Baccarat has long been recognized as the game of choice for high rollers and takes pride of place in most VIP gaming lounges at casinos around the world. For those uninitiated with the game, it is also a surprisingly simple game to play. Punto Banco baccarat simply requires a bet being placed on either the ‘player’, ‘banker’ or ‘tie’ options on the table and letting the dealer do the rest. Not a lot of skill and strategy involved.

As a high roller favorite, it is not surprising that online casinos and game platform developers were fast to add baccarat in live deal format. Live baccarat, as the name suggests is baccarat played online, but dealt by a real live dealer via a video feed to the players PC betting interface. The advantages of the format are obvious. No longer must the player trust in the reliability of a random number generator to dictate game outcome randomness, as is the case playing RNG (random number generator) casino games online.

Before you rush out and sign up to a live casino however, it is worth noting that there are considerable differences in platform attributes from one live baccarat game to the next. While the game itself (ie house rules) doe not differ substantially aside from a few variations to standard baccarat offered at some casinos, the nature in which it is delivered does. Below are some key differentiators that are worth bearing in mind as you are shopping around.

A handful of live casinos stream their vision from real terrestrial casinos. Most notable, are those that take their web-cast from the Fitzwilliam Card Club and Casino in Dublin, Ireland. In this case, the baccarat game that you are playing is actually being conducted from within the casino by a casino employed dealer. This is a novel approach to live gaming that some players may find appealing, but one that also comes with notable shortcomings. Chief among these is the limitation placed on the web-cast and bet interface platform provider to control certain aspects of the vision and functionality to enhance player experience.

Alternatively, most live baccarat games are conducted in purpose built dealer studios designed specifically for the live gaming format. In this case more flexibility in camera views and picture orientation, lighting, and dealer interactivity functionality all help make the video viewed by the player potentially more engaging than the ‘real casino’ alternative.

Would you like to play the game for free before getting into the real money action? It may surprise you to know that unlike its RNG baccarat counterpart live baccarat is not available in free play mode at most offering casinos. There are a few exceptions to this rule however, that will let you play for free, as opposed to just watch the game in real play mode.

There are a host of other points of differentiation worthy of consideration depending on your gaming preferences. Do you prefer a fast deal or a slow deal? Are you concerned where the casino/platform provider is licensed? Would you like to be able to chat to the dealer as you play? Is the vision quality very important to you? Can you play live baccarat from your browser without having to download any casino software? The list goes on but the key message is to be aware that this is definitely not a generic offering.

By Milton Shaw
Milton Shaw is a contributing writer for a number of casino and gaming portals including Live Casinos which offers live casino baccarat comparisons at its live baccarat page.