Baccarat has been one of the world’s most popular casino games ever since it shot to prominence among the French aristocracy in the 19th century. It was James Bond’s game of choice in Ian Fleming’s novels, and it is available at land-based casinos across the world.
The advent of online casinos has brought baccarat to a new audience, but it can be difficult for newcomers to understand the different baccarat variations. We have broken down the main online baccarat games that you can enjoy:
Punto Banco is the most common form of baccarat. If you see a classic baccarat game at an online casino, it will follow the Punto Banco format. It was created in Argentina in the 1950s, as punto relates to the player and banco is the banker.
It earned that name as it requires players to go up against the bank – the casino – as opposed to one another. In Punto Banco, there are three potential results to each hand: the player bet wins, the banker bet wins, or there is a tie. The dealer issues two cards to the player and two cards to the banker. The hand closest to 9 wins, with aces worth one point and 10s and face cards worth zero.
In a standard game, the banker bet will win 45.85% of the time, and a player bet will win 44.62% of the time. The RTP on a banker bet is 98.94% and it is 98.76% on a player bet, but on the tie (which pays 8/1 or 9/1 depending on the casino) it is just 85.64%.
Punto Banco is typically played on a table with up to 14 players, along with two dealers and a banker, and there are six to eight decks. Virtual baccarat games simply produce results based on RNG software, but this is the format for some of the live baccarat games you find at online casinos.
A specific player serves as the banker throughout the game in this baccarat variant. An auction process is used to decide which player should be the banker. It is awarded to the player that is willing to place the largest bet.
The banker sits next to the dealer, and the players – known as punters – sit opposite. In this version of the game, the banker can only bet on the banker’s hand and the players can only bet on the player’s hand. The total player bets cannot exceed the banker bet for each hand.
Chemin de Fer
This is a fun version of baccarat where players compete against one another instead of the house. The casino will take a 5% commission on winning banker bets for hosting the game.
The banker role is not fixed in Chemin de fer, known affectionately as Chemmy, as it passed from one player to the next with each hand.
This is a very popular baccarat variant at online casinos and live dealer online casinos due to the speed and intensity of the gameplay. It is played for lower stakes and with fewer players, hence the name “Mini”, but it is a fun option at online casinos.
This is a great baccarat variant whereby all banker bet wins pay even money (+100) as opposed to 19/20 (-105). It features a niche rule whereby the banker bet is void if it wins with a three-card total of seven, and there are two side bets: Dragon 7 and Panda 8.
This is a popular baccarat game found at many live online casinos. It is almost identical to classic Punto Banco, but the cards are dealt face down and then slowly squeezed to reveal the result in a bid to build up tension among players.