games of chance including the earliest predecessors of Baccarat. It is unclear which country exactly begun the game, although with the word ‘Baccarat’ meaning ‘zero’ in ancient Italian, the smart money is on the southern European country as the origin of the game.
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Gambling has long been the subject of bans and regulations for centuries, and it was the famous French king, Louis XIV, who was responsible for banning Baccarat and into ‘underground’ status. This period of French prohibition is thought to have popularised the French rules of Baccarat, ‘Chemin-de-Fer’.
In the early 19th century, Baccarat arrived in Canada and the US with a large number of French immigrants, and quickly spread to gambling parlours, saloons and bars, before becoming a staple and favourite game of land-based casinos. Baccarat was not an instant hit when brought to Las Vegas during the 1950s, as Chemin-de-Fer was a little too complex for many gamblers. Some high-rollers took a liking to this game, though it did not capture the imagination of the North American public until a simplified version was created and introduced to the main casino floor.
Today, Baccarat is considered the most popular online casino game in the world, and it is available in several different variations. Our online Baccarat guide will explain how to play, the rules and strategy of the game and we’ll look at the most common Baccarat variations that are available in quality online casinos.
The Basics of Online Baccarat
The Online Casino and Live Dealer versions of Baccarat is regularly played as the ‘punto banco’ (faster version) of Baccarat. Expect a high betting limits, with either CAD$5 or CAD$10 as the minimum bet. Baccarat is perfectly suited to the Live Dealer environment and it is yet another game favourite among online high-rollers. The dealing rules are complex; however, you do not need to be a pro to enjoy this Live Dealer game. If you can avoid the bad odds of the ‘tie bet’, you are on the right winning track and firmly on the path to winning more often than you lose.
Baccarat Rules not require much from its players. Choose your card and cross your fingers. As a player, you will have to choose between three outcomes:
- whether the dealer wins,
- whether the player wins; or
- if it’s going to be a tie.
Baccarat Card Points Value Explained
In Baccarat, cards have a point value. Cards two through nine are worth their face value (in points). 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings have no point value (i.e. are worth zero). Aces are worth 1 point and no jokers are used. Hands are valued according to the rightmost digit of the sum of their constituent cards. For example, a hand consisting of 2 and 4 is worth 6, but a hand consisting of 6 and 7 is worth 3 (i.e., the 3 being the rightmost digit in the combined points total of 13). Therefore, 9 is the highest possible points value in Baccarat.
The winner is the one who has 8 or 9 card points first., if no-one does, it’s a tie. With a 33.3% chance of winning, anticipation definitely runs high in this online game. Baccarat is a favourite of James Bond 007, a favourite in continental Europe and quickly has become an online favourite of many players.
Online Baccarat Terminology Explained Simply
Baccarat is a relatively straightforward game, and the terminology is quite simple to learn. The collection of basic Baccarat terms below will assist you in becoming familiar with any type of Baccarat game, whether it is the online version or traditional land-based casino one. These terms could be particularly useful when playing Live Dealer Baccarat.
Baccarat – The worst possible hand you can have in Baccarat, a total of zero.
Banker/Player Bet – Betting on the dealer or the player (i.e. not betting a tie).
Baccarat en Banque – A Baccarat variation with two player positions and the casino books the bets.
“Banco!” – A phrase said when a player decides to bet his entire money. “All in” in other words. Also means ‘to bank’.
Carte – A phrase used to request a card from the dealer.
Coup – A round of Baccarat.
Croupier – The Dealer.
Chemin-de-fer – French for “Railroad.” It is a European Baccarat variation where one player plays the bank, deals all the cards, and takes all the bets. It is not common in online baccarat but it can be found occasionally.
Face Cards – Jack, Queen or King of any suite.
House Edge – A term for the casinos’ advantage over the player. No game has a more favourable house edge for a player than Baccarat.
Ladderman – The employee of the casino that oversees the Baccarat table.
Le Grande – The best hand in Baccarat, a 9. See Natural.
Loss bet/Fade – A bet in opposition to the bank’s bet.
Mini-Baccarat – A variation of Baccarat in which a smaller table than usual is used, with less seats. This version has only one dealer, instead of two dealers and a caller.
Muck – Eight card decks are used in Baccarat, for 416 cards in total.
Natural – When the two cards total to 8 or 9.
Palette – A tool used to move cards on the table. Usually made of wood.
Petite – When the card total is 8. See Natural.
Railroad – See Chemin-de-fer.
Shills – A young lady, who works for the casino whose job it is to lure players to the Baccarat table.
Shooter – An alternative name for the Bank.
Standoff – When the banker and the player tie.
Super Pan Nine – Another version of Baccarat.
Tie Bet – To bet on a tie between the player and the dealer.
Online Baccarat Basics
Baccarat can be very exciting with lucrative payouts to be won, it’s no wonder that so many Canadian players want to get involved.
- The ultimate goal for a player to reach when playing baccarat is to hold a hand that amounts to or is as close to 9 as possible.
- In Baccarat, you never want to be holding a hand that totals zero.
- As in Roulette, Baccarat has been a magnet for ‘thinking players’ who like to spend their relaxation time playing online, considering strategies and different approaches, searching to find the “best winning techniques”.
- Unlike Roulette, bets in Baccarat are placed within the frameworks and most of the techniques include manipulation in the rates that rely on the output of the previous game.
Check out the brief and informative introductory guide below to Online Baccarat.
Step-by-Step Guide to Online Baccarat
- Place a bet on either a player’s hand or the banker’s hand.
- Two cards are dealt to both the player and the banker, face down.
- The cards are then turned over.
- At this stage of the game, the total value of the hand is announced.
- If either the player or the banker’s hand reaches eight or nine points, that score wins the game and the game is then considered over.
- In the event that a player’s hand totals between zero and five points, they will be dealt an additional card.
- It is important to remember that there are strict rules regarding the third card. The third card can only be drawn when:
- The banker has three points and the player doesn’t have the eight-point card.
- The banker has four points and the player does not have the zero, one, eight or nine-point cards.
- The banker has six points and the player does not have either the six or the seven-point cards.
- If the banker has seven points then the third card is not drawn.
- If the player has not drawn a third card, then the banker cannot draw one either.
- Tally up the values of your hand. The hand that is closest to, or equaling nine is determined to be the winner.
Basic Baccarat strategy
Just as in Roulette, there is a basic winning Baccarat strategy. As the participant does not make any choices during the gameplay there is not one single optimal strategy, but if you follow these simple rules, you’ll be heading in the right direction;
Don’t ever wager on the ‘tie bet’
The wisest move is to place a bet on either the banker hand or the player hand than on a tie. Placing a bet on a tied hand may pay out a lot more, however, it is significantly much less likely to occur. The tie bet has a massive 15% house advantage, whilst the banker and player bets have a little over a 1% house advantage.
Bet on the house (banker)
The best bet in Baccarat is to bet on the house hand (the banker). The house edge on this bet is less than one percent.
In the long-term, the banker bet is still the best bet to take. In the short-term, however, there is no guarantee that the banker hand will win, and you may enjoy predicting which hand to bet on.
Try free games first
Playing Baccarat is a relatively simple playing task, you may wish to try some free Baccarat games before playing with real money. Many of our recommended Online Casinos for Canadians have Baccarat ‘free play’ options available and this will help you to see exactly how the game is played and allows plenty of opportunity for free practice before placing real money bets.
Live Dealer Casino Baccarat
Canadians can now play Live Dealer Casino Baccarat in the comfort of their own homes, or as they are out and about, on the go. Playing Baccarat in a Live Dealer Casino is an exciting way to get the real atmosphere of a bricks and mortar, land-based casino whilst you can quite literally be at home in your favourite lounge chair.
When you play a Live Dealer Casino Baccarat game, you’ll see a video feed from a casino. Hands are dealt from a real deck of cards by a real dealer and everything works precisely like playing live, except you place your bets with a mouse, or the slide of a screen on your smartphone or tablet. The Online Casinos are available in mobile-friendly formats for both Android and iOS Devices.
With the technological advancement of higher-speed internet, significantly-improved mobile devices, blindingly swift network speeds and even quicker computer systems, Live Dealer Casino Baccarat games are now a reality for the vast majority of online players.
The game was until just a short time ago played by high-roller, tuxedo clad players in a Baccarat pit can now be played by pyjama-clad players in their own homes, as they chat to the Live Dealer Casino’s Baccarat croupier.
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How to Choose your Favourite Online Baccarat Game
Choosing your favourite online Baccarat game isn’t an easy task, but we hope the options outlined in this guide have given you some inspiration to have fun with.
Encompassing the key features of online Baccarat games, our guide should give you everything you need to choose a good online casino that suits your personality.
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