Any self-respecting James Bond fan needs to play baccarat at least once in their lives. However, even if you’re not a fan of 007’s adventures, baccarat is one of the most exciting casino games you can play. And now, thanks to the rise of online casinos, Canadian players can feel like Mr. Bond in Casino Royale whenever and wherever they want. Coming with real money-winning opportunities, lucrative bonuses, and an unbelievable gambling experience, online baccarat casinos are here to take your game to a whole new level.
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Top rated Online Baccarat casinos | January 2023
Baccarat Casino Games: History & Rules
Introduced in 19th-century France (although some claim the game originated in 15th-century Italy), baccarat has always had that noble connotation. That’s because, unlike many other card games, baccarat used to be played by French nobility in private gaming rooms. Indeed, baccarat wasn’t introduced into casinos until the 1940s, when Havana casinos turned it into a casino-house game.
This is where the Punto Banco baccarat was introduced, a simplified version of the original Baccarat Banque. Baccarat soon became one of the most popular casino games. Its popularity skyrocketed in the 1960s when the world saw James Bond, portrayed by David Niven, play a thrilling game of baccarat in the film adaptation of Ian Flemming’s novel – Casino Royale.
Since then, baccarat has remained one of the most popular table games, especially with the rise of the online gambling industry. Nowadays, players can enjoy online baccarat games wherever and whenever they like without sacrificing the excitement associated with a brick-and-mortar version of the game.
General Baccarat Rules
If you’ve never played baccarat, the following few paragraphs are for you. If you have, it’s never a bad idea to refresh your knowledge. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something new and exciting about playing baccarat. First, let’s talk about the baccarat rules.
The first thing to know is that, while it can look intimidating, baccarat is one of the most straightforward casino games. The game’s goal is to determine a winning hand – a banker’s or a player’s. A winning hand is the one that’s closest to nine points. You can also bet on a tie, meaning there are three betting variations in total:
- Player bet
- Banker bet
- Tie bet
Therefore, the aim here is to guess which hand will win (or if there’s a tie). The highest hand wins, but the trick here is that it cannot exceed 9 points. If it does, for example, the hand is valued at 16 (8+8), then the first number is dropped, leaving you with 6 points.
It’s also important to note that different rules apply to players and bankers:
|Rules for Players||Rules for Bankers|
|No more cards are dealt when a hand is valued at 8 or 9. A dealer deals them with another card if the player’s hand is worth 5 or less. If the hand is valued at 6 or more, the player stands.||The banker always hits with a hand valued at 2 or less. When having 3, the banker hits unless the player has 8. When the hand is worth 4, the banker hits unless the player has the third card valued from 2 to 7. If the dealer’s hand is worth 6, they can hit only when the player’s third card is 6 or 7. If the hand value is 7, the dealer always stands.|
Understanding Baccarat Card Values
In baccarat, all cards have their value (the graph above), which, when added, constitutes the total hand’s value. Here’s how it works:
Online Baccarat Game Variants
When browsing through online baccarat sites, you’ll notice that there are numerous variants of baccarat games. The three major baccarat variants are Baccarat en Banque, Punto Banco, and Chemin de Fer:
- Baccarat en Banque – The original, three-person version of baccarat. It’s mostly played in European land-based casinos, although you might also play it in most online casinos in Canada. In this baccarat game variant, the banker’s role doesn’t rotate around the table. Instead, it’s assigned to the player willing to accept the higher risk of playing as a banker.
- Punto Banco – The most popular variant of baccarat, both at land-based and online casinos, is Punto Banco. It’s a simplified version of the original baccarat game, where the casino always takes the bank’s role.
- Chemin de Fer – In this baccarat variant, the banker’s role rotates around the table. Another difference is that the player can hit or stand when their hand is valued at 5. This is the version James Bond played in the Casino Royale novel and its movie adaptations.
How to Play Baccarat Online?
Once you get the rules, it’s time to find the best online baccarat casino site to play at, choose your baccarat game, and start playing. Here’s a quick overview of what a typical game of baccarat looks like:
- Once you join the baccarat table, you get to choose whether to bet on a player, banker, or tie.
- The dealer deals player and banker with two cards, these roles will rotate or not depending on the baccarat variant you play.
- As covered, both banker and player aim to get as close to 9 points as possible.
- As a player, if you are dealt with a third card if your total hand’s value is 5 or less (in Chemin de Fer baccarat, you can decide to stand in such a situation).
- If your hand value is higher and closer to 9 points than the banker’s hand, you win.
Things to Know About Online Casino Baccarat
Understanding baccarat rules and finding the best online baccarat casino site is a start. However, it will take much more than that to boost your chances of winning real money. To make the most out of your online gambling experience, you will also need to learn baccarat odds and basic strategies.
Baccarat House Edge, Odds, and Winning Probability
The house edge in baccarat varies depending on the variant. When taking the most popular online baccarat game 8-deck Punto Banco, house edge looks as follows:
- 1.06% for the banker
- 1.24% for the player
- 14.4% for the tie
As you can see then, the house edge in baccarat is very low, which is one of the many reasons behind its popularity. Remember that the low house edge means a high return-to-player rate, which, for most baccarat online casino games, is around 98-99%.
It’s also vital to consider the odds when deciding on your betting strategy. When it comes to baccarat, the general odds are as follows:
- The banker and the player are both paid as 1:1
- The banker’s winning odds stand at 45.56%, whereas the player’s odds are 44.62%
- The odds of having a tie are 9.52%
Online Baccarat Strategies
There are tons of baccarat strategies you can use, and it’s worth learning more about them. There are tons of baccarat guides online, so we won’t dwell too much on it here. When choosing your baccarat strategy, the basic rule is to look at the odds.
As covered above, the banker’s house edge is lower, whereas its winning odds are higher. Therefore, betting on the banker is generally more profitable if you’re looking for a long-term return. However, that may not always be the case. The odds and possible strategies will also depend on the variant you’re playing.
It’s a very complex subject, but it’s worth doing your homework before putting your real money on the line. You might also consider playing free baccarat games before playing for real money. This way, you’ll be able to try out different strategies and learn how to apply them.
How to Play Live Dealer Baccarat Games?
Top baccarat online casinos in Canada will offer several variants of baccarat games. However, you will also be able to choose between AI-driven and live dealer baccarat games. The first ones are the most popular and easiest to find. They operate on RNG software (random number generator).
Live baccarat online casino games, on the other hand, involve a real, human dealer dealing with the cards and communicating with players. Such games involve live streaming and include slightly different odds. Also, you can only play live dealer baccarat for real money. There are no demo versions.
Such games are, however, much more realistic. They are as close as you can get to the land-based casino experience without leaving your own home. If you’re looking for that extra thrill, then live dealer baccarat games are worth giving a go.
How to Find the Best Online Baccarat Casinos in Canada?
When comparing the best online baccarat sites, you’ll soon realize that each online casino offers something slightly different. And given the sheer number of casino sites offering baccarat, the question is how to pick the best one.
Fortunately, Betsquare is here to save you some time. Our list of baccarat casino sites contains the best gambling sites you can find in Canada that offer baccarat games. However, choosing the perfect one is up to you. Here’s what you should consider when making that final choice:
- Licensing and security features
First and foremost, always play at fully licensed casinos that use top-quality security features (SSL encryption, for example). At Betsquare, those are the only sites we recommend.
- Number of games
Best online casinos offer a wide variety of games, be it baccarat, other table games, or online slots. Look for the site that has your favourite baccarat games for the best experience.
- Casino bonuses
Don’t underestimate casino bonuses. They can significantly boost your gambling experience and provide you with some exciting opportunities when playing real money casino games. Many casinos even offer bonuses dedicated to baccarat players, so keep an eye out for them.
Baccarat offers excellent payouts, its rules are simple to understand, and the gameplay is exciting if you know how to play. However, these are not the only reasons behind baccarat’s popularity. Ever since it was introduced to casinos, first land-based than online, baccarat has been considered a more high-end casino game.
Even today, with so many variants available, baccarat still attracts more high rollers than any other game. However, the key is to know where to play it. Hopefully, our list of the best baccarat online casinos in Canada will prove useful in your search. Compare our picks, make your choice, and start your baccarat journey on a high note.
What do you think of our online baccarat page? Behind every review is an experience that matters!
First, choose one of the online casinos from our list. Create an account, make your deposit to claim your welcome bonus, and start playing. There are tons of baccarat variations available in Canada, so be sure to try them all for free (if possible) before putting your money on the line.
In any of the real money baccarat casinos, you see above. And if you aren’t certain which to choose, compare the games offered and casino bonuses. The more games and the more lucrative the bonuses, the better.
Of course. What’s more, given its low house edge and high RTP, baccarat is one of the best casino games for real money gambling.
No, unless you’re playing at licensed and regulated top online casinos. Such casinos offer safe and fair payouts, as well as use reliable software from industry-leading providers.
Although not all casinos in Canada allow that, reputable online casino sites typically offer their players a chance to try various games for free, including baccarat.
Lisa works as a content writer and specializes in delivering top tier i-gaming content which is why her articles and blog posts are always very engaging and informative. Well spoken, and does her research very well in an industry where transparency, honesty and constant follow up is a rarity.