Live Dealer Baccarat
Baccarat is often touted as the game of the rich. Once the elite game was adopted by the land-based casinos, many wealthy people selected it for their preferred pastime. In the beginning, the game offered relatively high table limits, so only selected people could afford to play baccarat. The game’s roots can be traced as far back as the 14th century.
Nowadays, baccarat is way more accessible than it was in the past. You do not need to be a tuxedoed rich man to sit at a baccarat table. In fact, you do not even need to leave the comfort of your home as the game is available at many virtual casinos.
Filling the gap between virtual and land-based casinos, software companies utilized the latest technologies to develop live baccarat games. Live dealer baccarat is specially designed for people who are looking to enjoy authentic casino experience without the need to travel to brick-and-mortar gambling venues.
Even though other games such as roulette and blackjack appear to be more popular among casino mavens, baccarat is also worth the attention due to its house edge that is set at 1.06%. Another reason to join baccarat tables is that the game offers a great diversity of gaming options.
Many people are afraid of playing baccarat as they think that it is a complicated game. This card game, indeed, features certain specifications, but once you are familiar with them, you can stop depriving yourself of the elite-style gambling fun that baccarat brings with it. The standard variation of Live Baccarat uses 8 decks of 52 cards that are dealt from a shoe.
The objective of the game is to predict whose hand will score closest to 9 – the one that belongs to the “Banker” or the one that is assigned to the “Player”. It is important to know that all cards from 2 to 9 use their face value, the face cards and 10s have no value at all, and the Aces count as 1 point. In baccarat, only the value of the cards matters, the suits are irrelevant.
Another specification in baccarat is that the hand’s value is calculated by dropping the tens digit. For example, if your hand is constructed by a 7 and 8, the total amount is 15, but baccarat counts it for 5. If the Player or the Banker are dealt a hand worth 8 or 9, no more cards are dealt. Such hands are called “naturals”.
The Tableau of Drawing Third Cards
If the Banker and the Player receive hands worth 5 or less, they might be dealt another card under the so-called Third-Card Rule. There are different situations in which the Player and the Banker are allowed to draw a third card:
- If the Banker’s hand is worth 2 or less, the hand is dealt a third card.
- If the Banker’s hand totals 3 and the Player’s third card is worth anything but 8, the Banker receives a third card.
- If the Banker’s hand has a value of 4 and the Player’s third card is different from a 0, 1, 8, or 9, the Banker is dealt a third card.
- The Banker will receive a third card in case its hand is worth 5 and the Player’s third card is not a 0, 1, 2, 3, 8, or 9.
- If the Player’s third card is 6 or 7 and the Banker’s hand equals 6, the latter will receive a third card.
However, you do not need to know all these specifications by heart, as the dealers in the live casinos are well-trained to run the tables according to all the game rules.
Main Betting Options
The Live Baccarat’s betting system is far from complicated. Generally speaking, players have 3 betting options – to bet on the Player’s hand, the Banker’s hand, or a “Tie”. The hand that is of a higher value is the winner.
If you place a bet on the Banker’s hand and it turns out to be the winning one, you will rake a 1:1 payout. It is important to mention that the casino imposes a 5% commission on all winning bets placed on the Banker’s hand. In that sense, the payout is slightly reduced to 0.95:1 on the Banker’s hand. The house edge on the Banker’s hand is 1.06%. The Player’s hand is a less favourable option to bet on, but no commissions are applied to the winnings. This bet comes with a 1.36% house edge and a payout ratio of 1:1.
There is another situation in which the Banker’s hand might be of the same value as the Player’s hand. Such cases are referred to as a “Tie”. You can place a bet also on the “Tie”. The payout that comes with this bet might slightly vary between casinos. In most cases, you will enjoy either an 8:1 or a 9:1 payout. The first payout ratio has 14.36% house edge, while the latter payout ratio offers a significantly lower house edge of 4.85%.
However, if you placed a bet on the Banker’s or the Player’s hand and a Tie occurs, your wager will be refunded and only stakes on the Tie are winning in the particular round.
When playing live baccarat multiple players can place bets on the Banker’s hand, the Player’s hand, or the Tie.
Live Baccarat Side Bets
To keep the adrenaline pumping, software providers included different side bets. These bets are optional, but if you like to break the conventions of the game, you might consider them as an interesting option. We would like to pay attention to some of the most common side bets, including:
- Pairs – players need to predict if the Player’s or the Banker’s first two cards will make a pair. In case your bet wins, you will bag a payout of 11:1. It is also possible to place a bet on either hand making a pair. This bet comes with a 5:1 payout. The payout drastically escalates to 25:1 in case of forming a hand in which both cards are of the same number and suit.
- Big/Small Side Bet – this is a side wager on the total number of the dealt cards. If the total number of the cards is 5 or 6, the Big Bet wins. If the total number of the cards is 4, then the Small Bet wins. Small side bets come with 1.5:1 payout compared to the Big side bets that offer a 0.54:1 payout.
- Dragon Bonus – this side bet is mostly to be found at the Mini Live Baccarat tables. By placing this bet, enthusiasts are trying to predict which hand will be of a higher value – the Banker’s or the Player’s hand. The payout that comes with this bet depends on the points of the hand and whether a third hand was dealt. The maximum payout is for a three-card hand worth 9 points.
- Sum Bonus – this bet is placed on the total amount of the Player’s and the Banker’s final hands. The payout varies based on the points which the two hands collect at the end of the game. The bet pays out in case the combined points of the two hands are either less than 5 or more than 14.
It is easy to spot if a certain live baccarat game features side bets as the table’s layout usually has a designated betting area for side bets.
Placing a Bet in Live Baccarat
It is extremely easy to place a bet when playing live dealer baccarat. The card game comes with a user-friendly interface. Players can choose the value of the chips they would like to bet. Live baccarat enthusiasts should be informed that there is a certain timeframe in which they need to post their bets. In case the time is over, no more bets will be allowed and players need to wait for the beginning of the next round.
Additional Buttons Facilitating Betting Activity
Software providers included some buttons to help players place their bets and speed up the pace of the game. The “Repeat” button allows players to repeat all bets from the last game. This button is available only after the first wager is placed.
The “Double” button is used to double all your bets at once until you reach the maximum limit at the table. By using the “Undo” button, you can easily remove bets. Some software providers also included a “Confirm” button, which is used to approve all of your bets before you continue playing. If you place the stakes you wish and do not click on this button, your bets will be invalid.
Live Baccarat Interface Features
Live Baccarat tables feature well-organized layouts that come with myriad handy functions. There might be some slight differences between the features of the user interfaces provided by the various software companies. In the following lines, we will discuss the basic features, which are included in most of the user interfaces.
- Bet Statistics – it shows the number of players who placed a bet on a particular betting area and the total amount of the stakes. This information is diligently arranged in a table and marked with different symbols corresponding to the bets placed on the Player, the Banker, and the Tie.
- Chat – the live chat box provides you with the opportunity to get in touch with other players and the dealer. You can count on the croupier for friendly assistance and professional attitude.
- Scorecards – this function provides information regarding the last winning and losing bets on the Banker, the Player, or the Tie. The statistics is based on the hands drawn from the current shoe and it is organized in roadmaps. Scorecards are cleared when a new shoe comes at the table.
- Game History – provides information regarding all game rounds you played and the results you scored.
- Settings – players can adjust the volume of the sound, the quality of the video stream, scorecard options, and some other general settings. All the changes you make will be saved to your account.
- Multi-Game Play – this function is designed for players who prefer action-packed gaming sessions. By clicking on the “+ Table” button, you can join one more table that hosts a game of your choice. The screen will be divided into two parts.
Live Baccarat Table Layout
The live baccarat tables attract players’ attention due to the simplified rules and table layouts. When playing baccarat in a live casino, you will notice that the table is not cluttered with different betting sections. There are only 3 betting areas corresponding to the game’s betting options – the Player, the Banker, and the Tie.
After all bets are placed, the croupier deals the cards, placing them face-up (excluding Evolution Gaming live baccarat where cards are placed face-down). Initially, two cards are drawn for each outcome – the Player and the Banker. It is important to mention that the Player is always the first to get the cards. After the round is played and the winner is announced, the dealer puts the cards in another shoe from which no cards are drawn.
Depending on the software provider, baccarat tables might feature certain differences. Under the virtual table where the action takes place, you might find some extra features. For example, Evolution Gaming included the bet statistics and the scorecard at the bottom of the interface.
Usually, players can find the table limits pinned to the upper left corner of the interface. If you hover the mouse over them, you will see a drop-down menu that provides extra information regarding the different bets and the payouts associated with them.
Prominent Live Baccarat Software Providers
Software providers are the staples in the iGaming industry. Without them, there would be no virtual casinos that would offer such rich selections of gaming products. In fact, these games offered by the gambling websites are provided by software developers under their consent.
When it comes to the live dealer casinos, these are expensive to maintain as the action takes place in real time and it is streamed from real purpose-built studios or land-based casinos. In addition to that, live casinos are equipped with advanced technologies to ensure that players will get nothing less but first-class gaming experience.
Evolution Gaming Live Baccarat
Established in 2006, Evolution Gaming is one of the leading companies that offer live casino gaming products. The company is focused on replicating the land-based casino experience and offers it in its live casino games. The software developer has one of the most extensive line-up of live gaming products that come with a high-quality video stream.
The company’s live baccarat brings the classy spirit of the game thanks to the unique décor it offers. Evolution Gaming has always been one of the companies that emphasize on the fairness of the games. What is more is that the software supplier provides its versed live baccarat fans with the so-called scorecards, that help players to keep track of the cards that have been dealt.
Lucky Streak is a software company that was founded in 2015. Even though we cannot say that the company has a vast experience on the market, the fact that its live casino games are among the most sought-after speaks for the provider’s success. One drawback is the tight selection of games it offers, but we hope that we will see more live gaming products developed by Lucky Streak in the near future.
Lucky Streak’s live baccarat is eye-catching due to its crisp graphics and a variety of side bets. The company offers single and multi-player viewing modes. If you set the single viewing mode, you will be able to see only your bets on the table. The multi-player viewing mode allows you to see the bets of up to 7 other players. The game’s general rules apply in Lucky Streak’s live baccarat.
Ezugi is another leading software company that has been existing since 2012. The developer brags about its unique live casino portfolio, which is quite extensive. Ezugi offers a complete line-up of live blackjack, roulette, poker, and dice games. All live dealer games that the company offers are streamed live from purpose-built studios.
Ezugi’s live dealer baccarat is worth the attention as it offers a cinematic quality of the graphics and fully customized user interface. The game is played with 8 decks and the tables are managed by friendly and attractive dealers. What is more, Ezugi’s live baccarat can be played via various portable devices without the need to download additional applications.
Playtech has come a long way since it was established in 1999. The company is at the forefront when it comes to live gaming products as it offers a first-class quality of the video stream. When playing a live game powered by Playtech, you should have no doubts that it is safe.
The company provides its live dealer solutions under a license issued by the UK Gambling Commission – one of the most trustworthy and reputable authorities on the gambling market. Playtech is also regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, which is well-known for its strictness.
Playtech offers live baccarat tables that are governed by the basic rules of the game. The games are hosted by well-trained professional dealers, which means that mistakes are unlikely to happen. Players should be informed that Playtech’s live baccarat tables offer a plethora of side bets and also a variation of the game that features a progressive jackpot.
Since its inception in 2008, Visionary iGaming has been offering a plethora of gaming solutions for web-based casinos. The developer’s gaming products are embraced by a good-enough number of reputable and long-standing websites. The company has a narrow selection of live dealer games, but the basic casino table games are covered – blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.
Visionary iGaming offers 2 variations of baccarat, including the standard live baccarat and Super 6 Baccarat. The company worked hard to develop a user-friendly interface. We need to note that the dealers are chatty and friendly individuals, who will never refuse to provide you with the information you need. Side bets are also not cut out of the betting options, even though these are significantly reduced to Dragon Bonus and Pairs.
Popular Live Baccarat Variations
Software providers developed different variations of this classic game in order to provide a unique gaming experience. Baccarat enthusiasts should not be afraid of trying them, as general rules still apply. In other words, if you know how to play baccarat, you will not face any problems while playing the different variations of the game. In the lines below we will pay special attention to some live baccarat variations and their specifications.
- Live Dragon Tiger – it is a fast-paced Chinese-inspired variation of baccarat, in which each hand is dealt only one card. Players who manage to predict which hand will be of a higher value win the game. Instead of a Banker and a Player, in Live Dragon Tiger you bet on the Dragon’s or the Tiger’s hand.
- Live Speed Baccarat – it features the same game rules, but the action takes place at a rapid pace. Players have just a few seconds to place their bets. In case a third card needs to be drawn, this happens without any pauses.
- Live Baccarat Squeeze – squeeze is a special technique of revealing the cards’ value. In Live Baccarat Squeeze, the croupier deals the two-card hands face-down. Once all cards are on the table, the dealer turns them face-up by applying the squeeze technique to the Player’s or the Banker’s last dealt hand. According to this technique, the dealer reveals only the symbols along the card’s edge, adding extra excitement to the game.
- Baccarat Controlled Squeeze – as its name suggests, Baccarat Controlled Squeeze uses the squeeze technique of revealing the value of the cards slowly. What is interesting here is that cards are placed face-down on a special glass panel and players take the functions of the dealer and squeeze the cards.
- No Commission Baccarat – this variation of the game does not charge the 5% commission on the winning bets placed on the Banker’s hand. To compensate for this loss, the variation of the game features a reduced payout on side bets placed on the Banker’s hand winning on 6. The standard payout that comes with this side bet is 1:1, but No Commission Baccarat offers a payout ratio of 0.5:1.
- Mini Baccarat – it is another version of baccarat that adopted the same general rules. Mini Baccarat’s most distinctive feature is that it offers just one seat at the table. In other words, only one bettor can play at a time. Mini Baccarat tables usually offer different side bets.
- Progressive Baccarat – it has the same rules applicable to standard live baccarat. Live Progressive Baccarat offers all the main betting options plus a lot of side bets. But the most interesting aspect of the game is that players can qualify for a share of the big prize, which is the progressive jackpot.
Tips for Playing Live Baccarat
Baccarat was considered to be the pastime of the nobility for a long time. If you had the chance to enter a French casino during the 19th century, you would see only well-dressed people around the baccarat tables. That is quite unsurprising having in mind that the outcome of baccarat is mostly based on luck. However, we would like to provide you with some useful tips that will not influence the outcome of the game, but will facilitate your gaming experience:
- Avoid Tie Bets – the house edge that is associated with the Tie bet is ludicrous – 14.36%. In addition to that, the chance for the game round to result in a tie is less than 10%.
- The Banker Bet is the Most Favourable – the best bet is the one that comes with the lowest house edge. In live baccarat, bets on the Banker’s hand feature just 1.06% house edge. Despite the 5% commission that the house will pinch you with, the bet on the Banker’s hand comes with the most favourable odds.
- Manage Carefully Your Bankroll – even though this might sound like a cliché, you should set an amount of money that you are ready to lose at the live dealer table. Do not spend more than you can afford on a wild goose chase.
- Steer Clear from the Gambler’s Fallacy – as we already mentioned above, baccarat is based on luck and therefore, yields completely random results. In other words, do not believe that if a certain outcome occurs more frequently than others, it has smaller chances to happen in the future.