Baccarat (or to be more accurate, the form of Baccarat played in the UK – Punto Banco) is one of the oldest games in the casino, but in all honesty its popularity has dwindled somewhat in recent years. Whilst the game is steeped in tradition and history, with links to high profile movies and just a general association with ‘old school’ casino based programs, baccarat has seen the numbers of which are playing the game diminished. The main reason for this is due to the increased availability of games such as Roulette and Blackjack. These games provide a much larger edge for the house meaning they make more money in the long run. Baccarat’s low house edge means it’s a winner for punters, but casinos will make less on these tables.
Nevertheless, the game is still available and to be honest, it likely always will be. One of the newer innovations into the game online has come in the form of live baccarat. The live version of the game gives you the feeling that you are in the live casino environment from the comfort of your own home. These games differ from that of the ‘standard’ format of online Baccarat in that you are able to view a real live dealer who are dealing actual cards; compared with the online version offering up a Random Number Generator (RNG) to deal the cards.
So, the RNG is basically a computer picking cards at random from the deck. Just like in a live game, the RNG will discard any cards used after the hand has been completed. The RNG works like a massive carousel of cards continuingly rotating until a player makes a decision. Once these decisions has been made, think of it being like a pin dropping at that exact moment in time and selecting the card, before the card is dealt and the carousel continues to rotate. Obviously this happens in lightning fast time and there is no way your timing will influence the card as there is no way in knowing which card it could possibly land on.
The difference between this and live baccarat is that the dealer will shuffle the deck(s) of cards before the game and then continue to deal. It works the same way really, as the cards will be in a random order after the shuffle. Just the RNG has the capabilities to keep the cards virtually spinning before being needed.
Another aspect of the game that you need to bear in mind when playing live baccarat is that there will likely be other real players playing at your table. This means that it’s highly likely you will have to wait for them to either finish betting or complete their go before the action gets back onto you. Unlike playing online baccarat where you can play hands almost instantly, the live version requires a little more patience. On the flip side, it does massively increase user interaction meaning you can sit and chat with the dealers and of course the other players at the table, if you so wish.
The layouts of the tables will likely change up from one live casino to another. A popular layout will include a live stream of the dealer in a casino dealing the cards on a table, with super-imposed images of your bets and also things such as road map and last sequence of hands won. As mentioned, these will likely vary from each casino, but as general rule, they won’t look too dis-similar to this set up.
How to Play Live Dealer Baccarat/Punto Banco
The live baccarat version of the game is exactly the same as that you would play either online or in a brick and mortar casino. The only variations will likely be in betting sizes, but apart from that, the same basic rules will apply. For those of you unfamiliar with how the game works, then keep reading.
The aim of Baccarat is to score as close to 9 as possible without going over using two cards dealt from the dealer. The dealers will actually only deal two sets of hands, one to the player’s and the other to the banker. The people at the table can then either bet on the player’s cards to win, the bankers cards to win or a tie. It’s worth noting that if the bankers hand does win then a 5% commission will have to be paid.
Cards numbered from 2-9 are all worth their face value, with an Ace worth just one point and cards including tens and pictures are actually worth zero. The two cards are added together and then the number in the right hand column is taken as that score. So, if a 6 and an 8 were drawn then this would equal 14. But as we only take the digit in the right hand column, this score would then become 4.