Best Baccarat Sites - Where to play & Bonuses

Baccarat, a game of sophistication and simplicity, has long been a staple in both land-based and online casinos. Its origins can be traced back to the gambling salons of Italy and France in the 15th century. Today, it stands as a globally recognized game, cherished for its straightforward rules and engaging gameplay. 

Best Baccarat Sites 2024

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1
Mayfair Casino
9.9
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Mayfair Casino: First 3 deposits only. Min deposit £10. Max total bonus £500 & 150 spins. 30x wagering (dep+bonus). 30x on spins, 4x conversion, bonus and spins valid on selected slots. Full T&Cs apply.

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Pots of Gold Casino
9.8
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Pots of Gold Casino: New Players Only. Wager from real balance first. 50X wager the bonus. Contribution varies per game. Selected games only. Wager calculated on bonus bets only. Bonus valid 30 days / Free spins valid 7 days from receipt. Max conversion: 3 times the bonus amount or from free spins: £20. Withdrawal requests void all active/pending bonuses. Excluded Skrill and Neteller deposits. Full Terms apply

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Belgravia Casino
9.6
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Belgravia Casino: First 3 deposit only. Min deposit £10. Max total bonus £500 & 150 spins. 30x wagering(dep+bonus). 30x on spins, 4x conversion, bonus and spins valid on selected slots only. T&C’s apply.

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Soho Casino
9.6
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Soho Casino: New Players Only. Wagering occurs from real balance first. 50X wagering the bonus. Contribution may vary per game. Available on selected games only. The wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only. Bonus valid 30 Days from receipt. Max conversion: 3 times the bonus amount. Withdrawal requests voids all active/pending bonuses. Excluded Skrill deposits. Full T&Cs apply.

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Grosvenor Casino
9.5
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Grosvenor Casino: New Customers only. Min deposit £20. Max Bonus £30. Bonus amount non-withdrawable, playable on selected games only. 30x wagering for £30 bonus. Expires within 30 days. Max win £2000. T&Cs apply.

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Gala Casino
9.3
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Foxy Games
9.3
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Foxy Games: 18+. New players only. Max 150 spins over 3x50-spin bundles. Min £10 dep & spend for each bundle. Free spins used on selected games only. Spin value £0.10. Wins credited as bonus, 10x wag within 14 days. Payment method restrictions & T&Cs apply.

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Pros and cons of online baccarat

Accessibility: Play anytime, anywhere without visiting a physical casino.

Variety: A wide range of baccarat games to suit different preferences.

Budget-Friendly: Lower minimum bets than land-based casinos.

Bonuses: Attractive bonuses and promotions for players.

Free Play: Option to try games for free to learn and practice.

Less Social: Misses the interactive casino atmosphere.

Complex Bonuses: Bonus terms can be complicated and restrictive.

Risk of Scams: Potential to encounter unfair or unsafe operators.

Understanding the basics

At its core, baccarat is a comparison card game played between two hands: the "player" and the "banker." Each coup (round of play) has three possible outcomes: "player" (player has the higher score), "banker," and "tie." The game aims to bet on which hand will achieve a total closest to nine.

The value of the cards is simple to grasp. The game uses standard decks of 52 cards, and each card has a point value. Cards 2 through 9 are worth their face value in points, 10s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings have no point value (i.e., are worth zero), and Aces are worth one point. If the total value of the cards exceeds nine, the second digit is the value of the hand. 

For example, a hand consisting of a 7 and an 8 (totalling 15) is worth 5 points.

How to play baccarat - Step by step guide

Step 1: Placing Bets


At the beginning of each round, players place their bets on one of three possible outcomes: the Player's hand wins, the Banker's hand wins, or the game ends in a tie. Bets must be placed before the cards are dealt.

Step 2: Dealing the Cards


The dealer then deals two cards each to the Player and Banker hands. The first and third cards go to the Player's hand, and the second and fourth cards go to the Banker's hand. In some baccarat variations, players may deal the cards in turn.

Step 3: Calculating the Scores


The point values of the two cards in each hand are added together to get a total point score for both the Player and Banker. If the total exceeds nine, the second digit of the total is used as the hand's score. For example, a hand of 7 and 8 (totalling 15) counts as 5.

Step 4: Drawing Additional Cards


The rules for drawing a third card are predetermined in baccarat and vary slightly between the Player's and Banker's hands. The Player's hand draws first. If the Player's total is 0-5, they draw a third card. If it's 6 or 7, they stand. The Banker's rules for drawing a third card depend not only on their own total but also on the Player's total and whether the Player has drawn a third card.

Step 5: Determining the Winner


After any third cards have been dealt, the final scores are compared. The hand with the total closest to nine wins. If both hands have the same total, it's a tie.

Payouts

  • Winning bets on the Player's hand are paid at 1:1.

  • Winning bets on the Banker's hand are also paid at 1:1, but there is usually a 5% commission deducted for the house.

  • Winning bets on a tie usually pay 8:1 or 9:1, depending on the casino.

Baccarat Game Variations

Baccarat has several variations and each offers a distinct flavour of baccarat, catering to different preferences and play styles, from the straightforward, fast-paced action of Punto Banco to the strategic, interactive experiences of Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque.

Punto Banco


Punto Banco, often simply called Baccarat, is the version most commonly played in casinos around the world, especially in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Macau. In this variation, the casino banks the game at all times, and the players wager on either the player's hand (Punto), the banker's hand (Banco), or a tie. 

The dealer follows a fixed set of rules to determine whether a third card is drawn for either hand, making the game purely a chance-based one with no skill or strategy involved from the players' perspective. 

The objective is to bet on the hand that will have a total value closest to 9. Punto Banco's simplicity and speed have made it a favourite among casino players, offering a blend of suspense and quick gameplay that appeals to both seasoned gamblers and newcomers.

Chemin de Fer


Chemin de Fer is a French version of baccarat that is more interactive than Punto Banco. In this game, one player serves as the banker and deals the cards, while the other players are the punters. The most significant difference is that players can choose whether to take a third card or not, introducing an element of strategy to the game. 

The role of the banker rotates among the players counter-clockwise around the table, so each player gets a chance to be the banker. Bets are placed against the banker's funds, which adds a competitive edge not seen in other versions. 

Chemin de Fer requires a minimum of six players and offers a more social and engaging experience, as players have more control over the game's flow and their betting decisions.

Baccarat Banque


Baccarat Banque, or Baccarat à Deux Tableaux, is another European variation, quite similar to Chemin de Fer. The main difference lies in the setup of the game, where the role of the banker is more permanent (usually determined by auction at the beginning of the game) and plays against two player hands simultaneously. 

This version of baccarat is played with three decks of cards and the banker remains until all cards have been dealt or they choose to relinquish their position. Players can decide to stand or draw a third card, similar to Chemin de Fer, which means that there is a slight strategic element involved. 

Baccarat Banque is less common than Punto Banco and Chemin de Fer but is cherished for its historic charm and the unique dynamic of playing two hands at once.

Strategies and tips

Strategies and tips for playing baccarat effectively revolve around understanding the odds and managing your bankroll wisely to maximize your chances of leaving the table as a winner. Here's a closer look at these strategies:

Bet on the Banker


One of the most fundamental pieces of advice given to baccarat players is to consistently bet on the banker's hand. This strategy is grounded in statistics: the banker's hand wins slightly more than 50% of the time. 

Although casinos are aware of this advantage and charge a commission (usually 5%) on winning banker bets, this option still offers the best odds of winning. The lower house edge on the banker bet means that over the long run, betting on the banker is more likely to result in a return than any other bet.

Avoid the Tie Bet


The tie bet might seem attractive due to its higher payout ratios, which can be 8:1 or sometimes even 9:1, making it one of the most tempting bets on the baccarat table. However, this bet also comes with a significantly higher house edge, often above 14%. 

The rarity of tie outcomes makes this bet a less favourable option for players focused on strategy. Experienced players recommend avoiding the tie bet and sticking to the more statistically favourable banker or player bets.

Manage Your Bankroll


Effective bankroll management is crucial in all forms of gambling, and baccarat is no exception. Setting clear limits for wins and losses before starting a session can help players avoid the common pitfall of chasing losses or getting carried away after a win. 

A good strategy is to decide on a specific amount of money you are comfortable with losing and to quit playing once you reach that limit. Similarly, setting a win threshold can help secure profits before they are wiped out by subsequent losses. Bankroll management also involves adjusting bet sizes based on the overall size of your bankroll, ensuring that you can weather losing streaks without depleting your funds too rapidly.

Additional Tips


  • Stay Disciplined: Discipline is key to successful gambling. Stick to your strategies and bankroll management principles, resisting the temptation to make impulsive bets based on gut feelings.

  • Keep Sessions Short: Baccarat games can be fast-paced, and the house edge, while lower on banker bets, will eventually erode your winnings over long sessions. By keeping sessions short, you can take advantage of winning streaks and avoid long-term losses.

  • Understand the Rules: While baccarat is straightforward, understanding the drawing rules for the third card for both the player and banker can enhance your appreciation of the game and help you follow the action more closely.

Online Baccarat - FAQs

What is online baccarat and how does it work?

Online baccarat is a digital version of the traditional card game, played at virtual tables in online casinos. The game involves betting on one of three outcomes: the player's hand winning, the banker's hand winning, or a tie. Cards are dealt according to fixed rules, and the hand closest to a total of 9 wins.

Is online baccarat rigged?

Legitimate online casinos use Random Number Generators (RNGs) to ensure fair play and random outcomes in baccarat games, similar to other online casino games. Reputable casinos are regularly audited by independent bodies to verify their fairness and randomness.

Can I play baccarat online for real money?

Yes, you can play baccarat online for real money at various online casinos. It's important to choose a reputable casino that is licensed and regulated to ensure the safety and security of your deposits and personal information.

What are the best strategies for playing online baccarat?

While baccarat is largely a game of chance, some strategies can help minimize losses and optimize play. The most common strategy is betting on the banker's hand since it has a slightly higher chance of winning. Managing your bankroll effectively and avoiding the tie bet, which has a higher house edge, are also strategic moves.

What are the differences between live dealer and RNG baccarat?

Live dealer baccarat is streamed in real-time from a casino studio, where real dealers deal the cards. This version offers a more immersive experience, mimicking the feel of a land-based casino. RNG (Random Number Generator) baccarat, on the other hand, is fully digital, with outcomes determined by a computer algorithm. Both versions are fair and random, but the experience differs.

How do I choose the best online casino for playing baccarat?

Look for online casinos that are licensed and regulated by reputable authorities. Consider the variety of baccarat games offered, bonuses and promotions specifically for baccarat, the software providers, mobile compatibility, and customer support quality.

Are there any free online baccarat games?

Yes, many online casinos offer free versions of baccarat. These games are a great way to learn the rules and practice strategies without risking real money. Free games typically use the same software as their real money counterparts, providing an accurate gaming experience.