5 Differences Between Land Based Baccarat and Online Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the few table games where you have the same chance of winning in both online and land-based casinos. Wagering on the banker hand is your best bet since it carries a 1.06% house edge.

Another similarity between land-based and online baccarat is that they have the same wagers. These include the banker, player, and tie bets.

But this is where the similarities end, because the internet and brick-and-mortar versions have some serious differences from each other.

That said, let's look at 5 ways that land-based and online baccarat differ from each other.


The Stakes Are Higher at Land Based Casinos

Baccarat has long been known as a casino game for the rich and elite. But the good news is that this has changed thanks to the advent of mini baccarat.

The difference between big and mini baccarat is that the latter only has seven seats, along with lower stakes. The smaller minimum bets mean that more people can enjoy this fun game in land based casinos.

But even though mini baccarat has cheaper stakes, it's still more expensive to play than online baccarat.

The cheapest baccarat tables in Las Vegas require a $10 minimum bet. Here are a few Vegas casinos with $10 minimums:

  • Circus Circus
  • El Cortez
  • Flamingo
  • Luxor
  • New York New York
  • Orleans
  • Palms

The majority of Vegas baccarat tables require at least a $25 bet. The same holds true throughout many other casinos in the United States.

In contrast, you can usually play online baccarat for $1 per hand.

The obvious drawback to internet baccarat is that it doesn't feature the same atmosphere as brick-and-mortar casinos (discussed later). But the upside is that anybody can afford to play for just a dollar per hand.

If you're a low roller, then you should consider starting with baccarat on your mobile device or PC. You can also check for land-based casinos in your area that feature $10 minimum bets.


The Land Based Baccarat Atmosphere is Different

Atmosphere is a huge way that brick-and-mortar and online baccarat differ from each other.

Online casinos do their best to create an authentic baccarat experience by featuring lifelike tables, cards, and chips. You'll also find a helpful rules screen that explains how to play baccarat.

But the internet version just can't compare to the atmosphere of a land based casino.

Baccarat in brick-and-mortar casinos features dealers, other players, cocktail waitresses, a real-life casino setting, and nearby table games.

Many players appreciate the fact that they can chat with each other and have conversations with the dealer. This includes a social element that online baccarat just can't match.

Now, there is a live dealer form of internet baccarat. This includes many of the elements that make the land-based version great, including the following:

  • Human dealers
  • Chats with dealers (via chatbox)
  • A land-based casino setting
  • Real tables
  • Other players at your table

Live dealer baccarat is the closest thing that you'll get to the brick-and-mortar version. This is especially true because you can have conversations with the dealer via a chatbox.

However, this still isn't the exact same as land based baccarat because you and other players can only communicate with the dealer through the chatbox.

I hope that virtual reality creates an even more realistic online baccarat experience, where you can verbally communicate with the dealer and fellow players. But for now, nothing beats a brick-and-mortar baccarat game in terms of the social factor.


The Dealer Controls the Game Speed

Mini baccarat is one of the fastest games in the casino because players don't touch the cards. Instead, the dealer does all the work by the handling the banker and player hands.

The average mini baccarat game sees 120-150 hands per hour. It's even possible to see over 200 hands per hour with a quick dealer and only 1-2 players at the table.

The other end of the spectrum is big baccarat, where each player can take turns being the dealer.

Acting as the dealer adds a fun twist to the game. But it also slows the action down to around 40 hands per hour.

In either case, you're dealing with situations where you can't control the speed of the game. This is different from online baccarat because you decide when everything happens by choosing the available options.

If you want to take a break in the middle of a hand, the game waits until you get back. You can also make the game go faster by dealing hands and making your bets as quickly as possible.

I don't recommend playing fast on purpose because it exposes you more to the house edge. But keep in mind that playing quicker is also an option if you enjoy the extra action.

Land based baccarat also features some etiquette that you should understand before playing. This includes not touching chips after you bet, not touching cards (mini baccarat), tipping the dealer, and not letting your emotions get out of control.

I'm not saying that these rules are unreasonable. But the good thing about online baccarat is that it doesn't feature any etiquette at all.


Comps are Awarded Differently

The way that baccarat comps are given out in online and brick-and-mortar casinos differs greatly.

The rewards still depend upon your play in the stakes that you're betting. But land based and online casinos use different methods to track your play.

Let's start with the typical process for earning baccarat comps in a brick-and-mortar casino:

Also note that the pit boss may begin rating your play immediately if you're a high roller and/or winning lots of money. After all, casinos want to keep players like this around.

But I suggest that you get a player's club card and tell the dealer or pit boss that you wish to be rated, just to make sure that you're picking up rewards.

Now let's look at the steps for collecting baccarat freebies at an online casino:

Some internet casinos offer an invitation-only VIP program, which means you'll have to wait before earning freebies. But in most cases, all you need to do is start making real-money bets to collect your baccarat rewards.

One more thing worth mentioning is that you shouldn't be surprised when your comps add up slowly. Baccarat has a low house edge and comp rates aren't very high for this game.

Land based casinos often comp you between 0.01% and 0.02% of your total bets. Online casinos will only give you baccarat loyalty points at 10% to 20% the rate that they offer slots points.

Let's look an example of how many comps you'd earn in online baccarat:

  • The casino rewards 1 loyalty point for every $5 wagered on baccarat.
  • You can exchange 100 points for $1 cash.
  • This means that you must wager $500 in baccarat just to get $1 in comps.
  • Your theoretical losses would be $5.30 (500 x 0.0106).

The number of comps that you earn in online and brick-and-mortar casinos will never approach your theoretical losses. But it's still good to take advantage of baccarat rewards whenever you have the opportunity.


Land Based Tables Aren't Always Available

One frustrating thing about playing baccarat in land-based casinos is that you won't always find open tables. This is especially the case when you visit casinos on the weekend.

The average casino has anywhere from 5 to 10 mini baccarat tables. This makes it entirely possible that you won't get into a game on busy nights.

Low stakes mini baccarat tables are really popular. And this only compounds the difficulty in making sure that you always get into the baccarat game of your choice.

If you can't find an open seat, then you're forced to either play a different game or stand around waiting.

Online baccarat is different because everything runs through the software and there are no limits to how many tables are available. This means that you can always get into the game you want at the desired stakes.

The only exception is live dealer baccarat, which often caps the number of players that can be on a table. This is because human dealers must deal live baccarat just like in a land-based game.

But the good news is that you can quickly look for another table at the same casino, or visit a different casino within minutes.


Online and land based baccarat offer two methods of playing one of the most popular casino games ever.

Players who want a social environment complete with surrounding attractions will enjoy brick-and-mortar baccarat. Being around dealers and other players really adds to the baccarat experience.

The online version is great for anyone who appreciates the convenience and low stakes. You can enjoy internet baccarat through your smartphone, tablet, or PC for as little as $1 per hand.

Live dealer baccarat gives you a more authentic experience thanks to the human dealer and chat function. You'll also see real tables and elegant casinos settings.

But again, nothing beats a land based casino if you highly value the social aspect.

Which style of baccarat you choose will depend on what you care about the most. Of course, you can always split your play between internet and land based baccarat to get the best of both worlds.