The casino game baccarat is a straightforward comparing card game that pits the player against the banker to see who can achieve the highest-value hand. Each round – known as a coup in Baccarat parlance – has three possible outcomes: the ‘player’ or the ‘banker’ can win, or the result may end up as a tie. There are three popular variants of the game, but it is Punto Banco which is by far the most widely recognised version and, therefore, the one that is offered by today’s online casinos. This particular variant of the game is produced by Habanero and has an overall RTP of 98.94% for the banker bet, 98.76% for the player bet, or 85.64% if you go for the tie.
It’s a reasonably pretty version of Baccarat, in my opinion – the entirety of the screen is taken up by a realistic-looking punto banco table with three betting spots for each player, banker, and tie. Each round consists of an initial drawing stage where the player and banker are dealt two cards, each facing up onto the table. Face cards have a value of zero in this game, with all other cards being worth their face value; if the sum of both cards held by either player has a total of eight or nine, no more cards will be dealt during that round. Otherwise, a complicated set of drawing rules is used to determine what happens next, with winning bets settled at even money for the player/banker bets or 8:1 for a tie. The banker bet has a small commission attached, effectively making it worth 95:100 – despite this, it’s still the best option in terms of RTP.
If you haven’t tried Baccarat, this is a great variant to get you started. The game has a huge ‘cool factor’ associated with it too (read on to find out why!), so why not give our free Baccarat demo a play below?
The card game Baccarat was relatively unknown outside of gambling circles for much of the 20th century. However, all that changed when Roger Moore’s James Bond sat down to play at the Achilleion Palace in Corfu during . Bond was already a hugely popular franchise by then, with eleven previous movies already under special agent 007’s belt; the film raised $195.3 million at the box office – equivalent to almost $1.1 billion in today’s money. Theoretically, that would make the film roughly the 40th most popular of all time! Over the next few years, Bond would frequently be seen engaging in a few hands of Baccarat in each of his movie appearances – surely making Baccarat by far the ‘coolest’ casino game of them all! Unfortunately for fans of the game, it was replaced by Texas Hold’em Poker when Daniel Craig’s Bond sat down to play cards in the more recent Casino Royale.
I’ve played several versions of Baccarat at online casinos over the years, but Habanero’s take on the game is undoubtedly one of the best-looking out of the bunch. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to tell this apart from many of the table games produced by their much larger rivals over at NetEnt – even the icons used in the game look eerily similar to those produced by the Swedish super developers. There aren’t really any user-selectable settings on offer though – no quick play option, not even the ability to disable the music and sound effects individually. Still, it has all the essentials you’ll need to enjoy a few coups of Bond’s all-time favourite casino card game!
how to play baccarat
Baccarat Winning Hand
I touched on the complex drawing rules employed by Punto Banco during the opening paragraphs, but it’s now time to discuss this aspect of the game in more detail. Let’s start from the beginning – rounds kick off with the player and banker being dealt two cards, each face up, with aces valued at one, face cards at zero, and all other cards assigned their face values. Should either hand be worth eight or nine after these initial four cards have been dealt, no more cards will be dealt during the current round.
If the player has a total of between zero and five, he is forced to draw a third card. The banker’s decision depends on what happens with the player – if the player does not draw, the banker will do if he has a total of between zero and five. If the player draws two or three, the banker will draw if he has zero through four. If the player draws four or five, the banker draws if he has a total of zero through five. If the player draws six or seven, the banker draws if he has zero through six. Finally, if the player has an eight, the banker will draw if he has a total of zero through two.
Baccarat is played using an eight-deck shoe, which seems somewhat excessive given that the maximum number of cards dealt during any round is just six! This does give rise to some unusual possibilities, however – all six cards might be dealt as the same card, for example, an eventuality that is sometimes offered as a side bet in other variations of the game. However, Habanero hasn’t included any such bets in this particular version.
The betting limits offered in games like this frequently depend on the casino hosting the game. If the casino has opted to stick with the defaults as set by Habanero, you’ll have the option to bet between €1 and €50 on each of the player, banker, and tie, with up to three unique betting spots available for each. Of course, placing three bets that will all cancel each other out is a little pointless, but if you did, then I guess you could theoretically bet up to €450 per round!
Baccarat is still uber-cool, even if Bond now plays Texas Hold’em instead!
Beautifully presented version of the most popular form of the game – there aren’t many Baccarat games with better visuals than this one.
Simple to learn, quick to play, and great fun.
There’s not much to it – don’t expect to stay entertained for more than a few hands each session.
No user-selectable options or side bets – it’s the bare bones necessary to enjoy the game and nothing else.
Baccarat isn’t really my game – I’m much more interested in Blackjack, Roulette, and Poker if I’m being honest. The truth is, Baccarat was entirely designed as a quick method of placing a bet against the house on what is, effectively, little more than a coin flip. If that’s what you are looking for, then this is as good a choice of the variant as any that you will find on the web.