Ever noticed how baccarat seems to be everywhere in the casino world, online or offline? It's no surprise, given its easy-to-grasp rules, making it perfect for both pros and beginners. Plus, with a lower house edge than most casino games, it's a top choice for many. Ready to dive deep into baccarat variations? Let's go!
How many versions of Baccarat are there?
There are quite a few versions. In most cases, we have three main versions. These are:
- Punto Banco – The default Baccarat game that most Baccarat tables use.
- Chemin de Fer – Players take turns as the Banker, also known as European Roulette.
- Baccarat Banque – The Banker is chosen at the start of every turn, and there are two Baccarat tables.
- Mini Baccarat – A simplified version of the classic casino card game Baccarat, played with lower betting limits and a faster pace.
- European Baccarat – Players bet on whether the player or the banker will have a higher hand total, aiming for a total closest to 9.
- Dragon Tiger – A fast-paced card game where players bet on which hand, Dragon or Tiger, will have the higher card, with a possibility of a Tie bet as well.
There are many other game versions, but we'll mainly focus on the three above since they are the most popular. You'll likely see more different versions of Baccarat, but, for the most part, they won't differ much from these three.
Punto Banco is among the most popular baccarat variations, resembling Classic Baccarat. Played with six standard 52-card decks, players can bet on either the Banker or the Player, or predict a Tie, meaning both hands will have equal value. After placing bets, cards are dealt and values are calculated.
Tip: You can't change your mind once a bet is placed! So choose wisely!
In Punto Banco, the banker deals a card to both the player and the bank twice in the initial round. After these cards are dealt, their combined value determines if a third card is needed. It's worth noting that betting on the Banker gives you the best odds, as the house advantage is lowest there. Conversely, betting on a Tie isn't recommended due to the significantly higher house edge.
Chemin de Fer
The original Baccarat game. Chemin de Fer (Chemmy) originated in France and slightly differs from Punto Banco. The Biggest difference between the two games is that players can take on the role of Banker. When a match starts, the Banker is chosen, and that player remains as the Banker until he or she loses a game. Moreover, the Banker deals with all the winnings and losses during the round, which is precisely why the role changes after each Banker's loss.
Other players can only bet on the Player. When a round begins, everyone shuffles the cards in order starting from the dealer. Once the dealer shuffles the cards, he/she passes them to the player on the right, who does the same thing. This continues until everyone has shuffled the cards.
Chemin de Fer is a bit more involved than Punto Banco but nowhere near as involved as other casino table games like Blackjack. A game of Chemmy doesn't take long but is significantly slower than Punto Banco, which is probably why the latter is more popular. Still, the rules are mostly the same, and the best have the same payout, odds, and house edge.
Chemin de Fer is played on an oval-shaped table so players can always face each other while the dealer can quickly deal the cards for everyone to see.
Baccarat Banque is an excellent combination of Chemin de Fer and Punto Banco. Players take turns begging the Banker, but the Banker doesn't have to cover the other players' winnings. Also, the role of the Banker changes after every turn.
Players can place either a Player or a Banker bet which is great, but winning Banker bets still require a 5% commission. The Baccarat Banque table is remarkably similar to the Punto Banco table.
This is essentially Punto Banco, apart from two key differences. The first one is that the Mini-Baccarat table can seat fewer players. The second difference is that the minimum wager is usually much lower than regular Punto Banco tables.
Because of the lower bets, many casual players enjoy spending time at Mini-Baccarat tables. However, because mini-baccarat is similar to Punto Banco, many don't even bother changing the name and just call it Punto Banco with low minimum wagering.
Chemin de Fer may be mistaken for European Baccarat, and there's a good reason why. The games play the same, except for one key difference. The Banker and the Player(s) can decide whether or not they want to stay or hit during the third card.
Usually, there are rules that everyone has to follow during the drawing of the third card, but in European Baccarat, players get the ability to choose. Also, at some European Baccarat games, Banker Bets pay 1 to 1 without the 5% commission, also known as EZ Baccarat.
Dragon Tiger is a streamlined version of baccarat, offering a fast-paced gaming experience. In this game, two sides – Dragon and Tiger – are dealt one card each. Players must predict which side will receive the higher card value. If both the Dragon and Tiger are dealt cards of the same value, the round results in a tie. In such cases, the house claims half of the players' bets.
Key betting options include:
- Dragon: Betting on the Dragon side to have the higher card.
- Tiger: Betting on the Tiger side to have the higher card.
- Tie: Predicting that both sides will have cards of equal value. It's essential to note that while the tie bet can be tempting, it has a high house edge of 32.7%, making it a riskier choice.
Additional betting variations:
- Big: This bet wins if the selected side (Dragon or Tiger) receives a card value over 7.
- Small: Wins if the chosen side gets a card value under 7. The bet loses if the card dealt is precisely 7 for both Big and Small bets. These bets come with a house edge of 13.98%.
Depending on the specific Dragon Tiger game variation, players can explore other side bets like Red/Black, Odd/Even, and more. However, players should approach side bets cautiously, as they often favor the casino more. The standard Dragon/Tiger bet is advisable for those seeking the best odds, offering a lower house edge of 3.73%.
Which version of Baccarat should you play?
You can't go wrong with any of the versions mentioned above. No matter which Baccarat variation you choose, this is still the same old, straightforward, and relaxing game.
- If you like to shuffle cards, go for Chemmy (Chemin de Fer)
- If you want to keep it casual, try Mini Baccarat.
- If you want the best of both worlds, check out Baccarat Banque.
Most of the time, especially if you are playing at online casinos, you will end up with Punto Banco because it is the most preferred way to play the classic Baccarat game. If you are ready to hit the game, check out our list of Bitcoin Baccarat sites and choose your favorite.
Regardless of your chosen version, remember that Baccarat is all about luck, not skill. Bet on the Banker, find a betting strategy and enjoy this classic Casino game.
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