Online Baccarat: Compare the Best Baccarat Casino Sites in the UK 2024

Emily Thompson

This guide to online baccarat will give you everything you need to know about the preferred casino game of James Bond. We’ll cover the main versions, as well as the main baccarat rules and strategies. We’ll also show you how to find the best UK online casinos for baccarat players. So, let’s explore how to play baccarat online and become a baccarat pro. See you at the tables…

Best Casinos with Online Baccarat 2024

Key Takeaways for Online Baccarat UK

How to Play Baccarat Online?

Many UK players ask the simple question: Is baccarat fun? Well, we certainly think it is. It’s easy to pick up but there’s a lot of nuance for those who know the table game inside out. While not quite as popular as roulette and blackjack, online baccarat games provide some of the best entertainment at internet casinos in the UK. So, let’s look at the basics…

Essentially, there are two hands. The banker’s hand and the player’s hand. The banker’s hand is the one closest to the dealer – but it does not necessarily belong to the dealer as is the case in blackjack. And, despite being called the player’s hand, this one does not actually belong to the player. Instead, you are only betting on which hand you think will score more points.

Additionally, there’s a third option each time. So, instead of a banker bet or a player bet, you can also opt for a tie bet. When players bet on a tie, they are predicting that both hands will score the same number of points. And it really is as simple as that. Each time, you are wagering on a banker win, a player win or a tie. And don’t worry, we’ll go over all the rules later on.

Is Online Baccarat beginner-friendly?

Because of the simple betting structure, online baccarat is great for beginners. After a few rounds, you’ll soon see what’s going on and be able to bet with confidence. Until that time, however, beginners can always try a demo version at a UK online casino. For this, you’ll need an account to prove that you are over the age of 18. But you don’t need to make a deposit.

But, of course, by reading this guide to online baccarat, you’ll soon be up to speed. So, if you want to play for real money, you will have all you need to know about baccarat strategy by the end of this article. And, we will cover the main three types of baccarat too. That’s punto banco, chemin de fer and baccarat banque. But first, the pros and cons of real money games…

Should I play for Free or for Real Money?

There are many plus points (and some downsides) to playing casino games for real money. And online baccarat is no different. So, let’s go over the advantages of both approaches now…

The Pros of Playing Free Baccarat Games

The Pros of Playing Baccarat for Real Money

How do we select the Best Online Casinos for Baccarat

When choosing UK online casinos for baccarat games, we have many criteria. To be perfect, an online casino needs each of these features to be up there with the best of them. And as we’re unafraid to criticise a site on any number of things, it’s a tall order. Here are the main criteria:

Welcome Bonus offer ☑️

This is often the headline-stealer. But welcome bonus offers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are smaller multi-part deals, whereas others go for the jugular on the first deposit bonus. Of course, a free spins bonus might be included too, but that’s not useful for baccarat. What is useful is if the welcome bonus can be used on live dealer games – or dedicated to live casino.

Other Casino promotions ☑️

We want to see lots of casino offers. So, as well as a decent bonus amount for a qualifying deposit, there should be plenty of free spins valid on selected games. These selected games will only be online slots, but it’s nice to mix things up every now and then. Also, refund bonus offers such as those seen at cashback casinos can sometimes be applied to online baccarat.

Wagering Requirements ☑️

Coupled with the welcome bonus and any bonus spins, wagering requirements are next on our list. No one wants to grind for hours on end to withdraw their bonus spins winnings, for example. So, we want to see wagering requirements below the industry standard of 35 times the bonus. Plus, a high game weighting for baccarat and other table games would be a boon.

UKGC Licensing ☑️

We always insist on our recommended online casino being licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. (Or at least another reputable license like the Malta Gaming Authority). The UKGC license is the strictest in the world, meaning that online casinos using it must maintain the highest standards of safety and security and not allow any underage gambling, for example.

Baccarat Game variety ☑️

If you’re primarily looking to play baccarat, you’ll need plenty of variety to keep it interesting. So, in addition to lots of game providers, we want to see punto banco, chemin de fer and baccarat banque at the very least. Mini baccarat is great to see too. And, of course, there needs to be plenty of live dealer games available too – bringing Las Vegas home. Speaking of which…

Live Casino games ☑️

We want to see all of the best live casino game providers, including Evolution Gaming, Ezugi and NetEnt Live – to name but a few. Taking Evolution alone, you’ll get Speed Baccarat, Lightning Baccarat, Baccarat Squeeze, Baccarat Control Squeeze, Salon Privé, Red Envelope, Peek Baccarat and No Commission Baccarat. So, lots of options for UK live casino players!

Payment Methods ☑️

Of course, to enjoy baccarat online to its fullest, you’ll need to add cash funds by making a deposit. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll need a way to withdraw after a winning streak. In order to do this, a gambling site needs to provide a variety of casino payment methods. So, we expect to see debit cards, pay by phone, eWallets like PayPal, online bank transfers and many more.

Customer Support ☑️

Last but not least, online baccarat casinos need a decent support team in place. This friendly, knowledgeable and punctual team needs to be available around the clock. After all, you never know when you might have a question or something that needs resolving quickly. So, we want to see a bare minimum of live chat, email and a free UK phone number for getting in touch.

Basic Baccarat Rules

The main version (often simply called “baccarat” in land-based casino establishments) is punto banco. So, we will look at that version first, as it’s the easiest to understand. Some of this version, such as the card values (below) remain the same in all variations.

Card values in Baccarat

Below, we’ll explain how cards are added together to create a final score. But first, let’s cover what each individual card scores. Here’s how each of the cards dealt out is assigned a value:

Baccarat Hand Values

All baccarat scores are read by the right-hand digit only – i.e., the first digit on the left is ignored. Let’s explain how this works with a few examples. So, a hand consisting of a 2 and a 3 would score five. However, a 5 and a 7 would score two – five and seven equal 12, but we remove the first digit (one) and keep only the number on the right-hand side (two).

It’s the same deal when a third card enters the equation. So, if a hand consists of a 5, 7 and 9, for example, the sum total is 21. However, because we remove the left-hand digit (two), the total score of those three cards at the baccarat table would actually be a low score of one.

The highest possible score in baccarat is nine. This can be comprised of a 4 and a 5, a 2 and a 7, or an Ace and an 8, and so on. Scoring eight or nine with two cards dealt is called a natural.

Baccarat Variations

As we mentioned above, there are three main types of baccarat rules. Each of these has either a French (or Spanish) name, so you can feel like the French nobility famous for playing the game back in the day. Here, we will break down the main differences between each version…

❇️ Baccarat Punto Banco

Punto banco is the most widely played form of baccarat in the UK. It uses a shoe consisting of between six and eight decks. And the moves for both the player hand and the banker hand are prescribed. So, if neither hand scores a natural of eight or nine (i.e., a winning hand), then the tableau (a board of prescribed moves for each hand) is consulted as follows:

If the player hand scores five or fewer with the first two cards dealt, a third card is drawn (the equivalent of “hit” in blackjack). If the player’s hand scores six or seven, the hand will “stand”.

Following the moves of the player, the banker’s hand is up next. If the player hand stands, then the banker makes the exact same moves available to the player. So, if the banker scores six or seven, they stand. If they score five or fewer, then the banker’s hand will receive a third card. For this, we must again consult the tableau to see the next banker move…

Third card rules for the banker’s hand in punto banco

Punto Banco payouts

Most bets at baccarat tables payout at 1-1. This is known as even money. It means you get the same as your wager, as well as receiving your original stake back. Though, sometimes, the casino charges a 5% commission on banker wins (more on this below). Here are the payouts:

Note that some land-based casino establishments pay out 9-to-1 on a tie bet. This lowers the relatively large house edge on tie bets. In turn, it makes more players want to join the action.

5% commission on Punto Banco banker hand wins

Because the house edge on a banker win is extremely low, online casinos charge a 5% commission on your winnings. Don’t worry, the house edge is still very, very low…

Punto Banco House Egde

Here is the house edge for each of the bets made in online punto banco baccarat:

❇️ Baccarat Chemin de fer

Now we come to the version played by James Bond in Casino Royale. This older form of baccarat is less automated and puts more control in the player’s hands. It’s also faster, hence its name translating from French to English as “railway”. While it was played primarily by French nobility in the late 19th Century, it’s still the most popular form of baccarat in France.

In each coup (game round), one player is designated as the banker – the croupier merely observes. The banker is responsible for dealing the cards for that coup. Then, in the next coup, the banker switches to the player on the right and continues anti-clockwise from then onwards. This is taken care of by the croupier in live online baccarat, for obvious reasons.

Wagering in Chemin de fer

The designated banker chooses how much to wager on the coup. Then, in order, the other players can choose to “go bank” – match the banker’s wager. It should be noted that only one player can “go bank”. If no one “goes bank”, the players each make individual wagers instead.

If the total wagers do not add up to the banker bet, then people around the table may wager up to the amount needed to match the original wager. Again, this is not really possible in online baccarat. If the total wagers are more than the banker bet, the banker can wager more to match the total bets. If this doesn’t happen, the excess wagers are removed in order.

The Coup in Chemin de fer

Once the bets are in place, the banker deals the cards. There are two cards dealt face down for the banker and two cards dealt face down for the players. The players share the two common cards, with the highest wagering player in control of them. If two or more players bet the same highest amount, the one closest to the playing order is put in charge of the common cards.

Both the player and the banker look at their hands. If an eight or nine is scored, it is announced immediately. Then the cards are turned over to compare them. If there is no natural, the player receives a third card if their score is four or fewer. If the score is six or more, they stand. The same decisions are then made by the banker hand.

If the banker hand wins, all player bets are transferred into the bank. The coup then starts over. If the common player hand wins, each of the players receives their initial stake and winnings at 1-to-1. If it’s a tie, all bets remain in place and the coup is replayed again.

❇️ Baccarat Banque

Baccarat banque is similar to chemin de fer in – one player is designated as the banker. They remain in this position until running out of money or voluntarily giving up. Or each of the cards in the three-deck shoe has been dealt. The highest wagering player is usually the banker – or, the first to put their name down becomes the banker, wagering whatever they want.

The croupier, sitting directly opposite the designated banker, shuffles the cards first. Then the croupier passes them to the other players, with the designated banker shuffling again last. On the two sides of the banker are the players – “punters” – and the position determines the cards upon which they stake. So, two hands are dealt (on the left and right) for two sets of players.

Wagering in Baccarat Banque

We described how a banker is selected above. Now it’s time to deal with the player bets. The nearest punter on the right side of the banker gets to “go bank” first. Then the one on the left of the banker, then the next on the right, and so on. Once the wagering has been completed, the banker may need to put up additional funds if they want to retain the bank going forward.

You’ll notice that no one can bet on the banker hand – that’s exclusive to the designated banker. So, this is the main difference from punto banco versions of the game. And, as we saw above, the banker hand has a slight edge over the players. That’s why the ability to bet on the banker is prized in this form of the game. However, players can choose to give up the bank, too.

The coup in Baccarat Banque

The banker is also the dealer in this version of the classic table game. So, once everyone has shuffled the three-deck shoe, this is how the cards are dealt… Three cards are dealt face down – one to the punters on the right, another to the punters on the left and one for the banker hand. Then another card is dealt to each of the positions in the same order.

From there, the same rules as we saw in chemin de fer apply. So, if an eight or nine is scored, it’s immediately declared. Or if not, then the third card rules apply. And so on. The only real difference is that each punter continues to hold their cards so long as they win or tie. But if they lose the coup, then the next deal is to the next punter in the rotation.

As far as payouts go, the players essentially divide up their winnings depending on how many punters are on their side and how much they individually staked. The croupier usually takes care of all this – as it can get quite complicated! So, when playing in a land-based casino, you don’t need to worry. And when playing online baccarat banque, the process is automated.

Baccarat Strategy

If you’re looking to become a baccarat pro, you’ll need a strategy in place. And, as with many other table games, bankroll management is key. So, above all else, only bet what you can afford to lose and know when to quit while you’re ahead. For the latter, it’s worth picking a target win amount, and then walking away if you cross that threshold. And, never chase your losses!

To play baccarat online like a pro, there are various tips and tricks (covered below). Of course, this leads to questions like: is baccarat beatable? Well, to a certain extent, it’s one of the best table games in terms of the house edge. Close to blackjack and better than roulette, for sure. But we have to point out that betting systems never work – they’re all flawed in some way.

So, be sure to avoid systems like the Martingale, Fibonacci, Paroli, Labouchere and D’Alembert. Each of them relies on a pretty bold assumption of having unlimited cash funds. And if you hit a losing streak with any of them, your chances of losing a lot of money only increase. Plus, anything you do win with them is only equal to the amount you wager in the first place.

Tips and Tricks

With the above caveats out of the way, what can you do to increase your chances of winning? The most obvious thing to do is always to bet on the banker. Even taking into account the 5% commission on a banker win, the house edge is an extremely low 1.06%. Close to that is the player bet, with its house edge of just 1.24%. Of course, we’re talking about punto banco here.

On the flip side, tie bets (where both hands have equal value) are extremely rare. That’s why the payouts are much higher. But, then, so is the house edge. So, even with 8-to-1 payouts, the house edge is insurmountably high at 14.4%. Therefore, we advise sticking to player or banker bets. It might take longer to build up your winnings, but it’s better than hoping for a tie bet.

Another top tip is to avoid side bets. That’s because side bets invariably favour the house – i.e., they will have a house edge of more than 1.24% and can sometimes give you ludicrously long odds. Of course, if you have money to burn and you fancy trying for what amounts to a jackpot, go for it. But in terms of winning money more sensibly, we would avoid side bets.

Cheating at Baccarat

Baccarat isn’t as famous as blackjack for ways to cheat the system but it still happens. Usually, this is achieved through a mixture of card counting and edge sorting. For example, Phil Ivey used this technique to gain a significant advantage over two casinos. One was based in London and the other in Atlantic City. However, he was sued over ill-gotten multi-million dollar wins.

This all happened in 2012 – and it was proven with surveillance footage of the casino floor. In the video, Phil Ivey can be seen getting the croupier to rotate a few cards. This enabled the pro gambler to exploit a small flaw on the back of the cards. Essentially, he knew what was coming up next and could bet accordingly. However, this technique cannot be used in online baccarat!

Do Online Casinos cheat in Baccarat?

There’s no real need for online casinos to cheat players in baccarat. And fully licensed online casinos certainly do nothing of the sort. And the reason they don’t need to cheat is that they always have the house edge. So, losing to one player is made up by winning off many others.

One more thing to note is that mini baccarat has a higher house edge on a banker bet – up from 1.06% to around 1.20%. It’s not much, of course, but every little helps (or hinders). Therefore, we advise sticking to the main versions of online baccarat if possible. And as we said above, there’s no real need to go in for side bets – these give the house more of an edge.

Even casino bonuses are carefully calculated to never give too much away. So, while some players can and do win decent sums from their welcome bonus, most do not. Plus, there wagering requirements to consider and game weighting rules. The house never loses!

Live Dealer Baccarat

While video baccarat games rely on random number generator algorithms, those looking for the Las Vegas experience should go for live casino baccarat. Game providers like Evolution, NetEnt, Ezugi, Playtech and more bring the magic of Las Vegas to your couch with sophisticated live-streaming technology and the ability to interact with croupiers.

Best of all, most UK online casinos have embraced live dealer games. So, finding a site that stocks your favourite baccarat games is not a problem. Plus, there are live casino tables suited to all budgets. From more general tables offering low-limit punto banco to exclusive Salon Privé tables for high rollers. In short, there are live online baccarat games for everyone.

Live Casino Baccarat with friends – Why not?

Plenty of casino card games are more fun with friends. And online baccarat is no exception. In order to get started, look out for multiplayer baccarat, which is available at many UK casinos. From there, you can invite other players to join your games. Many of these multiplayer games will allow around 10 participants, as well as the ability to message each other during the coups.

How to play Baccarat on Mobile or Tablet 📲

Choosing to play baccarat on a smartphone or tablet is an excellent choice. There are two main ways to do it. Either you go to your regular online casino of choice via a mobile browser or you download a dedicated baccarat app. With the latter option, however, we always go for the ones created by online casinos, as these enable you to play baccarat for real money.

As for the advantages of playing on a mobile device, the main one is the multi-gesture touchscreen. In many ways, these seem tailor-made for table games of all kinds. For example, dragging your chips into position with your hands feels more intuitive and real than using a mouse or trackpad. So, be sure to try it out on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.

A Brief History of Baccarat

The exact origins of this card game are unclear. There are two main theories. One is that it dates back to the 15th Century when returning French soldiers brought the game over after a war in Italy. The other theory says its origins are in France from the 19th Century. Regardless, it’s agreed that it became popular among the French nobility towards the end of the 19th Century.

The first form of the game, played in illegal private gaming rooms, was baccarat banque. Chemin de fer was developed later after gambling was legalised in France from 1907 onwards. Then, in the 1940s, Havana-based casinos introduced punto banco as a simplified game that could be played against the house. This is now the most popular form in the UK, US and Macau.

Conclusion

Finding a UK online casino where you can play baccarat is like shooting fish in a barrel. Every gambling site has some form of the game. And most of them feature live dealer baccarat too. So, armed with the strategies above, the main task is finding an online casino that ticks all your boxes. Just check that baccarat is included in your welcome offer – if baccarat is bonus excluded, we advise looking elsewhere. Now, are you going to bet on the banker or the player?

Online Baccarat FAQ

How can I play baccarat online?

Near enough all UK casinos will have online baccarat games. So, it's mainly a case of finding the best online casino for your needs. So be sure to read our guide above, check that your favourite baccarat games are available and then head to the signup page via our handy links.

How can I win in online baccarat?

To increase your chances of winning at baccarat, you'll need a firm grasp of the rules as well as some basic baccarat strategy. We've covered all of this above, including which bets have the lowest house edge. After absorbing that, it's simply a matter of practice and more practice.

Can I play online baccarat with friends?

Yes, it's certainly possible and it's gradually becoming more and more popular in the UK. To pull it off, you'll first need to find a decent multiplayer baccarat game. Then, you'll need to check that you can invite friends to join your games. Read our game reviews for more info.

Can you win real money playing baccarat?

Of course! In fact, winning real money is one of the main reasons some players choose baccarat in the first place – although, there's a risk of losing money as well as winning it. But with a house edge as low as 1.06% on banker bets in some versions, it's a pretty sweet game.

What is the best strategy for online baccarat?

The keys to success in baccarat are bankroll management and choosing the optimum bets to make each time. We've covered a lot of this in our guide to baccarat above, of course. But sticking to banker or player bets gives you the best chances of winning money from the casino.

How can I cheat in baccarat online?

All of the known ways to cheat in baccarat involve manipulating the cards or the chips. That means things like false shuffling, edge sorting and chip dumping. But this is impossible to do online (even in live casino games) because players can't manipulate the physical parts of the game.

Can I count cards in online baccarat?

Sure, it's possible – but the advantages of doing it compared to blackjack are minimal. Plus, while it's not strictly illegal, it can get you kicked out of a game. And if you're caught doing it more than once, you're liable to have your online casino account permanently closed.

Is baccarat better than blackjack?

This is very much a matter of personal taste. The house edge of blackjack is slightly lower but many players appreciate the beautiful simplicity of baccarat compared to blackjack – the latter can be a little more complicated with the numerous side bets involved. So, the choice is yours!

Emily Thompson
Emily Thompson
Casino Researcher
33 Articles
21 Reviews

Emily is our Casino Researcher and statistical mastermind. She uncovers all the latest trends through the numbers and creates valuable insights to our readers and internally, so we can cover our articles and journalism from a statistical background and angle.

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