Baccarat is one of the most iconic card games in Canada, or anywhere in the world for that matter. Its popularity is mainly due to its simplicity, diversity and unpredictable nature. In the original 007 films, James Bond was seen playing a variant called Chemin de Fer, which sparked a worldwide interest, and a just a few decades later online Baccarat was born, making it even easier than ever before for players to get in on the action.
Today, all online casino Canada sites offer the game in different variants, and with different table limits and you can readily find the version that works for you.
Online Baccarat is played Punto Banco style, meaning you face off against the house instead of the other players around the table, as in Chemin de Fer. Punto Banco means Player, Banker and this represents the main betting options.
The game actually has a fairly simple setup and is a bit like Roulette in that there is no way to influence the outcome, so all strategies must be based around the initial betting stage.
The Three Main Betting Options
Online Baccarat casinos may offer multiple variations, but they are all played in much the same way. The aim is to predict which hand will have the highest score. With the online version, random number generators are used to create randomised, unbiased results.
The action kicks off with the placing of your bet. There are three main options to choose from. First, you can choose to bet on the Player hand, which pays out 1:1. You also have the option of betting on the Banker hand, which pays out slightly less as the Banker takes a cut of the winnings.
The final betting option is to bet on a Tie. This pays out the highest amount at 8:1, but is extremely risky as Ties don’t happen very often. To place a bet, simply click or tap on the virtual chips and place them on one of the highlighted betting areas. Once the bet is placed, there is no more you can do. The rest is left up to chance.
Winning a Hand
After placing the bet, the dealer will then deal the player hand 2 cards facing up, and the Banker hand 2 cards facing up. Each card is worth a certain number of points and the hands are total. Unlike Blackjack, the Aces are only worth 1 point, and if the total goes into double digits, only the second digit is used. For example, 12 becomes 2 and 15 becomes 5.
All online casino Canada sites will have a link to the full set of rules in the options panel. After the first deal is made, a third card can be drawn for either hand if required. The 2 hands are then compared, and the hand with the highest score (closest to 9) wins. If you bet on the winning hand you are paid out accordingly.
In addition to regular Punto Banco, some live dealer versions offer the Squeeze version where the cards are dealt face down and revealed slowly to maximise excitement and tension. Other versions include Speed Baccarat, where every round is completed in under 30 seconds, making the action much faster and the game more exciting.
Optional Side Bets
Many online Baccarat casinos also offer side bets that can be placed at the start of the round. The most popular side bet is the Banker or Player Pair. This wager runs independently of the main game and pays out even if your hand loses. Here you are placing a bet to say that either the Banker hand or the Player hand will be dealt a matching set of cards in the first deal. If this is the case, you are paid out accordingly.
An intriguing and easy game to play, online Baccarat delivers excitement galore, and the potential to win big if you bet on the highest scoring hand.