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Incredible advancements in casino software have made it possible to translate live dealer, casino baccarat to a variety of platforms. This page will teach you everything you need to know about the live game.
What is live baccarat?
Live baccarat is the next best thing to stepping over the velvet rope and hitting the felt at a real casino. Video streaming technology brings online players face to face with live dealers in dedicated studios and actual, functional casinos.
The standard rules of baccarat are kept intact for live games. The only difference is that bets are carried out via an electronic interface.
Live baccarat online
While roulette and blackjack were the first games to receive the live treatment, baccarat is starting to gain a more widespread following. The rules of play are identical to those you would find in a casino. Live dealers handle the cards and are beamed to players in real time using video streaming technology. Casino software is used in conjunction with image recognition technology to keep track of hands and distribute winnings.
Live mobile baccarat
The majority of casinos with live baccarat tables have optimised their services for multiple mobile devices. This means you can access the classy thrills provided by this illustrious casino gem at any time – all you need is a robust signal, 3G, 4G or wi-fi and a dose of luck. Check out our mobile page to find out which casinos are compatible with your device.
Meet the dealers!
Many casinos allow players to browse dealer galleries in order to familiarise themselves with the live staff. If you attain VIP status, you might even be permitted to request your favourite dealer at your table. Feel free to check out the casinos listed below and take a gander through their dealer galleries. You might spot a face you like!
How live baccarat works
The first thing you need to play live baccarat is a casino with a live dealer suite (most NetEnt, Microgaming or Playtech powered operators have one of these). Live baccarat is the third most popular live casino option at online casinos, behind blackjack and roulette, but ahead of casino poker.
If you want to get an impression of live baccarat without playing, then you needn't worry as most live casinos will allow you to observe what is going down at a live baccarat table without sitting down yourself. Just log in to the casino and choose your table. You will only be allowed to observe for a short period though - most casinos will not be happy with you eating up their bandwidth and taking the place of a player who has every intention of making a bet.
Once you enter the live casino, you'll be presented with a live video feed, over which will be overlaid a graphical interface - the kind of which you will be familiar with if you've played baccarat at an online casino. You use the interface to make your bets, and your actions are relayed to the dealer via a monitor at their end. The dealer will be able to see your username and other stats about you, and most will happily chat with you. You won't be able to talk to them direct, but you can use the messaging services. Note, you must never be abusive to a dealer under any circumstances. You would run the risk of having your account terminated and your ip address banned across all live casino providers.
Once you (and the other players present, who remain unseen when you are playing live casino baccarat) have placed your bets, the dealer will deal the cards. Typically, the first card from the shoe is discarded unseen. This is to prevent card counting which, as I am sure you can appreciate, is a lot easier when you are playing alone via a laptop or PC than it is when you're playing in a casino for real.
Each card that is dealt is passed over an optical card reader. This is so the cards that are being dealt can be fed automatically into the computer software which is running the game, and automatically handling your bets. The dealer will be highly-trained as a casino croupier (they require a lot more talent than just a pretty face!) so mistakes are extremely infrequent. They will play out the game as per standard baccarat rules. As baccarat is played without player interaction each hand is over very quickly.
Once each deal has played out, the computer software will automatically work out whether your bet was successful, and re-calculate your bank balance.
The card shoes at a live baccarat table are changed on a very regular basis, again, to prevent card counting. The dealers themselves tend to work in shifts of one hour.
Although many online casinos do provide live casinos, they are only typically provided by a handful of gambling software companies - Amaya, Evolution Gaming, Medialive and Microgaming to name but four. This means if you do find a dealer you really like the look of, you should be able to find them at multiple online casinos!
Types of baccarat offered
Although the game offered by most live casinos is advertised as 'baccarat', it is in fact the simplified, casino-based version called 'punto banco', which means 'player banker'. In this version of baccarat there is no decision-making on the part of either the player or the banker - the cards are dealt following a strict set of rules.
Some live casino versions of baccarat will allow you to place side bets. Such bets include player pair and banker pair (where you bet on either the player or the banker receiving a pair when their hands are dealt to them), a dragon bonus (you win additional cash if the player or the banker (whichever you bet on) wins by four points) and a tiger bonus (if during the game both player and banker receive a third card, and the baccarat-style value of these cards is two). Other such sidebets are available, depending on where you play.
The right casinos to play baccarat
Now you know the rules, put your skills to the test at our highest-rated casinos for baccarat.