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Live Baccarat

Walk near the high roller section of any brick-and-mortar casino, and you might just get a taste of the atmosphere that surrounds a high-stakes baccarat game. The turn of every card appears to have untold drama, and fortunes can ride on whether the dealer or the player wins each hand. Even the lower-stakes tables in the main casino floor give the impression that baccarat is a game that has a mystique like nothing else in the world of gambling.

In truth, baccarat is actually a very simple game, and anyone can learn to play the game optimally in just a matter of minutes. But what makes it so popular—aside from the fact that the game has a pretty low house edge—is the culture around it that has been brought into the game by centuries of players. In live play, a baccarat game is more than just the sum of its parts, and live dealer baccarat gives online casino players a chance to relive some of the incredible feeling that comes from the live version of this popular game.

What is Live Dealer Baccarat?

Live dealer baccarat is a form of online baccarat that uses a real dealer and real cards in order to determine the results of each hand. If you play normal online baccarat, the cards are dealt from a virtual deck. The gameplay is fair and random, but the cards are really just simulated: everything that happens is determined by a random number generator. In live dealer baccarat, your fate lies in the hands of a dealer and a physical deck of cards, exactly the way the game was meant to be played.

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How to Play Live Baccarat

Live dealer baccarat is one of the most popular table games in the world, particularly among high-rollers, so if you play at a casino site offering a live dealer option, chances are that they offer baccarat in that format. To find out, simply head to the “live dealer” area in your casino software, and see if baccarat is listed among the games offered. If it is, clicking on an available table should give you the chance to connect to a game immediately.

When you’ve joined a game, you’ll be able to see the dealer, the baccarat table, and the cards via a live video stream (typically coming from a set that the online casino uses to host its live dealer games). Along with the video feed, you’ll also be presented with an interface with which you can place your bets. Some live baccarat games also display other information, such as the results of recent hands. There might even be the option to chat with the dealer or other players.

Once you’ve placed your bets, the dealer will play out the next hand in front of you. You will be able to see the cards come out for yourself, after which the dealer will confirm the results electronically. Once that occurs, you and any other players at your table will see your account balances change based on whether you won or lost your bet. It’s as simple as that: the game works exactly like online baccarat, only with the added human element of a dealer in a real casino environment.

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Why Play Live Dealer Baccarat?

If you’ve ever played baccarat in a real world casino, you know just how much the atmosphere of the table means to the game. There is nothing quite like sitting with other players and sweating the turn of each and every card. That feeling is largely lost in traditional online baccarat games, as the cards simply appear on the screen.

Live dealer baccarat may not be exactly like playing the game in a casino, but it’s about as close as you can get without traveling to the closest resort. Just the presence of a real dealer and a deck of cards just feels right when it comes to a game like baccarat: while other games may translate well to an electronic format, it wasn’t the way that baccarat was meant to be played.

If you’re a fan of baccarat and you want to try it out in a live dealer format, then it is easy to get started. Join up at any of our recommended live dealer casinos and make your first deposit, and you will be able to jump into a live baccarat game in just minutes!

History of Baccarat

Baccarat is old enough that there’s no consensus among historians as to exactly when the game began. The game does appear to be French in origin, though whether it dates back merely to the 19th century or actually started to appear in Europe hundreds of years earlier than that is a bit unclear, shrouding the game in an air of mystery that seems appropriate for a game where atmosphere and superstition can be so important.

What we do know is that two versions of the game have been played historically. The entirely chance-based version of baccarat at live casinos around the world today is known as punto banco, and all live dealer baccarat games that we’re familiar with today use this format. This is the version in which the “player” (punto) and “banker” (banco) hands are simply names for two different options that you can bet on, rather than actually belonging to one side or the other. Both sides follow fixed rules that the dealer must follow, and you win if your hand wins.

A much more glamourous form of the game, known as chemin de fer, has also been played since at least the late 19th century. In this version, one player is designated as the banker on each turn, while the remaining participants take on the role of the player. The banker must put up a stake for each hand, after which each player in turn may put up stakes up to that amount. If the total bet by the players ever goes above the banker’s stake, they may choose to match the player bets, or stop taking them at the point where they’ve reached the limit they set at the start of the round.

Just like in punto banco, the goal is to come up with a higher hand. However, this time the player with the biggest bet size can choose whether or not to accept a third card rather than relying on predetermined rules, as can the banker when it becomes his or her turn to play. While this version is rarely seen in casinos, it is a very exciting and more strategic form of the game, and was made famous to many by its appearance in several James Bond novels and films.

Today, baccarat is a staple of online casinos. Live dealer baccarat offers a way to get the brick-and-mortar casino experience right from your computer or smartphone. The authentic experience that comes from these offerings is a big part of why baccarat live casino games are some of the most common live dealer tables you’ll find at casinos online.

Where is Baccarat Popular?

Today, baccarat has gained extensive popularity in VIP rooms around the world. But without a doubt, its popularity is strongest amongst gamblers in China and other Asian nations: while high-stakes baccarat brings in a lot of money for Las Vegas casinos, it is essentially the only game in town in Macau, with baccarat accounting for more than 90 percent of all revenues in the city’s casinos by some estimates.

Why have Chinese gamblers fallen in love with baccarat? There’s no single clear answer, but there are a few reasons that seem likely – a couple of which also explain why many gamblers around the world love the game. First, the game has a very low house edge compared to other casino games, making it feel somewhat fairer for players. In addition, the relatively fast and straightforward action makes this an easy game to understand, meaning players don’t have to familiarize themselves with a myriad of betting options before they start playing

Finally, the game is entirely determined by luck, which actually appeals to many superstitious high rollers in China. You’ll see plenty of techniques and methods used by players at baccarat tables around the world, but especially in Macau. While these might not actually improve the odds of winning, they have become an important part of baccarat culture, meaning you might even see some nods to them in live dealer baccarat!

In fact, baccarat live casino play has become an increasingly popular way for players to enjoy this game. Atmosphere and tradition are a big part of the experience for many gamblers, and live dealer baccarat provides this more than any other online form of the game without sacrificing the convenience of playing from your home or mobile device.

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