A complete guide to online baccarat in NZ

Baccarat is a casino card game where the player tests their mettle against the house. It originated in France and was hugely popular during the Napoleonic era, but it received a boost when it moved to the United States and found a home in Las Vegas.

In this guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know about the game of Baccarat, from strategies and rules to variants and more. It’s a complete, 100% free guide and should be read before you play real money Baccarat in New Zealand.

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This game is popular with professional poker players and it has also featured in countless films and TV shows. A variant of Baccarat was actually the game-of-choice for James Bond! In the Ian Fleming novels, this was the game that 007 played more than any other and while it has been swapped for games like poker in many James Bond films, Baccarat still featured in GoldenEye, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and other novel adaptations.

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The most common form of Baccarat is Punto Banco, which pits the player against the banker and tasks the bettors with staking their money on the winner. They are each given a hand, the value of this hand is tallied, and the winner is the one who gets closest to 9.

Punto Banco is the most common form of real money Baccarat in New Zealand and everywhere else. Its popularity offline led to it being the main variant of choice during the online revolution. As a result, the vast number of Live and Virtual Online Baccarat games are Punto Banco.

There is also a variant known as Chemin de Fer, but this is very rarely found in online casinos. It’s more like poker as it pits players against each other. This and the fact that large groups of players are required is why you won’t see Chemin de Fer on many online NZ casinos.

Rules of Baccarat

The rules of Punto Banco Baccarat are pretty simple. The first thing to note is that all cards have a fixed points value but these values are quite different from what you’ll find in Blackjack and other casino games.

The Ace is only worth 1 point; cards numbered 2 through to 9 are worth their face value; all others are worth 0 points.

Two cards are dealt to both the Player and the Banker during the first round. These cards are dealt face-down but they are turned at the end of the round, with the values then being counted.

If one of the hands shows an 8 or a 9, they are the winner and the game is over, if not then another card is drawn. Ultimately, the winning hand is the one that is closest to 9 and the winning player is the one that bets on this outcome.

There are three bets to place on a game of Baccarat. You can either bet on the Player’s hand, the Dealer’s hand, or a Tie. Although it’s much less common, there is also a variant of Baccarat known as Baccarat Banque. As with Chemin de Fer, this is simply not used on online Baccarat variants because it’s deemed to be unsuitable for virtual play. It’s also simply not as popular or as familiar as Punto Banco.

This is why Punto Banco, which is also known as North American Baccarat, has become synonymous with Baccarat. This is also true in New Zealand, where many players only recognize the Player/Banker version of the game.

How to play Baccarat like a professional?

Baccarat Top Tips

There are a few top tips to keep in mind before you play real money Baccarat in NZ. These include:

  1. Understand: Baccarat may be simple, but you still need to know what you’re doing before you play. Read this guide in full and make sure you understand the rules of the game before you play.
  2. Look for Bonuses: Real money online casinos offer a wealth of bonuses that you can use when you make your first deposit. This bonus cash can give you a head-start on games like real money Baccarat. Check out the casino reviews and bonuses on this site to find the best ones.
  3. Bankroll: A bankroll is a gambling budget and it’s essential if you want to safeguard your play and make sure you don’t lose too much money. Set a budget that suits your style and affordability and make sure you stick to it.
  4. Find a Good Game: Look for a game that has a low House Edge, preferably one that adopts the classic rules of Punto Banco Baccarat.

How to win online Baccarat – Best Strategies

Baccarat is simple, so there are no complicated strategies to learn. It’s also a game of chance, so there is no sure-fire to win every single time you play and unlike poker, no amount of practice, patience, or strategy will get you over the finish line.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the Tie bet returns the highest House Edge. The average Punto Banco game attaches a House Edge of between 14% and 15% to all Tie bets, which means every $100 bet on a real money game of Baccarat will lose $85 on average.

The Player and Banker bets are more stable and have very low House Edges, with the Banker having the lowest edge of all.

As far as patterns go, these don’t really exist and anything can happen. However, you can use this to your advantage by selecting a bet that has nothing to do with the previous result. Just because the Banker has won 10 times in a row doesn’t mean the Player is due a win, and vice versa.

Payouts for Baccarat

As mentioned above, the highest House Edge when you play NZ Baccarat is on the Tie, while the lowest is on the Banker. The former can be as high as 15% while the latter can be as low as 1%. The Player bet is also very low when compared to the Tie at around 1.24%.

It’s worth noting, however, that the exact House Edge will depend on the real money Baccarat variant you play. Online real money Baccarat games can incorporate things such as side bets and other embellishments, all of which typically serve to increase the House Edge, nudging it more in favour of the casino.

You can typically see the payouts on a Baccarat game by looking at the Game Stats screen.

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Glossary - Baccarat Terminology

It pays to know the terminology of the games you play, so keep all of these terms in mind as you play Baccarat for real money in NZ:

  • Baccarat: This may be the name of the game, but it’s also a term used to describe the worst hand in the game, which is one that’s loaded with zero-scoring cards.
  • Banker Bet: A bet on the Banker’s hand.
  • Bankroll: A budget used to gamble.
  • Carte: A French term used in place of the English “Hit Me”, which requests another card.
  • Commission: An amount taken from winning bets by the casino.
  • Face Cards: All the portrait cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings), which score 0.
  • La Grande: A term meaning “The Big One” used to describe the best hand, which is a straight-up 9.
  • La Petite: This means “The Little One” and is the second-best hand.
  • Push: A bet that is neither a winner nor a loser.
  • Shoe: A “Shoe” is a holder for multiple decks of cards all stacked together.
  • Upcard: A card that has been turned up.

Interesting Facts about Baccarat

  • Etymology: The name Punto Banco comes from the Spanish for “Player Banker”, which tells you all you need to know! The name Chemin de Fer, on the other hand, comes from the French for “Railway” and refers to the action of the stacked shoe moving across the table.
  • Origin: Baccarat has some French, Spanish and American connections, but it is believed to have been invented by an Italian, although its early history is still somewhat of a mystery and is highly disputed.
  • Vegas Disaster: Baccarat was first played in Vegas in 1959 when it was introduced to the Sands Casino. The casino is said to have lost over a quarter of a million dollars that night, suggesting that the house really doesn’t always have the edge.
  • High Rollers: Most higher rollers have a preference for Baccarat and these can be found in online and offline casinos throughout New Zealand and further afield.
    Worst Hand: Many games lend their names to the best possible hands, such as Blackjack and Badugi. Baccarat, however, lends its name to the worst possible hand in the game.
  • Phil Ivey: The legendary poker player, Phil Ivey, once won over $10 million playing Baccarat in a prestigious London card room, only to have his funds blocked when they alleged that he had taken advantage of flaws in their process. The multi-award-winning player is reported to be a big fan of the game and has won huge sums of money playing it over the years.
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