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Casino Game: Baccarat

On line casino game baccaratBaccarat is not a widely known game beyond the world of casinos and on line casinos, but it is a staple of those who like casino card games, being especially favoured by high-rollers in Vegas and Monte Carlo and the other centres of the world casino industry. In popular culture it is famous as being the favourite game of super-spy James Bond, the hero of the novels by Ian Fleming. It is a simple game to understand, with a player playing against the dealer with the nominal aim of reaching a total of nine with two cards. However, given that you can bet on all three possible outcomes, the dealer winning, the player winning and a draw, it renders this ‘aim’ of the game quite moot. The real aim of the game is to wager on the outcome between two competing hands of cards. The house edge in Baccarat is only about 0.5% but, given that the banker also takes a percentage of hands won by the banker, the overall house edge is generally about 1.2%, which compares favourably with many other casino games.


The rules of Baccarat are quite simple but there are variations geographically. Other than different betting options, one of the main differences is in when a player may draw a third card. There is now a popular version of the game called Mini Baccarat which is essentially the same as the main casino version but has few players and allows for faster betting.


Over time many different versions of Baccarat came into being. However, the main version that is played in casinos in the English-speaking world is Punto banco. In this version the banker plays both hands in accordance with fixed rules, in contrast to historic versions of the game where the ‘player’ hand was dealt to specific individuals. In this version the player simply observes the dealing of the hands and bets accordingly. The name Punto (player) and banco (banker) reflects the two hands that are dealt. Another popular version of the game is Chemin de Fer, which was the original French version of the game and is still played there today. In this version the role of banker rotates around the table and the banker deals separate hands to all the players. In this version, and also in another variation called Baccarat Banque, a crucial difference lies in the fact that players can make choices themselves regarding the play of the hand, rather than just observing the dealer. Baccarat can be played on casino sites as well as live casinos.


This game is essentially one of pure chance, where you are betting on the simple choice between two hands. Because of this there are limited opportunities to adopt useful strategies. However, there are possibilities to improve your chances in your betting patterns with, for example, opting for the tie-bet being well known to favour the house significantly.


Baccarat is a very old game. It is believed to have been first played in Italy in the 15th century before spreading to France where it became a favourite game of the nobility and was called Chemin de fer, meaning ‘iron road’, because of the iron box in which the cards were kept. This French version of the game spread further to England and then to South America. It was a relative late-comer to North America, only being offered in casinos in the U.S. in the late 1950s. But it has since become very popular and is now played in almost every major casino in Europe and the U.S. 

View all casino sites that offer baccarat.

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