The transference of casino games to your sleek screen devices was just the beginning of iGaming’s vast possibilities. While it is a novel and adaptive concept, experienced players found a missing element in them: the authentic gaming experience from their simulated games. Fast forward to now, the industry welcomed live casinos or live dealer games.
As the name suggests, live dealer games are casino games played in real-time with real-life players and dealers through online streaming. Meaning, the whole process, and setup are done ‘live’ or ‘as it is without using a software called a random number generator (RNG). You don’t have to worry about computer simulation and cheating schemes while earning real money.
As live dealer games range from classic table games, slot machines, and even branded game shows, this page walks you through live baccarat. Its uses, technologies, how it is played, and its available variants are covered below.
The technology of live baccarat
Live casinos are major game-changers in iGaming, for they successfully bridged the gap between land-based and online casinos. However, this wouldn’t be possible without their number one potent driving force: advanced technology. Aside from smartphones and a fast internet connection, listed as follows are other important tools used to operate live baccarat.
We hate to break it to you, but as much as live baccarat conveniently and genuinely brings authentic entertainment to you, it is not actually held in land casinos’ high stakes rooms. Instead, software gaming companies have their own purpose-built casino studios, and within these premises are the following pieces of equipment you will find.
2. Web cameras
High-resolution web cameras are your eyes to have an immersive gameplay experience of live baccarat. They are proof that what you play isn’t simulated nor rigged per the studio and operator’s advantages.
Whether at land or online casino, another great quality of playing baccarat is its relaxing ambiance. That is why good quality audio experience is crucial to recreating its authentic gameplay by minimizing unwanted background noise. As such, tech tools like directional or cardioid microphones are quite common in multiple gaming studios across the world.
4. Dealer’s LCD screen
When playing, the sides of your screen include various buttons and a live chat that sends instructions to your live dealer’s LCD screen. This is perfect because it benefits players who are uncomfortable with small talks.
5. Optical Character Readers (OCR)
OCR is the software that records everything that occurs in the studio. In addition, it is also responsible for detecting the value of the cards dealt with, so they can be shown on your screen. This is done by passing a card with a code over a scanner.
6. Game control unit (GCU)
GCU quickly encodes and decodes baccarat’s gameplay data, thus giving you smooth and HD quality.
7. Card decks
To further prove that live baccarat is not, in any way, rigged per operator’s advantage, gaming studios regularly check their card decks. This is because they only have a limited life span, especially that they are built with printed codes for the OCR. So, when they get scratched or bent out of shape (notably the ones used in Baccarat Squeeze), there’s a great chance that the scanner may not pick up the code.
8. Streaming bandwidth and latency
Gone are the days when live chat or streaming experiences lagging and freezing pictures. Thanks to today’s highly improved streaming bandwidth and latency, you can finally enjoy a seamless and fast live baccarat experience anywhere and anytime.
How to play live baccarat
Baccarat is often called the quintessential casino game due to its enduring history, strange allure from the elite societies, and aura of elegance and sophistication. Perhaps, these are because the game is utterly based on luck, as compared to classic card table games like poker and blackjack.
How live baccarat is played is not entirely different from its simulated version. However, since it actually takes place without RNG, many gaming studios use the very popular eight decks to make it more slightly challenging for card counters.
Baccarat’s objective is quite simple because you will only choose between three options: the player, banker, and tie. You will bet which of the first two choices will win by having a hand value closest to 8 or 9. If neither, then you will pick ‘tie’. Listed below are its cards’ values:
● Face cards: 0 points
● 10 cards: 0 points
● 2 to 9 cards: Face value
● Ace: 1 point
Types of live dealer baccarat
The joy of live baccarat is in its multiple versions – varying on the side bets, a number of accepted players, and speed of gameplay. Here are some of its popular types available in the market.
1. Single-player baccarat:
This is the most basic and popular live baccarat. What is interesting is that far from its name, you are actually sharing the table with more than 100 other players. In addition, it can either use six or eight decks, depending on the software developer. If you prefer the former, take note that only Visionary iGaming is the only provider that uses six decks.
2. Multi-seat baccarat:
This variant is similar to the single-player, where the only difference is that it visibly shows the number of players and the table’s seating positions. Since this setup requires a bigger table, only a few software providers have gaming studios with adequate space. Examples include Luckystreak and Playtech.
3. Speed baccarat:
Get your intuition and game face ready because this newly added live baccarat version takes less than 35 seconds. Once entered in the session, all cards are dealt face up instantly. If you think this is the game for you, take note that Evolution Gaming and Playtech are the best software providers for this field. They both use eight decks and offer side bets.
4. Baccarat squeeze:
In contrast to speed baccarat, this variant gives you higher winning chances by allowing you to peek at your dealt cards’ markings. Back then, in land casinos, only the player with the highest bet could do the honor. Now with live baccarat, both players and dealers are allowed due to the player interface. The most recommended software companies for this are still Evolution Gaming and Playtech.
5. Progressive baccarat:
Who says that slot machines are the only casino games with jackpot payouts? Thanks to Playtech, you can potentially win a progressive jackpot in live baccarat when both the player and banker get the same suited Ace+8. If not, you can still get prizes if the outcome is any of the following:
- 1,000x your stake: if both the player and banker get Ace+8
- 25x your stake: tied on 9’s
- 20x your stake: tied on 8’s
- 15x your stake: tied on 7’s
- 10x your stake: tied on 6’s