Live casino baccarat variations specific to the world of live casinos have been popping up for years. These changes can make the game a lot more exciting and interesting. Ever wanted to do more with punto banco than just repeatedly make Banker bets? Here are some baccarat rules variations available on live casino sites
More recent titles attempt to use their format as an advantage rather than an obstacle they need to overcome. Over the years, variations of live casino baccarat specific to the world of live casinos have been popping up.
Best Live Baccarat Variants
Before we begin, we’ll note a few things about these variations. First of all, we only took into account changes to the standard baccarat formula that have a noticeable impact on the gameplay. This includes changes to the rules, payout structure or the usual betting process of the main baccarat bet. As such, features such as side bets aren’t enough for a game to be considered a baccarat variant.
No Commission Baccarat
No Commission Baccarat rules are easily the most common change to how baccarat usually works. The chance is seemingly quite small, but is has a profound impact on some aspects of the game.
Typical live casino baccarat game variants come with a 5% commission on all Banker bets. In practice, this means that the Banker bet pays 0.95:1, compared to the Player bet’s 1:1.
The reasoning is simple – Banker bets have a slightly higher chance to win because of third card rules. Banker bets in standard baccarat win 50.68% of non-tie bets while Player wins 49.32%. The 5% commission offsets this to a degree, but Banker bets are still the better choice. The optimal RTP in commissioned baccarat is 98.94%.In this case, “optimal” simply means repeatedly betting on Banker, because Player bets offer 98.64% RTP.
No Commission Baccarat removes the standard 5% commission on Banker bets and pays out 1:1 for both Player and Banker. Of course, the third card rules in no commission baccarat are identical. This type of baccarat instead compensates for the advantage by paying out 0.5:1 if Banker wins with a total of 6. Considering 6 is a fairly common outcome, this can impact your returns more than one would think. As a result, Banker bets in no commission baccarat offer 98.56% RTP. This means that the Player bet is the best choice in No Commission Baccarat. It also means that the overall RTP of No Commission Baccarat is slightly lower than the commissioned kind.
Baccarat With Multipliers
No Commission Baccarat tables exist at brick-and-mortar casinos as well. However, this next innovation is completely unique to the live dealer gaming space. The most common example is Evolution’s acclaimed Lighthing Baccarat, but there are others.
Baccarat multipliers are added as a special feature that worlds alongside the regular payouts. For instance, Lighting Baccarat assigns multipliers to a random selection of 5 cards. This typically happens after the betting period is over but before the cards are drawn. If the winning hand contains one of the cards with multipliers, any winning bets on that hand win more. Such bonuses usually stack with each other and can also multiply winning Tie bets.
The tradeoff usually includes some sort of commission to the initial stake. For example, Evolution’s take requires you to pay 20% of your winnings if you want to take into account multiplied cards. This live baccarat variant multiplier also charges the standard 5% commission on Banker wins.
Usually, these baccarat bonus mechanics do not impact the RTP, which is still 98.84%.
Relatively speaking, the past few years have been the most prolific in terms of innovation in live casino games. Few big new titles are just run-of-the-mill live tables – games need to innovate if they want to compete these days.
Peek baccarat is one of the newest innovations to live casino baccarat and arguably one of the most impactful. Player Peek Baccarat rules have existed in some brick-and-mortar casinos for some time, but it’s still an exceedingly rare live baccarat variant. In 2022, Evolution adapted it to a live casino format, which is great news for anyone willing to try something new.
So how does Peek Baccarat work? The big change is that the Peek baccarat variation allows you to change your bet after some of the cards have been revealed. Before you can do that, however, you’ll need to pay 20% of your stake as a fee. After the 14-second betting period, between 1 and 4 cards are revealed, starting with the Player’s hand. You can thus see one Player card at least, or 3 Player cards and one Banker card at most. After this reveal, players who opted into the Peak bet can adjust their stakes. They can double or triple the stake or choose to fold and accept a push. In the last case, you get your base stake back but forfeit the 20% commission.
This feature adds a whole new layer to baccarat strategy. It means that there are perfect times to double or fold your hand – something like a basic strategy in blackjack. The Peek Baccarat variation is still new to the market, however. It will need to be around for a while before players really get into the ins and outs of this special feature.
Bet on Baccarat
The Bet on Baccarat live casino game combines classic casino excitement with the dynamic betting odds of an online sportsbook. Some of the options also remind us of Peek Baccarat.
We’ll walk you through a typical Bet on Baccarat round to explain. The game starts as usual, with players being able to choose between the main Player/Banker/Tie options. You can also occasionally place common baccarat side bets. However, cards are revealed one at a time and you can place new bets after each reveal.
However, any winnings depend on the context in which you make the bets. For instance, if a Player win seems likely after both hands receive a card, the payout for Player bets is reduced. Payouts can vary depending on the probability of each possible outcome at the time the bet is placed. This live baccarat variation adds a whole new level of gameplay, with excitement mounting until the end of each round.
While the fun factor is increased, the RTP sadly takes a small hit with these rules implemented. Betgames’ version comes with 96.4% optimal RTP. It is also the only take on the Bet on Baccarat game variant currently playable at live dealer casinos. However, we might see the idea spread like its Bet on Poker cousin did.
The Live Baccarat Squeeze variation has also picked up some steam among live dealer players. However, it’s tough to call this feature a full variation for baccarat rules. In short, squeezing in baccarat does not directly impact the core rules, bets or payouts. It’s simply a stylistic choice added to add perceived excitement to games.
So what is squeezing in baccarat? In short, squeezing is a sort of “flair” action some croupiers preform while flipping the cards. Instead of simply turning them over, the dealers peek under or slowly reveal cards to build tension.
As you can see, this doesn’t have much bearing on how your baccarat game will turn out. Some players seem to enjoy it, however as evident by the success of Squeeze Baccarat variants.
That covers the most common baccarat variations at live casinos in 2023. There are other slightly modified rulesets, of course. However, most are either a slight change to one of the above ideas or minor additions such as side bets.
It’s still worth noting that none of these innovations truly alter the core concepts of how to play baccarat. That’s why a firm grasp of the basics of baccarat strategy can go a long way in earning more with any of these games.