In this article, we look at James Bond’s favourite casino game: baccarat! Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a sophisticated MI6 agent or drive a fast, luxurious car to master this game. Read below for our detailed online baccarat guide to find out how to play and the various strategies you can use – and much more!
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History of Baccarat
Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games around, with its origins going way back to the 1400s. It is said that the game was created by an Italian, Felix Falguiere, who named the game baccara, which means zero in Italian. The latter is a reference to the value held by because tens and face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings).
Eventually, baccarat entered England, where enthusiasts such as Ian Fleming made the game even more popular. The scriptwriter came up with the iconic fictional spy, James Bond, who often plays baccarat in the blockbuster film series based on the character. Baccarat went on to cross even more boundaries, with Caribbean and South American players adopting the game and naming it “Punto Banco.” However, no matter the version or region, the basic gameplay and rules remain the same.
Is Online Baccarat Legal in India?
India’s stance on online gambling might leave you with more questions than answers, so we’ll try and put it as simply as possible.
In short, while gambling online isn’t considered illegal, it’s not considered legal in the strictest sense of the word, either. This is due to somewhat archaic legislation in the country that was drawn up before the advent of the internet and online casino states. However, players in India can access and sign up to many offshore casino sites without any repercussions, though it’s always best to check the laws in your state before proceeding.
For instance, states like Goa and Sikkim have no issue with gambling, while other regions prohibit the activity altogether. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a baccarat game on sites registered overseas, many of which accept Indian players and the use of Indian rupees.
Online Baccarat Game Variations
Just like blackjack and poker, online baccarat comes in several variations. The rules, bet limits, and time limits tend to differ slightly across these versions, the most popular of which include the below.
- Speed Baccarat
Unlike the classic baccarat game online that takes roughly 50 seconds per round, Speed Baccarat takes 30 seconds at most. All cards are dealt face up so that the winner of each round is revealed faster, allowing players to place new bets more frequently.
- Lightning Baccarat
If you are looking for a baccarat variation with an exciting twist and higher payouts, then Lightning Baccarat is for you. The game comes with “lightning cards”, which are 1 to 5 cards selected randomly from the deck of cards and given multipliers. The latter range from 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x to 8x, multiplying your payout depending on which lightning card you win.
- No-Commission Baccarat
All baccarat games charge a 5% commission fee when you bet on the Banker, except for the No-commission Baccarat, which makes it unique. In this game, you can choose to place your bets on the Banker and get 100% of your wins. However, the payout is usually lower when the Banker’s hand wins with a 6 or 9.
- Mini Baccarat
Mini Baccarat is played on a smaller scale than the traditional base game. For instance, classic baccarat can have up to 14 players, while Mini Baccarat only allows up to 7 players. During the live version, Mini Baccarat only has one dealer compared to the usual three dealers in other variations. Players can also place smaller minimum bets, which makes it favourable for low rollers.
How to Play Baccarat Online
To get play baccarat online at your chosen casino, simply complete the below steps.
- Choose a trusted baccarat online casino in India, sign up or log in, and deposit funds into your account.
- Check out the ‘Games’ section and select a baccarat variation.
- Place your bet (Player, Banker, Tie or side bets—more on this below).
- The dealer will deal and reveal two cards to the player and banker.
- If you placed the right bet, you win!
Unlike poker or roulette, baccarat has only three main bets, with additional side bets allowed too. If you are a beginner, you’ll probably be placing main bets most of the time, so it’s best to know what they are all about before playing your first game.
Baccarat Main Bets:
- Player Bet: This bet is placed on the left side of the table, and you’ll be betting on yourself. The payout ratio is 1:1, and the bet doesn’t have any commission fee attached to it.
- Banker Bet: Said to be the lucky winning bet, the Banker bet means that you’ll be wagering on the Banker to win. The bet is placed on the right side of the table and has a payout ratio of 1:1. One thing to note about the Banker bet is that it always comes with a 5% commission fee – unless you’re playing No-Commission Baccarat.
- Tie Bet: If you think the player and Banker will get the same value cards, you can place a Tie bet. The bet is placed in the middle of the table, and its payout ratio is 8:1, which is much higher.
Baccarat Side Bets:
For some players, the main bets can be a bit limiting, which is where side bets come in. These offer big risks and even bigger rewards. Many online baccarat variations offer side bets – here are some of the common ones you’ll come across:
- Player Pair or P Pair: Betting on the player’s two cards to be a pair — payout is 11:1.
- Banker Pair or B Pair: Betting on the Banker’s two cards to be a pair — payout is 11:1.
- Either Pair: Betting on the player’s or banker’s two cards to have a pair — payout is 5:1.
- Perfect Pair: Wagering on the Banker or player to have a suited pair in their two cards — payout is high at 25:1.
- Super 6: Betting on the Banker’s two cards to have a total of 6 — payout is 12:1.
To help you out, we’ve outlined the main baccarat rules to guide you on which bets you can place, the values attached to each card, and how the winner is determined each round.
So, we’ll start with the bets you can wager on baccarat. As we’ve mentioned earlier, you can place main or side bets. Just make sure you wager within your budget, and don’t forget that the Banker’s bet comes with a 5% commission fee, except for no-commission baccarat versions.
For the card values, Aces give you 1 point, cards 2 to 9 are worth their face value and 10, J, Q and K are worth zero points. That means cards 2-9 are the most valuable, with 9 being the jackpot card.
To win at baccarat, the total value of your cards needs to be 9 or closest to 9. For example, if your two cards are 9 and J (which has zero points), your total comes to 9, which means you win. If you get a 7 and 2, your total still comes to 9, and you win.
What happens if your total goes above 9? In other card games, this is called a bust, but in baccarat, you’ll deduct 10 from the total or drop the first number of the total value. Let’s say you get an 8 and 7; that gives you a total of 15, so you’ll need to deduct 10 and be left with 5. Likewise, dropping the first number (1) from 15 will still leave you with 5, which becomes your new total value.
Baccarat also has a special condition if the Banker or player gets a total value of 5 or less from their two dealt cards. The Banker will draw another card and deal to the player or himself if the condition is met.
Can I Play Baccarat for Free and Win Real Money?
Top baccarat casinos have a demo version of the game that you can play for free, allowing you to get used to the rules before going ahead and playing with real money.
You’ll get free bet credits and play the game as it is, but you won’t receive any real winnings. However, that’s not a bad thing. By playing for free, you’ll become more confident in your skills, perhaps even coming up with your own casino strategy.
If you choose to play live baccarat, however, bear in mind that there are no free play options.
Playing Baccarat on Mobile Apps
Thanks to real-money casino apps, you can play this exciting game on the go on your Android or iOS device. The gameplay remains identical to the desktop version, and you won’t be missing out on anything. You’ll have access to the same game variations and live baccarat rooms as well.
If you’d prefer not to download any apps, you can choose to play via your mobile browser instead, where you’ll experience the same vivid graphics and HD streams without any lags or glitches.
Winning Baccarat Strategies & Tips for Indian Players
Is it possible to always win at baccarat? No, but by placing the right bets and having a winning baccarat strategy, you might just get out ahead. Here are some of the tips and strategies that you can use:
- Play for free first
Rather than playing baccarat with real money for the first time, it’s best to start playing the demo version for free. Learn all you can about the game and try using different strategies to see what works and doesn’t. Once you’ve gained some experience, you can proceed to wager real cash.
- Manage your bankroll
Baccarat is a straightforward, fast-paced game, with some rounds taking as few as 30 seconds. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself spending beyond your budget. You may even be tempted to chase after your losses, only to lose even more. So, come up with a budget before you start playing, and call it quits when you’ve used it up.
- Avoid placing Tie Bets
Tie Bets might have an attractive payout of 8:1, but they also have a high house edge of 14.4%. This makes it a high-risk wager, and one that should be placed sparingly.
- Give preference to Banker bets
There’s a reason why the Banker bet comes with a 5% commission, and that’s because it wins most of the time. The Banker bet also has the lowest house edge of 1.06%, which means your chances of winning are high.
- Have a good strategy in place
Having a casino strategy that guides your betting process is crucial, and luckily, several options have been tried and tested. For baccarat, a popular betting strategy you can use is the Martingale strategy, which lets you double the bet amount when you lose and go back to your initial bet when you win.
Online Baccarat Review India Final Say
Baccarat is one of the simplest table games you’ll find, and we’ve put together this simple guide to show you exactly why it’s so easy to play! While luck will always play a crucial role in how successful you are, the strategy and tips we’ve shared will also come in handy. Check out the top baccarat casinos we’ve listed above, like JungleRaja and 10CRIC, and who knows? It might be your new favourite casino game, just like James Bond!
Online Baccarat FAQs
- Is online baccarat fair?
Yes, the virtual version of baccarat uses a verified RNG (Random Number Generator) to ensure the game isn’t rigged against players.
- How do I win at baccarat?
To win at baccarat, you can bet on the player’s or banker’s cards to get a total value of 9 or closest to 9.
- What is baccarat’s RTP?
Online baccarat has an average RTP of 98%.
- Which is the best baccarat variation to play?
It all depends on your preference as a player. If you are looking for a low-budget baccarat version, then Mini Baccarat comes with a lower minimum bet.