The Pros and Cons of European Baccarat

Thinking Man in Front of a Baccarat Table

Baccarat is a popular casino table game that is played in casinos all over the world. As is often the case, many regions have their own version of the game. Here in the US, we play American Baccarat, while James Bond’s baccarat style was Chemin de Fer.

European baccarat is another popular version of the casino game. It is very similar to other types of baccarat, but it has plenty of unique features that help it stand out from the pack.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about playing baccarat European style. Also, we will tell you which casinos have the best baccarat games available online.

What Is European Baccarat?

If you spend enough time in casinos, you will likely run across the game of baccarat. There are many types of baccarat available, including the popular French version known as Chemin de Fer. One version that has become popular in recent years is European baccarat.

As the name suggests, this style of baccarat started in European casinos. It is very similar to other types of baccarat, so you should be able to pick it up quickly. There are some unique rules that you should be aware of if you want to truly master this game.

How to Play European Baccarat

If you have played baccarat before, then you already know how to play the European version. That is because much of the gameplay is the same.

Players only get, at most, three cards in their hands. The player who gets closest to nine points without going over is the winner. So, what is it that sets this type of baccarat apart? It is all in the rules of the game.

European Baccarat Rules

There are some slight rule changes in this type of baccarat that can make it more attractive for players. The biggest change applies when players are forced to draw extra cards. In most baccarat games, plates are forced to draw another card if their hand total is five points or less.

Players can choose to draw an extra card if their hand is worth six or more points. The difference in the European version is that you do not have to draw on a hand worth five points. Instead, you could choose to stay at five points.

Downtown Grand Baccarat Table

This small change may not seem like much, but it can have a huge impact on the game itself. After all, your chances of going over nine points are very high if you are forced to draw with a five-point hand.

The added flexibility can help you win more. It could also keep the score low if you bet on the dealer’s hand.

Pros of European Baccarat

Baccarat is extremely popular in some parts of the world, and for good reason. There are plenty of reasons to love baccarat, including the European version. Here are some of the biggest advantages of this style of baccarat.

Low House Edge

Arguably the best reason to play baccarat is that it has a low house edge. Both the banker and player hands bets have a house edge of less than 1.3%. This is one of the lowest house edges of any table game.

As a result, this means that you will typically lose less money every hour than you would with other games. The less money you lose, the longer your bankroll will last and the more you can play. It also gives players a better chance of walking away a winner.

More Flexibility

One of the biggest reasons to choose Europe-style baccarat is that it gives players more flexibility. You are not forced into taking an extra card when your hand is worth a total of five points. This can be a huge advantage in some situations.

Of course, this subtle change can also affect your baccarat strategy. You should plan for if and when you are going to accept an extra card on a five-point hand. Luckily, the change is small enough that it should not drastically change your overall betting system.

Easy to Learn

Another huge advantage in favor of European baccarat is that it is very easy to learn. You can pick this game up very quickly, even if you have never played baccarat before. This is because of the quick gameplay and steps players have to learn.

There are also only a handful of betting options available in baccarat. This makes it easier for new players to learn because there are fewer options for wagering money that they need to consider. Games with a lot of betting options, such as real money craps, can be overwhelming for some new players.

Veteran baccarat players will also be able to easily transition to this new style of the game. The similarities to other types of baccarat make the European style of the game very easy for experienced players to learn.

Cons of European Baccarat

Baccarat, especially the European version, can be a ton of fun for players of all experience levels. However, there are several reasons why you may not want to play baccarat. Here are some of the cons of this type of baccarat to consider before you play.

Not Widely Available

You can find baccarat games in casinos all over the world. It is arguably the most widely available card game, especially in the eastern hemisphere. Unfortunately, you may struggle to find European-style games at land-based casinos here in the US.

This is because American casinos will usually offer American baccarat instead. The games are very similar, but the American version forces players to draw an extra card on five-point hands.

Closeup of a Baccarat Table

Thankfully, there is an easy fix to this issue. Online gambling sites are able to offer a larger variety of games because they are not limited by physical casino floors. This makes it easier to find European-style games, including baccarat, online.

Commission Rate

One of the many reasons why baccarat is so popular is because it has a low house edge. However, casinos have found another way to ensure they always come out on top. Many baccarat tables charge a commission on banker bets.

The banker hand bet is widely regarded as the best bet in baccarat. It has a slightly lower house edge than the player hand bet. As a result, many players choose to bet on the bank every time.

To help increase the house edge, many casinos charge a commission, usually around 5%, on these wagers. Even with this added fee, the banker bet is still the best option in the eyes of many baccarat players.

Side Bets

Another downside of this type of baccarat is the options for side bets. Most baccarat games have some form of side bets, such as tie bets, available. These wagers should be avoided at all costs.

The odds on side wagers can make them seem worth the risk. However, your chances of winning any side wagers in baccarat are extremely low. Casinos only offer these wagers because they have a high house edge.

Where to Play Online Baccarat

Now that you know all the pros and cons of European baccarat, you are probably ready to test it out. Playing for yourself is the best way to determine if this baccarat Europe-style game is the right one for you. The fastest way to play baccarat is to sign up for an online gambling site.

Countless casinos are available online, but they are not all created equal. For the best gambling experience, you need to play at a safe online casino. Luckily, these venues can also offer great player experiences.

Our experts have searched far and wide for the best casinos to play baccarat online. We have completed extensive casino reviews of every betting site we have come across. Now, you can use our experts’ hard work to make your search for a gambling site much easier.

According to our experts, these are the best places to play real money baccarat online:

All of the sites above are safe for players to use and have large selections of baccarat games. They also have great banking methods, intuitive user interfaces, and mobile casinos compatible with most devices. You can sign up at any of our recommended betting sites in just a matter of minutes.

When you are making your account, make sure you check out the casino bonuses section. Our suggested baccarat sites offer a great selection of welcome bonuses for players to choose from. These are an awesome way to get extra funds to play baccarat with.


Baccarat is a fun game that is extremely popular at many casinos. The European version offers players a unique advantage and can be found easily at many online gambling sites. Playing at our recommended casinos above is the best way to enjoy this awesome casino game.

To find out more about casino games, including baccarat, check out our latest blogs below.

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