Top Real Money Baccarat Casinos
Real money baccarat is a card game where players go head-to-head with the banker to reach a combined total of nine without ever exceeding it. Here, our experts look at the best casinos offering the game, the rules, and more.
- Top Real Money Baccarat Casinos
- What Is Real Money Baccarat?
- How To Play Real Money Baccarat
- A Guide to the Rules of Baccarat
- The Different Types of Real Money Baccarat
- The Best Real Money Baccarat Betting Systems
- Baccarat Playing Tips
- Real Money Baccarat Mobile Play
- Play Baccarat for Free
- Baccarat Glossary
- Real Money Baccarat Conclusion
Top Real Money Baccarat Casinos
What Is Real Money Baccarat?
Baccarat is a type of casino card game where the player and the banker draw cards to try and reach the total value of 9 without exceeding it. The land-based version is traditionally played around an oval table, using six to eight decks of cards shuffled together.
Real money baccarat is basically the same game played online, requiring you to used your actual funds just as you would at a land-based casino. The gameplay in this case is determined by a random number generator (RNG), which plays both the part of the dealer and of the banker.
Differences Between Real Money Baccarat & Free Baccarat
Of course, the main difference between these two versions of baccarat is implied in their names, but there’s more to it than just one being ‘free’ and the other being ‘for real money’, as you'll see below:
How To Play Real Money Baccarat
If you know the rules of the game and are ready to play, then all you have to do is follow these simple steps.
Step 1: Create an account. First things first – you’ll need to register with a site that offers online baccarat. Check out our list of the 20 best legal and licensed casinos above if you're not sure where to start from.
Step 2: Deposit money. Ideally, you should set a budget before you play to ensure that you’re depositing enough to play a couple of rounds without exceeding your financial limits.
Step 3: Choose your favourite version of baccarat. As we explore below, there are many different versions of the game you can play online. Most online casinos have multiple variants, including live dealer baccarat.
Step 4: Place your bets. This card game allows you to place bets on the player or the banker winning (never both at the same time), on a tie, or on either one or both of them getting pairs (like two Aces).
Step 5: Enjoy the game. Baccarat is usually a quick affair, which makes it pretty exciting. Remember that just because you’re playing for real money doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy it.
A Guide to the Rules of Baccarat
As previously mentioned, in baccarat the player and the banker go head-to-head in trying to get two or three cards whose combined value is 9, or as close to 9 as possible (but without exceeding it). The person who manages this wins, but there are a few rules you need to keep in mind.
Let’s start with the basics. In real money baccarat, not all cards are worth the same.
- Cards with a value of two to nine (from any suit) have the face value pictured on the card.
- Cards with a value of 10, as well as the Jack, Queen, and King cards, have a value of zero (also known as baccarat).
- The Ace is worth one.
The First Draw
When the game begins, the player and the banker will each get a first draw of two cards. Each player and the banker will need to add up the value of those two cards.
When the value of the two cards adds up to 10 or more, only the second digit will be taken into consideration. So, if you get two sevens, your score is 4 (7 + 7 = 14, so 4); while if you get two fives, your score is zero (5 + 5 = 10, so 0). Nevertheless, if the combined value of the two cards is eight or nine, then this is considered to be a natural. The hand that gets a natural wins.
The Third Card
If neither the player nor the banker manage a natural upon the first draw, then one or both players may draw a third card. This, however, can only be done when the player or the banker’s hand has a combined value of zero to five. So, if the value is six or seven, both must stand with their cards.
Over and above what we just looked at, there are a number of other rules related to the player’s third card, and how their value can force the banker to also take up a third one if the banker’s original hand was not a natural.
Although you will be playing against an RNG, it’s important to remember that the system can be both the dealer and the banker – in other words, you can bet on your hand, as well as that of the banker (the computer).
- Bets on the banker: When you bet on the banker, you are saying that you expect their hand to win. If you bet on the banker and the banker wins, the bets are paid 1:1, but a 5% rake is deducted from your bet. This is because, mathematically speaking, the banker has a slight edge over the player, and so is more likely to win.
- Bets on the player: When you bet on the player, you are saying that you will win the next round. Such a bet pays 1:1, and there is no rake.
- Bets on ties: When you bet on a tie, you are predicting that both the player and the banker will have the same amount of ‘points’ by the end of the game. In this case, neither the banker nor the player loses. This type of bet pays 8:1.
- Bets on pairs: You can also bet on the banker or the player getting pairs. This means that you are envisaging one or either of those parties will get a pair of cards (like two Queens or two Twos). This type of bet pays 11:1.
- Bets on multiples: You can also place bets on either the player or the banker winning, while simultaneously placing bets on either or both of them getting pairs and tying.
With online baccarat, the RTP (Return to Player) score changes depending on who or what you bet on. The numbers are as follows:
The Different Types of Real Money Baccarat
When first entering the world of baccarat, you may be confused by the many different versions you will come across due to the game's long history. Even so, the majority of these variations all work on the same principles and follow the same rules. Below we take a closer look at the most common of these variants you'll come across online.
- Punto Banco
As the commonest form of the game played in land-based and online casinos today, the Punto Banco is often just referred to as simply ‘baccarat’. Indeed, the rules we explore throughout this article are exactly for the Punto Banco. In this form of the game, the casino is the bank at all times, and is responsible for paying both the banker’s hand and the player’s hand depending on who wins based on a ‘tableau’. The latter is French for board, but also means ‘set of rules' in this particular context.
- Chemin de Fer
Appearing in the late 19th century, this version of baccarat is particularly popular in France, where it originated. The name ‘Chemin de Fer’, which is sometimes shortened to ‘Chemmy’, literally translates to ‘railway’, and comes from the fact that this version is much quicker to play than the original.In essence, the aim of Chemin de Fer is the same as that of the original baccarat. Players here also traditionally sit around an oval table, and in the real-life versions of the game, there will be a dealer and an inspector present.
Nevertheless, in the Chemmy, the six decks of cards are shuffled together by the players themselves, and the banker is selected from among the players. The banker still has to make a wager, while all the other players form a team and receive two or three cards between them. Traditionally, the first banker is the person sitting to the right of the dealer, and the role continues counter-clockwise throughout the game.
- Baccarat Squeeze
This very particular version of the beloved table game was born in Macau, China, but has become popular all across the globe. In this version of the game, the banker and the player get two cards each, and the value of each card remains the same as in that of the traditional version. Nevertheless, the cards here are dealt face down, and this is where the ‘squeeze' comes in.In this case, the squeeze refers to the cards being slightly bent to reveal only a part of their value, but without showing the actual card number. It's also good to note that the process in which the cards are revealed is determined by the wagers of each hand. So, the hand with the highest wager attached to it will have the cards squeezed first, then the hand with the second highest wager, and so on
When such squeezes happen, you can tell the cards apart by remembering the following:
- A face card (King, Queen, Jack) is easy to identify.
- A card that appears empty when squeezed is usually an Ace.
- A card that has two symbols on the side but no middle symbol is usually a four.
- A card that has two symbols on the side plus a symbol in the middle is usually a five.
- A card that has three symbols on one side is either a six, a seven, or an eight. To know which one it actually is, you can rotate the card upright and squeeze it again: an eight will have two middle symbols, a seven will only one, and a six won’t have any.
- A card that has four symbols on the side is either a nine or a ten. A nine has one extra symbol in the middle, while a ten has two.
All this is meant to help you determine whether you’d like to take a third card or not, while also keeping in mind that any hand total exceeding nine is not usually helpful.
- Baccarat Banque
As the name suggests, this is another French variation of baccarat, with ‘banque’ being French for ‘bank’. And, indeed, in this game, the banker has a more permanent position in the game than, say, in Chemin de Fer. The banker, which is chosen according to who has made the largest wager or else depending on who was the first person to put their name down to play, remains as such until they voluntarily retire or else have exhausted all their funds and cannot play anymore.
- Mini Baccarat
As the name would suggest, this is baccarat but on a smaller scale. The main difference is the table it is played on, which is smaller. This game is usually played using eight decks of cards, and the dealer always represents the banker.
- EZ Baccarat
With EZ standing for ‘easy’, EZ Baccarat is a very popular in the bay area of San Francisco, though it’s now a staple at many online casinos. In this case, there is no 5% commission on the banker’s hand, as the casino protects its edge by stopping certain players from winning too much or too often.
- Video Baccarat
Last, but certainly not least, is the video baccarat, which is basically traditional baccarat played on a computerised machine. This version of the game can take many different forms, including No Commission Baccarat, which mostly follows the rules of the original but without the 5% rake when betting on the banker.Like all other online casino games that are not live dealer games, real money baccarat is overseen by an RNG that shuffles and deals cards. The computer plays both the role of the dealer and the banker.
The Best Real Money Baccarat Betting Systems
Betting systems are not necessary to win, and they can’t guarantee a win, either. Even so, they do help you make a plan of how to approach gameplay and budget your finances.
The 1-3-2-4 System
The 1-3-2-4 System works on the premise that you place up to four successive bets on the banker’s hand being the winning one. The way this works is that it limits your total losses per round to 2.05 units while boosting the potential profits to 9.5 units.
Bet 1: Place a bet of one unit. If this wins, proceed to Bet 2. If it doesn’t, restart from Bet 1.
Bet 2: Place a second bet of three units. If this wins, proceed to Bet 3. If it doesn’t, you would have made a loss of 2.05 units. This is calculated by subtracting the one unit you won in the first round from the three unites you lost in the second, and then adding the 5% rake on the Banker’s hand. This is the maximum you can lose per round on this system.
Bet 3: Place a third bet of two units. If you win, move on to Bet 4. If not, go back to Bet 1, happy in the knowledge that you have made a profit of 1.8 units.
Bet 4: Place a fourth bet of four units. If you lose this, you make a profit of 1.7 units; but, if you win, you make a profit of 9.5 units.
The Martingale System
Another betting strategy you can use when you play baccarat online is the Martingale System. Here, players keep doubling their bet every time they lose, but go back to their original betting amount whenever they win. The idea is that no matter how much you lose, one winning bet will recuperate all losses – plus, get you a (small) profit.
So, let’s say your first bet is of £/€10 on an even-money bet, and you lose. You then make another bet of £/€20, which you once again lose. By the third even-money bet of £/€40, you win. In this way, you will have lost £/€30 but won £/€40, leading to a profit of £/€10.
The Fibonacci Betting Strategy
The last on this list is the Fibonacci Strategy, which is popular with many players. In this system, you use the Fibonacci sequence, which starts off as follows: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and so on. The numbers are derived by adding the previous two numbers (so 0+1 = 1, 1+1 = 2, 1+2 = 3, and so on).
Here, you will need to divide your budget up into units and then play them in that sequence: Bet 1 is one unit, Bet 2 is one unit, Bet 3 is two units, etc.
The one thing you have to remember is that there are different rules you have to follow when you win and lose. When winning at the start of the sequence, go back to the beginning (i.e. betting one unit); but when winning well into the sequence, say at 21 units, then go back two units every time you win. When you lose, keep moving up one unit until you win.
Baccarat Playing Tips
Baccarat is not a game of skill, but purely a game of chance and luck. In fact, you shouldn’t believe anyone or any site that promises to share any infallible systems that will help you win at real money baccarat. But, of course, there are some things you can do to spare yourself losing too many funds.
- Use betting systems wisely: Betting systems help give you direction, but they can quickly eat up your budget. So remember to think things through before taking one up.
- Don’t be superstitious or look for patterns: The chances of you winning are always the same as the chances of you losing, whether you’ve just joined the game or have been playing for hours. Cards have no memory, blowing on them won’t change their value, and being superstitious has no scientific basis.
- Manage your money well: To ensure you don’t end up in the red, always set a budget, divide it into units, and never exceed it. It also pays to save a percentage of your winnings every time.
Real Money Baccarat Mobile Play
Moreover, all online casinos – including the ones mentioned above – have mobile casino sites can easily be accessed directly from your mobile phone’s or tablet’s browser, meaning you can easily play while on the go. Some casinos also have downloadable apps.
Play Baccarat for Free
Playing free online baccarat is super easy. All European players have to do is access an online casino and play the ‘demo’ version of the game in question. This won’t require you to sign up, log in, or deposit any money. UK players can also play demo versions of baccarat on online casinos, but due to UK legislation, you will still need to register (but not deposit).
Baccarat has a long and storied past, so it’s only natural that there are many terms that only make sense within the context of the game. Below, we've laid out the most important and frequently used words. Knowing them is not necessary to play, but it always helps!
- Baccarat : In the game, ‘baccarat’ is a synonym for zero. This happens when the combined value of two cards is zero.
- Banker: In baccarat, the banker isn’t the dealer, but rather the opposing side of the player. The dealer is only there to deal cards.
- Coup: A round of play, usually determined from the shuffling of the cards to the point the cut-card is drawn.
- Cut card: A cut-card is basically a card which is chosen to divide the deck into two. Once the cut-card is drawn, that coup has to end and the cards need to be reshuffled.
- Go bank: To place a bet large enough to match that of the banker.
- A natural: When the player or the banker get two cards whose combined value is of eight or nine, that person wins the game. This is considered be ‘a natural’ win. If the value of eight or nine is achieved after the third card, then the player still wins, but it’s not a natural.
- Pair: When you look at a baccarat table, you will see that you can place bets on a ‘Player Pair’ and a ‘Banker Pair’. In this case, a pair is two cards from any suit worth the same value (such as two Sixes).
- Punter: Another word for ‘player’ in baccarat. Basically, anyone who is not the dealer or the banker and is playing is called ‘a punter’.
- Shoe: The plastic or wooden box in which the shuffled decks of cards are placed in. The dealer, banker, or player then takes cards from this box.
Real Money Baccarat Conclusion
Baccarat is an easy and exciting card game that has given many generations of gamblers hours of fun. Thanks to modern technology, you can now experience the same excitement at online casinos in Europe, the UK, and elsewhere.
Practically all online casinos carry one or more versions of real money baccarat. You’ll find a list of the best real money baccarat sites on our website.
Certainly not. Baccarat games at legal and licensed casinos are operated by an RNG that is independently certified to be fair on both you and the casino.
We love Punto Banco, but the answer to this question really depends entirely on your own preferences.
Yes. Many casinos and social casinos allow you to do so without having to deposit any money; some don’t even require you to register. Moreover, you can find free baccarat apps on both the App Store and Google Play.
This depends on the casino and the baccarat game you choose. Players can rest assured that they will find a baccarat game that fits their budgets.
No. Baccarat is completely a game of luck, as it all depends on which cards you and the banker are dealt.