Understanding Baccarat Side Bets

Baccarat is one of the most exciting casino card games ever developed. Played in land-based casinos and online, the game has enjoyed renewed popularity thanks to the 007 films and the influence of the Asian gambling market. While there are two basic versions of Baccarat, the one most commonly found online is Punto Banco or Player/Banker Baccarat. In this game, players can choose to place bets on the player hand, the banker hand or on a tie when they play at an online casino NZ dollars site, or any other site that offers the game.

Betting Strategies for Punto Banco

Punto Banco Baccarat has similarities to Blackjack, however, the is a more of a luck-based element to the game. In Blackjack, players create a strategy based on their own hand and the dealers up-facing card. In Baccarat, once the bets are placed, no external factors can influence the outcome. In a way, the game is more like Roulette where all the main strategies involve what types of bets must be placed, how large the bets should bet and how frequently you should place them. In fact, the Martingale system, which was initially designed for Roulette can be used in basic Baccarat bets.

Most online Baccarat games these days offer side bets which can be placed as an optional bet at the start of the round. Depending on the where you play and the type of game, the number of side bets can range between three and 5, but some games offer a lot more. However the game still remains one of chance, so luck and superstition are your only weapons to help you win.

Pair Side Bet

The most commonly offered Baccarat side bet is the pairs bet. This is similar to the Blackjack pairs bets where you are betting that you will be dealt a matching set of cards in the first hand. In Baccarat, there are three different pair bet options. Firstly, you can place a bet that the banker hand will be dealt a pair. You can also bet that the player hand will be dealt a pair or for a slightly lower payout, you can bet that either the player or the banker will be dealt a pair.

Big/Small Bet

Another interesting side bet is the Small/Big bet. This is based on how many cards are dealt in each round. If you bet on small, you are betting that the total number of cards dealt in the round is four. If you bet on big, you are betting that the number of cards dealt in the round will be five or six. A correct bet here pays out 1.5 to 1.

Sum Bonus Bet

The sum bonus bet is similar to the small/big bet. Here, instead of using the total number of cards, the value of the cards in both hands are totalled to get to the value. There are a number of options to choose from here. If you want to bet low, you are betting the total value is under 5. If you are betting high, you are betting the total value is above 14. You can also choose to bet on the specific number 18 for a payout of 6:1.

Jackpot Bonus Bet

Another popular bet offered at many online casinos is the Baccarat jackpot bonus. Here you are paid out set amounts for some hands and the progressive jackpot for a hand where the player has a suited Ace and an 8 while the banker hand matches exactly. The bet will also pay out set amount for a natural hand of 6, 7, 8 and 9.