Baccarat Variations at Online Casinos

How to play Baccarat with mobile
The house edge in Baccarat

If Blackjack is a popular table game among New Zealand punters, so is the game of Baccarat. Do you know how to play Baccarat at online casinos in NZ with real money?

Online Baccarat is no less exciting than the real Baccarat tables at SkyCity Auckland.

You needn’t visit an authentic land casino to play Baccarat now. It is one of the classiest casino games with a low house edge and simple rules. This makes it one of the most enjoyable games of luck and strategy for online casino players and ideal for both beginners and advanced players.

What is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a popular card game that you can find in many New Zealand online casinos. It’s known for its simplicity and elegance, making it a favourite among beginners and experienced players. Here’s what you need to understand:

Baccarat Basics:

  • Baccarat is a card game played between two hands: the Player and the Banker.
  • You can bet on the Player’s hand, the Banker’s hand, or a Tie between them.
  • The goal is to predict which hand will have a total value closest to 9 or if both hands will tie.

Card Values:

  • In Baccarat, card values are a bit different from other card games:
    • Cards 2 to 9 are worth their face value.
    • 10s and face cards (King, Queen, Jack) are worth 0 points.
    • Aces are worth 1 point.

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Rules of the Game

Every baccarat game offers three staple bets: the banker hand, the player hand, and the tie. When placing a banker or player bet, you’re gambling on one of these hands, beating the other.

Here’s an example. You wager on the banker’s hand. If the banker gets a score of 8, the player receives a score of 7, and the banker’s hand wins, you win your bet.

  • Each hand (Player and Banker) is dealt two cards initially.
  • The value of a hand is determined by adding the points of its two cards.
  • If the total exceeds 9, only the last digit is considered. For example, if a hand has a 7 and an 8, the total is 5 (7 + 8 = 15, but only the 5 is relevant).
  • In some cases, additional cards may be drawn based on the following rules:
  • If the Player or Banker has a total of 8 or 9 with the first two cards (a “natural”), no more cards are drawn.
  • If the Player’s total is 0-5, they draw another card.
  • If the Player doesn’t draw a third card, the Banker follows these rules:
    • If the Banker’s total is 0-2, they draw another card.
    • If the Banker’s total is 3, they draw unless the Player’s third card is an 8.
    • If the Banker’s total is 4, they draw if the Player’s third card is 2-7.
    • If the Banker’s total is 5, they draw if the Player’s third card is 4-7.
    • If the Banker’s total is 6, they draw if the Player’s third card is 6 or 7.

The hand with a total value closest to 9 wins. If you bet on the winning hand (Player or Banker), you receive a payout based on the odds. Betting on a Tie (both hands have the exact total) pays out at higher odds but is less common.

These are the fundamental rules of Baccarat. It’s a game of chance, and the simplicity of its rules makes it accessible to players in New Zealand and around the world.

A tie wager is based on the banker and player ending up with the same score, and you win a large payout when both hands tie.

House Edge in Baccarat

The banker’s hand has a 1.06% house edge, the player hand has a 1.24% house advantage, and the tie bet normally has a 14.36% house edge which can vary based on payouts.

The banker bet offers the best chance to win. Even though the casino takes a 5% commission from winning banker wagers, it maintains the lowest house advantage.

The player bet isn’t far behind in terms of the house edge. Some punters enjoy making this wager when they feel recent trends suggest doing so. However, the tie bet should be avoided at all costs. With a 14.36% house advantage, it is one of the worst wagers in gambling.

After this, you need only know how the scoring system works to play baccarat like a pro.

The scoring system in baccarat

The hand that has a score closest to nine wins. The first digit of a score is dropped if it’s 10 or higher.

Here’s how baccarat scoring works.

  • Ace = 1
  • 2-9 = Face value (i.e., 5 is worth 5)
  • King, queen, jack = 0

To start each round, the banker and player each receive two cards. The score of each hand determines whether the player and banker receive another card.

Baccarat game variations at online casinos

Types of Baccarat games at online casinos
Types of Baccarat games at online casinos

Now that you have understood the standard game of Baccarat, there are generally two types: Mini Baccarat and Big Baccarat.

Baccarat has two main types: Big and Mini. As the name suggests, Big Baccarat is played on large tables with 12-14 spots. In this version, players can take turns as the banker, which adds excitement but slows down the game.

It also has a formal dress code, with men wearing tuxedos or suits. The minimum wager is usually $100 per hand.

On the other hand, Mini Baccarat is played on smaller tables with only seven seats. The dealer manages all aspects of the game, including banking, making it faster-paced. Mini Baccarat has lower minimum wagers, ranging from $5 to $25 per hand, and no formal dress code exists.

Due to its accessibility and action-packed nature, many gamblers prefer Mini Baccarat over the larger version.

Different Baccarat Variations

Baccarat variations don’t differ wildly from mini baccarat but slightly from the standard mini version, including the rules and house edge.

1. No Commission Baccarat

No Commission Baccarat
No Commission Baccarat

As casinos take a 5% commission out of winning banker bets to retain their edge over players, no commission baccarat differs, though, by not taking any commission.

In theory, this gives you a long-term edge over casinos, which is why so many players are attracted to the no-commission variant. However, the rules are slightly modified to maintain the house’s advantage.

If your banker hand bet wins on six points, you only win 50% on your original wager (instead of 100% or 1:1). This scenario has a 5.39% probability, pushing the house edge to 1.46%.

The player hand is your best option, considering you have a worse chance of winning the banker bet in no-commission baccarat. Ideally, though, you’ll avoid this game altogether. You can play this game at online casinos or land casinos.

2. EZ Baccarat

EZ baccarat
EZ Baccarat

This baccarat is similar to no commission baccarat in that it doesn’t take 5% commissions from the banker’s hand wins. It also features modified rules to ensure that the casino retains its edge. A banker bet that wins with a three-card 7 is a push rather than a 1:1 payout. But this scenario only has a 2.25% probability of happening.

EZ Baccarat features a 1.02% house edge on the banker’s hand when combining the three-card 7 push with no commissions. Due to its low house advantage, it’s worth playing. This variation is available at several casinos, including the casinos in Las Vegas.

3. 4% Commission Baccarat

4% Commission Baccarat
4% Commission Baccarat

As the name suggests, this game only takes a 4% commission from winning banker wagers. The reduced commission drops the banker’s handhouse edge from 1.06% to 0.60%. You nearly double your chances of winning with 4% commission baccarat instead of standard games.

You want to play the 4% commission variation whenever possible. This game variation is found at very few land-based casinos.

4. 6-Deck Baccarat

6 Deck Baccarat
6-Deck Baccarat

Most baccarat games use eight decks, but certain casinos feature tables with six decks. 6-deck baccarat lowers the banker hand house edge from 1.06% to 1.056%.

This won’t make much of a difference to the average player. However, it does aid gamblers who play lots of baccarat and/or bet big. 6-deck baccarat can be found at online casinos powered by NetEnt or Playtech software.

The Playtech version also offers exciting side bets and only features six decks. The available side bets in Playtech baccarat are:

  • Small – Betting on the total number of the banker’s and player’s combined score being 4
  • Big – Wagering on the total number of banker’s and player’s cards being 5 or 6
  • Either pair – Betting on the banker’s or player’s first two cards forming a pair
  • Perfect pair – Wagering on the banker’s or player’s first two cards, forming a suited pair

While it’s always fun to take a chance on side wagers, the problem is that these particular bets all feature high house edges. Here are the house advantages for each of the side bets.

  • Small = 5.27% house edge
  • Big = 4.35%
  • Either Pair = 14.54%
  • Perfect Pair = 17.07%

Either Pair or Perfect Pair each have bigger house edges than the tie wager, which makes them objectionable in the overall scope of gambling.

Big and Small both have reasonable house edges compared to side bets in other games. But you’re better off simply wagering on the banker’s hand every time.

5. Baccarat with Higher-Paying Tie Bets

High paying tie bets in Baccarat
Baccarat with Higher-Paying Tie Bets

The majority of baccarat games offer an 8:1 payout for winning tie bets. But some games offer a more generous 9:1 payout. The 9:1 prize lowers the tie bet house advantage from 14.36% to 4.84%.

Although 14.84% is still not a great house edge, it at least makes the tie wager worth considering if you like large payouts. Note that your best odds of beating baccarat lie with the banker wager.

6. Baccarat Games with Side Bets

Side bets on Baccarat
Baccarat Games with Side Bets

Baccarat offers little betting variety, so some casinos add side bets to the equation.

Here are common side wagers that you’ll find in land-based and online casinos, forming a variation in the gameplay- of Baccarat

  • Big bet: Wager on whether the player and banker combine for 5 or 6 cards. It pays 0.54:1 on your bet, and the house edge is 4.35%.
  • Small bet: Wager on whether the player and banker combine for 4 cards. It pays 1.5:1 on your bet, and the house edge is 5.27%.
  • Dragon 7: This EZ baccarat bet depends on whether the banker will win with three cards. The payout is 40:1, and the house advantage is 7.60%.
  • Dragon Bonus (player side): Bet on the player side winning with a natural (8 or 9) or by 4+ points. The house edge is 2.70%.
  • Lucky Bonus: Wager on the banker winning with a score of 6. The house advantage is 2.66%, and you must risk up to 10% of your banker bet.
  • Panda 8: This EZ baccarat side wager is based on the banker winning with a three-card 8. The payout is 25:1, and the house edge is 10.19%.
  • Royal Match: Wager on the banker or player being dealt a suited or unsuited king-queen combo with their first two cards. The suited king-queen pays 75:1, and the unsuited combo pays 30:1. The house edge is 2.13%. These bets are nice for those who want to chase big payouts. You can win big with the Royal Match, Dragon 7, and Panda 8 wagers. Royal Match and Lucky Bonus also give you a good chance to win because they feature a 2.13% and 2.66% house edge, respectively.
  • Macau Baccarat: Macau baccarat differs in that it allows players to pick up their cards and even perform good luck rituals. Macau players will slowly bend back card corners to reveal the value. This superstition is based on the belief that slowly looking at your card value will improve your chances of winning. The rules aren’t different at Macau tables than in any other mini-baccarat game. But the superstitions, player passions, and ability to touch your cards make this a baccarat experience to remember.

Though Baccarat variations don’t differ significantly from the original versions, there is still enough variety to make trying different games worthwhile.

You can check out the different game variations. Most of these games have subtle rule changes, but they’re still worth trying for something new and fun.

Best Strategy to Win the Game

The Best Strategy to Win the Game

Baccarat is technically a game based on chance, like pokies, but much like roulette, endless strategies can create winning sessions. Your best option is to test different methods and systems to analyze the results using small stakes or free Baccarat bonuses.

  1. Banker Bet: It has a low 1.06% house edge, making it a favourable choice.
  2. Player Bet: It’s a popular option with a modest 1.24% house edge.
  3. Tie Bet: Offers an attractive 8/1 payout but carries a high 14.36% house edge, mainly relying on luck.
  4. Martingale Strategy: A famous system involves doubling bets until a one-unit profit. Be cautious about potential risks.
  5. A mix of Luck and Intuition: Baccarat combines luck and intuition. Beginners find it easy – select your bet size, choose Player or Banker, and enjoy the game.

Learn more – Things You Need for Winning Baccarat Play.


How Do I Start Playing Baccarat Online in New Zealand?

To play Baccarat online in New Zealand, sign up at a reputable online casino, deposit funds, choose a Baccarat game, place your bet, and let the round unfold.

What Are the Rules of Baccarat?

The rules involve drawing cards for the Player and Banker’s hands—the hand with a total closest to 9 wins. Cards have point values and specific rules for drawing additional cards.

What Are the Betting Options in Baccarat?

Betting options include Player, Banker, and Tie bets. Player and Banker bets have lower house edges, making them popular choices.

How Do I Ensure Fair Play and Security?

Ensure you play at licensed and regulated online casinos in New Zealand to guarantee fair play and data security.

Mamta Sharma

Mamta is a spirited writer hailing from Wellington, bringing a youthful zest to the world of digital content. Merging her love for narrative with an eye for detail, Ella crafts stories that resonate and engage the modern reader.