There are loads of different varieties of Live Baccarat (Punto Banco) that you can play against a live dealer online.
Most of the live casino software providers carry the basic game, but some offer different versions that can make choosing a game confusing.
I’ve compared all the different versions of live baccarat and produced a summary of each game. I’ve also included a recommendation of where you can play.
Typical differences with the games include the speed of play and the Squeezing of cards. You also get a choice of playing on your own or with others at the table.
BEST LIVE CASINO FOR NEW PLAYERS
4 / 5 Stars
BEST FOR EXPERIENCED PLAYERS
4 / 5 Stars
BEST FOR CASHBACK
4 / 5 Stars
NEWEST LIVE CASINO
4 / 5 Stars
BEST VIP GAMES & CARE
4 / 5 Stars
There’s also the opportunity to play alongside real players in land based casinos and you’ll even find games where you pay No Commission on Banker wins.
And that’s not to mention a whole array of different sidebets.
The objective of Live Baccarat is to predict which of two hands, The Player or The Banker, will win by having a hand value closest to 9.
You’ll find the online version uses either 6 or 8 decks of 52 playing cards.
The most popular is the 8 deck game, as it makes it slightly more difficult for card counters to gain an edge over the house.
The playing cards are assigned the following values:
Hands values are calculated by adding the two cards together.
If the sum produces a double digit number, the hand is given the value of the second digit.
For example if the hand adds up to 13, the value of the hand is 3.
The game commences with both the Player and Banker positions being dealt two cards.
The value of each hand is then calculated.
A hand with a total of 8 or 9 “a natural” wins automatically and the game ends.
A third card can be drawn depending on the value of the initial hand.
There are some specific rules for this, in summary if the hand is valued 0 to 5 a third card is taken. If it’s 6 or 7 the hand stands.
If the value of each hand is the same then a Tie is called.
In most games this will result in the initial bets being returned to the players as a Push.
The hand that is the highest in value wins.
Baccarat Roadmaps, which are used by players to record the past outcomes of each hand are created automatically by the playing software.
If you don’t use them you can choose not to display them.
Be sure to read Wikipedia comprehensive overview of Baccarat. They do a far better job that I ever could of explaining its history and customs.
There’s also a range of side bets like Pairs, Big/Small, Super 6 to name a few. You can get more information about them in my Baccarat Side Bets and game options page.
This is the basic standard game you’ll find at most online live casinos.
An unlimited number of players play the same hand.
When you’re playing on the table it will appear that you’re the only one playing, but you’re really sharing it with 100’s of other players.
Either 6 or 8 decks are used when playing the game. For the gambler there’s also a range of optional side bets that can be played alongside the main hand.
All games come with a full set of Baccarat Roadmaps.
Points worth noting:
I quite like this playing interface for single player. The side and main bets are arranged nicely on the table.
The VIG version of Baccarat uses just 6 decks, in fact they are the only supplier to do so.
Multi Seat Baccarat is exactly the same game as Single Player Baccarat. The difference is the number of visible seating positions on the table.
Some of the software providers have up to 8 seats available. They normally use the same table the single game is played on and superimpose a different “skin”, giving the appearance of multi seat.
Only one Dealer/Player hand is dealt, but you’ll be able to see other players betting on the hands.
Not many of the software providers have a Multi Seat option because it requires a slightly larger table to accommodate all the seating positions. As space is at a premium in most studios they like to keep their tables small.
Playtech has an abundance of Multi Seat tables, and they are available from all of their Live casino studios.
Speed Baccarat is the newest version of Live Baccarat to hit our screens. It’s been designed for players that like a quick game.
There is no ceremony in the game, all cards are dealt face up and any extra cards are dealt as soon as possible.
Evolution Gaming and Playtech are the only providers to label a game “Speed Baccarat”. It follows the growing trend for faster games as we’ve already seen with Speed Roulette.
Playtech already have a quick game. Their Deal to Deal time for normal Baccarat sits at 30 seconds, (their Speed version is slower!).
Evolution Speed Baccarat peaks at 27 seconds.
There’s nothing speedy about Playtech’s Speed Baccarat.
The “Squeeze” in Baccarat refers to the process of slowly revealing the value of a card by performing an almost ritual like turn of each edge of the card.
The player then peeks at the markings to determine it’s value.
The superstitious believe the slower the squueze the more likely it will be the card to make the hand win.
In land based games the honor of performing the Squeeze lays with the player who has bet most on the hand.
The Squeeze in Live Baccarat is performed by the dealer, for player controlled squueze see below.
The hand with the most money bet on is the one chosen to be Squeezed.
With Playtech you have two Squeeze options. They are essentially the same.
One is Squeeze Baccarat and one is Prestige Mini Baccarat with Squeeze.
The difference? Nothing game wise, just where the tables are streamed from.
This is Baccarat Squeeze but the squeeze is performed by the player. The player can squeeze all cards using a computer generated image of each card.
You use your mouse to peel back the corned of the cards to reveal the value.
The cards are dealt face down on the table by the dealer and players have a certain amount of time to act before the cards are revealed.
The game is not as slow as you’d think and is actually played quicker than the regular Squeeze by the dealer.
Essentially the same as game as Baccarat Squeeze.
Mini Baccarat is a bit misleading, as the online live version is exactly the same as normal Baccarat. There is no difference whatsoever in the online games, no matter what other sites may be saying.
The only difference is the name.!
So why the different name?
Well, this hails back to a time in Land based casinos when there were two versions. Standard Baccarat started as a 14 player game.
Under the supervision of a dealer, players took turns to deal the cards as the shoe was passed around the table.
As a result the game took a very long time to play. Mini Baccarat was developed as a quicker game for less players with a croupier dealing the hands.
The game also offered lower stakes, although in the online version there is no such distinction.
Playtech is the only supplier to persist with the name Mini Baccarat so I’ve included this category for completeness sake.
Playtech is the only supplier to offer an optional side bet f0r a Progressive Jackpot in Baccarat.
The side bet can be played alongside the main hand and pays out on a number of different hand outcomes.
This is probably the faster growing trend in Live Baccarat, streaming from Land Based Casinos.
It’s been around for a while but the take up across all operators has been slow.
But as we’ve seen with Live Streamed Roulette, there is a momentum switch going on, as more and more land based casinos are making their tables available for online players.
Currently only two suppliers are providing live streamed Baccarat. Ezugi and Wirex (Portomaso).
You’ll play alongside real money players, but generally you don’t get to see who the people are, just the bets they are placing and the odd hand coming into shot every now and then.
The games tend to be a bit slower than the Studio versions, as the dealer has to make payouts to the players at the table.
The main difference between Bet On Baccarat and normal Baccarat is when you bet.
It’s possible to place a bet after the dealer has dealt each new card.
The additional bets include:
BetConstruct and BetGames both have versions of this game although there are slight differences between the available betting options.
The game rounds can take a lot of time due to the number of betting rounds in each game.
Essentially the base game of Live Baccarat is the same wherever you play it online.
As I’ve discovered there is a wide range of “types” you can play, with different options and side bets.
The differences in the sophistication and streaming quality of the solutions is quite noticeable.
True HD streaming for Live Baccarat is only really available from Playtech and Evolution.
The other providers struggle to provide a consistent stream and its often better to play these in Mixed mode, where they stream a smaller picture superimposed on computer generated tables.
They are equally as playable but maybe not as aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Land Based Streaming is starting to take off and I expect to see more versions of these tables go live during the course of 2017.