March 17, 2016

Variations of Live Baccarat

Let’s talk about Live Baccarat!

As you may have anticipated, since Baccarat as a game is very old and has travelled the world, there are several variations of the game itself. We bring you a few just so you know which live Baccarat version you want to play when given a choice:

  • Chemin de Fer

In this version of Baccarat, played mostly in European, specifically French casinos, you as a player and the dealer are required to play the hands of Punto and Banco. So in this case, unlike the American Baccarat version, you are Punto and the dealer is Banco. In a multiplayer setting, each player takes turn at being banker, but can also decline and the role will move onto the next person clockwise. As a twist in play, the player in Chemin de Fer has an option of draw or stand on 5 which does not exist in the American Baccarat version. This brings us to:

  • European Baccarat

This is where a player also has the option to stand or draw on 5 and the banker – also the dealer – can decide on the draw of the third card, although by general consensus, the banker would follow the same third card rules as those of American Baccarat. In this version, the casino finances the banker’s hand, and once any number of players match that finance, the rest of the players are not allowed to bet. So, for example, if the casino finances €1200, and the first player bets €800, and the second bets €400, subsequent players are not allowed to place any bets. Additionally, the banker’s bet can be matched by one player alone, namely the one who shouts “Banco!”

  • Baccarat en Banque

Same rules as Chemin de Fer, except that in Baccarat en Banque, only the house, i.e. the casino is allowed to be banker. Bear in mind that this usually means that the banker has more financial back-up, meaning that bets when the house is banker are normally rather high! Just like any other version which involve the house being banker, a single player can play this version of Baccarat alone with just him and the dealer. This can’t be the case in other versions where players are required to fill in as banker and dealer! Another variation in Baccarat en Banque is that three hands are dealt, meaning one banker and two player hands and players can bet on one or both of the player hands but not on the dealer hand. Lastly, Baccarat en Banque has no rules for drawing! Sometimes, the dealer will adopt the American Baccarat rules for drawing but more interestingly, may also adjust the rules for drawing to suit his advantage! And yes, it’s legal!

  • Mini Baccarat

In this version, rather than eight players, the table accommodates seven, and one dealer as opposed to three. This is the preferred version of Baccarat in the United States. In it, the dealer is both banker and player, and stakes can be kept low. It is what most live Baccarat casino games are versioned at, but don’t take this for granted. Make sure you check what version the live casino is offering before you play. Also in Europe, Baccarat bets are generally placed using chips, whereas in the United States, it’s generally played with real money, making it far more exciting to witness and play!

  • Punto Bunco

Although Punto and Banco are a common way of referring to the player hand and the banker’s hand, these are not to be confused with the name of the version that originated from Cuba after Baccarat was rejected by America. The Cubans devised a version of Baccarat which takes a maximum of 14 players at a table, all players are Punto and the dealer is Bunco, and the players are not allowed any decision on whether or not to take a third card. This is dealt anyway and the dealer decides who won.

  • Dragon Bonus

This is your regular game of Baccarat with the option of a side bet on the banker or player’s hand. There’s a payout table which explains what the payouts are depending on what hands win, and what value they possess.

Dragon Bonus Baccarat

  • In-Running Baccarat

This is known as the most complicated of Baccarat versions. It offers players the option to bet at different stages of dealing, thus complicating matters, but making the game infinitely more exciting to play. You still have the option to bet at first deal just like you would in the standard Baccarat game, and if you choose to bet no further, then your game doesn’t change and your payout is the same as in the standard Baccarat game.

The rub comes after the dealer deals the first card to the player hand, as there is then the option to bet again. At this point, the odds and handicap of both the player and banker hands are recalculated according to the value of the first card that has been dealt. The same happens again once the first banker card is dealt, with odds and handicap for both hands being recalculated according to the value of the card dealt, and another round of betting. Play goes on in this fashion until the deal is over.

  • Premium Baccarat with Card Peak

If you love to squeeze cards, then we suggest that you adopt this version of your favourite game! This version of Baccarat is played live with 14 seats at the table and the player with the highest stake is allowed a peak at the cards he placed his stake on. It is obviously worth noting that the other players are not allowed a peek.

  • Progressive Baccarat

We love this version! So… it’s a standard game of Baccarat which allows for side bets to be placed and then won in the fashion of a progressive game. This is currently only offered in live version on the Playtech Asia platform, but we don’t think it would be much longer before others follow suit! The payout for the progressive jackpot is according to a tie being dealt, as follows:

Progressive Baccarat

  • Baccarat Pairs

This is your regular Baccarat with the option to have a side bet on whether or not the first two cards dealt to either hand would be doubles. There are a number of bets you could place: Banker Pair or Player Pair (both Unsuited) pay approximately 11 to 1 depending on where you are playing. Either hand getting an unsuited pair pays around 5 to 1; and a Perfect Pair, meaning either hand getting a suited pair pays around 25 to 1, again depending on where you are playing. You could also, be given the opportunity to bet small or big. Small is where only 4 cards are being dealt and Big is where between 5 and 6 cards are dealt in total.