Did you know that baccarat is the most popular casino game in the world by far right now? In fact, in Macau, China – which has been the global leader in casino earnings since it surpassed Las Vegas back in 2006 – baccarat accounts for roughly 88% of the $33+ billion in accumulative annual earnings generated by the city's casinos.
In North America, the game isn't quite as popular, but even on the Las Vegas Strip, baccarat accounts for almost 20% of the total casino win. To put that into perspective, the only game that creates more winnings in Las Vegas is slots, and there are only a handful of baccarat tables in Vegas compared to the number of slot machines.
So, what has made this globally appealing game so popular? Is it the fact that James Bond played it throughout Casino Royale? While it's not exactly clear how or why baccarat has suddenly taken the world by storm in the past decade, here's a quick guide to the best online baccarat sites in Canada, along with some tips and strategies to help you get going:
Yukon Gold Casino
Grand Mondial Casino
Captain Cooks Casino
Best Sites for Playing Baccarat Online in Canada
After trying all of the sites that let you play baccarat online in Canada, most players would come to the conclusion that the following four casinos are the best for this particular game.
Yukon Gold – They offer a signup bonus that gives you 125 chances to win when you make your opening deposit. Aside from baccarat, this casino also has more than 550 other popular casino games to choose from.
Grand Mondial – Grand Mondial has a similar signup bonus that's even better. You get 150 chances to win upon opening your account with a minimum deposit of $10. Like Yukon Gold, they also have a selection of just over 550 casino games to choose from.
Captain Cooks – While the signup bonus isn't quite as a generous as the previous two online casinos with only 100 chances to win, the opening deposit is less at only $5. So, if you want to get started with the lowest possible deposit, Captain Cooks would be the way to go. This site also offers live dealer baccarat, which is explained more below.
Zodiac – While Zodiac's sign up bonus isn't so great at only 80 chances to win and a minimum deposit of $1, they do have a nice match bonus for subsequent deposits. They'll match your second deposit 100% up to $100. After that, the third deposit will be matched 50% up to $80 and the 4th and 5th deposits will be matched 50% up to $150.
In addition to the above sign-up bonuses, the four aforementioned casinos also provide some of the best customer service in the industry. Furthermore, all of them have paid out substantial winnings to Canadian baccarat players. These are also some of the longest-standing online casinos for playing baccarat in Canada, with most of them having 10-15 years of experience and plenty of positive reviews to prove it.
The Increasing Popularity of Live Baccarat Dealers in Canada
In case you're unaware, you can play live dealer baccarat games in which you can see an actual dealer managing a real baccarat table through a webcam instead of playing in a video game-like environment. In recent years, this form of virtual baccarat has begun to surpass the conventional game version. In fact, casinos that have added this option to their game selection have noted a significant increase in player engagement.
So, what's behind the sudden surge in popularity of live dealer baccarat? Are the odds of winning better? Are the prizes bigger? Well, it turns out the odds are exactly the same and the winnings are relatively similar across most baccarat tables. Thus, it seems that human interaction and realism are the primary factors that are making live dealer baccarat one of the most popular online casino games.
Real Life Baccarat vs Online Casino Baccarat
The primary difference between most online baccarat games and the traditional in-casino game is that you can play with less money online. In a physical casino, you'll usually have to bet at least $10-$25 to get in on the action, whereas you can play online baccarat games for as little as $1/hand.
The other noticeable difference is the playing environment. While live dealer baccarat certainly brings you closer to the real thing, there still won't be other players beside you in a real casino so some would argue that the online version offers less nostalgia and socialisation.
However, online baccarat takes the cake in terms of convenience and flexibility simply because you can control the speed of the game. If you need to take a bathroom break or pause for some unexpected reason, you can easily do so in many versions of online baccarat. However, in a real casino, baccarat is one of the fastest moving games and there's no way to make the dealer stop for you.
Tips for Winning at Online Baccarat in Canada
If you're new to baccarat, you're probably just becoming familiar with the different kinds of bets you can make. The first thing you should know is that making a “Tie” bet is statistically one of the worst moves you can make, particularly if you're trying to keep the house edge low. The house edge is a whopping 14.4% when you make a Tie bet, so never go this route when there's money on the line.
Conversely, the best kind of bet you can make is the “Banker” because the Banker wins slightly more than 50% of the time. While the banker stands a better chance of going on winning streaks, it's still best to proceed conservatively and never wager too much on a single bet. If the Banker loses, it might be best to sit out for a decision or until the Players lose.
Although there's no one-size-fits-all strategy that's going to win you every hand in baccarat, a safe rule of thumb is to bet Banker until the Banker loses and then do the same again after the Players stop winning. Baccarat is often a game of back and forth streaks between the Players and the Banker, but the odds are always slightly in favour of the banker.