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What to Consider When Choosing a Baccarat Site

Baccarat is a card game similar to blackjack and poker. While it's fun to play, the rules aren't always easy to understand. Once you have the hang of it, however, you can expect it to become a lifelong favourite.

This makes trying it out online even more tempting, as you can learn the ropes without an audience. When looking for a stand-out baccarat site online, consider the factors below.

Live Dealer or Not

Whether you go with a live dealer or a computer game often boils down to your Internet connection. If you have speedy and reliable Wi-Fi, participating in a live feed with a real dealer can be an invigorating experience. You get the feel of the casino right from your living room.

You may prefer a computer game if you don't want personal interaction or if you'll be playing while engaged in other activities. Live dealers only allow players 15 to 20 seconds per turn, and you can get bumped from a game if you go over your time limit.

Minimum and Maximum Bets

Baccarat rose in popularity thanks to the Royal family and James Bond, so it's no wonder that it's a game often played by the elite. Thankfully, online casinos have made it more accessible to the everyday player.

While live dealer baccarat sometimes requires higher minimums than games run by a computer, it's not rare to find table limits as low as £1. Typically, online bets for computer games are capped at £200, while live dealers may accept bets up to £500.

Dealer Rules

After the shoe is shuffled, the dealer will pause and call for bets. You can bet on the dealer's hand, your own hand or you can bet on a tie. After the bets are placed, the dealer puts down two cards for the player and two cards for himself. If either of you have a "natural," or a hand resulting in a score of 8 or 9, the game is over and winnings are paid out appropriately.

If not, a third card is dealt to both the dealer and the player. Whoever is closest to 9, wins. It's important to remember that in baccarat, face cards and jokers count for zero points, and totals are limited to single digits. For instance, if you have a 4 and a 7, your total isn't 11. It's 1.

In addition, if you bet and win on a dealer's hand, you may be charged a commission.

Multi-player Games

Computer games provide the fastest baccarat multi-player experiences, with dealing and bets being generated as soon as your turn is done. When games are run by a real dealer--and subsequently, other real players--multi-player hands can last for a minute or more.

You'll be updated to their actions in real-time, just as they'll see yours. This is an especially helpful feature for new players who are learning the best strategies for baccarat.

The Online Casino Difference

There are three types of games at online casinos: downloadable, browser-based and live dealer. Browser-based games are often made with flash. With them, you get the chance to play baccarat quickly, easily and can do so while you're doing other things. Live dealers are delivered in streaming video, transmitted in real-time. They allow you the personal interaction of playing at a casino without the inconvenience of travelling to one.

In traditional casinos, the baccarat tables are typically reserved for high rollers. They draw a lot of attention and sometimes require big bets, both elements that can make players table-shy.

There's nothing quite like the thrill of getting dressed up for a night out at the casino, but depending on your favourite places to gamble, it can be quite a fancy affair, requiring a suit and tie just to step up to the tables. Online, of course, you don't have to look your best, or anything close to it. (If you stick with computer games, you won't have to be dressed at all!)

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