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Casinos often have baccarat on offer in some form, because of its long history as a casino game. Many online casinos offer an online version of baccarat which plays in much the same fashion as the offline game, with virtual cards. Some people prefer to play this game on a computer as it avoids having to calculate the values of the cards.
This table game has been around since the 19th century and enjoys a lot of popularity in traditional casinos, though it can get overlooked by new players who want to try more recognisable games. However, baccarat is not as complicated as it looks and online casinos have made many versions of it, because it’s a quick game that can be a lot of fun. Some people will know baccarat from the wooden palette used to move cards. Not all online versions will feature the palette in their graphics, but most feature a faithful digital recreation of the traditional card and table experience.
Online baccarat has the same rules as offline baccarat at the core, with the occasional variant being offered at some online casinos. There are a lot of rules to baccarat but thankfully, computerised versions will generally handle the rules for you. To begin with, the cards in your hand are converted to a numerical value. The number cards 2 to 9 are taken at face value, while aces are worth 1 and the 10, Queen, King and Jack cards are worth nothing, which is unusual for a casino game. The cards in a hand are added together, but it must be noted that only the second or rightmost digit is counted in a double digit number. For example, a total of 16 is actually a score of 6.
Online baccarat is most often based on Punto Banco, which is also the most common offline form of the game. Some online casinos offer more variations and will almost always provide rules, on the game itself or in their help section. The core of the rules revolves around a table (or ‘tableau’) of predetermined moves, which take place depending on what is drawn. This means that baccarat is mostly automatic and involves little input from the player. For example, if the player’s first hand has a total between 0 and 5, then they must draw another card, with no choice in the matter.
The default game starts with two cards being drawn, then the rules become more complex as more draws happen. The banker can only draw cards in accordance with the rules table too, meaning that this game is unusual but very fast, as the computer will handle all the rules for you.
Online baccarat has varieties that play with the standard rules. Some games, for example, use more decks of cards than others. Most players agree that games with fewer decks offer better odds for the player. The online game uses the same terminology as the traditional form, with a ‘baccarat’ being a score of 0, ironically the worst hand possible. The best hand conversely is ‘la grande’, which is a score of 9. The name ‘Punto Banco’ literally means ‘Player Banker’, referring to the one-on-one nature of the game.