You’ve spent a bit of time betting your way through the Bitcoin casino world, but now you fancy something new. You’ve rolled the reels on our top slots. You’ve spun some big wins at the roulette wheel. You’ve even beaten the blackjack dealers black and blue (metaphorically, of course), so now you want a new challenge.
For many novices coming into the casino industry, the aforementioned games are typically all they think about. Of course, there’s a good reason for that: they’re the most popular, high profile casino games. However, the extent of our Bitcoin betting options doesn’t start and end with just three different games.
In fact, in among our selection of novel offerings lurks another classic: Bitcoin baccarat. As old as blackjack and roulette but far less popular among newbies, baccarat is a game where decisions matter. Despite being overlooked by many betting fans, Bitcoin baccarat is actually a fantastic option, where a touch of skill and timing can pay off.
Don’t be fooled into thinking baccarat is complicated
So, why the lack of interest from some players? Well, unlike slots, roulette and blackjack, which all have a relatively simple betting set-up, baccarat is a game that appears complicated. From the outside, the combination of no clear line between the player and dealer, a fairly complex scoring system and something they call “roads” makes everything look a bit tricky.
Now, we’d be lying if we said that Bitcoin baccarat was as simple to understand as a slot machine. However, we’d also be lying if we said baccarat was difficult to learn. Much like craps, baccarat is a rather misunderstood game. In fact, once you peel back the layers, learn a few simple rules and have a go yourself, you’ll find that it’s actually an easy game to get to grips with.
Naturally, like expert chefs, we’re here to peel back the layers like an onion for you over the course of a few paragraphs. Although we can’t promise you a gastronomic feast at the end of this Bitcoin baccarat guide, we are confident you’ll have all the information you need to try out when of the most exciting card games we offer.
Understanding the Basics: Baccarat’s Matter of Choice
At its core, baccarat is game where you have to choose the result of a card deal. In this instance, you’ll have three outcomes you can choose: the player hand wins, the banker hand wins or the two hands tie (they have the same score).
Unlike other card games where you have to play the hand you’re dealt, baccarat allows you to choose whether you want to back your own hand – the “player” or the dealer’s – the “banker”.
Once you’ve chosen the hand you want to back (by placing a chip in the relevant box/circle), the aim of the game is to make the best score. What’s the best score? In this game, the hand that’s closest to a total of 9 is declared the winner. Naturally, with two or more cards in play, reaching a total of just 9 isn’t easy, but that’s where specific card values and card totals come into play.
Let us explain. In a game of Bitcoin baccarat, cards are valued in the following way:
- Ace = 1
- 2-9 = Face value of the card
- Picture Cards = 0
In conjunction with this scoring system, a baccarat hand is determined by the last digit of the overall total – in other words, the rightmost digit of the total sum of your cards. If your total is nine or lower, that’s the value of your hand. However, if you go into double digits, it’s only the rightmost digit that counts. In baccarat, 9 is the highest total possible.
This may sound confusing at first, but it’s quite simple: For example, if a player hand was showing a 5 and an ace, the overall total would be 6 and, therefore, their score would be 6. On the contrary, if the banker’s hand was 7 and 9, the overall total would also be 6. Why is that? If you add 7 and 9 you get 16. But 16 is a two-digit number, and so only the digit on the right counts. So this round would be a tie between the banker and the player because they both have a total of 6.
Natural and Non-Natural Card Totals
The final thing you need to note is the difference between “natural” and “non-natural” totals. If a hand scores 8 or 9 with its first two cards, this is known as a “natural” total and automatically wins (unless both hands have the same score). The reason the hand is “natural” is because you won’t and can’t draw any more cards. Anytime a hand doesn’t score 8 or 9 on the first deal, it must draw a third card from the deck (rules below). Once this happens, the total then becomes known as “non-natural”.
How to Draw
Now, once you’ve got your head around this concept, the next thing you need to know how to do is draw. Without a pencil in sight, draws take place under the following conditions to help determine the winner of the round (also known as a coup):
- When the player or banker has a total of 8 or 9, they must stand. This overrides any other rule and will bring the round to an end.
- When the player hand has a value of 5 or less, they must take a third card from the deck.
- If the player’s hand is strong enough to stand with two cards, the banker must hit on a total of 5 or less.
However, if the player takes a third card, the dealer must follow the rules below to determine whether they can also draw or whether they have to stand:
If the player draws a 2 or 3, the banker must…
- Draw if their hand value is between 0 and 4.
- Stand if their hand value is between 5 and 7.
If the player draws a 4 or 5, the banker must…
- Draw if their hand value is between 0 and 5
- Stand if their hand value is 6 or 7.
If the player draws 6 or 7, the banker must…
- Draw if their hand value is between 0 and 6.
- Stand if their hand value is 7.
If the player draws an 8, the banker must…
- Draw if their hand value is between 0 and 2.
- Stand if their hand value is between 3 and 7.
If the player draws an Ace, 9, 10, or face-card, the banker must…
- Draw if their hand value is between 0 and 3.
- Stand if their hand value is between 4 and 7.
Note: If a total of 10+ is drawn, the 10 is subtracted from the overall total. For example, if either player is dealt a total of 17, the 10 is subtracted and only the 7 is recognised. That’s similar to the last digit rule.
Once the draw is complete, the player with the highest total (i.e. the one closest to 9) is declared the winner.
When the player hand wins, successful bets are paid out at even money (1:1).
When the banker hand wins, bets are paid out at 19:20 (or, in technical terms, 1:1 minus a 5% commission).
Finally, if the two hands tie (i.e. the player and banker hands are the same score), all player and banker bets are declared a draw and paid out at 8:1.
Picking the Bitcoin Baccarat Game for You
As you can see, once you’ve learned a few basic rules, baccarat isn’t that scary. In fact, even if you can only remember that you need to choose between the player, banker or tie and that the closest to 9 wins, you’ll be doing fine because our software will handle everything for you.
Regardless of whether you’re playing one of our virtual variants or at a live dealer table, our dealers will take care of all the action. From the draw to determining the winner, our system is designed to do all the important bits for you so that you can sit back, make your moves and collect your winnings as they roll in.
With this sort of system in place, we think you can afford to be a little adventurous. Although it’s usually a good idea to start at one of our standard free play baccarat tables, we do have plenty of exotic variants for you to try once you’re comfortable with the game.
In fact, just so you’re aware of what we offer and why each game is unique, here’s a rundown of the Bitcoin baccarat variants we offer:
Mini Baccarat – A standard version of the game played on a “mini” table, this variant is the perfect place to practise the fundamentals of baccarat. As well as an on-table guide and betting prompts, mini Bitcoin baccarat can be played for free or for as little as 1 mBTC per round.
Latin America Live Baccarat – Essentially a live version of mini baccarat, this game features real dealers with many years’ worth of experience in the industry. Although these games cost slightly more per round (2 mBTC to 1,000 mBTC), the action is a lot more engaging as it plays out in real time.
Latin America Live Knockout Baccarat – One of our bonus baccarat games, Knockout gives you the option to make a variety of side bets, including the exact winning total and a natural win (for player or banker). Each bet and its associated payout is listed on the table, with 7:1 being the best possible return.
Live Latin America Dragon Bonus – As well as featuring all the standard baccarat bets, Dragon Bonus allows you to win as much as 30:1 on your money. Dragon Bonus bets can be made on the player or banker hand and payouts are based on non-natural winning totals.
It’s All About Roads
“road” (CC BY 2.0) by Jay Erickson
Learning the rules and choosing the right game of bitcoin baccarat is all well and good, but how can you improve your chances of making the right moves? Although fate will certainly have a say in the end result, our baccarat tables offer you a helping hand with features known as “roads”. On live dealer tables, these options can be turned off if you wish. However, if you want our advice, we suggest keeping them on for one very good reason: they give you better insight into a game’s dynamics.
In simple terms, roads give you a visual breakdown of the way the cards are falling. Using a system of coloured circles, roads basically show you how often the banker hand has won vs. how often the player hand has won. Although you’ll find a variety of different options when you ante up, the two main betting aids you should be focused on are the Bead Road and Big Road.
Following the Bead Road
For those that want to use the Bead Road option, the main thing to note here is that it shows you a history of who (player or banker) won the last round and what their score was. For quick reference, these results are shown in the following way: each red circle is a banker win, while blue circle = player win and green circle = tie.
As well as the colour, there will be a number in the middle of the circle which tells you the winning score. Essentially, by using the Bead Road, you’ll be able to determine which hand is running hot, as well as which scores are occurring most frequently.
Wandering down the Big Road
Similar to the Bead Road, the Big Road gives you an overview of the recent results. In this case, however, you’ll only get to see the winner and not the winning score. What is handy about this tool though is the way the coloured discs are arranged.
When the first card out of a shoe is dealt, a marker is placed in the top left corner of the Big Road grid. If the player hand won, the circle is blue. If the banker won, it’s red. When the next hand is dealt, the winning hand determines where the marker is placed.
If, for example, the player won the first hand and then the second, a blue marker will be placed underneath the first. In contrast, if the player won the first hand and the banker won the second, the second marker (red) would be placed in the next column.
Over time, the grid will be filled with coloured lines of varying lengths. Using this information, you can look at the frequency and length of each line to determine which hand is having the most success at any given period. Of course, having this information doesn’t mean you’re always going to make the right choice. However, if you do use these maps correctly, you’ll have a much better idea of how the game is flowing.
As you can see, Bitcoin baccarat isn’t as scary as you might have thought. In fact, if you take a few minutes to read through the rules, you’ll be able to keep up with the action in any game you choose. What’s more, with so many in-game features and bonuses available inside our top games, we think the amount of fun you can have playing Bitcoin baccarat might just surprise you.