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Side-Bets In Baccarat and Punto Banco
First lets get the confusion cleared up about the difference between Baccarat and Punto Banco. Baccarat is the mother name for a collection of games that originate over 250 years ago in French casinos, versions of it can be seen in films like Dr. No (the game played by James Bond). Punto Banco was invented in UK casinos to bring some of the alure of the tuxedo wearing, big-spending, big screen characters to otherwise boring gaming floors. Punto had standardised Baccarat rules with very simple game play, just three possible bets, Player, Bank or Egalite.

For decades UK casinos stuck with Punto as it had a large Chinese and overseas following which for many casinos were the backbone of their ecconomy from the 1970s to the 2000s. This no longer being the case a new version of the game with the same basic rules was licensed in the UK and now casinos around the world are offering a game called Baccarat with a large variety of rules, mostly differing in the many possible side-bets that have been crafted to tempt players to part with their money.

With the proliferation of online casinos a great number of new side-bets are appearing in this great old game and with the basic house edge being very low this is where online reviews like cancasinos casino can cut hours of review time, and get you a decent chance of a long positive run.


Playing Bank gives the house a 1.17% edge and betting Player has a house edge of 1.36%, two of the smallest advantages for the house to be found in a casino. Playing Egalite (Bank and Player hands tie) gives away 14%, not a good bet.

Specific Egalite Bets

UK based casinos have expanded the tie bet and you can find them online. Here you can bet on the individual Bank/Player total when a tie occurs.
Bank/Player Total Payout Odds to 1 House Edge %
9 80 10.6
8 80 11.1
7 45 6.4
6 45 11.5
5 110 11.9
4 120 12.1
3 200 10.5
2 225 9.5
1 215 11.4
0 150 12.5
As you can see these are not great bets but they are actually better than the standard Egalite bet, especially a tie on 7 which has less than half the standard house edge.

3 Card Win

A simple bet where you can bet that either the Bank or Player will win having 3 cards. Player pays 4-1 (house edge 5.7%) and the Bank pays 5-1 (house edge 8.3%).

4-5-6 Cards

Here you can bet on whether the total number of cards of both hands is one of these totals.
Number Of Cards Payout Odds to 1 House Edge %
4 1.5 (or 3 to 2) 5.3
5 2 8.9
6 2 4.7
Dragon Bonus

A bet that has become popular is the Dragon Bonus which has is now available in many an online bacarrat casino. Here you bet on either Bank or Player and the bet wins if you side wins with a Natural (8 or 9) or by 4 or more. All other results lose and there is a multiplier payout table. So a Natural win pays Evens and a Natural tie is a push (your money back.

Win by 9 pays 30-1, by 8 pays 10-1, by 7 pays 6-1, by 6 pays 4-1, by 5 pays 2-1 and by 4 pays Evens. This is what makes the bet attractive. The house edge on the Player side of the Dragon Bonus is 2.7% but on the Bank side its 9.4% which is a huge difference so only consider this bet on the Player side.

For budding professionals ther is actually a card count for the Dragon Bonus and as you would expect the 7, 8 and 9 cards are the ones to count as they most often lead to draws that win by big totals and therefore big payouts. The details are for another longer article but although it is very easy to count cards in Bacarrat, the edge will be a very hard fought win.

Royal Match

A UK invention is bet on the first 2 cards in either hand being a King and a Queen. Suited pays 75-1 and unsuited pays 30-1. House edge here is a very reasonable 2.1%.

Winning Total of Six or any Total

There are many bets associated with a total of six that wins for either side as well as either side having a specific total. These all have a house edge in excess of 10% so are advice is to avoid this type of side-bet.


If you want to have a bit of high risk fun with baccarat side-bets then choose one with a low house edge and go easy.

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