Back in 1962, Dr. No introduced the movie-going public for the first time to secret agent James Bond 007. His first scene is at a classy casino, where he is immersed in a high-stakes game of baccarat. And so the scene was set. Over the subsequent years, casino gaming has been a regular feature of Bond movies, and in 2005’s Casino Royale, the casino gambling is not just incidental, it is central to the plot.
The interesting thing is that in Ian Fleming’s original novel, Casino Royale is centered around a high-stakes game of baccarat. By the turn of the millennium, baccarat had all but vanished from casinos, so the filmmakers changed it to poker so that audiences would understand what was happening. Yet 17 years later, with the focus on mobile online casinos, baccarat has risen from the ashes to become a favorite among those learning how to gamble online.
A major factor in baccarat’s revival is that the game is incredibly simple. The dealer deals a two-card hand, one for “banker” and one for “player”. Under certain circumstances, a third card is dealt – the rules for this are the only complexity, but only the dealer really needs to memorize them. The winning hand is the one that adds up closest to 9, using only the last digit (so 7 and 8 adds up to 15, meaning the hand is worth 5). To play baccarat, you simply bet on either player win, banker win or tie.
A game of chance
Baccarat has some outward similarities to blackjack. However, it is really more similar to roulette as there is no skill involved or strategy to learn. Calling player or banker is a little like backing red or black at the roulette wheel. This is appealing for casino novices as it means they have as good a chance of winning as someone who has been playing baccarat for years!
Every casino game has a house edge. This is the advantage the casino has over the player, and is how casinos make money and stay in business. A slot game typically has a house edge of about five percent, meaning it will pay out on average 95 coins in winnings for every 100 coins wagered. In baccarat, the house edge is less than 1.5 percent as long as you stick with the player or banker bets. The edge is higher on the tie.
As well as a low house edge, baccarat has low volatility. This means the rewards come little and often, so even a modest bankroll should last a while. If you walk through the virtual doors of an online casino with $20 and start playing slots, there’s a chance you might hit the jackpot, but there’s a higher probability that you will burn it all in less than 10 minutes. In baccarat, the wins are more modest but they almost balance out the losses, so with a little luck, that $20 could last for quite some time.