With its low house edge and straightforward rules, Baccarat is one of the most well-loved online casino games in Japan and is ideal for beginners and advanced casino players alike. The game has earned quite a reputation, with its few complexities and the fun and thrill it delivers from the start of the round.
A classic casino game, there are ten possible hand scores in the game of Baccarat, ranging from zero to 9. The idea is to get a hand score that is as close as possible to 9. Zero is the worst hand score possible. Unlike blackjack, it is not possible to go 'bust' in Baccarat. The score of the players will always range between zero and 9.
If you want to play Baccarat, the internet is the perfect opportunity to experience the thrill of the game. Even better, casino games such as baccarat can now be played on virtually all mobile devices, so you can play baccarat while on the go or when you are traveling. Here's an excellent way to buy your way out of the long queues and waiting times, and not to mention, a chance to win extra cash while you are inside the bus or train, waiting for your plane or while stuck in a long queue especially during peak holiday travel.
There is no shortage of Baccarat online casinos that cater to Japanese players. In fact, the problem most beginners face comes with finding the best online casino from the sea of available options. Casino Rank lists the top Japanese Baccarat websites to ensure you find the best games available. Simply pick your choice from the list and head over to Baccarat in the casino’s game lobby.
Don’t worry if Baccarat may appear confusing at first glance, the rules are relatively simple to get a solid grasp on. Read on as we discuss the basic rules of the game, as well as tips and strategies, to help you get going.
Baccarat betting options for beginners
Baccarat is one of the easiest casino games one can learn and play. Here, there are only three possible outcomes, and pretty much it is the dealer that does all the work.
Your goal in the game is to bet on which side will win - the hand that gets a total of, or as close as possible to nine - and you have three simple options, as follows:
- Bet on the Banker (aka the dealer)
- Bet on the Player
- Bet on a Tie
Baccarat card values and scoring rules
In Baccarat, cards two through nine are worth their face value. 10, jack, queen, and king cards have a value of zero, while the Ace card is worth one. When the total value of the cards dealt is greater than nine, you have to add the two together, and only the number in the right-hand digit is counted.
For example, a hand of five and eight cards dealt would add up to 13. With the first digit dropped, the total value of the hand in the game is, therefore, 3.
Bets on the player and the banker are paid at even money. If you have placed your stake on the player hand, for instance, and it has the closest to nine total card value, the winnings are simply double the amount you bet. Typically, successful bets on the banker are subject to a 5% commission, and the odds offered for tie bets are 8/1.
How to play Baccarat: Quick guide for new players in Japan
The cards are dealt after the bets are placed. For each round of the game, both the Player and the Banker will have to draw two cards. The hand scores dictate whether further cards may need to be drawn by either side:
- Player and Banker rule: If either of the two hands has a total score of 8 or 9 then they have a 'natural hand'. No further cards will be drawn, and the outcome of the round is decided right there and then.
- Player’s hand only rules: If the total player’s card value is zero to five, they will have to draw a third card. If the player’s hand is 6 or 7, they always stand.
- Dealer’s hand only rules: If the score of the banker’s hand is zero, 1 or 2, then they will always be dealt a third card. If it is a 7, the banker will always stand (even if the player draws another card). If the Player, however, stands with 6 or 7, the Banker always takes another card if their hand has a total of 5 or less.
- Finally, if the Banker's total hand score is 3 to 6, whether or not they will receive another card will be determined by the third card that’s drawn by the Player.
Understandably, if you are just working your way around the game, this could sound a bit tricky. However, bear in mind that when it comes to online Baccarat, the gameplay is automated. In that case, you simply make your bet and watch as the action in each round unfolds.
Baccarat player strategies and tips for beginners
Technically, Baccarat is a game based on luck, and there is not much that a player can do to influence the result. But much like roulette, there are strategies available that can help swing the odds in your favor. The best thing you can do comes from making the right bets at the right time. Using small bets first or free Baccarat bonuses, you can test different strategies and systems to analyze the next outcomes. Many seasoned Baccarat punters in Japan like to keep records of the hand result sequences and make their bets according to what they believe will be the result of the next hand.
It is worth knowing that a bet on the Banker has a house advantage of just 1.06%, making it one of the most player-friendly bets there is! A bet on the Player also comes with a relatively small house edge of 1.24%. The house edge of the Tie bet is higher at 14.36%, so while it has a generous 8/1 payout, it will take real luck to be able to predict this outcome frequently. Most Baccarat strategies are anchored in betting on the Banker and/or the Player.
The simplest and most popular Baccarat system is the Martingale strategy, which sees the player using progressively doubled bets until such time a winner creates a one-unit profit. Theoretically, the system can work wonders, it can, however, also wipe up your game fund swiftly. Therefore, it's crucial to consider when to cut your losses and to be aware of the risks when you decide to use systems.
Baccarat offers a mix of thrilling casino sessions and plenty of winning chances when combined with a touch of intuition and good luck. The game is very easy for new Japanese players to get going with - just decide how much you want to bet and then choose whether you go with the Banker or the Player, and then watch the unraveling of the action in each round.