Live online baccarat guide: Where to play & best baccarat casinos | March 2024
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Live online baccarat guide: Where to play & best baccarat casinos | March 2024

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While the game of baccarat dates back more than 500 years, the advent of live-streamed online baccarat may be the most crucial development for the game since the fall of Versailles.

Baccarat may have originated in the palaces of France and Italy but the Asian market set it on track to have more than 100 billion a year wagered on it, with much of that money bet in Macau and other Asian gaming hotspots.

In this piece, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about live online baccarat, how it is played today in land-based casinos, and how it has evolved into one of the world’s most popular online casino games.

We’ll also discuss the best places to play baccarat in the legal US online casino market along with some tips and tricks to help you master the game.

More on Baccarat Live Casino

Quick Rundown of How To Play Baccarat

In baccarat, you can bet the bank or the player; if you win, you get even money, but on the bankside, since the math favors the bank, you pay a 5% vig. That’s it. The game’s rules determine how the hand is played, and the dealer will handle all that. Just pick player or bank; all the other bets, including the tie, are very high house edge side bets that we can safely ignore.

Should you wish to know them, the rules are also straightforward: the cards are dealt, and the player and the bank receive two cards each; all ten values are ten, and all aces are one. We drop the first number and only worry about the last digit of our total. So a nine and an eight equal 17, but we drop the first digit to get a hand total of seven.

If either player or bank is dealt an eight or a nine, that’s a natural, and the hand ends without drawing another card.

The player’s hand draws a third card if they have less than five, and the banker’s hand draws a third card based on the value of the player’s draw card. If that draw card is zero, one, two or three, the banker will always hit with the exception of a three and the player’s third card being an eight.

If that third card is a four, the banker’s hand will draw if they have a 2-7; if the draw card is a five, the banker’s hand will draw if they have a total of 4-7; and if the third card draws for the player is a 6, the banker’s hand only draws if they have a 6-7.

Trust us, there are only basically four rules, and the dealer knows them. You don’t have to do anything but bet, banker or player.

What Is Live Dealer Baccarat?

Live Dealer baccarat is just the same old baccarat game but is streamed online. We choose whether to bet player or bank and place any side bets. The dealer in their studio deals the cards, and the computer software pays the winners. Unlike traditional baccarat games played online, live dealer baccarat uses a real dealer and real cards shuffled in front of us.

Since baccarat is dealt with a strict set of rules, there is no question of whether to hit or stand. The cards make that determination. So many people can play on one table since the cards are communal and shared by everyone, unlike live blackjack tables, where everyone might play their hand differently.

Live Dealer Baccarat vs. Traditional Baccarat

While the rules and the tables are the same, there are some pros and cons to both live baccarat games played in a brick-and-mortar casino and live dealer baccarat played in a studio and streamed on the internet.

Advantages of Live Dealer Baccarat Tables

Live dealer games can have 100s or more players playing on one table. The online casino is already saving money on space in a billion-dollar neon palace and labor by packing so many players on each game. Not to mention the savings on security, cage personnel, and surveillance, they can offer much better promotions, casino signup bonuses, and even rule sets.

With the addition of high-definition streaming from opulent studio spaces and hiring the best live baccarat dealers, online casinos can now offer an almost Macau-like gaming experience without leaving your hometown.

Advantages of Traditional Baccarat Tables

Live baccarat games in land-based casinos are pure spectacle, often with many tens of thousands of dollars being wagered. It is a time-honored tradition with all of its carefully choreographed aspects, like handing off the banker or player cards or the turning over of the cards.

There is also an undeniable social aspect as the players root for their hands, and the curator turns over the cards. Besides a hot craps table, you will not often find the raw emotion that you will see on winning baccarat tables.

Top Live Baccarat Online Casinos

We’ve reviewed some of the best casinos for online baccarat and compiled a list of their best features down below:

FanDuel Online Casino

Screenshot of FanDuel Online Casino

FanDuel Casino offers a unique initial deposit bonus within a 24-hour rebate of your losses up to $1,000 and ongoing redeposit bonuses, promotions, and tourneys.

They have six live dealer games from Evolution Studios, including speed baccarat, golden wealth baccarat, and first-person baccarat with minimums of $1 to $10,000.

DraftKings Online Casino

DraftKings Online Casino screenshot.

DraftKings Casino offers $35 to new users just for registering plus an initial match on up to a $100 deposit.

Unfortunately, the site’s much larger $1,000 match excludes baccarat play. They have four live dealer baccarat games available, including speed baccarat and a progressive jackpot worth over $500,000.

BetMGM Casino

BetMGM Casino screenshot.

BetMGM Casino offers exactly one live dealer baccarat game, which is excluded from their generous initial deposit match bonus for new players.

Borgata Online Casino

Borgata Online Casino screenshot.

Borgata Casino, which BetMGM owns, also offers only one live dealer baccarat game and excludes that game from bonuses. Borgata offers slots only to unlock its welcome bonus.

Golden Nugget Casino

Golden Nugget Online Casino screenshot.

Golden Nugget Online Casino offers two live dealer games, both of which have a progressive jackpot currently at almost a million dollars. They also have a $1,000 deposit match bonus, but unfortunately, baccarat is not eligible.

Caesars Palace Online Casino

Caesar’s Palace Online Casino screenshot.

Caesars Palace Online Casino offers a fantastic $2,500 initial match on your first deposit. You can also earn $2,500 Caesars Rewards Points on your first $25 wagered. Baccarat qualifies for this promo. They have four great live dealer baccarat games, including Speed Baccarat and Golden Wealth.

How to Rank the Best Live Baccarat Online Casinos

There are many legal online sites to play live dealer baccarat in almost all states that allow legal online wagering. That means we shouldn’t have to settle for less-than-desirable games.

We want safe games with plenty of titles to choose from. We want big sign-up bonuses and many ongoing bonuses and promotions. We want to be able to pay on whatever device we choose, including our phone. We want fast deposits and withdrawals, and customer service should always be available to answer questions.

Safety & Security

Every casino investigated, vetted, and finally issued a license in a legal US gaming jurisdiction will be safe and secure. But a friendly reminder that not all casinos out there undergo financial checks, software checks, and the strict regulations that the online operators here in the states must pass.

Game Variations

Quite a few baccarat variations are already available, with more hitting the market each year. It’s always nice to have choices. They generally have very high house advantages regarding side bets, but we still want them to be offered if we decide to bet one.

Bonus Incentives

Baccarat has only a 1% house edge, with the banker having slightly less than the player despite having to pay the 5% vig. If we get large sign-up bonuses, ongoing promotions, and many reward points, we can lower that even more and have a much better chance at more winning sessions and longer play times.

Mobile Compatibility

It’s 2024; there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be able to play live baccarat tables on your phone or mobile device. To begin with, the ability to play wherever and whenever is one of the fundamental selling points of live dealer games. So, a casino that can only offer us live dealer games on their terms instead of ours is one we should avoid.

Payout Speeds

The technology exists for instant deposits and withdrawals with a day or two turnaround. Anything else is unduly burdensome and not worth the hassle, especially when you consider how many other casinos have been able to make that work.

Customer Service

24/7 customer service is something we all agree on. While chat tree AI bots have their place, it’s important to be able to get your issues resolved as soon as possible. If you’re betting $500 a hand on baccarat and something goes wrong at a brick-and-mortar casino, you don’t have to wait until the staff returns in the morning to have it fixed. You certainly shouldn’t have to wait at an online casino!

Benefits of Playing Baccarat Live Online

There are many advantages to playing live dealer online Baccarat vs. playing in a real casino. Here are just a few:

Convenience

You can play from anywhere at any time. Because real money online casinos don’t have the overhead that brick-and-mortar casinos do, you can generally play for much lower house minimums.

You never have to worry about getting a seat because of the nature of Baccarat. They can accommodate hundreds of players to one online baccarat dealer.

You also don’t have to worry about whether they have your favorite side bet, whether it be Dragon Bonus, Lucky 6, or Panda 8; the odds are they will have it available for you to bet. One of the main inconveniences is missing out on the perks of gambling in person, like free drinks and a fun environment.

Choice of Human Dealer

If we were playing in Macau, we would have hundreds of baccarat games and baccarat dealers to choose from, but that’s seldom the case in most American casinos. Even if there are a couple dozen, many will be full. In most regional markets, you will be lucky to find four or five open tables with very high minimums.

We can pick almost any dealer on the infinite tables when we play online, as there will always be room. There are also many other games and dealers to choose from.

Secure Gameplay

Reputable online casinos will always keep the gameplay safe and secure. You can rest assured there are measures to keep your wallet and information safe from when you log in until you cash out. When we play online, we don’t need physical cash, and we certainly don’t need to worry about handling large sums of money in person.

Increased Bonuses

Online casino games and live dealer games have increased bonuses. For example, you can receive a $2,500 initial match on your deposit or up to $1,000 rebate on losses in the first 24 hours of sign-up. These bonuses, promotions, drawings, and tournaments will never be found in a land-based casino.

Live Dealer Baccarat Casino Game Variants

There are many live dealer variants of Baccarat, and even more are on the way. Most of the ones listed here still use the basic rules of the standard game, but others out there are venturing further and further from the original rule set.

Single Player Baccarat

Unless you are playing in a high minimum Salon De Prive with a negotiated table intended just for you, all single-player Baccarat is just a way of showing the bean-shaped table with one player. There are still many other players; it is just showing it from a single-person point of view.

Multi-Seat Baccarat

Just like single-player Baccarat, this is just a design aesthetic to show some other players’ hands on the table when, in fact, there are probably dozens or more. It’s just a personal preference thing.

Speed Baccarat

What if we took standard live dealer Baccarat, which lasts 50 seconds per game round, and instead completed a game round every 27 seconds? That is pretty much the only premise of speed Baccarat, which is quicker than standard Baccarat.

Baccarat Squeeze

In games like Punta Banco or midi baccarat, where the players are allowed to handle the cards, slowly squeezing out the cards to see the pips and arriving at a point total is a huge part of the thrill of the game. Some brilliant designers at Evolution discovered a way to replicate this online.

In the original Baccarat squeeze, it was just an option to turn over your cards one at a time.

Baccarat Controlled Squeeze

Baccarat controlled squeeze took the idea to the next level by allowing you to open a picture of the card and expose parts of it slowly, very much like squeezing out the card total.

Mini Baccarat

Mini Baccarat was designed to be smaller and slightly poorer relative to Baccarat. Often played on a table that only seats 6 or 7, the table minums on these games are usually much smaller, but the players aren’t allowed to touch the cards, and the vig is paid after every hand instead of being marked up.

Progressive Baccarat

Progressive games generally allow you to bet $1 or $5 on the progressive bet. If you hit the big jackpot, you can win hundreds of thousands of dollars. The house advantage is well into the double digits in progressive games like Royal Nine.

No Commission Baccarat

In this version of no-commission Baccarat, we never pay that darn 5% vig when the banker’s hand wins. However, if the banker wins with a 6, we only win half our bet. This takes our beloved banker bet from a house edge of 1.06% to over 4.07%.

Punto Banco

Punto Banco is simply another name for the big baccarat game nowadays. All Baccarat in American casinos is the Punto Banco form of Baccarat because it is played against the house rather than other players, like the French versions of Chemin De Fer or even Deaux Tableaux.

It will generally consist of three dealers and a ladderman around two horseshoe-shaped tables joined in the middle.

There will be room for 14 to 16 players in total, and even minimums will be very high and max bets could be seven figures. While often played in private salons, it is a thing of beauty to be seen dealt with by a crack crew and with cosmopolitan customers.

Tips for Playing Live Dealer Baccarat on Mobile

Playing Live Dealer Baccarat on your phone has seen an upsurge of popularity in the last two years; more and more table game players at online casinos are choosing to play games like roulette and baccarat with online dealers using actual roulette wheels or real cards instead of random number generators. And this is likely to continue.

Play on Trusted Wi-Fi Connection

There is no sicker feeling than having a thousand-dollar bet with the cards just being dealt and your phone dropping the connection. It is best to play only over Wi-Fi, not cell networks, not only for that reason but also for safety and security concerns.

Remember, you won’t be able to use a VPN with these online casino apps to prevent location spoofing from people trying to play from outside the geofence, so keep your Wi-Fi safe and secure.

Play at Reputable Online Casinos

Again, by reputable, we mean any casino licensed by a US state gaming agency. Of course, some pay quicker, and some give better bonuses and comps. There are many reasons to choose one US-licensed casino from another, but you shouldn’t ever have to worry about it being reputable, as in, is my money safe, and is the game on the up and up? If it’s got a license from a US state gaming commission, it had better be reputable, or it won’t licensed long.

Keep Your Mobile Devices Charged

Much like dropping a signal, you don’t want to be in the middle of a 16-hand banker run with only 2% battery left. Keep your phone charged, or invest in a reasonably priced battery bank.

Tips to Consider When Playing Live Baccarat

Avoid the Tie Bet

Much like insurance in Blackjack, the tie bet in Baccarat is just a high house edge side bet put out there to lure the naive. At almost a 10 percent housedge it’s one of the worst bets in the casino.

Fewer Decks

This is more myth than math, but playing fewer decks can shave off a few hundredths of a percent on the banker side. It is far better to look for the elusive and almost mythical 4% vig, which reduces the house edge to .6%.

Side Bets

Baccarat side bets with a high house edge are generally a waste of money. The amount of house edge varies from side bet to side bet and even within side bets. For instance, the house edge on Dragon Bonus on the player side is 2.6%, while the house edge on the banker side is 9.3%. We aren’t sure how that came to be, but that’s the nature of side bets.

The very popular Panda 8 has an over 10% house advantage, and the lucky six, often found with commission-free Baccarat, has a whopping 16% house edge, so you can see why we advise steering clear of these side bets.

Live Baccarat FAQs

You’ve got questions about playing live baccarat, and we’ve got answers.

Is live dealer baccarat online safe & legit?

Playing live dealer baccarat with a licensed and legal online casino operator is 100% safe and legitimate. But, make sure you only play with money you can lose and always set a strict budget and stick to it.

What is the best live dealer baccarat casino?

The term ‘best’ will always be relative to your personalized experience. You may like Speed Baccarat, so only a casino with Speed Baccarat will fit the bill.

Perhaps you’re chasing big bonuses for signup and ongoing bonuses to help keep the house edge low; your needs will differ from someone trying to build up MGM rewards points for a long weekend at the Bellagio. Find what works for you.

Can I play live dealer baccarat for free?

Since live dealer games have some overhead, they can be tough to find for free. Most live dealer casino games will require some sort of buy-in to get involved.

What mobile devices can I play live baccarat on?

Large online casino operators aren’t in the business of excluding customers. You can use Android or Apple iOS devices, among many others.

Is live dealer baccarat rigged?

Live Dealer Baccarat, played in a legal online jurisdiction with a licensed US online casino operator, will be broadcasted from studios in that state that gaming control agents closely monitor. They aren’t rigged.

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