Online Baccarat Guide

Baccarat is one of the most popular casino card games. It is enjoyed by players all over the world including casino goers in South Africa. Baccarat is famous for its simplicity. Without complex strategies or fancy tricks, players can master the basics and play baccarat in minutes and enjoy a potentially profitable game without doing much. 

Baccarat is from an Italian word which translates as “Zero”. In Spanish, the game was known as “punto banco” while the French name for baccarat is “chemin de fer”. It isn’t clear which of these countries the game began originally, but the consensus is that Baccarat has a European Origin.

It is one of the oldest casino games in the world and Italian gambler Felix Falguierein is often credited as the inventor of this game. 

Baccarat has been played in France since as far back as 1490. More than five centuries later, it is still one of the most well-known games, popularized by the James Bond movies.

While different variants of this game are available, the basic rules are essentially the same whether you’re playing online or in a land-based casino. The objective is to get a hand that’s exactly nine or as close to nine as possible. In this post, we’ll explore all you need to know about playing baccarat online and offline in South Africa. 

By Adiela de Bruyn - Last modified 2024/02/08 - Estimated reading time: 13 minutes.

Table of contents

Online Baccarat Guide

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Understanding the Basics

The game of baccarat is played between a dealer and a player. Unlike other casino games where the gamblers have to play the cards or participate actively, gamblers in Baccarat simply have to place bets on either the player or the dealer. Whichever of these hands is closest to nine wins the game. The dealer does all the work of dealing the cards.

There are only three possible outcomes in a game of baccarat. The banker wins, the player wins or the game ends in a tie. How much you win on your stake depends on whether you’ve placed your bet on the dealer or the player.

At the start of the game, the dealer and player are dealt two cards each. All the numbered cards from 2 to 9 have a point value that corresponds to their face value (the number of the card). In Baccarat, the picture cards (King, Queen, Jack and 10 cards have a value equal to zero). The Ace card is also worth one point.

The cards are dealt face up and the winner is determined by calculating the total value of the cards. The bet closest to nine wins the game. For bets placed on the player, the house pays the gamblers twice their stake. However, if you bet on the banker's hand, you’ll get 95% of your stake.

In cases where the total of the cards dealt to the player or banker's hand is above nine, the two values are added together and the first digit of the two-figure sum is dropped.

The remaining digit is the final sum for that hand. For instance, if you’re dealt a hand of nine and six cards, the total hands will sum up to 15. By dropping the first digit (one), the value of that hand will be six.

While betting on the winning hand between the player or banker is the typical option, it is also possible to bet on a tie while playing baccarat. Since this is less likely to happen, the odds are usually better, which means you can potentially earn more by betting on a tie if it ever happens.

After the cards are dealt, if the dealer or player's score is a total point value of 8 or 9, the person with this natural 8 or 9 hand wins (except both players have a natural 8 or 9 in which case the game is a tie).

However, if there’s no natural win on either hand, both the player and banker get to request third cards from the remaining cards to determine the winner.

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Baccarat Terminologies

Like every other table game, baccarat has its own unique vocabulary. Understanding the terminologies associated with this game is an important step in mastering gameplay and becoming a successful player. Some of the basic terminologies you’ll need to know to start playing baccarat like James Bond include:

  • Action: In baccarat, the term action refers to the total amount of cash you wager in one session.
  • Bankroll: Bankroll refers to the total amount of money you spend on the entire game. This is not to be confused with action which refers to what you spend in a single session.
  • Burning: Before the game of baccarat begins properly, the top 3-6 cards are discarded before cards are dealt. This is known as burning.
  • La Petite: In baccarat, when a player (or dealer) gets a natural 8, it is called la petite. This is the second-best hand you can get when you play baccarat.
  • La Grande: When you get a natural 9 (e.g. a 5 and a 4 card) in baccarat, it is called La Grande. This is the best hand you can be dealt in a baccarat game.
  • Carte: This is the French word for “card”. The term is used to request a card from the dealer.

Playing a game of Baccarat at Galactic Wins casino.

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Types of Baccarat

Baccarat is a simple game with straightforward rules. Consequently, there aren’t a lot of variations of this game. Still, players who want to explore different variants of this game will find a few betting options they can explore.

Understanding the different baccarat variants will help you choose the one with the best winning chances for you.

Punto Banco

Punto Banco is a Spanish word that loosely translates as “player-banker”. It is the most popular baccarat variant that follows the standard rules of the baccarat game.

Punto Banco is also sometimes referred to as the North American Baccarat. This variant is typically played with eight decks of cards and you can either bet on the banker's hand or the player.

Chemin de Fer

Chemin de Fer is the version of baccarat more popular in European casinos. The most significant difference between this game and the conventional baccarat is in the roles players play in the game. In Chemin de Fer, there is only one designated banker.

The remaining punters on the table can only act as players. With baccarat, punters can choose to bet on either the banker or the player.

Chemin de Fer does allow players to take turns being the banker but in the traditional baccarat, the casino always acts as the banker. Another difference between these two variants is in terms of the card decks used.

In Chemin de Fer, six decks of cards are used. The cards are face down, meaning you cannot see what other players have on their cards.

Mini Baccarat

Mini baccarat is just as the name suggests. This variant of the game is typically played in smaller venues with smaller tables and lower minimums/maximums. A mini-baccarat table usually has one dealer or croupier at the table.

Live Baccarat

This is a version of baccarat you’ll find in virtual casinos offering baccarat. Live baccarat is played online on any device, but there are actual human dealers running the game and it is streamed live on your device so you’ll see the cards being dealt and drawn in real-time by the dealer.


Also known as Punto 2000, Super6 is played like the classic baccarat, but instead of getting the regular 95% on winning banking bets, you’ll get even money. Also, you’ll only get 50% of the bet if the banker wins with a 6. The house edge for Super6 is 1.46% which is higher than the typical house edge for regular baccarat.

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Strategies & Tips for Winning a Baccarat Game

Like other casino card games such as blackjack, Baccarat is a game of wits and luck. There are a few strategies that can help boost your winning chances, but there’s no guarantee that the baccarat strategy will lead to wins 100% of the time.

Unlike blackjack where card counting is an important skill, you don't need that when you play baccarat online or offline. Here are a few baccarat strategies that are worth knowing.

Bet on the banker

Statistically, the best bet is the banker bet because it has a higher chance of winning. The house edge when you bet on the banker is about 1.06% which is a slightly lower house edge compared to the edge when you bet on the player.

Note that the banker bet only has a small advantage over the players bet, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll win every round. But if you stick to it for multiple rounds, you’ll maximize your chances.

Avoid the tie bet

Betting on a tie is one of the worst moves you can make in baccarat. The house edge with the tie bet option is about 14.35%. While the potential returns on your bet are great, it is the riskiest option you can bet on.

Play pair bets

Betting on pairs offers the highest returns on your bet, with a potential payout of 11:1. You can make bets on banker pair or player pair bets to win, and for every win, you get 11x your initial bet value. This can help offset any losses incurred in previous rounds of the game.

Play short sessions

While baccarat can be interesting and engaging, you’ll maximize your odds when you play in short sessions. If you play for long periods, the house edge will eventually catch up with you.

You should set a limit to the number of rounds you will play for each session to reduce losses. Playing short sessions also helps with bankroll management.

Look for baccarat games with fewer decks

If possible, you should always look out for baccarat games with fewer decks. With the best baccarat games, the house edge increases with the number of decks.

Games with a single deck or fewer decks also offer low variability which allows you to enjoy a more consistent gaming experience and reduces the chances of losing streaks.

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Where to Play Baccarat Online in South Africa

Baccarat is a popular table game in South African Casinos. If you’re interested in playing this baccarat online for money, you can either do so in a physical casino or play baccarat online at your convenience.

Each of these betting options offers its unique experience and benefits to players who want to explore this game and play for profit.

In brick-and-mortar casinos, you get to enjoy the game in an authentic atmosphere with all the sights, sounds and excitement that a casino has to offer. It also offers the opportunity for real social interaction since there you can socialize with dealers and other casino-goers.

This adds a fun and engaging dimension to your game. South African casinos offer an impressive variety of table games with variable limits, side bets and options.

Online casinos in South Africa also offer baccarat as one of the table games players can potentially wager on. Playing online offers convenience and ease of access to players. You can play baccarat online on any device including mobile phones or tablets and there’s a wider variety of baccarat options to choose from.

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Playing Baccarat Online - Factors to Consider

Virtual casinos in South Africa give you access to a wide variety of casino games. While there are numerous online casinos to choose from, you should only play online baccarat on reputable and reliable casinos. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing an online casino:

  • Check the Currency: To play baccarat for real money in South Africa, ensure that the casino supports the South African Rand. This makes it easier to deposit money and withdraw your winnings.
  • Read Reviews: Before registering to play online baccarat, confirm the site's authenticity and reliability by reading reviews. You can also play free baccarat games first before registering to hone your baccarat strategy and get familiar with the platform before playing with real cash.
  • Look out for Bonuses and Rewards: Online casinos offer promotional offers, bonuses, and rewards for baccarat players. Some casinos also allow you to play free baccarat or offer bonuses with free game rounds. Look out for casinos with the most favorable bonuses and free baccarat options like this to increase your chances of getting a big win.
  • Side Bets: Some casinos offer online baccarat variants with potentially profitable side bet options. Watch out for offers like this when choosing an online casino to play on.
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Can I Play Free Baccarat in South Africa?

Yes, you can play free baccarat games online at some of the best casinos in South Africa. These casinos provide you with free online coins or virtual tokens to wager on the game freely. Playing free baccarat is risk-free since you don't have to deposit real cash.

With free games, you can bet on either the banker hand or player hand just like in a normal baccarat game. However, all your winnings are virtual, meaning you cannot withdraw any money you win when you play baccarat or any other games in demo mode. Free online baccarat is a great way to get familiar with the gameplay and strategy before staking real money on the game.

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Baccarat is an interesting card game that has been around for centuries. It is arguably one of the most popular casino games in the world and it is played actively in South Africa too. Punters who love to play baccarat can do so in brick-and-mortar casinos or play online on their mobile device or computer. The strategy and gameplay with both options are similar, so the ultimate choice depends on your individual preference.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Baccarat Online

What is Baccarat Online?

Baccarat Online is a digital version of the classic casino card game Baccarat, where players can enjoy the game from the comfort of their homes via online casinos.

How do I play Baccarat Online?

To play Baccarat Online, you need to select your preferred online casino offering the game, register an account, and navigate to the Baccarat section. Place your bets on either the Player, Banker, or Tie, and the dealer will deal the cards accordingly.

What are the different variations of Baccarat available online?

Online casinos offer various Baccarat variations, including traditional Baccarat, Mini Baccarat, Punto Banco, and Chemin de Fer. Each variation may have slightly different rules and betting options.

Can I play Baccarat Online for free?

Yes, many online casinos offer free play or demo versions of Baccarat Online, allowing players to practice their skills or simply enjoy the game without risking real money.

Is Baccarat Online fair?

Yes, reputable online casinos use random number generators (RNGs) to ensure fair outcomes in Baccarat Online games. Additionally, licensed casinos are regulated and audited to maintain fairness and transparency.

Author: Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn, our founder, launched this site in 2016. Since then, she's written over 100 pages filled with crucial info to enhance your gaming experience. Her goal? To provide you with the best, most reliable online casino knowledge.

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