Baccarat is a casino card game played between two hands, that of the Player and that of the Banker. Its rules are fairly simple and engaging, which is why it became one of the most popular live dealer casino games on the market nowadays. While it is particularly enjoyed by gamblers in Asian countries, it also has quite the following in Europe, Latin America, and other corners of the globe. In this article, we will dive into the enticing world of live dealer baccarat and all its particularities, so let’s begin!
Live Dealer Baccarat: Quick Guide
BASIC BACCARAT RULES
At the beginning of any baccarat game, two hands consisting of two cards are dealt regardless of how many punters participate in the game. These are the Player’s hand and the Banker’s hand. Using their appointed chips, gamblers have the option to wager on either one of them, as the Banker’s hand does not represent the house. In this scenario, there are three possible outcomes: there’s a win for either the Player or the Banker, or a tie occurs.
But how is the winner determined you might ask? This is actually really simple. After the cards of each hand are shown, their total value is calculated. Each card is worth its face value, except tens and Jokers, which are worth a zero. The Ace card is worth one point. If the sum of the two cards exceeds 10, the last digit is considered its total value. Therefore, the highest possible outcome is 9, as depicted in the image below in which the Player has been dealt the winning hand.
A total of 8 or 9 on either the Player’s or the Banker’s side is considered a natural win, which ends the game. After this, things get a bit more complicated. If the player’s first hand is worth a 6 or more, this side stands pat (draws no additional card). However, for a 5 or under, the player is entitled to an additional draw. On the banker’s side, a 7 or more implies automatically standing pat, while a total of 0, 1, or 2 means drawing another card.
For a total between 3 and 6, the next move of the banker is determined by that of the player and the value of their additional card. To see how this works, consult the table below. After dealing the third cards when necessary, the winning hand is established as being the one that is closest to 9. In the eventuality of a tie, there are no losing bets, but no winning ones either.
For a demonstration of how this gameplay is applied to live dealer baccarat, watch the video below provided by Ezugi, one of the top live dealer casino software developers in the industry:
LIVE DEALER BACCARAT INTERFACE
Live dealer baccarat is streamed over the Web from a live studio that works round the clock to deliver gaming sessions to online visitors. Therefore, the design of the room itself is similar to that in a land-based casino. The live dealer sits in front of the baccarat table, which has marked PLAYER and BANKER sections for the cards to be placed. The color of the table itself varies between software providers, as well as the casino operators themselves which have the liberty to choose whichever shade suits their brand best. Nevertheless, green, red, and blue are by far the most popular choices.
A virtual interface is overlaid on the live stream so that players have more control over their experience. Those engaged in the session can thus view their balance and toggle their bets with ease, as well as clear the wager, re-bet the same sum, and select the maximum bet amount by default. Some software providers also offer the possibility of tipping the dealer, but this is something that the player must decide for themselves and is not expected automatically. For an illustration of the standard live dealer baccarat interface, have a look at the video embedded below:
As for the actual mechanics that go into a live dealer baccarat session, the stream is filmed and broadcast live with one, two, or even three cameras depending on how many angles the provider offers. A director controls these separate views from an adjacent control room. The game itself is moderated by a Game Control Unit based on the same optical character recognition technology your car’s parking sensor would have. This digitizes the information on the table and displays it for players to see to ensure 100% fairness and transparency.
LEADING LIVE BACCARAT SOFTWARE PROVIDERS
Microgaming is a software provider with a rich and longstanding history in the online casino industry. Founded in 1994, it is known to be the creator of the mobile casino, which the company launched to the market a decade after its beginnings. Among many other highly successful products, Microgaming also offers live dealer casino software that streams videos in high-definition and offers support for multiple languages. In addition to this, its live studio is Playboy-themed, which definitely makes the experience feel a lot more authentic. Of course, baccarat is one of the games on its roster that you can enjoy.
Ezugi is an online casino software provider headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is a relatively new endeavor, having been founded in 2013. Nevertheless, Ezugi quickly made a name for itself on the market and became one of the top businesses in its field. The company specializes in the development of live dealer casino games, baccarat included. Its studios are spread all around the world, from Bulgaria to Belgium, and even Costa Rica and Cambodia. In this way, Ezugi always manages to cater to a wide audience of players from all across the globe.
Focused primarily on the European market, Evolution Gaming creates and distributes a varied iGaming suite of live casino games. Its baccarat product aims to create a gambling experience that emulates that in the famous casinos of Macau. The developer offers both standard and VIP baccarat tables so that casino operators can meet the needs of a varied array of clients. In addition to this, the entire studio is a multi-camera setting, which allows players to view the games from various angels to get the best feel of what’s going down on the table.
Even though Vivo Gaming doesn’t focus exclusively on live dealer content, it still manages to shine in this niche and provide some of the most popular baccarat games in the industry. The provider hosts 11 tables that are available 24/7 and stream from studios located all across the globe. It caters mainly to the Asian market, where baccarat is a huge hit among online casino players, as well as Europe and Latin America. Vivo Gaming is based in London, the United Kingdom’s capital, and it has additional offices across two other continents.
LIVE DEALER BACCARAT ADVANTAGES
- Authentic Casino Experience. Live dealer online casinos aim to emulate the genuine experience gamblers have on the casino floors of Las Vegas, Macau, and other glamorous locations. Playing baccarat in this setting thus ensures that you are getting the best of both worlds: an authentic betting session and the comfort of doing it wherever you want.
- Enhanced Mobility. Speaking of which, playing baccarat in its live dealer format means that you can do so anywhere and anytime you want. You can engage with the game from either a desktop or a mobile device, and the rooms are open to punters 24/7.
- Purest Form of Luck. Standard online baccarat games are operated by a Random Number Generator, while the live dealer format allows players to exert their luck in its purest form. The thrill of witnessing the dealer hand out the cards and give out winnings in front of your eyes is hard to match in any other scenario.
- Player Socialization. If you choose to play live dealer baccarat, you will definitely enjoy the complex human factor to it. You will have the chance to interact and communicate not only with other players but with the dealer as well.
- Fairness and Security. Live dealer casino baccarat is not rigged in any way, as most studios have the aforementioned Game Control Unit on hand to ensure the fairness of the entire operation. Therefore, you can rest assured that you are putting your hard-earned cash to good use and investing them towards something that is secure.
LIVE DEALER BACCARAT TIPS
- Play at trusted casinos only. Always choose to gamble at trusted casinos that will offer you the best run for your money and provide conditions that are up to par with the highest quality standards. Check out our Top 10 Online Casinos page for a few suggestions in this respect, complete with real player reviews and ratings.
- Use fast and secure Wi-Fi. The Internet connection you connect to during gameplay can have an impact on the outcome of your live baccarat session. Slow Wi-Fi can lag the video stream and even decrease the image quality, which is why we always recommend using fast Wi-Fi as much as possible. A private and secure connection is also a good idea, as you will want to keep your private data as safe as possible.
- Keep your device charged. Playing baccarat in a live dealer casino can be quite battery-draining for your device, especially when you are using a smartphone or tablet. Thus, we always recommend charging your device to 100%, or at least as close as possible, before engaging in a baccarat session. This will ensure that you don’t get cut off mid-game.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Playing live dealer baccarat is as close as can be to the real deal on the casino floors of Las Vegas or Macau. Nevertheless, the experience comes with its own perks, with mobility being the most notable one. The major advantage here besides fairness, socialization, and entertainment is that you can gamble as you would in a land-based casino in any location of your choice. What is more, live dealer baccarat rooms are open 24/7, which means that you will always be able to visit them at your own convenience. Need we say more? Give it a go and don’t forget to review your favorite casinos!
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