Best PA Online Baccarat Sites
The card game Baccarat has enjoyed a resurgence by more and more bettors playing online after taking a backseat to other, more popular online casino games of roulette, blackjack and video poker. There are now hundred of online baccarat games available with dozens of variations. To navigate these options for the best online gambling experience, pour through our guide to find the best online baccarat sites and best casino bonuses available to Pennsylvania players.
How to Play Baccarat Online
Before you start playing, it’s important to understand the rules of baccarat. While not at easy as some online casino games such as roulette, it is also not the most complicated card game either. And remember, top PA casinos will all have demo modes where you can practice on free baccarat games to your heart’s content.
Playing free baccarat games will help you better understand the rules and enjoy a better (and hopefully winning) gaming experience. The house edge on baccarat is low – just over 1% - making it one of the best games to play. By comparison, roulette, while fairly easily to play, have a 5.26% house edge in its American variation and about 2.63% in the European variant.
Punto Banco is the most popular variation of baccarat and one you will see at most brick and mortar PA casinos as well. There are two hands dealt, each with two cards: a “player” hand and a “dealer” hand. You have the option of betting on the “player” hand, the “banker” hand or on a “tie” between the two. You are betting on which hand is closest to nine.
Unlike at a brick and mortar baccarat table or a live dealer game (where an actual dealer is video streamed dealing the cards), when playing online, be sure to only plat at licensed and regulated PA casinos, where you know a random number generator (or RNG) ensures the shoe is truly random. Offshore casinos do not face the same regulations and can be risky.
Here’s how the total is calculated: If a hand adds up to more than 10, the score is the right-hand digit of the sum. For example, a hand of an seven and a eight equals 15 and results in a value of 5. In essence, face cards and 10s have no value, and aces are worth 1.
If the player or banker hand equals eight or nine, it is a “natural” and the game is over and bets are paid. If the “player” hand equals 0-5, that hand is given an additional card. A 6 or 7 stands.
Additionally, when neither banker or player hand initially equals eight or nine, the rules of baccarat get a little more complicated when it comes to the banker:
- Banker draws with a total of 2 or less, regardless of the player’s card
- Banker draws with a total of 3 unless the player’s third card is an 8
- Banker draws with a total of 4 if the player’s third card is between 2 and 7
- Banker draws with a total of 5 if the player’s third card is between 4 and 7
- Banker draws with a total of 6 if the player’s third card is a 6 or 7
- Banker always stands on 7
The cards are then totaled.
Now that you know the rules and you’d like to start winning, you are probably wondering what kind of strategy can be employed. Unfortunately, there are not a ton of strategy options when it comes to placing a baccarat bet as the decision making once the cards are dealt is our of a player’s hands. The only strategy some employ is: “follow the shoe.” This strategy assumes wins come in groups and doesn’t alternate between the dealer and player. The idea is to take advantage of a string of wins by placing a bet on the result of the previous hand. That means if a player had a win in the last game, place your next bet on them. Then if the dealer wins, place your next bet on them.
Keep in mind, though, that the “shoe” is really that random number generator (RNG), so play some demo games and test it out to see if you want to put it into practice when wagering real money.
Baccarat is one of the oldest cards games still played today, tracing its roots to 15th century Italy. In these early versions, players would bet hands against each other with the player with the highest score winning. The game grew in popularity, particularly in France and Italy. In France, the game was known as Chemin de Fer (a version is still played today). Another game variant emerged around the same time. Known as Baccarat Banque, it is still played around the world but especially in Europe.
Modern twists emerged, most notably Punto Banco, in South America and eventually spread to North America. By the 1950s the game expanded to Las Vegas and has been part of the gaming landscape ever since. Now most online gambling sites offer players a chance to enjoy all three versions.
How to Find the Best Online Baccarat Casino Sites
Once thought of as a game for high rollers (remember James Bond sitting at a baccarat table in “Casino Royale?), baccarat can be fun for casual and serious bettors alike. Before you start playing baccarat online, you’ll need to find the best online casino to do so. At TopPACasinsos.com, our reviews have years of experience in the industry and evaluate all legal and regulated Pennsylvania online casinos on a handful of criteria, including safety and security, casino bonuses, volume of online gambling opportunities (including whether they have live dealer games) and the quality of their gaming platform on a mobile device.
You will never find illegal, offshore casinos recommended here. They are risky and completely unnecessary given the growing PA market. All online casinos recommended here are licensed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.