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What to Consider When Choosing a Live Baccarat Site
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.
Why Play Live Baccarat Online?
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 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.
Exploring Game Variations
There are several types of baccarat you're likely to encounter at live baccarat sites.
- Midi Baccarat | Sometimes simply called baccarat, this is the standard game, usually played with eight decks of cards in a shoe, and with mid-range or very wide betting limits.
- Mini Baccarat | With low betting limits and a simplified table for up to seven players, this is an excellent entry level option. It sometimes uses fewer decks of cards, however, which can affect the house edge. So always check before placing bets.
- VIP Baccarat | Larger, more elaborate tables, higher limits and nearly always played with eight decks in a shoe, this is the best option for experienced players who don't want to be held back.
- Progressive Baccarat | This is a standard baccarat table with a progressive jackpot. Players fight for the jackpot by betting on the jackpot side bet "slot". The amount wagered affects the potential share of the pot, and the payout usually comes when a player's hand contains an ace and an eight. Payouts are found in the pay table and may vary.
- Side Bets | The progressive jackpot isn't the only side bet available: some casinos, like bet365, have a designated area where players can play various other games at the same time.
- Alternative Bets | As well as Player, Banker and Tie bets, various casinos allow additional betting options, including a player being dealt a pair and a small (four card) or big (five or six card) hand.
How to Support Your Strategy
- Commission | Backing the dealer/banker comes at a cost, usually a 5% commission on winnings, but some live baccarat sites offer lower commission or different odds. Shop around if you plan on backing the dealer.
- History and Stats | If you believe in patterns in the cards, you'll want a hand history and various types of statistical display.
- Autoplay/Rebet | Useful for rapid and consistent betting, these buttons are a quick way to place multiple or repeat bets, ensuring you don't get caught up in the heat of the moment and deviate from your system.
- Timer | Sometimes a clock, but often a timer of how long you've been playing, this simple addition is vital in calculating your earnings (or losses) per hour.
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.