Baccarat Variants – Features and RTP
Baccarat is a straightforward casino game that draws inspiration from blackjack. The goal is to bet on the closest hand to nine. The first digit is always dropped in baccarat, so you can’t bust like in blackjack.
In this game, players take turns betting on the “Bank”, “Player”, or “Tie”. Bets placed on “Bank” have a 5% commission in most baccarat variations.
Many players abide by baccarat betting strategies, the most common being the one-sided strategy, the Martingale system, and the trend switch combat strategy. The goal of the strategies is to help you manage your bankroll.
All baccarat variants have one thing in common – high RTP rates, which equals a low house edge. However, some baccarat variations can be more profitable than others, making it crucial to pick a variant with a high RTP.
Have a look at some of the best baccarat variants available in the US:
|Variation Name||RTP||Special Features|
|Chemin de Fer||98.00%||Players go against each other and take turns being the banker.|
|Punto Banco||98.94%||The casino is always the banker and a third card may be dealt.|
|Baccarat Banque||98.40%||The dealer is determined at the start of the game. Players can choose to “Go Bank”.|
|No Commission Baccarat||98.94%||Betting on “Bank” doesn’t have a 5% commission. If the banker wins with a six, the payout is only 0.5:1. Includes side bets.|
|EZ Baccarat||98.98%||Has no commission but the banker can with a three-card seven.|
|European Baccarat||98.94%||The banker can opt to deal a third card. The player can stand with a five.|
|Baccarat Squeeze||98.94%||Has six side bets that can offer big payouts.|
|Dragon Tiger||96.72%||Players bet on the “Dragon” or “Tiger”. Has side bets.|
|Lightning Baccarat||96.78%||Has random multipliers up to 8x.|
Well-Known Baccarat Variants
Even though there are many online baccarat variations, the core rules remain more or less consistent, making baccarat very easy to learn. Its consistency also means that strategies often apply to more than one baccarat variant.
Most of the differences in the rules are related to who’s selected as the dealer, side bets, and payouts. Check below the most popular types of baccarat and their key differences:
Chemin de Fer
Chemin de Fer is based on classic baccarat. The game’s name comes from the French word for “railway”. The main difference is that players face each other and not the banker. It’s one of the most challenging baccarat games, with a house edge of 2%.
Every round, players take turns being the banker. Only one player per round can announce “Bank”, meaning they’re willing to cover the banker’s stake, while the rest take turns betting until they reach the amount staked by the banker.
The player with the highest stake is chosen to represent the other players. Winning “Banker” bets are subject to a 5% commission.
Punto Banco is also called American Baccarat, even though its roots can be traced to Latin America. This baccarat variation is played with six 52-card decks. Also, the casino is always the banker, so players won’t have to face each other. As one of the most simple baccarat games, Punto Banco’s house edge is 1.06%.
In Punto Banco, a third card may be dealt depending on the hand’s value. Unlike other variants, the “Player” or the “Banker” can’t choose when a card is drawn. A 5% commission is paid for “Banker” bets.
Baccarat Banque is similar to Chemin de Fer, although the banker is determined at the start of the game. Usually, the banker is the player with the most significant stake or the first to join the table. It has one of the highest house edges, at 1.60%.
In this baccarat variant, the dealer deals two cards to each side of the table and two to the bank. Other players then take turns to “go bank”, but only those that cover the banker’s bet can do so. Like other baccarat variations, Baccarat Banque has a 5% commission.
No Commission Baccarat
No Commission Baccarat is a live casino game that plays just like its regular counterpart. The critical difference is that “Banker” bets don’t have a 5% commission, resulting in a house edge of 1.06%.
However, software providers have introduced other rules to balance the house edge, most notably the “Super 6” rule. It dictates that when the banker wins with a six, the payout is only 0.50 to 1. Additionally, No Commission Baccarat has four side bets players can place:
- Player or banker pairs – Wins 11:1 if the banker/player’s first two cards are a pair.
- Perfect pair – Wins 25:1 or 250:1 if the two cards are a perfect pair (of the same suit).
- Super 6 – Wins 15:1 if the banker wins with a six.
- Player or banker bonus – Wins if the player or the banker win with a natural or a difference of four points.
EZ Baccarat is another type of No Commission Baccarat. However, in this baccarat variation, if the banker obtains a three-card hand of seven, it results in a push. This contributes to a lower house edge of 1.02%. There are also two additional side bets in EZ Baccarat:
- Dragon 7 – Wins 40:1 if the banker has a three-card hand totaling seven.
- Panda 8 – Wins 25:1 if the banker has a three-card hand with a total of eight.
European Baccarat has two main differences from other baccarat variants – players can draw or stand when their hand is five, and the banker can always request a third card. Other rules may apply, such as when one of the players equals the banker’s bet, preventing other players from betting. It has a standard house edge of 1.06%.
Baccarat Squeeze refers to how the dealer handles the cards. Instead of turning the cards, the dealer squeezes and slowly turns the card, adding a new layer of excitement. In addition, some games have side bets such as pairs and perfect pairs. Baccarat Squeeze has a house edge of 1.06%.
Dragon Tiger is a simple baccarat-based game. Instead of receiving two cards each, the banker and the player only receive one card. The goal is to bet which side will have the higher card value. Due to the fewer cards involved, Dragon Tiger has a higher house edge of 1.28%. There are also various side bets, including:
- Big/small – If the card on your selected side is over or under seven.
- Odd/even – If the card on your selected side is odd or even.
- Red/black – If the card on your selected side is red or black.
This innovative and exciting baccarat variation comes packed with multipliers that can increase your payouts. Every round, random cards in the table are assigned a multiplier before they’re turned over. Multipliers can even stack with each other and multiply tie bets.
Difference Between Baccarat Tables
Baccarat games can also vary according to the game’s table. Check out how each table influences the bets, pace, and other game mechanics.
Big Table Baccarat
Big Table Baccarat has 14 seats. It often offers high betting limits, making it an excellent game for high rollers and advanced players. This is usually found in brick-and-mortar casinos.
Mini Baccarat is very similar to Punto Banco, albeit with low stakes. It’s a great game for beginners but also advanced players due to its fast-paced nature. Mini Baccarat uses eight standard decks and has seven seats.
Midi baccarat plays just like Mini Baccarat, but with a minor twist. Instead of dealing the cards face up, the dealer deals them face down and pushes them to the players with the highest “Player” and “Banker” bets. These players then face each other without revealing their cards, which adds an element of surprise to the game. These tables typically have nine seats.
Which Baccarat Variation Should You Choose?
When picking baccarat variations, you should pay attention to four main aspects – rules, odds, bets, and payouts. Knowing the rules and odds is essential, as different games work differently. You should also be aware of the various bets you can place and their payouts.
Most profitable baccarat variants
Some baccarat variants are more profitable thanks to their low house edge and big payouts. Have a look at the most profitable baccarat variations:
Lowest house edge in baccarat variants
- EZ Baccarat – Many players choose this variant due to the lack of commission and low house edge of 1.02%.
- Punto Banco – One of the most popular types of baccarat. Even though it’s a simple game, it has a low house edge of 1.06%.
Baccarat variants with the best payouts
- Lightning Baccarat – This variant is packed with exciting multipliers that can exponentially increase your payouts.
- No Commission Baccarat – This game has several side bets, some of which can pay out up to 250x your stake.
The best baccarat variants for your skill level
Your choice should also include your skill level. Simple baccarat games are better for beginners, while advanced players prefer complex mechanics and side bets. Have a look:
Baccarat variations for beginners
- Punto Banco – This is the most simple version of baccarat. Also, it’s widely available, making it perfect for beginners.
- No Commission Baccarat – Even though it has some side bets, the mechanics of No Commission Baccarat are simple and easy to understand. Additionally, it has a low house edge.
Baccarat variations for experienced players
- Baccarat Banque – Players must “go bank” to wager in this baccarat variant. As such, it usually has higher stakes.
- Dragon Tiger – This exciting variation has several side bets based on card number, color, and suit. It also has a higher house edge.
What Baccarat Variations Should You Avoid?
We recommend players avoid baccarat variations with complex mechanics and higher house edges, such as Chemin de Fer and Dragon Tiger. Here’s why:
- Chemin de Fer – Players face each other with high stakes in this variation. It’s only recommended for experienced players due to its unpredictable nature.
- Dragon Tiger – This variant has a higher house edge than other baccarat games. In addition, only one card is dealt to the banker and the player, making it harder to devise a strategy.