Baccarat has long been a favorite of casino connoisseurs who prefer their gaming to be classy and sophisticated. An elegant affair involving an ornate table, multiple dealers manning the deck, and several players passing around the shoe, baccarat is the game many people picture when they envision a casino experience.
Like other casino favorites, baccarat has been adapted for online gaming in recent years, but unlike poker and blackjack, the game’s distinct charm and appeal just can’t be replicated through pixels and graphics.
Baccarat requires the deft hand of a seasoned dealer to translate the complex tableau of drawing rules, and the game just isn’t the same without an actual deck of cards being passed around the table. Simply put, you can’t sweat the result of your final draw, squeezing the last card slowly before revealing it to the table when you’re staring at a computer screen.
Until now that is. Thanks to the technological advancements made by the live dealer platform, players can finally recreate a genuine baccarat experience from the comfort of their own homes.
Live dealer baccarat comes in several fun filled formats, including standard, progressive, and bonus versions of the game, and by utilizing the latest in live streaming capability, the sights and sounds of an actual casino come straight to you.
How It Works
The foundation of live dealer baccarat is live streaming, which allows casinos all around the globe to record actual dealers operating baccarat tables in real time. By connecting you to those tables through a one on one interface, you can interact with the dealer and place your bets on the banker or the dealer hand, before watching the cards hit the felt one by one.
As every seasoned baccarat vet knows, the heart of the game comes from sweating your final draw. The last card delivered your way can make or break the hand, so baccarat players love to slow things down and savor the anticipation.
Unfortunately, regular online versions of the game remove this ritual, replacing the sweat with flashing graphics that instantly arrive on your screen. For many longtime baccarat players, losing this aspect of their favorite casino game was too much to bear, and the online baccarat industry has always struggled to match the live version’s overwhelming popularity.
The beauty of live dealer baccarat is the inclusion of a trained dealer running things from behind the table. She knows how the game is played, so rather than instantly turn your final draw over and removing the sweat, the dealer will take their time and let you have a little fun. It may not seem like much, but online baccarat players are flocking to the dozens of live dealer platforms operating today because paying attention to the little things truly does make a big difference.
One of the most popular software providers of live dealer baccarat play is Evolution Gaming. Other software providers include Microgaming and Playtech.
How to Play
Playing a game of live dealer baccarat is simple and easy, because having an experienced dealer with the deck in hand removes the guesswork. After you’ve placed a wager on either the player or banker hand to win, the relative value of the first two cards dealt to each hand determine whether a third and final card will be drawn.
A complicated set of rules known as the tableau governs this drawing round, and many newcomers to the game find the whole process to be rather confusing. Even experienced baccarat players can have trouble following the translation of the tableau, so having a certified dealer on hand to make sure the player and banker hands take a third card when necessary certainly speeds the game along.
When navigating the menu on various live dealer platform providers, you might notice two distinct versions of the game being spread. Standard baccarat is played with the standard seven player table, meaning you’ll be seated alongside up to six other players during each hand.
Everyone’s betting on the same results though (player or banker), and the bets are going against the house, so you shouldn’t be too concerned with the presence of neighbors at the table.
Mini baccarat just takes this one step further, removing the six other player boxes from the table and putting you in a one on one game against the dealer. The on screen interface will differ slightly between standard and mini baccarat games, but in all actuality, the gameplay remains the same for both versions. By simply betting on either the player or banker hand to win, you can take your shot at either standard or mini baccarat and enjoy the same famously favorable house edge of as low as 1.06 percent.
Every game of baccarat on the live dealer platform is designed to recreate the look, feel, and mechanics of a brick and mortar casino baccarat table. This means two cards are dealt to form the player and banker hands, the traditional tableau of drawing rules is applied, and third cards are distributed when necessary. The hand total which reaches closest to nine is declared the winner, and winning wagers are paid out at a 1 to 1 ratio and the rare tie bet pays out at 8 to 1.
Once you’ve placed a wager on either the player or banker hand to win, your job is done. The dealer will take care of the rest, which is what makes baccarat such an enjoyable game for gamblers of all types.
The power of the live dealer baccarat platform means you’ll always have a capable, experienced dealer in the box to interpret the rules and run the game. A well run table deals out more hands per hour, and in a player friendly game like baccarat that boasts an extremely low house edge, increasing your hand volume is actually one of the secrets to long term success.
With that said, it’s always a good idea to take a few minutes and read over the house rules for whichever live dealer platform provider you happen to choose. With several different formats of the game on the menu, including those with bonus bets and other wrinkles, it’s best to know exactly what version you’re diving into before breaking off a piece of your hard earned bankroll.