What is Baccarat?
Baccarat, directly translated as ‘zero’, is a card game in which players hold two or three card hands. It is a very popular casino game, and online baccarat has also been enormously popular.
The objective of the game is to hold a hand that equals, or comes closest to, the numeric value of 9, and bets can be placed on either the dealer, the player, or on a tie. Cards 2 through 9 are taken at face value, face cards are valued at 0, and aces are valued at 11. The total of the cards in hand is calculated, and the tens figure subtracted. In other words, it is only the rightmost number that is taken into account. The dealer or software will calculate this. If a player is dealt a hand worth 8 or 9 points using only 2 cards, this is an automatic win. If his value is 0, he has baccarat, and loses. The dealing of a third card is dependent on the type of baccarat played.
Types of Baccarat
There are three main versions of baccarat. These are the American baccarat, which is also referred to as Punto Banco, the Chemin de Fer, and the Baccarat Bangue. The latter two are the more historic versions of the game, which allowed a certain amount of skill to be at play as the dealing of the third card was up to the player, much like in blackjack, and not pre-determined.
The American baccarat is, of course, the one that will be played in the American online casinos. Here, the play of the third card depends on a pre-set rule. Quite simply, if a player has a hand value of between 0 and 5, he draws a third card. If he has a hand value of 6 or 7, he doesn’t draw another card. And if he has a hand value of 8 or 9, then, as already mentioned, he has an automatic win.
Live Online Baccarat
Online baccarat, while available in its traditional forms, offering both real money and free games, has moved one step up to include live baccarat. This has become enormously popular. In live baccarat, the player can still join a game from the comfort of his own home, but he watches a dealer deal the cards in real time over a live streaming feed. One can even chat to the dealer and the other players, giving this game a more real life feel than traditional online baccarat. The online casino may be downloaded and played from there, but flash-based games are also available instantly without a download.
There are a few differences between traditional online baccarat and live online baccarat. The live version is a little slower as it takes time to deal all the cards and place the bets, although the placing of bets is usually limited to 15 seconds a player. While some may prefer the faster online version, the live one allows for the real time feel. Also, the betting limits of live online baccarats are much higher, and while you can bet low as well, it affords the possibility of a high bet, which traditional online baccarat does not allow for.
Online baccarat, in any form, has become a very popular online casino game.