Baccarat, in one form or another, has been around since at least the nineteenth century.

It’s well documented as a popular game which was played among the French nobility. That popularity eventually spread to the masses, and across the Atlantic Ocean. It’d be there that Punto banco or North American baccarat would take shape.

Punto banco baccarat is the baccarat we know and love today. It spread across casinos all over the world, and is especially popular in Macau! Up until recently, your only choice to play this elegant game was to do so in person. But with the rise of online and live dealer gambling, players have received a new avenue to try their luck. Can you recreate Bond’s Casino Royale success from the comfort of your couch? Do you even want to?

Setting and Atmosphere

If you had asked us just a few years ago if live dealer baccarat could compare to the real thing, we’d say no. In some areas, it will never quite reach the same heights. Playing it in person has both good and bad sides. You get to feel the excitement of the gamblers around you and the sound of the other casino-goers. It’s not an experience that can be replicated by live casinos just yet. Not until VR takes off, at the very least!

And it’s obvious that software providers aren’t trying to steal the thunder of real-life casinos. Not yet, at least. Unlike land-based baccarat, you have full control of your atmosphere. You don’t have to dress up fancy to enjoy spins of your favourite game. There’s no need to worry about the noise coming from other people, or if you have enough time. Live baccarat creates a relaxed atmosphere by giving you full control.

Game Variants

We’ve had the pleasure of reviewing lots of live baccarat tables. A lot of them. And so far, we have yet to find a table that doesn’t follow Punto Banco rules. Maybe you can find something like Baccarat Banque in a land-based casino, but not in live ones. So does that mean that all live baccarat releases play the same?

Of course not! Live baccarat games have a fantastic variety of games which gamblers can sample from. Just about every well-known provider offers the standard single-player baccarat. The table can host as many people as it wants, and there’s no pressure to make your bets quickly. You still have to follow the timer, of course. But you avoid people staring you down and shouting for you to hurry up.

Half the fun of playing live dealer baccarat is interacting with other players. If that’s what you’re after, we suggest Multi Seat Baccarat! The only difference is that the games offer a limited number of seats and that you can see other gamblers betting. Otherwise, the ruleset stays the same.

Regular single player baccarat is good for newbies. But if you want to maximize time spent playing, speed baccarat is your game! There’s no card squeezing here. Cards are flipped immediately, results are revealed, prizes are paid, and the next round starts. If you’re used to squeeze baccarat, where either you or the dealer slowly reveal the card, that’s also an option.

The last and most important baccarat we want to mention is No Commission Baccarat. It’s exactly as it says on the tin: no commission is being paid! Banker wins pay an even 1:1 instead of the standard 0.95:1, which eliminates the house edge.

Advantages of Playing Live Dealer Baccarat

Live Dealer Baccarat wins over its physical counterpart in convenience. Unless you live right next to a casino that has the game, you’ll probably default to the live dealer version. Even then, you have to get all gussied up, bring your ID, and play to the casino’s pace. Playing from home means you have all the control. What table you join, what limits you like, if the dealer is cute enough. Everything caters to you.

Online casinos offer more variants of baccarat, thanks to the increased competition they face. Land-based baccarat plays at whatever pace it wants to set. Live baccarat’s multiple versions allow you to play at whatever pace suits you best! In a rush? Try Speed Baccarat. Want to watch the cards get squeezed slowly to increase your odds of winning? Baccarat Squeeze is for you. Want to do the squeezing yourself? Baccarat Controlled Squeeze is a thing!

Advantages of Playing Land-Based Baccarat

Convenience is a great thing, but it simply cannot compare to the atmosphere of playing live. Seeing a rush of text in chat after a big win feels good. But it’s nothing compared to reactions of real people around you as you see someone get a huge score right next to you! Watching some numbers go up is nothing compared to raking in all the chips yourself, and cashing them in later! In this category, there’s no competition!

Closing Thoughts

Personally, we prefer live dealer baccarat more. Of course, given the website we’re writing for, that’s no surprise! And we doubt we’re alone in this camp, either. There are simply too many advantages for online for there to be a fair competition.You can play whenever you want. You have access to more tables and game versions since online isn’t limited by physical space. And both live and land-based baccarat can grant excellent pays!

But if you ever have the opportunity to play it in real life, we definitely recommend doing so. Yes, you have to learn the etiquette. It will be slightly intimidating at first. But any live dealer game has yet to recreate the same rush that you get when you win big at a land-based casino! It’s not something we can put into words. You have to experience it!

As a result, real life baccarat still has plenty of appeal, despite live dealer handily winning out. Of course, how long that state of affairs will last remains to be seen. We’ve already seen virtual reality roulette tables take their first steps. How long until a baccarat version appears, and VR becomes mainstream? Only time will tell. But when that time comes, it may be the death toll for land-based baccarat.