Understanding Online Baccarat
In land casinos you can play different variants of baccarat. But at Australian online casinos the only variant is Punto Banco, which translates as Player Banker. Online baccarat is a game that does not require skill, though players must know the simple optimum strategy. Yet it offers one of the highest average returns of all online casino games. The flip side is that it is quite a boring game, but you have to lose something to gain something.
In online baccarat cards are dealt to a Player hand and a Banker hand and you have to bet which one of them will win. The rules for dealing the cards and declaring the winner are in built into the game software and you need not be aware of them. If you bet on the Banker and the Banker has the higher ranked hand then your bet wins and if the Player has the higher ranked hand then the bet loses. If you bet on the Player and the Player has the higher ranked hand then your bet wins and if the Banker has the higher ranked hand then the bet loses.
The payouts on the winning bets in online baccarat are as follows. If your Player bet wins then the payout is even money. If your Banker bet wins then the payout is 1 to 0.95 or even money less a 5% commission. For an online baccarat game with eight decks the average return for a Player bet is 98.77%. The average return for a Banker bet is 98.94%. Despite the commission paid, the Banker bet offers greater return because the probability of the Banker winning is higher. If you want higher returns than this you have to go to blackjack or video poker, which have more complex optimum strategies.
Online baccarat also offers other bets. The most common one is the Tie bet that wins if the Player and the Banker have equally ranked hands. Banker Pair bet and Player Pair bets win when the first two cards dealt to the hand form a pair. All these bets offer seemingly attractive payouts, but at average returns that are very low. Do not ever look at these bets.
Online casino software providers have greatly improved the visual appeal of online baccarat to make it more attractive. One such game is Microgaming Baccarat Gold that includes card dealing animations similar to what you get in land casinos. There are a number of road maps that trace patterns of past wins.
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