How to Play Baccarat

Even though baccarat has generally not been a game that is recommended for beginners at gambling, with a little guidance it is possible for everyone to have fun at online baccarat games. New Zealand players who enjoy the thrill of a game with high stakes and the possibility of big winnings, will feel right at home at an online baccarat table.

Spin Palace offers top rated online baccarat with some of the best bonuses and security around.

  • Our recommended online baccarat gambling sites have generous sign-up bonuses, and they also have a wide selection of baccarat and its live dealer version.
  • Because there are high stakes at baccarat online, you may want to deposit fairly large amounts to bet on your games. Convenient payment options for New Zealand players will be important, and all our recommended sites offer a variety of such options.
  • Any of your transactions will be safe at the trusted online gambling sites we recommend, because they have excellent encryption security software in place.

The baccarat card game started in France in the 19th century, where it was played at exclusive land-based casinos by the rich and famous. That glamorous image of a high stakes game still remains at some real-life casinos, where baccarat continues to be played in special rooms. Baccarat terms and variations still keep their French names.

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How baccarat works

Baccarat has an unusual way of counting the values of the cards, but otherwise it is basically a game of chance. Among the variations of baccarat, punto banco (‘North American baccarat’), is the most popular. It involves no skill: it depends on a set of drawing rules and not on choices made by the players. Other variations include among others, chemin de fer, and baccarat banquet. In these variations of baccarat, players can make some choices, such as deciding whether to draw a third card or not.

  • Baccarat compares the hands of the ‘player’ and the ‘banker’. These are names given to positions, and does not refer to any specific player. At a land-based casino, the role of the ‘player’ and ‘banker’ will rotate around the table, but in online baccarat, the croupier represents the position of the banker.
  • Every game or ‘coup’ has three possible outcomes: the ‘player’ has the higher score (closest to 9), the ‘banker’ has the higher score, or there is a tie. At the beginning of the coup you bet on one of these three possible outcomes.
  • Two cards are dealt to each of the ‘player’ and ‘banker’ positions. The hand with cards closest in value to 9 is the winner. If both hands hold cards with the same total value, the game is a tie.
  • The baccarat counting system card values is as follows: tens and picture cards are worth 0, aces are worth 1 and all other the other cards keep their face value. Only the last digit of a hand’s value counts towards its final total. For example, if a hand is made up of cards worth 5 and 8 (totalling 13), the ultimate value of the hand would be 3.
  • If neither the ‘player’ nor the ‘banker’ has 8 or 9 in total, there is quite a complex set of drawing rules at a land-based casino to decide whether the player position should receive another card. Based on the value of the new card (and therefore the player’s hand), these rules determine whether the banker position should also receive a third card. At an online gambling site, similar rules are applied automatically by the gaming software.
  • The coup then finishes. The position (‘player’ or ‘banker’) with a total closest to 9 will be the winner.
  • The winning bets are paid out – if you bet correctly on whether the player or banker position will win or whether it will be a tie, you will cash in!
  • Generally, it is advisable for beginners to bet as small an amount as possible on every coup until you become more confident.

Although it used to be the favourite of the rich and famous, these days online baccarat gambling is accessible to everyone. Choose a table at one of our recommended online baccarat sites to enjoy the thrill of this game with its high stakes and chances of big wins in real cash paid out in New Zealand dollars!

The Features To Look Out For

The experience offered by every online baccarat site is a little different, so you'll want to watch out for some of the following indicators of a good baccarat casino. Lots of banking options and a good welcome bonus is always a good start when you arrive on a new site, because it makes the process of depositing real cash and playing a few hands nice and smooth.

A healthy selection of games is a good thing too, even if you are only looking for baccarat gambling, because it suggests that the site uses excellent software and also gives you the option of trying a few different games if you do decide you need a break from baccarat. You'll also want to be on the lookout for mobile apps/sites and information about the security measures the site uses to keep you safe.

Your Best Bet

The three main bets in baccarat are player, banker and tie. With a slightly lower house edge than the player bet, betting on the banker hand will generally cost you a commission of 5%. Even so, many players will stick with the banker bet as much as possible because they believe that it represents a safer bet.

With a house edge of up to 14%, the tie bet is statistically the worst bet on the table. Of course, players who do get lucky when betting on the tie will have the last laugh! The most important thing to note here is that all bets on the baccarat table are not created equal – bear this in mind when considering where to place your bets.

Baccarat's Variations

Probably the most common type of baccarat, or punto banco, goes by the rules we've outlined above. However, there are a couple of variants you might want to try too. For example, in EZ Baccarat the banker bet pays out at even odds unless the banker wins with 7 points and holds 3 cards (in which case the result is considered a push).

Variations of EZ Baccarat include Dragon 7 and Panda 8, which involves betting on a banker total of 7 or 8 points respectively with three cards drawn, and have house edges of between 7 and 11%.

You can also try Super 6/Punto 2000 on the web which pays even money on the banker bet, unless the banker wins with 6 in which case only 50% of the bet is paid. The commission paid on banker wins is also raised to almost 6%.

Midi and mini punto, lower stakes versions of baccarat gambling with lower stakes and smaller tables, exist offline but because each player on the web effectively gets their own table there isn't much need to replicate these online.

There's no obvious choice for the best baccarat variant for Kiwi players (or those based elsewhere in the world for that matter), but each one offers a playing experience that's a little different and can help to add some variety to a long punto banco session.


Although it used to be the game of choice for the rich and famous, these days online baccarat gambling is accessible to everyone. On this page we've looked at some of the different variations of baccarat online and, even though there may not be an obvious answer to the question "what's the best type of baccarat?", this just means that there's plenty of variety for players.

The rules of baccarat are very simple, no matter which variant you're playing, so with just a little knowledge of the game you're ready to start playing on the web or in your local land-based venue.


How popular is online baccarat with New Zealanders?

Very! The relative shortage of offline venues in New Zealand means that gambling on the web is very popular and, since baccarat has some of the best odds of any casino game, it's definitely one that's beloved by Kiwi players.

Where can I play the game?

Just about every online casino on the web offers at least one variation of baccarat, but that doesn't mean that they're automatically worth your attention – check out this page for our top picks for baccarat casinos.

How is online baccarat gambling different to live casino play?

There's a little less showmanship when playing on the web (no folding or rotating cards here) but, for the most part, the experience is very much the same. Another key difference is that, when playing online, you won't have to share your table with other players.

Can I make money playing?

Absolutely. With a run of good luck and some sensible bankroll management, it's possible to do very well when playing online baccarat.

How much can I win?

The only thing limiting how much you can win is the maximum bet limit on the table you're playing at. In theory, it's possible to make thousands of NZD (or even more) in a single session of baccarat gambling.

Where will find a great bonus?

Any of the casinos on this page will give you a fantastic real cash bonus just for signing up, as will the vast majority of honest and reputable gambling/baccarat sites on the web.

Is online baccarat rigged?

Certainly not if you're playing at reputable online casinos. Every card and outcome is determined by RNGs (random number generators) that have no bias towards the casino or player beyond the house edge that's inherent in the game.