European & American Baccarat
Baccarat (pronounced bah-cah-rah), as with live casinos, has two major online types, namely European and American Baccarat.
European baccarat is largely the more popular of two outside of the US, and can be distinguish by the following:
- The player has the option to stand or draw when the point total from the initial deal is equal to 5.
- The banker has the option of drawing a third card.
- The banker is one of the players, rather than the casino.
- Casino’s may offer to front money for the Banker’s hand.
Chemin de Fer
One of the most popular variants of baccarat around the world, and especially in Europe and France, Chemin de Fer employs the standard European Baccarat rules. It also, traditionally, the largest and allows for up to fourteen players to join a game. At live casinos it is played on a large table with special accessories to help move the cards and chips around. In online Chemin de Fer though, size and space are not an issue.
Baccarat en Banque
Another variant more popular in Europe, and elsewhere, than the US, Baccarat en Banque is generally played with three decks of cards. This variant can vary from according to the casino, with the rules most often resembling Chemin de Fer. A common distinguishing rule, however, is that the banker is often set to a single, unchanging, player at the beginning of a game, or alternatively, the casino may also choose to act as the banker.
Eight decks of cards are used in this popular example of American Baccarat. In Punto Banco, the casino acts as the banker. Also, the 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings, have zero value, while Aces are worth one point. The points of the remaining cards correspond with their face values.
A variant that is popular in Asia, Three-card Baccarat involves the use of a single 52-card deck. The players also receive three cards from the dealer, with the highest possible hand being three face cards, aka “royals”. Another distinguishing rule in this version is that if both a player and the banker have hands equalling the same number of points, the hand with the highest-ranking face cards wins.
Mini Baccarat is basically a smaller-scale variant of Punto Banco, following many of the same rules. It has become quite popular in the US and elsewhere as a quicker, more casual way to play.
Live Dealer Baccarat
In this hybrid of online gaming and streaming technology, players can play, and interact, with an actual casino-trained dealer, broadcasted live over streaming video, with the function and layout of an online casino game.
Online live dealer baccarat, and other casino games that employ a dealer, have gained great popularity around the world, and for many, are a preferred way to play dealer-based online casino games. Not only does it potentially create a more immersive and enjoyable casino experience and atmosphere, but it also employs “real-world” random chance, rather than the RNG, Random Number Generator, used in all other digital casino games.