Baccarat is a casino game developed in France during the 15th Century that has stood the test of time and grew to become one of the most popular card games of all time. This simple card game compares the hands played between the ‘banker’ and the ‘player’ to produce one of three predicted outcomes.
Players can then place a bet on one of these three possibilities:: the Banker or the Player winning, or a Tie/Draw.
There are several different types of baccarat that players can enjoy, all of which include some form of variation of the basic form of gameplay. We will be covering the main baccarat variants that you can expect to find at the best online casinos.
We will also provide you with an overview of which online baccarat variations you should choose based on your level of experience.
Most popular Baccarat variants
When people mention baccarat at an online casino, they would generally be referring to the American version, or Punto Banco, which will be covered further below. On the other hand, some players may be familiar with baccarat as James Bond’s preferred casino game in movies such as GoldenEye and Dr No., which is the Chemin de Fer variant.
Even though there are many types of baccarat, the rules will only vary slightly. So there is no need to be afraid as these different variants are closer than you may think. This means that players that utilise a reliable baccarat strategy can still use this across all of these online baccarat variants.
Chemin de Fer
Chemin de Fer is one of the oldest recorded baccarat variations that spread from France to the UK and the USA. It uses six decks of cards and players can bet against each other. It is unique in having each player take a turn to act as a banker, which is a reason why it is not a popular as an online casino version of the game.
The most popular and played baccarat variant, Punto Banco features easy rules where the casino will always be the dealer and the player can bet on the banker, themselves, or for a tie. Sometimes also referred to as American Baccarat, this version is by far the most common at online casinos.
Another vintage baccarat variation from France, Baccarat Banque is also called ‘à Deux Tableaux’ which translates to ‘two tables’. This reflects the special gameplay where the banker plays against two hands on a table with 7 seats at each end. The banker plays against all the players, the latter which can choose if they want to challenge the dealer.
No Commission Baccarat
When playing traditional baccarat, the dealer collects a 5% commission with every Banker winning bet – this does not happen in No Commission Baccarat. There is one exception though – if the Banker wins with any value of 6, which only happens roughly 5.26% of the time, the Banker takes a commission of 50%.
EZ Baccarat is a modern online baccarat variation that is played in the same way as the regular game but it takes no commission on the standard Banker Line bets. It replaces this with one specific winning Bank hand called ‘Dragon 7’, which is a hand that is made of three cards and totals 7 points. Players can also place side bets during the base game for Dragon 7 and another specific bet called ‘Panda 8’, which is the same as the former but with a total of 8 points.
Some online casinos provide European Baccarat, which is different to the American variant as players can choose whether they want to stand or draw if they get a value of 5. The Banker is also allowed to decide whether or not to draw an additional card. In this game, the Banker’s hand is financed by the house – if the Banker stands at £1000 and one player places a bet of £700 and another wagers £300, then no other players will be allowed to place bets during that round.
Baccarat Squeeze is one of those types of baccarat games that was developed with enhanced entertainment in mind. This game is the same as the classic version of baccarat in its rules and gameplay, with the only difference being the way in which the cards are dealt – the dealer gives out cards face down and slowly folds them over to build up tension and excitement.
Being similar to standard Punto Banco, Dragon Tiger is Asian baccarat variant that is viewed as being a simpler version of the classic. As opposed to being handed out two cards each, both player and banker receive one single card.
As a casino game, baccarat is very simple and anyone can play any of the different baccarat variants that are described above. This card game still retains a top spot at online casinos, mainly due to very favourable odds, minimal betting requirements, and the diversity of variants available.
Furthermore, there are different baccarat tables on the market that support different types of players, betting limits, and gameplay styles.
Big Table Baccarat
The biggest baccarat table is the one that is most commonly found in brick and mortar casinos, with a capacity of 12 or 14 players that can play a game at one go. Players will sit in an almost full circle, with a professional and more serious tone to gameplay. Tables that cater for 14 players are numbered from 1 to 15 with the omission of the number 13, which is not allowed as it is associated with bad luck.
American Baccarat can also be enjoyed on smaller mini baccarat tables where gameplay is often more relaxed. This makes mini baccarat tables the preferred choice for players that have an average bankroll size and are looking for tables with fast gameplay and reasonable limits. These small tables are generally limited to around 7 players during one single game.
A midi baccarat table is designed as being a balanced compromise between large tables and mini ones, allowing for up to 8 or 10 players. On this table, players turn the cards up themselves so it is less formal when compared to big table baccarat. Nonetheless, midi baccarat has a slower turnaround when compared to the mini table, with betting limits resting somewhere in-between.
Which Baccarat Variation should you choose?
Now that we have covered numerous online baccarat variations and the different types of baccarat tables that one may come across, it is time to discuss which of these baccarat variants you should be looking at.
As already discussed, the rules of baccarat are mainly the same across different variations with some slight differences that can impact potential odds and betting options. There are some key things to remember when it comes to playing baccarat:
- The three most common bets are Banker, Player or Tie
- House edge on Banker is 1.06% – the lowest of any bet in the game
- Next best house edge is on Player at 1.36%
- The Tie wager is generally the most risky with a house edge of 14.4%
Baccarat is an online casino table game that does not simply rest on odds, but also requires a good strategy and careful planning.
Baccarat variants with the lowest house edge
House edge is an important term for players to remember when playing casino games, as this gives the percentage return that a casino will make over time across all the bets placed on that game. The lower the house edge for a specific bet, the better your return will be.
All the different online baccarat variations have similar bets that carry a different house edge.
|Variant||Lowest Possible House Edge|
|EZ Baccarat||1.02% on Banker|
|Punto Banco Baccarat||1.06% on Banker|
|Baccarat Banque||1.06% on Banker|
|Baccarat Squeeze||1.06% on Banker|
|European Baccarat||1.17% on Banker|
|Chemin de Fer||1.17% on Banker|
|No Commission Baccarat||1.46% on Banker|
|Dragon Tiger||3.73% on Dragon and Tiger Bets|
Baccarat variations that payout the most
When it comes to baccarat payouts, there are several factors that players should keep in mind. Firstly, despite the fact that the ‘Player’ and ‘Banker’ bets both have very favourable odds, each time the players wins a ‘Banker’ bet they will have to pay a 5% commission on their winnings. This does not apply for No Commission Baccarat which explains why it has a higher house edge on that bet.
The best payouts for each of these baccarat variants will come from the more risky bets which are the Tie bets for any number, excluding any additional side bets.
|Variant||Highest Possible Payout|
|Punto Banco Baccarat||9:1|
|Baccarat Banque||8:1 or 9:1|
|Baccarat Squeeze||8:1 or 9:1|
|European Baccarat||8:1 or 9:1|
|Chemin de Fer||8:1|
|No Commission Baccarat||8:1|
The best variants to try when you’re new to casino
The prospect of different baccarat variations can be quite overwhelming, but you shouldn’t be afraid to test out some or all of them. If you’re a beginner who is interested in playing and winning at baccarat, we suggest the following variants:
- Punto Banco is the most basic and simplified form of baccarat, making it ideal for beginners
- EZ Baccarat is another simple variant that only includes two additional side bets
- When possible, opt for mini baccarat tables
- Avoid risky bets such as ties
Top Tip: start developing and practising a strategy to help you improve your gameplay.
Types of Baccarat to play if you’re a pro
Experienced players looking to perfect their game can choose from one of the more challenging online baccarat variations.
- Dragon Tiger Baccarat is ideal for pros, with two side bets that have high payouts – Dragon 7 at 40:1 and Panda 8 at 25:1
- Baccarat Squeeze is designed for players that are used to nail-biting action – not a variant for the fainthearted
- Big Table Baccarat games are better suited for pros, and most of the baccarat variations listed above can be found on such tables
Top Tip: Baccarat pros should focus on different side bets.
Baccarat variations you should avoid
We believe that all of these baccarat variants should be tried at least once, but there are instances where you should avoid certain variations of this game.
- If you’re used to playing the traditional and simple version of baccarat, then you should avoid European Baccarat and Chemin de Fer
- Players that play with limited bankroll should avoid No Commission Baccarat and Dragon Tiger since these have less favourable odds
- If you’re unsure about which speed you’re comfortable with, try playing on a midi baccarat table
Top Tip: Try different sized baccarat tables to see what you’re comfortable with.