Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The UK’s best baccarat casinos – May 2024

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One of the giants of the UK gaming scene, Betfred Casino offers a wide selection of different baccarat games and variations. Look out for the live casino section here, which offers feeds from some of the best live casino providers on the market – ideal for fluid HD streams of live baccarat games around the clock.

The welcome offer here is focused on free spins, which is a nice added bonus. Deposit and wager £10 in your new account at Betfred and you’ll get 200 free spins for use on selected slots within the casino.

What is baccarat?

Baccarat is a classic casino card game that originated in 15th-century Europe. Today, it’s still enjoyed in online and real world casinos around the world, and is often the game of choice for high rollers and serious casino gamblers.

Baccarat is known for its slim house edge, with some variations delivering an advantage of just over 1 per cent. That means that the casino advantage (i.e. its guaranteed profit from the game) comes in at just 1 per cent of game turnover – making it as close to a coin toss as you can get from a casino game.

While baccarat is fundamentally a game of luck, there is still a skill component in deciding how to bet to your best advantage. This is where the challenge comes in – by learning how to bet effectively on baccarat, you can maximise your chances of winning on any given hand and ultimately ensure the house edge is kept as slim as possible throughout your session.

The aim of the game is to get to nine with the points value of either the player’s hand or the banker’s hand. Note that you’re not playing directly against the house. Players can choose to bet on either the player’s hand or the banker’s hand, depending on which looks more favourable. There’s also a third bet on ‘Tie’, which predicts that the hands will both reach the same value.

Betting returns come in at 1:1 for winning banker and player bets or 8:1 for a winning tie bet. With odds just a smidge away from 50/50 on banker and player bets, it’s only really the house edge that’s weighing against you in what is otherwise a double or bust game of chance.

How to claim baccarat casino bonuses

Claiming and withdrawing from a baccarat casino online bonus is typically straightforward, though you should always read the terms and conditions thoroughly first to get a sense of what’s required.

Following the steps below, you should be able to choose and claim your bonus and begin working your way towards withdrawing from the bonus by fulfilling any wagering and contribution requirements attached.

Step 1. Choose a baccarat casino bonus from our recommended casinos list.

Step 2. Read the terms and conditions of the baccarat bonus to understand the rules and eligibility.

Step 3. Sign up for your casino account, using a promo code where required to opt in for the welcome bonus.

Step 4. Make any minimum deposit required to trigger the bonus offer. Be mindful of any deposit methods required or excluded, in line with the bonus terms.

Step 5. Make any minimum wagers to trigger your free bonus.

Step 6. Wait for your bonus to be credited to your account.

Step 7. Get started on your wagering requirements, factoring in any contribution rules around baccarat play

How to play baccarat

A round of baccarat starts with betting, where players choose to bet on the player’s hand or the banker’s hand. A third ‘Tie’ option is available, where you’re betting on both hands coming in at an equal score.

Two hands are dealt: a player’s hand and a banker’s hand. Two cards are dealt face up for each hand to give a points value. Cards from 2-9 are scored at their numerical value, while aces are worth 1 point. Face cards are scored at 0. Where the hand value exceeds 9, you drop the first digit of the hand to get the true score – so an 8 and a 9 in one hand is actually worth 7 points (8 + 9 = 17, but drop the first digit to get to the true score).

If either hand is worth 8 or 9 when dealt, it’s an automatic stand. If the player’s hand is 5 or lower, another card is drawn – or in some variations, they can choose to stand. When the player stands, the banker will draw on any hand worth 5 or less to get to their final score.

Essentially, the dealer is doing all the work here – all you have to do is bet on the hand you think is going to win. When commission is involved, a banker bet pays out at 95 per cent of your stake, while a player bet pays out at 1:1.

Baccarat tips and tricks

Know your rules: There’s no substitute for understanding the ins and outs of baccarat rules. Knowing how it all works, including the betting side, will make life much easier once you’re in the thick of the action, while helping you avoid making unwise bets.

Fewer decks is better: Look for baccarat games running with fewer decks. The lower the number of decks, the slimmer the overall house edge and the better your chances of winning over the long term.

Learn optimal betting strategy: There are hard and fast rules for betting on baccarat that give you a statistical advantage over uninformed players. Learn the optimal betting strategies on different hands to put yourself in the best position.

Watch out for commission: Some winning bets will be subject to a commission in some games, which can be as high as 5 per cent. Keep an eye out for commission in your baccarat games, as this will impact the maths behind how you bet and play.

Play the house edge: Always aim to reduce the house edge as much as you can. A lower house edge is better when you’re playing a game like baccarat, giving the casino the slimmest possible advantage over you at the start of every hand.

Baccarat variations

Baccarat comes in multiple different variations. Decent online baccarat casinos will support one or more of the following variants on standard baccarat, all of which have slightly different rules and different betting outcomes for you to consider.

Punto banco

One of the most popular variants of the game, punto banco closely resembles standard baccarat. The game is played across six decks, with up to 12 players being dealt in each round. Bets are available on player, banker and tie, with standard baccarat payouts. The slimmest of house edges is to be found in betting on the banker’s hand, coming in at just 1.06 per cent.

Chemin de fer

Very similar to standard baccarat, except players bet one at a time and against each other. Players take turns to become the banker, where they are allowed to set aside a maximum bet that they want to stake on the hand. Other players can match that bet by calling ‘banco’, similar to a call in poker. Otherwise, the game plays in much the same way as standard baccarat.

Baccarat banque

Another variant of baccarat with a moveable banker, in baccarat banque the banker is nominated at the beginning of each hand – often it will be the last player to join or the one who has wagered the highest sum on the preceding hand. However, the casino still retains the bank, unlike in chemin de fer, where this truly passes around the table.

Mini baccarat

A faster-paced alternative to the real thing, mini baccarat shares many of the same qualities as the standard game. You will usually find mini baccarat played with smaller stakes too, making it the ideal option for new baccarat players.

European baccarat

European baccarat introduces an element of choice at a hand value of 5, where players can choose to stand or draw. The total betting in each round is also capped at the banker’s stand bet – such that the total of all player bets cannot be higher than the banker’s wager. When the total bets on the table equal the banker bet, no more bets are accepted.

Live baccarat vs regular baccarat

Live baccarat is the live-streaming version of regular baccarat, where the game is presented and played with a live dealer. Players log on to their preferred online casino and head to the live casino section, where live baccarat tables will be available for play across different game variations.

The action unfolds in much the same way as regular baccarat, with the same rules and the same betting as you find from comparable variations in regular baccarat. The only difference is that the game is hosted by a human dealer and you get to see the cards being dealt while you watch and bet on the game.

Live baccarat feels more like the real thing, taking place in a casino setting at a real casino table. While you’re not physically present, it’s as close as you can get without leaving home – especially with the HD streams of modern live baccarat games.

Play unfolds a little more slowly than with regular online baccarat, but only because the cards are being manually dealt rather than generated by software. For those more serious about their baccarat play, or for those who want to experience the added realism of the live casino environment, live baccarat tends to be the go-to choice for online baccarat play.

Live baccarat casinos

While baccarat is a hugely popular game worldwide, it is underserved at live casinos compared to the likes of roulette and blackjack. These higher-profile games tend to be the first that come to mind when we think of casino table games, especially for beginners.

Live casinos pitching at newer players tend to have a wider selection of live roulette and live blackjack than they do baccarat. But if you know where to look, there are plenty of variations of live baccarat, including higher limit tables, at some of the top UK live casinos.

Our recommendations for live baccarat include talkSPORT BET, BetMGM, MrQ and Mr Vegas and more – casinos that offer a good selection of live baccarat as well as bonuses for new players signing up for an account. Check out our full list of recommended live baccarat casinos for the lowdown on where to play live baccarat online.

Mobile baccarat casinos

It’s now possible to play baccarat on your mobile, both in browser and in app, across some of the UK’s leading online baccarat casinos. Advances in mobile technology mean there’s now a seamless experience when playing on mobile or desktop, with access to the same account and all the same games when you log in and play through your mobile browser.

For players who prefer an app-based experience, downloading your chosen casino app from the iOS or Android app store can have you up and running in a matter of minutes, with your choice of baccarat, including live baccarat, to play on your phone or tablet device.

While mobile play inevitably means the action takes place on a smaller screen, you can still benefit from high-quality games, fluid HD streams for live baccarat, and robust, reliable casino software that’s equally suited to play on mobile as on desktop or any other device.

We would always recommend making sure your phone is connected to Wi-Fi when playing on your mobile. This prevents any loss of signal or dropped connections – the only way to be certain of avoiding frustrating technical problems mid-game.

With our recommended online baccarat casinos, you can be sure of an equally comfortable experience, whether you’re choosing to play online or via your mobile phone. 

Online baccarat casino payment methods

The payment methods you use to fund and withdraw from your online casino account can make the difference between a smooth ride and a most frustrating experience. Watch out for deposit minimums, withdrawal maximums, payout times and fees, all of which can kick in depending on the payment methods supported by your online baccarat casino.

Online baccarat casino deposits

The easiest and more direct way to fund your baccarat casino online account is through debit card. However, you should be mindful that debit card withdrawals can actually take a few days to process – up to five working days in some cases, after casino processing time.

Withdrawals are often tied to the deposit method used to fund your account, in a so-called ‘closed loop’ payments system. For this reason, we would recommend considering eWallets such as PayPal, Neteller or Skrill for your deposit where available.

It’s also often possible to deposit by paysafecard, either by vouchers bought over the counter at participating retailers or through your online paysafecard account. For larger deposits, bank transfer is often better, with higher deposit limits and no middleman for processing deposits.

Most deposits to your casino account should be reflected in your balance relatively quickly, so you can get straight down to business.

Online baccarat casino withdrawals

The quickest way to withdraw your baccarat winnings is invariably to eWallets such as PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. These tend to be processed within 1-4 hours and in most cases within a maximum of 24 hours, depending on your casino’s payout schedule. While you’ll still need to withdraw to your bank account from there, this is typically quick for verified PayPal and eWallet accounts.

Larger withdrawal limits are available to players withdrawing to their debit card or by bank transfer. In some cases, fast transfers are possible, depending on whether the casino and your bank is set up with the appropriate systems for fast payments. In any case, you should allow between 2-5 working days after processing for withdrawals to anything other than eWallet payment methods.

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