A Guide To Online Baccarat Variations

Baccarat is a classic casino game with an interesting history that involves a royal scandal, James Bond, and of course, a whole lot of glamour. It is considered to be a very old gambling game that spread through countries and crossed continents, evolving over time to accommodate the context of players’ different cultures and social needs. Today, it is played on reputable casino sites and there are many online baccarat variations to learn. We take a look at this online casino game’s history, how it is currently played, and the different variations available for play.


The history of baccarat

Some historians suggest that baccarat’s roots can be traced back to ancient China and Rome. In China, pai gow (make nine) was a popular game that required players to denote numbers, potentially showing a link to baccarat, where nine is the maximum score that players can achieve.

In ancient Rome, it is believed that various games were played where rolling an eight or a nine on a nine-sided dice won a prize. This has led some historians to believe that the significance of eight or nine (a ‘natural’ in baccarat) supplying the best outcome could have influenced the rules of the game.

Felix Falguiere is responsible for the first official set of rules for the modern version of baccarat. This all took place in 15th century Italy, where it is believed that Falguiere was mostly influenced by games such as Macao (known today as a baccarat variant) and Le Her. In Le Her, players would draw a card from the deck and the person with the highest rank would win. Falguiere decided on the name “baccara” (Italian for zero) as the majority of cards are worth zero. The game became popular in France and the French spelling “baccarat” became predominantly accepted around the world.

It was the French soldiers who brought the game from Italy towards the end of the 15th century. It quickly became a favoured game amongst the French nobility, who also created their own version called baccarat banque.

Over the years, baccarat became popular at casinos and other gambling establishments in France. Throughout the century, this classic game spread slowly but steadily across Europe. In 1891, Sir William Gordon-Cumming was accused of cheating during a game hosted by Arthur Wilson. Sir William filed a writ for slander and the game was declared illegal in 1886 as other players were also called as witnesses for the trial.


How modern baccarat is played

If you’re looking for James Bond-style casino fun, you should definitely give baccarat a go. In this casino game, there are three possible outcomes – a player win, a banker win, and a tie. The dealer does all of the work so if you’re looking for a mobile casino game that can be played with ease, baccarat is the ideal game. The aim is to get a card value closest to nine with two or three dealt cards. You’ll need to bet either on your hand, the banker’s (aka dealer) hand, or a tie before the cards are dealt. The Ace card is worth one point and all face cards count as 0. If your hand exceeds nine, the counting starts all over. However, if the total of the two cards is less than seven, the player can request a third card. If the total is eight or nine, the higher number will win. The banker/dealer is allowed to do the same. When the third cards are turned up, the winner is determined.


Online baccarat variations

Though the basic game is based on betting on a hand of cards to reach the sum of nine, each variant offers something unique and dynamic catering to a wide audience of online casino players. If you’d like to encounter slight changes in the rules and order of play, here are some online baccarat variants to play:


Chemin de Fer

Also referred to as “railroad”, chemin de fer is the French version of baccarat. In this variation, the dealer sets out a stake and players compete against each other instead of playing against a dealer. If a player wants to match the stake of the dealer, they must say “Banco” or “go to bank”. The player who does this becomes the next banker or will make a wager that is smaller than the full stake required so that the betting can continue.

Baccarat Banque

The role of the banker is auctioned before the start of the game. Baccarat banque is also known as “a deux tableaux”, or “two tables” in English. In this version, a banker is confirmed, whereas in chemin de fer all players take the role of the banker. The player is dealt two cards while the banker is dealt one hand. One hand will be dealt to the left side of the table and one to the right side. Players must then choose whether to bet on their side of the table or bet on both player’s hands. Players are not allowed to bet on the dealer’s hand.

European Baccarat

In European Baccarat, players can choose whether to stand or draw on five. The banker is also allowed to request a third card, although he doesn’t have to. The casino finances the banker’s hand. They are provided with a monetary amount. For example, the banker is given £1500. If the first player at the table bets £1000 and the second player bets the remaining £500, the other players are not allowed to bet.

Punto Bunco

When you play online casino games, you’re guaranteed to see Punto Bunco on various casino sites. It is the closest variation of the classic game of baccarat, with the main difference of Punto Banco being that the game action unfolds in accordance with an established set of rules and players aren’t given any optional plays. Players must bet on the player or the banker and then the cards are dealt. As soon as bets are placed, the player who occupies seat 1 takes over the role of a bank and will deal the cards.


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Neal / 01 December 2021