A Detailed Guide to Online Baccarat

Discover the best casinos for real money baccarat in SA. Learn how to play the game & find out some of the most popular games to play online here!

If you are looking to play casino games online, especially baccarat, we’ve compiled a selection of South African-friendly brands to visit. This list is based on several factors including bonuses and promotions, games offered, payment methods supported, and customer services, among other areas. If this is your first time playing baccarat online, we also have a detailed guide on how to play the game. You will find everything on this page from the history of the game to basic rules, types of games, and a few tips to help you win.

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Baccarat History 

At the time of writing this baccarat guide, it’s not quite clear who invented the game. However, many Europeans, particularly those from Italy and France lay claim to being the founders of this game. It could be true because, in Spain, baccarat is widely referred to as “punto banco”. In France, the game is referred to as “chemin de fer”. So, it’s safe to assume that this game has roots in Europe. 

According to the most popular origin narrative, Italy’s Felix Falguiere was the founder of baccarat. During the Middle Ages, baccarat was played on a Tarot deck. It is from here that the game migrated to France in 1490, where it became very popular with the French elite. It was limited to the upper class of society but was also played by the poor in backdoor casinos. 

More than five centuries later, baccarat is still considered the game of the elite and is played both at brick-and-mortar and online casinos. The basic rules of the games remain unchanged, and several variations have been invented to make it more interesting to play the game. 

Baccarat Review

How to Play Baccarat

There are three possible results when playing baccarat – a banker wins, a player win, or a tie. Unlike blackjack or any other table game, the dealer does most of the work in baccarat. The only work you need to do is to place your bet either on the “banker”, or the player, or the result will be a tie. 

Once you’ve placed your bet, two cards are dealt face up – two for the banker and two for the player. Cards 2 to 9 retain their face value. High-value cards i.e., King, Queen, Jacks, and 10 have a value of zero. In baccarat, an Ace is worth one. 

The winning hand is determined by looking at the value of the cards. Any bet closest to nine will win. For example, if you bet on the player’s hand and it has a value greater than that of the dealer and less or equal to nine, you automatically win. The house pays twice your stake. 

If you wager on the banker’s hand and it wins, then the house automatically pays you 95% of your stake. 

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Baccarat Terminology

If you are ready to play baccarat like Agent James Bond, you need to completely master the art of the game. This includes knowing some of the popular baccarat terminologies or jargon used in the game. Here’s a list of the commonly used baccarat glossary that you will come across online. 

  • Action: this is the total amount of cash you wager in a single session 
  • Bankroll: not to be mistaken with the term action, bankroll is simply the total amount of money you spend on the game 
  • Burning: is a play performed after shuffling, but right before the new cards are dealt. During this play, the top 3-6 cards are discarded 
  • Coup: it is a round in online baccarat where 1 Banker and 1 Player hand are dealt as opposed to the original three
  • Dragon Bonus: it is a very popular baccarat side bet where you wager on how many points the winning hand will exceed the losing hand by. 
  • La Petite: this is a natural 8 and ranked as the second-best hand in a baccarat game 
  • La Grande: this is a natural 9 and ranked as the best hand in a baccarat game 

Types of Baccarat Games 

Understanding the types of baccarat games means getting one step closer to improving your winning chances and having an easy, fun time while playing. There are more than 20 games, including both software and live dealer versions. The titles below stand out and are found in almost all land-based and online casinos. 

Punto Banco 

Punto Banco is perhaps the most popular baccarat game, and it’s a term that loosely translates to “player-banker”. During gameplay, rounds and hands are played based on standard rules using eight decks of cards in the shoe. There are several versions of this game, including Super6 (aka Punto 2000), Mini Punto, and the famous EZ Baccarat.

Chemin de Fer 

This version of baccarat is widely popular in European-based casinos. It has several differences from the standard baccarat game, but the significant one is that you will be playing against other players, not the dealer. It makes it a game perfect for those who want to test their baccarat skills against players from other countries. 

Super 6

Also known as Punto 2000, Super 6 is yet another unconventional variant of baccarat. All the game rules remain the same, except for a special rule – the Banker only needs 6 points to win!  

Banque

Baccarat Banque has been compared to the Chemin de Fer version of the game – and it’s not difficult to see why. They are both widespread in most land-based casinos across the world, especially in Europe. They are also played around a long oval table, with up to ten people on it. The difference comes when the game has started. In Baccarat Banque, the banker position is usually up for auction. If you are sited at the table and would like to become the banker, all you need to do is stake the highest possible bet and outbid the rest. After that, the normal baccarat rules are followed for gameplay. 

Play Baccarat Online

The rules used in playing baccarat at land-based casinos are the same rules used to play the game online. However, when it comes to online baccarat, the process is slightly different. South Africans and players from all over the world have to follow the steps below to start playing. 

  • Step 1: Pick the Right Casino – take your time and scout for the right casino online. There are several features of an online casino that makes it stand out
  • Step 2: Sign Up – once you’ve identified your preferred online casino, create an account by providing the required details. Ensure all the information provided is 100% accurate 
  • Step 3: Deposit – make your initial first deposit if you wish to play baccarat for real money. South Africans have several methods to pick ranging from eWallets to debit/credit cards among others 
  • Step 4: Pick your game and start playing – there are more than 10 games at any online casino. Pick the baccarat game that best fits your style of play and enjoy! 
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Free to Play vs. Real Money – Which is the Best Mode to Play Baccarat?

The software version of baccarat is readily available for play in free mode. Not many players are familiar with the game rules or how to play the game. Therefore, before committing any real money, online casinos have made it possible for anyone interested to take the game for a test. Through the demo version, you get to enjoy all the features offered  – including the house edge, payout prize, and other things. The only exception is that you won’t be able to win any real cash. 

Once you’ve mastered the game’s fundamentals, you can switch to real money play. Sign up at any of the recommended casinos, complete the KYC process and make your deposit using the list of supported payment methods.

In the top South African online casinos, all transactions are handled safely and securely. Once you are done, fire up any of the baccarat games and start staking real money to win cash that you can withdraw. 

Mobile Baccarat

You can play baccarat for free or for real money on your tablet, mobile, PC, or laptop as soon as you’ve signed up at an online casino. This way, you can place your bet whether you are on the move, stuck at your workstation, or enjoying your lunch break. You’ll be happy to hear that software providers and online casinos have optimized baccarat for most screen sizes. So if you wish to place the risky tie bet while on your commute home, you can do it. 

Live baccarat can also be played on mobile devices and looks incredibly amazing on all the newest smart devices including Samsung, iPhones, iPads, and Google Pixel mobile phones. The only condition to fully enjoy the live version on your device is to ensure you have a strong internet connection. 

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Picking The Right Baccarat Casino For You – What Features Do You Consider?

Hopefully, we’ve narrowed down your search when it comes to the best baccarat sites in the SA. Here are some features you should take into account to get a first-class experience while playing.

Bonuses and Promotions

Firstly, we look at the current list of bonuses and promotions. We compare what the site has to offer and its terms and conditions in regard to the competition.

If you decide to pick a site based on this, ensure it has a variety of casino bonuses and promotions, which come with reasonable or easy-to-achieve terms and conditions.

Portfolio of Games

The portfolio shouldn’t just include baccarat, but also a variety of other games. Slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, video poker, sic bo, and poker among others should all be included in the list

Software Providers

It is said that an online casino is as good as the companies it partners with. Therefore, we tend to look at the software providers that power the games offered at the site. Brands that work with big names such as iSoftBet, BetSoft Gaming, Playtech, Microgaming, Yggdrasil Gaming, and NetEnt among others are highly recommended. 

Payment Providers

South African enthusiasts should, also, look at the payment providers the casino has partnered with. Players should be able to move their money in and out of their accounts safely and securely using the South African rand as one of the currencies. Therefore, working with big brands such as MasterCard, VISA, Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, Paysafecard and AstroPay is a good sign. 

License and Security

How safe are the player’s financial and personal information? What safety measure has been put in to ensure you get paid your money on time? What is the reputation of the online casino in terms of safety and security online? And who licenses or regulates the online casino? These are some of the questions we ask when looking at the safety and security aspects of the site. 

Ease of Use and Navigation

Last but not least, we tend to evaluate the ease of use and navigation of the online casino. When doing this, we ask ourselves questions like: how easy is it to locate a game or service on the site? Is the mobile platform of the casino easy to use as the main platform?

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Baccarat Tips, Tricks, and Strategies

We’ve looked at all the aspects of baccarat, but how do you win the game? What strategy or move should you make to increase your winning chances? Here are some of the baccarat tips and tricks to help you improve your chances of winning. 

Manage Your Bankroll Well

Use a money management strategy to prolong your bankroll. Learn more about the Martingale, Paroli, D’Almbert, and Fibonacci Baccarat Strategies and how you can use them to manage your money. 

Use Popular Baccarat Strategies

The martingale strategy is perhaps the most popular one. According to the strategy, you are required to double your bet amount each time you lose until a win is recorded. The idea is that by the time you win, you will recuperate all your losses plus a profit equal to the initial bet you wagered. 

The Paroli strategy, which is sometimes referred to as the reverse Martingale, works in the opposite way of the Martingale. The Paroli strategy requires you to only double your bet once you record a win. 

Fibonacci is also a progressive type of strategy that uses the concept of Martingale. However, the increment of bet sizes only comes after a number of spins, as opposed to every spin. The result is a rather slow rate of progression, which also means less damaging loss.

Only One Side Can Win

Never bet on the banker and player at the same time. Only one side is meant to win at any time

Bankers Bet Is The Safest Bet

Not sure what to wager on? Then go for the banker bet. It is the one with the lowest house edge and offers you the best chance of winning

Use Patterns and Trends To Win in Live Baccarat

Software-based baccarat is a 100% random and unpredictable game. However, while playing the live version, learn to track trends and patterns and use them to predict future outcomes

Conclusion

Today, with online casino games dominating the industry, the days when playing games such as baccarat were reserved exclusively for a certain group of players are over. Anyone, including you, can play whatever game you wish to, using the minimum possible bets. All you need to do is pick up your internet-enabled mobile device, visit any of the recommended South African casinos and start playing your baccarat game of choice. 

FAQ

Winning big is relative but it’s possible. One of the main reasons why players prefer baccarat over other casino games is the low house edge. This has in the past encouraged high rollers to stake big and consequently win big from the low margins

The house edge simply refers to the theoretical percentage of bets the casinos (house) wins over a certain period. In baccarat, the house edge for the tie bet is highest – 14.4% - followed by the banker bet – 1.24% - and lastly the house, which is set at 1.06%. It, therefore, means you are better off placing a bet on the house as it gives you a better winning opportunity

As already stated, baccarat has for a long time been considered as a game of the elite and high rollers. These are players with a serious bankroll and can spend millions in one sitting. But you can also decide to play the game if you are a casual or average player. The only problem is that you won't make as much money as the other high rollers

There is no sure way of winning in baccarat – not even when using strategies. What strategies were invented to do was basically help players manage their bankroll efficiently. This way, they can increase their playtime and better their winning chances

Under the laws defined by the National Gambling Board, it is illegal for online casinos to operate within the country, but not for players to enjoy games online. Therefore, if you wish to play baccarat online in South Africa, it’s advisable that you visit licensed, offshore online casinos that offer their services to South Africans

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