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Live Baccarat Playing Guide

Welcome to my comprehensive live baccarat playing guide, where I explain how to play the game and highlight the different types of live baccarat available to online players. I will walk you through the basics first, and by the end, you’ll know everything about baccarat.

Baccarat

What is Live Baccarat?

Live Baccarat is essentially the same Baccarat game you would play in a real land-based casino. However, with Live Baccarat, you play online, where a real dealer is dealing the cards, while you decide which hand, Banker, or Player to bet on.

Baccarat is played with eight shuffled decks of cards that are held in a device called a dealing shoe, from where the cards are dealt during the game.

Unlike the land-based game, where the betting positions are limited to seven seats, Live Baccarat can have an unlimited number of players playing and betting at the table. There is also an impressive range of side bets on offer that add a further air of authenticity to the game.

In online Live Baccarat, there are even baccarat tables where you can peek and squeeze the cards, just like in casinos across the world. So you’re never far away from finding that perfect game of baccarat.

In this article, I’ll explain how to play live baccarat and how baccarat roads maps can help you with a betting strategy. I’ll also briefly describe some of the variants of Baccarat and the many side bets. Lastly, I’ll make some recommendations on where you can play – which will include all the tables you need at trustworthy casinos.

Neil’s TOP BACCARAT RECOMMENDATIONS

All online casinos with Live Dealer games will have Baccarat as a game option.

The trick is finding a casino that has the type of Baccarat you like to play.

Most mainstream Baccarat Tables are streamed in English, however, Playtech has a series of tables that are located in the Philippines where the dealers speak Mandarin.

So my selection of casinos below contains all of the possible playing options you might be looking for, and offer good bonuses and welcome offers, as well as paying out nice and quickly.

BEST PLAYTECH LIVE CASINO

  • Dedicated BJ & Roulette Tables.
  • Spin A Win and Quantum Blackjack.
  • Quantum Roulette with Multipliers.
  • Adventures Beyond Wonderland Live.

4/5

GO TO CASINO

For Welcome Bonus Information Click Here.

BEST FOR EXPERIENCED PLAYERS

  • 4 Live Casino providers.
  • Loads of Dedicated Tables.
  • Fantastic Regular Promotions.

4/5

GO TO CASINO

100% Deposit Match up to €100

Claim your Welcome Bonus! Up to €100 when joining Mr Green Live Casino. T&C apply.

BEST LIVE CASINO FOR NEW PLAYERS

  • Live Casino Games from Evolution, Playtech.
  • Pragmatic Play and Authentic Gaming.
  • Dedicated Tables. Player Points.
  • Cashback on all bets – Win or Lose!

4/5

GO TO CASINO

Get 50 Free Spins on Your 1st Deposit

First deposit only. 50 Free Spins. Minimum deposit 10. Each Free Spin valued at 0.10. No minimum withdrawals. T&Cs, Rewards and Game Play Policy applies.

BEST FOR CASHBACK

  • Evolution Live Casino Games.
  • Lightning Roulette, Monopoly Dream Catcher.
  • Lots of Blackjack tables.

4/5

GO TO CASINO

10% Cashback on Losses – Paid Every Day.

Min Deposit of $€25 Required, No wagering, no max cash-out, gameplay will be reviewed, Not Swedish Players, T&Cs apply. 18+ gamble responsibly.

BEST FOR LIVE CASINO GAMES

  • Up to 20 Live Casino Suppliers.
  • Great Mobile Interface.
  • Dedicated Tables and Promotions.
  • Evolution, Pragmatic, Lucky Streak.

5 / 5 Stars

GO TO CASINO

Welcome Package up to €500 and 300 Free Spins

18+

What You Need To Know About Live Baccarat

The game of baccarat has an air of mystery about it, but it is a very simple game to understand and play. To the uninformed, the game looks complicated.

Players slapping chips onto the table, bending and squeezing cards, screaming and shouting and the use of pads and pencils to record the results, all make it appear difficult to play and understand.

It isn’t. It’s a really simple game, with 3 betting options.  The only decision required by the player is which of the three bets to play – that’s it.

The rest of the game is controlled by the dealer to a very specific set of rules.

How To Play Live Baccarat

These instructions apply to all versions of online live baccarat you’ll come across.

Live Baccarat is played with eight decks of fifty-two playing cards.

The objective of the game is to predict and bet on which of the two hands (Player or Banker) will end up with a total that is closest to or equal to a total of nine. A Tie occurs when both hands end up with the same total and this is also a valid betting option.

Bets are placed before the dealer deals any cards.

There are additional side bets that can be played. I’ll explain those later on in the article.

Card Values

For the purpose of the game, the card values are:

CardValue
Ace1
2 – 9face value
10, Jack, Queen, King0 (zero)

How The Hand Totals Work

It’s not immediately obvious, but the hand totals are the result of the value of the cards in the hand added together. If the result is above Ten, the total becomes whatever the last digit is.

For example, if the result of the two cards is sixteen, the hand total becomes Six. If the sum of the hand is ten, the total is Zero.

Betting on Live Baccarat

Once betting time has been closed the dealer will deal two cards to the Banker and Player position.

Generally, these will be dealt face down as it adds to the mystery of the game, and allows the cards to be slow revealed, either by the dealer or by the player who has bet the most.

This is where the squeeze will occur, the act of bending the card up along its side or corner to reveal its value.

Once both hands are fully revealed the dealer will check whether the Banker or Player hand add up to a total of Eight or Nine (known as a natural).

If that is the case, no more cards are dealt and the hand is over. All winning bets are settled.

baccarat hand - natural nine

If the hands do not contain eight or nine the dealer looks to see if either hand is eligible for a third card, by using the Third Card Rule.

Third Card Rules

baccarat third card rule

The third card rules are used to determine whether one or both hands will receive a third card.

It all depends on the total of the first two cards whether that happens.

The player’s hand is checked first because slightly different rules come into effect for the Banker’s hand, depending on its total and the player’s hand total.

I’ve included the decision tables that list the rule options.

Thankfully you donR17;t have to worry about them, as the dealer handles the third card rule.

Once any additional cards have been dealt, the totals are compared, the hand closest to Nine is declared the winner.

If the hand values are tied, the player’s bet is returned to them as a Push.

Player’s 3rd card options

If the players hand value is 0-5 then he must take a card
If the players hand value is 6 or 7 he must stand
If the players hand value is 8 or 9 the game is over

Dealers 3rd card options

If the player has stood on his two card total then the banker must take a card if he has 0 – 5 and stand if he has 6 or 7
If the bankers bankers hand value is 8 or 9 the game is over
If the player has taken a 3rd card then the banker must take a card if he has 0-2
If the player 3rd card is 2 or 3 then the banker must take a card if he has 0-4 and stands if he has 5-7
If the player 3rd card is 4 or 5 then the banker must take a card if he has 0-5 and stands if he has 6-7
If the player 3rd card is 6 or 7 then the banker must take a card if he has 0-6 and stands if he has 7
If the player 3rd card is an 8 then the banker must take a card if he has 0-2 and stands if he has 3-7
If the player 3rd card is an Ace, 10 or picture card, then the banker must take a card if he has 0-3 and stands if he has 4-7

Live Baccarat Payouts

In Baccarat there are three key payouts – Banker, Player and Tie bets.

In most live Baccarat games, if a Tie occurs, bets are returned to the player, even if they didn’t bet on a Tie.

This means that it’s effectively a 50-50, coin toss type of game with no obvious edge for the house.

So, to combat that, a Commission of 5% is taken on all Banker wins – this is partly due to the Third card rule and the Banker having a slightly higher chance of winning.

You will find No Commission Baccarat tables, these have an adjusted rule set, no commission is taken on Banker wins with one notable exception. If the Banker wins with a hand total of Six, half of your stake will be returned to you.

Live Baccarat Odds

Since we know all the different possible card combinations and the payouts for each bet, we also know whether Banker or Player is the better bet.

Although the payout for Banker has a 5% commission, it is the better bet because Banker wins more often, as shown in the table below:

BankerPlayerTie
Chance Of Winning45.86%44.62%9.52%
Payout0.95:11:18:1
House Edge1.06%1.24%14.36%

In practical terms, it doesn217;t matter much if you bet on Banker or Player as the difference is minimal. One should stay away from the Tie bet though!

It’s important to note that the Banker bet in the so-called No Commission Baccarat is worse than in standard Baccarat because the house edge is increased due to the rules change.

As is usually the case with Side Bets in casino games, for baccarat to, the house edge varies wildly depending on the exact bet you choose.

Dragon Bonus bet on the Player has a house edge of only 2.65% while the Super 6 bet has a whopping house edge of 29.98%.

Live Baccarat Side Bets

Side Bets in Live Baccarat exist for two reasons:

  1. Firstly, they provide some side action to the main game and are a fun way to bet little and win a lot, as the payouts are generally much better than the main hand – with the proviso they will be more difficult to win.
  2. Secondly, it’s a way for the casino to make more money – as the Return To Player is much worse than the main game RTP.

If you’re a serious bettor, wanting to grind out a profit, you should steer clear of the side bets. Otherwise, be prepared to lose more often than you win!

I’ve created a dedicated side bet article to explain in detail the side bets and how they work, however, I’ve produced a summary below to get you started.

Side Bet Descriptions for Online Live Baccarat

  • Pairs – Bet on whether a Pair will occur on either the Banker or Player positions. The max payout is 25:1 for the same suit pair.
  • Big/Small – This is a bet on the total number of cards being dealt during the game round. Small is four, Big is five or six. Max payout is 1.5:1.
  • Bonus or Dragon Bonus Bet – This is a bet on the winning points difference between the hands. The higher the difference the bigger the payout. The max payout is 30:1.
  • Sum Bonus – A bet on the total the two hands will make after all cards have been played. The higher the number the bigger the payout. The max payout is 50:1.
  • Tie Bonus – this pays for Five or Six card ties with specific totals. Max payout is 50:1.
  • Egalite Bonus – This is a bet on the number the hands will Tie on. Max payout is 220:1 for a Tie on two.
  • Lucky 6 – this is a bet on whether the sum of the hand will be six – this is offered in No Commission Baccarat.

Live Baccarat Playing Strategy

You’re going to see and find a lot written about betting strategies for Baccarat. It’s an industry in itself, with so many different opinions on how to bet. The trouble is everyone thinks their “System” is the one!

In reality, no system or strategy will guarantee you’ll leave the table in profit and certainly nothing that will guarantee big wins.

So let’s have a look at the information available to players.

Most systems rely on trends, i.e things that have happened in the past that might influence future events. It’s these trends that led to the development of Baccarat Road Maps, which are trending grids created from the results that have come out of the shoe.

They detail the results of each hand and are generated in several ways to show the different trends that have occurred. Based on this information you are led to believe by many that it’s possible to predict future trends using this information.

Of course, if that was true, everyone would win. But everyone doesn’t, so it can’t be true.

But what it can do is provide you with a purpose and a way for you to bet.

Bets in Live Baccarat

These are the most regular bets you can place in Baccarat.

  • Bet on the Player or Banker position. Pick one and hope to get a run, with multiple results going your way. Stay in the position until you lose, then change.
  • Bet alternatively on Player/Banker. Keep going unless you lose two bets in a row. If you do change tactics.
  • Just bet on the Tie position. You won’t win often. If you don’t get a win in 8-9 hands you should try something else.

Use the Baccarat Road maps to spot the trends – what is the shoe and results doing? Try and follow or predict the next pattern of results.

Read more about betting with baccarat roadmaps, it’s a comprehensive article giving some good tips and examples of how to bet on live baccarat.

Live Dealer Baccarat Game Variations

Game Variations

When playing online you will come across several different variations of Live Baccarat.

They are all essentially the same, the only difference you’ll find is the side bets being offered and the seating positions on the table.

So stepping through the most common:

  • Standard Baccarat – this is a single seat game where the dealer deals one set of player cards and one set of Banker cards. There is a bet position for both hands to place your wagers.
  • Multi-player – Essentially there are 7 betting positions, you take a seat and bet. You can see what other players are betting.
  • Single Player – The table is set so you appear to be the only one betting.
  • Speed Baccarat – Faster Game rounds, fastest is 27 seconds deal to deal.
  • Mini-Baccarat – Essentially the same as normal baccarat. It’s a single-player game and the time allowance for placing bets is quicker than normal.
  • Lightning Baccarat – This is based on the standard game of Baccarat, but has the addition of multipliers up to 8x that can boost payouts.
  • No Commission Baccarat – this is a version where a commission is not taken from Banker wins. Instead, only a 50% payout is given when the win is with a hand value of six.
  • Baccarat Squeeze – This version comes with the ability to Squeeze the cards. They can either be squeezed by the dealer or by the player.
  • VIP Baccarat or Soiree Baccarat – These are tables reserved for very high rollers!

Live Baccarat Providers

Live Baccarat is an entry-level game that all live casino providers have. Along with Roulette and Blackjack, Baccarat is considered to be one of the must-have games.

In truth, all providers have the same game, except for Evolution who has the unique Lightning Baccarat, and Playtech who has a Progressive Jackpot on one of their tables.

Evolution is also the only one to offer a decent Squeeze, although Vivo Gaming does have a version.

For more information about the different games available, visit my Live Baccarat page, and if you just want to play take a look at my top live casino recommendations for Live Baccarat.

Live Baccarat Frequently Asked Questions

Is Live Baccarat difficult to Play?

Live Baccarat is one of the easiest games to play online. The only involvement you have in the game is deciding which of two positions, Banker or Player to place your bet. The game is controlled by the dealer who follows a specific set of rules when dealing. The hand closest to or equaling nine is the winner. The outcome is a 50/50 split.

How many decks are used in Live Baccarat?

Eight decks of fifty-two playing cards are used in the standard game. These are shuffled and placed in a manual dealing shoe, which the dealer will deal from until there is about one deck left in the shoe. The shoe is then replaced with a freshly shuffled set of eight decks.

Can the Dealer see me when playing Live Baccarat?

The dealer is unable to see you when you’re playing online. However, they will be able to see your written chat if you type it into the playing interface.

Can I chat with the Live Dealer or Other players when playing Baccarat?

You can chat with the Dealer and other players while playing, by using the chat facility supplied in the playing interface. It’s best not to share personal information as the chat can be read by anyone, so avoid putting addresses, phone numbers, or other personal information in there.

Is it possible to Squeeze the cards in Live Baccarat?

Absolutely. Evolution has two versions of Baccarat that allow a Squeeze of the cards. There is a dealer-controlled squeeze, where the dealer is responsible for squeezing the cards and then there is Player Controlled squeeze, where the player can squeeze the cards through the playing interface. Both options are available at Leo Vegas.

Is there a strategy for playing Live Baccarat?

There are lots of strategies for playing Live Baccarat. Most rely on the use of Baccarat Road-maps to help spot trends to bet on. For more information, Baccarat Betting Strategies contains some useful tips and tricks.

What is the RTP of Baccarat?

The RTP of Baccarat is 98.94% based on an optimal strategy for the Bankers Bet.

What is the best version of Live Baccarat to Play?

That is a really difficult question to answer. Standard traditional baccarat is a good place to start. You may prefer No Commission Baccarat, where you get the full payout on Banker wins. Speed Baccarat is for players who like a really quick game. If you want something slower, then one of the Squeeze Baccarat tables is a good place to play.

Can I play a Baccarat table streamed from a land-based table online?

Yes, Evolution has a table set-up in the Grosvenor Victoria Casino in London, where you can play alongside real players in the casino. You can access it at the Grosvenor Live Casino (UK Players only).

BEST PLAYTECH LIVE CASINO

  • Dedicated BJ & Roulette Tables.
  • Spin A Win and Quantum Blackjack.
  • Quantum Roulette with Multipliers.
  • Adventures Beyond Wonderland Live.

4/5

GO TO CASINO

For Welcome Bonus Information Click Here.

BEST FOR EXPERIENCED PLAYERS

  • 4 Live Casino providers.
  • Loads of Dedicated Tables.
  • Fantastic Regular Promotions.

4/5

GO TO CASINO

100% Deposit Match up to €100

Claim your Welcome Bonus! Up to €100 when joining Mr Green Live Casino. T8;C apply.

BEST LIVE CASINO FOR NEW PLAYERS

  • Live Casino Games from Evolution, Playtech.
  • Pragmatic Play and Authentic Gaming.
  • Dedicated Tables. Player Points.
  • Cashback on all bets – Win or Lose!

4/5

GO TO CASINO

Get 50 Free Spins on Your 1st Deposit

First deposit only. 50 Free Spins. Minimum deposit 10. Each Free Spin valued at 0.10. No minimum withdrawals. T&Cs, Rewards and Game Play Policy applies.

BEST FOR CASHBACK

  • Evolution Live Casino Games.
  • Lightning Roulette, Monopoly Dream Catcher.
  • Lots of Blackjack tables.

4/5

GO TO CASINO

10% Cashback on Losses – Paid Every Day.

Min Deposit of $€25 Required, No wagering, no max cash-out, gameplay will be reviewed, Not Swedish Players, T&Cs apply. 18+ gamble responsibly.

BEST FOR LIVE CASINO GAMES

  • Up to 20 Live Casino Suppliers.
  • Great Mobile Interface.
  • Dedicated Tables and Promotions.
  • Evolution, Pragmatic, Lucky Streak.

5 / 5 Stars

GO TO CASINO

Welcome Package up to €500 and 300 Free Spins

18+