Online Baccarat Strategy and Guide

Online Baccarat Strategy and Guide

Baccarat is one of the simplest Live Casino games to play, and yet it is often one of the least understood.

Unlike poker or blackjack, where the player can influence the outcome of their bets, a baccarat player simply chooses their preferred betting option (player/banker/tie). They then watch the cards being dealt and see whether they win or lose. It’s a game of pure luck: there are no decisions for the player to make and no level of expertise is required.

How to play Baccarat

The Baccarat games are very fast-paced, with each game lasting barely a minute from the start of betting until the winning hand is determined.

The hand with the closest total to nine wins. It’s impossible to exceed nine, as 10 will be subtracted from any total higher than nine.

For example, if you are dealt an eight and a nine. Your total score will be seven (17 minus 10).

There are some intricacies to the game involving circumstances when third cards are dealt and different odds for the banker and player. Don’t worry, however, because these are described in the following sections.

Placing a Bet on Baccarat

In standard baccarat, the three main betting options and corresponding payouts are:

  • Player 1:1
  • Banker 0.95:1
  • Tie 8:1

At first glance, it would appear strange that the odds on the banker winning are less than the player winning, in what is a game of luck.

However, the rules around third cards, which are explained below, differ between the banker and player. This results in the banker having a slightly higher chance of winning, which is reflected in the respective payouts. 

Baccarat Card Values

  • Aces are worth only one point.
  • Cards 2 through 9 are worth their numeric value (in points).
  • The face cards (jack, queen and king) and 10s are worth zero points.

What is the Third Card Rule in Baccarat?

If either the player, the banker or both have a points total of eight or nine after two cards, the round is finished and no third cards are dealt. This is known as a ‘natural’ eight or nine.

In other cases, the dealing of a third card depends on the values of the first two cards dealt to either the player or the banker, based on the following criteria:

The Player’s Hand:

If the player has a total of six or seven, a third card is not dealt.

If the player has a total of five or less, they draw a third card.

The Banker’s Hand:

If the banker has a total of two or less, they draw a third card.

If the banker has a total of three, they draw a third card unless the player’s third card is an 8.

If the banker has a total of four, they draw a third card if the player’s third card is 2 through 7.

If the banker has a total of five, they draw a third card if the player’s third card is a 4, 5, 6, or 7.

If the banker has a total of six, they draw a third card if the player’s third card is a 6 or 7.

If the banker has a total of seven, they stand.

The table below illustrates this in a clear format:

Baccarat: third card rule. When to Draw the Third Card in Baccarat
Baccarat: third card rule

It is this difference in the third card rule for the banker and the player that gives the banker a slight edge, and thus slightly shorter odds on winning the round. 

Baccarat Betting Strategy

Given that baccarat is purely a game of luck, there is no real strategy on which option to place your bet.

The banker has a slightly higher chance of winning, but that is reflected in the odds. Both the payouts for banker and player are at a low margin, so the house only has a slight edge and betting on either is a reasonable play.

Whilst the tie may look an appealing price for a larger win at around 8:1, in reality the statistics show this happens once in every 10 or 11 hands on average, so the player is not getting great value for their money.

When playing online, you will usually see the amount of money and number of bets placed on each of the three betting options within the image of the table, so you can view the selections the other players are choosing.

How to Analyse Baccarat Statistics for Better Wins

Online baccarat tables will show the history of previous rounds, giving players an opportunity to see various winning streaks and trends. They will reset once the cards in the shoe are replaced.

However, you should be aware of the fact that the streaks bear absolutely no significance on the next hand.

For example, say the banker has won the last six hands; the probability of them winning the next hand would not be any different than if they had lost the last six hands.

If the last two rounds both ended in a tie, it makes no difference to the chances of a tie occurring in the next round.

However, players will look at these trends and may even bet based on the fact one option is on a hot streak or one option is overdue a win. However, in reality, neither of these facts would justify placing a specific bet based on those trends.

As in any game of chance, you will see a normal random variance in results and winning streaks.

Baccarat Side Bets: How to Use Them to Your Advantage

In some baccarat variants, side bets are offered, which will be available alongside your main bet. These must be placed before any cards are dealt.

The most common of these are ‘Player Pair’ and ‘Banker Pair’.

With these bets, you are betting on the first two cards dealt to the player or the banker being a pair.

The payout for each one is 11:1 if successful. You can bet on both during the same round if you wish.

As with other popular table games, online casinos have been able to add several variants of the standard game of baccarat. Many of these tables start with betting available from as low as €1.

One example of this is ‘No Commission Baccarat’, in which the payout for the banker is paid at 1:1 (instead of 0.95:1 as in regular baccarat). However, in this game, if the banker wins with a score of six, the payout on winning bets is lowered to 0.5:1.

Unique Variants of Baccarat at the Marathonbet Live Casino

There are also numerous ‘Speed Baccarat’ tables, in which the pace of the game is even faster, as all the cards are initially dealt face-up.

With Lightning Baccarat, Dragon Tiger and more, as well as the exclusive Salon Privé tables, you’ll find the Marathonbet Live Casino has all the games you need to enjoy your baccarat experience.

You can find more information on Baccarat here, whilst the Live Casino section of the blog includes rules, strategies, and guides for all your favourite games.