Nothing quite epitomizes the classic Vegas experience than the humble European-originated card game known as baccarat. This game is as simple as they come as there are only three possible outcomes for which you may place a bet on — a player win, a banker win, or a tie — and the dealer does all of the work for you.

Today, baccarat is a mainstay in most physical casinos, and it is an especially well-received game to play in online casinos in Malaysia (Play88 casino comes to mind) due to its simple gameplay and straightforward rules. 

Indeed, this card game has ultimately transformed into a highly accessible game for players to take part in regardless of their physical location around the world. Though baccarat’s current standing is a far cry from its opulent origins as it was an exclusive pick for games to play among European nobles mere centuries ago. 

Today, you don’t have to be within a certain financial bracket to be able to play this card game. Nor are you required to dress up in your most expensive attire for an elegant evening when you play baccarat. In fact, you could be in your best pyjamas snuggled up under your blanket and still be able to play online baccarat from the comfort of home. 

Oh, but before we drone on about baccarat and how to play it, you’ll need to register for a Play88 account to start playing. You may do so here.

What is Baccarat?

To put it simply, baccarat is a card game that revolves around chance and probability. And in essence, you’ll only have 50/50 odds (most of the time) of winning by betting on either the player or the banker if you’re playing by the standard rules. 

Apart from standard baccarat, there are three popular variants of this game: punto banco, baccarat chemin de fer, and baccarat banque

In this piece, we’ll focus on providing you with the basics of the basics when it comes to playing classic baccarat. As with any other casino table games, there are some dos and don’ts you should know when it comes to the game. Also, lest we forget, strategy always matters! 

How To Play Baccarat

At the start of each round, the dealer deals two sets of cards face up — a pair of cards each for the player and banker. Whichever set of hands that totals closest to nine will win the round. 

And in baccarat, the only cards that have a point value are the 2 to 9 cards in each suit. The 10 cards, jack, queen, and king do not have any point value and constitute zero points, whereas the aces are only worth one point while jokers are excluded from the deck.  

With this in mind, hands are valued according to the sum of both the cards barring any value above nine. And when the cards dealt are greater in value than nine, you’ll have to drop one of the numbers (typically the first digit) to get the final value. 

For instance, a hand comprising 3 and 3 is valued at six, but a hand comprising 9 and 5 is worth four points (i.e. in combination the cards sum up to 14, where the first digit is dropped). Thus, the highest possible hand value in baccarat is nine.

Baccarat Rules To Remember

Sounds simple, yes? But make no mistake about it, baccarat is more complex than you think. 

The general flow of a round of baccarat outlined above isn’t all there is to playing this game as there are certain minute intricacies and additional rules that you should take note (and advantage) of when you step into a casino.

With that being said, here are some more rules in baccarat that you should definitely know:

  • If either player or banker is dealt a hand totalling eight or nine, both parties stand.
  • If the player’s hand totals five or less, then the player is dealt another card. Otherwise, the player stands. 
  • If the player stands, then the banker will only hit when they have a total of five or less.
  • In the case of a tie, the payout is 8-to-1.

Similarly, you’ll also need to know about the various house edges associated with each betting option.

  • Banker house edge: 1.06%
  • Player house edge: 1.24%
  • Tie house edge: 14.4%

As you can already tell, it’s quite unwise to bet on a tie as it has the highest house edge out of the three options. Likewise, the banker bet has the lowest house edge. However, the banker bet does come with a condition, most casinos will take a commission from your winnings when you bet on the banker.

On the flip side, if you bet on a player win, you aren’t required to pay the commission. And this is one of the reasons why the banker bet is slightly disadvantaged. You should then consider making more bets on the player. 

Do also note that regardless of the baccarat strategy, the house edge will never change.

Baccarat General Tips

Like other online casino games, there are a few tips that you could use to improve your chances. Here are some of the more common baccarat tips to help you to develop a playing strategy:

  • Ignore The Tie Bet: As mentioned, you shouldn’t place a bet on a tie unless you’re feeling particularly lucky.
  • Choose Your Bet Wisely: This is certainly a point of contention among baccarat aficionados around the world. Because the banker is touted as having a slightly higher than 50% winning chance, the general consensus is that you should always bet on the banker. But, placing a bet on the banker means you’ll have to pay a commission (which ranges from casino to casino). Thus, both player and banker bets offer their own pros and cons. Picking one or the other based on your playstyle and capital will be the key to your success.
  • Follow The Patterns: Always keep an eye out for winning streaks (which statistically speaking, will come from the banker most of the time). When this happens, simply place your wager on the banker — just keep in mind not to be overly aggressive.
  • Skip The Bet After The Banker Loses: The banker will eventually lose and this is where you will skip the next round of bets. Once the following bet has been settled, take note of the winning bet and resume betting in line with the outcome of that play.
  • Keep An Eye On Your Stake: While baccarat has an advantageous house edge, it essentially boils down to a coin flip. Therefore, both winning and losing streaks are to be expected and you should always monitor your bag before you go too deep into the red. Setting a total limit and strictly sticking to it while taking short breaks here and there is a wise schedule to follow here. 

If you’re looking for an online casino that offers baccarat for you to play, look no further than Play88 online casino — one of the most popular providers in Malaysia and its surrounding region. 

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