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Combining the suave sophistication of a live casino environment with the rapid pace and close control of online baccarat, live baccarat games represent the ultimate casino experience. What's more, with a house edge of just 1.06%, it's among the most lucrative games on the casino floor.
This overview will help break down how to play the game, describe variations to the classic format you may encounter as well as explain the various special features on offer at the best live blackjack sites. Armed with the know-how of live dealer baccarat, you are sure to enjoy you're gaming experience.
Baccarat carries an image of refinement – it's the gentlemanly older brother of poker. But the reality is far from the complicated world of its brash relation. Baccarat is one of the simplest card games to bet on, player influence is minimal, and with a house edge as low as 1.06%, choosing your table wisely can make a big difference to how your pot fares.
Baccarat's simple format works well in the electronic world of quick deals, history registers and other tools to help you develop and monitor a successful system.
A big part of the joy of online baccarat comes from the high rolling feel of the tables, and that's where the live dealer comes in. A live baccarat site will give you the elegance, and personal touch, of casino baccarat without the travelling, dress codes and pricey drinks.
There are several types of baccarat you're likely to encounter at live baccarat sites.
While strategy and game variations should be a serious gambler's main consideration when choosing a live baccarat site, finding a table that makes an enjoyable experience should also factor into the process.
Most online casinos offer live baccarat with a chat function, which allows players to engage directly with the dealer and, sometimes, other players. You'll also find some casinos, like bet365, offer a far larger selection of dealers, including a choice between European and Asian dealers.
You may also find camera angle and sound options, to maximise engagement or minimise distraction, and the option to live chat with casino staff, which is useful if you have questions about gameplay or bonuses, but don't want to lose your seat.
If you find a live baccarat site that suits your needs, the chances are that their other live casino offerings will fit your gameplay style.
Live blackjack is an excellent alternative to baccarat, with its quick-fire, mathematically minded gameplay in which players aim to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 as they can. Like baccarat, you'll also find side bets, progressive jackpots and more.
Like all refined card games, baccarat includes a unique lexicon addressing various nuances of the game. A basic understanding of these commonly used terms will go a long way in learning the fundamentals of the game and its live-dealer variant. Here are some common terms to familiarise yourself with:
Most variants of baccarat will progress the same aside from a few more rare ones you're unlikely to encounter. The most common progression of baccarat begins when players join a table of up to 12 people. Bets can be laid either on the bank (dealer), which pays at 0.95/1, the player, which pays 1/1, or a tie, which pays 8/1 or 9/1.
Each player is dealt two cards each, and two are dealt to the bank. The cards are revealed and each hang added up, with cards two to nine counting at face value, Ace at one and all others at zero.
The right hand digit of the total sum is the player's score. For example, a nine and a six would score five. Depending on the totals, a third (and fourth) card may be dealt to any player. The winner is the player with the closest score to nine.
Like other popular casino games, baccarat experiences a wealth of variations and adaptations. Here are a few of the most prominent variants:
There are lots of other elements that make each live baccarat offering uniquely appealing, but they broadly break down into three key areas: table experience, console data and console functions.
The table experience is dictated by a number of customisable factors. Betfred, for example, offer HD video streaming, while other providers offer customisable camera angles. Sound options and the chat window may also be customised with numerous providers, to tailor how you interact with the dealer and other players. Some casinos, including bet365, let you choose between European and Asian croupiers.
Console data also varies between providers. Some will offer a detailed history of previous hands, others will give useful statistical graphics, such as how many times a card or hand has appeared, while others offer a notepad function so you can track things for yourself.
Finally, live baccarat sites offer numerous different console functions to help players develop their strategy. For example, autoplay or rebet buttons allow rapid and consistent bet placements, and timers enable players to accurately calculate earnings (or losses) per hour – vital for effective bankroll management.
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