First Person Baccarat - Review and Casinos 2020
One of the most interesting games Evolution Gaming has available is First Person Baccarat because of the choice in tables and variation in side bets that are available. It’s a part of their first person line of games which simulate a high-definition virtual reality experience but that also give you the option to hop straight into a live dealer game if you so desire.
Top First Person Baccarat Casinos
An Introduction to First Person Baccarat
Before the online options for casino games came along, Baccarat was an exclusive game only offered to high-stakes players. It was seen as a setting for a sort of high-class social outing in roped off areas that featured very large tables with several croupiers handling the betting.
While big table Baccarat still exists, the online options have led to games like First Person Baccarat where you can enjoy all of the action and exclusivity without being forced into extremely high minimum wagers.
As a result of these changes, it has become a much more inclusive genre overall, and that’s why you’ll see all kinds of players at the tables at this point in the modern era. With the first person version of the game from Evolution Gaming, you’ll have more action available than ever before as well.
Game Selection and Lobby
In this game, you aren’t just forced into playing at one table. There is a virtual bingo hall in a dark, art deco style with red velvet tables and comfortable chairs. With 12 different Baccarat tables available, you can move between them and choose which you like and which you don’t.
However, this isn’t just for the view. There are practical reasons to have things split up in this way:
- Not all of the tables are the same. Some of them are regular tables, but others use a no-commission format that’s a little different in terms of gameplay.
- The view at each of the tables is a bit different, so you may find that you have a preference on that point as well.
- You can play at a single table, or you can play multiple tables at once with a sort of split screen layout that appeals to people who like a lot of action at once.
It’s worth noting that this multi-hand option is something that you rarely see for Baccarat while it is seen for other games like blackjack or video poker, so that’s another aspect of First Person Baccarat that you can’t easily find anywhere else.
Normal vs. Non-commission Tables
We’re going to get more into the gameplay and rule set down below, but we want to clarify the difference between the commission and non-commission tables here so that you know what you’re choosing.
The difference in the two comes down to how the banker bet is handled. The banker bet is special because it has such a high win rate compared to other wagers in the game, and it’s to the point that something has to be done to take away from that payout rate in some small way. Otherwise, it’s just too much to actually allow in the game.
There are two ways of handling this:
- Commission – Winning banker bets are subject to a 5 percent commission on a 1:1 win. A win of €10, for example, would have a €0.50 commission.
- Non-commission – The banker bet pays 1:1 normally, but if you win with a total of six, it pays 1:2 instead. That means a bet of €5 would profit €2.50 instead of €5 in situations where you have a total of six and end the hand as the winner.
Most players tend to prefer the non-commission option because it’s much more clear on where the value is coming from. With that, it does have a slightly higher house advantage for the convenience, but this is a fraction of a fraction of a percentage.
Betting and Game Rules
There are a lot of bets and side bets available at the First Person Baccarat tables. They have a range of different rules, payouts and guidelines for how they’re played, and we’re going to break them all down here along with how the game is played in general so that you can start off on the right foot.
How Point Totals Are Scored
First, you need to know how point totals are scored in this game. It looks similar to blackjack, but the scoring is different, which can lead to some confusion if it’s not clarified.
Aces are always low in this game in the sense that they are always worth one point. Likewise, all of the cards two through nine are worth their face value, so that’s pretty easy to keep up with. It’s the 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings that are different.
Hand scores in this game are based on the “ones” digit of the total of the cards in that hand. That means that a total of 17 is actually a score of 7, and a total of 29 is actually a score of 9.
Along these lines, all 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings can be scored as being worth zero or as being worth 10 points. It doesn’t matter which you choose because neither have any affect on the score whatsoever, so it’s easiest to just ignore them when counting up the point totals.
Gameplay Procedure for a Single Hand
The play of a single hand in First Person Baccarat isn’t particularly complicated, but it’s good to know what’s happening and why. Here’s what you can expect:
- You start off by placing your bets and side bets.
- Two cards each are dealt to two positions on the game board. These positions are called the banker hand and the player hand, though you can wager on either, and neither belongs to the house or the person playing the table (they’re just names for the two hands).
- A set of house rules determines if a third card is added to either of the hands. These rules are consistent across all forms of Baccarat that they offer, and you can look them up in the game’s rule tab if you want, but they’re not critical to learn.
- Once the point totals of the two hands are decided, each bet and side bet is resolved, and a new hand is prepared to be dealt.
Cards are dealt from a large shoe, which does create some possibilities for card counting in theory (see the strategy section below). However, you do have the option in the First Person Baccarat online games to shuffle the shoe at any time.
Three Main Bets
There are three main bets in this game that are the same three main bets in every form of blackjack. However, because you have a different set of options between commission and non-commission, there are two respective options for the banker bet. Note that the tie and player bets stay the same between those two variations.
Here’s a quick overview of the available bets:
- Player Bet – A bet that the player hand wins. Pays even money. House advantage worth 1.2 percent.
- Tie Bet – A bet that the two hands tie. Pays 9:1. House advantage worth 4.8 percent.*
- Banker Bet (Commission) – A bet that the banker hand wins. Pays even money minus a 5 percent commission. House advantage worth 1.1 percent.**
- Banker Bet (Non-commission) – A bet that the banker hand wins. Pays even money except on a win with a 6 total, which pays 1:2. House advantage worth 1.5 percent.
* Note that some casinos have this wager set to pay 8:1 instead, which has a much larger house advantage of 14.4 percent and should always be avoided.
** This is generally considered the best available Baccarat bet overall in terms of payout rate and house advantage.
The choice between the player and banker bets are typically the bread and butter of most players. Other wagers, including the side bets we’ll look at below, are added or removed along with those main bets by most people playing the game.
Side Bet Action
Evolution Gaming has a number of side bets available at their First Person Baccarat tables. Here we’ll take a quick look at what you need to know about each one.
You can wager that the banker or player hands will be of the same rank. This pays 11:1 with a house advantage of about 10.4 percent.
Alternatively, you can bet with the “either pair” option that will win if either of the two hands has a pair. This pays lower at 5:1 with a house advantage of 13.7 percent.
Note that these pair wagers only win based on the first two cards dealt to each hand.
The Super 6 is only available at the commission-free tables for this game. It’s a special wager made to offset the lower payout of a win with a total of 6 on a banker bet. If the banker wins the hand with a total of 6, regardless of whether you’re actually betting on the banker hand, the Super 6 pays out at 16:1.
This side bet has a house advantage of 8.4 percent.
A perfect pair in First Person Baccarat is when there are two cards that are exactly the same. This means they match up with suits and ranks. Since there are eight decks used at all of the tables for this game, you have better odds on this side bet than you would if only six were used, which is the case in some other Baccarat styles.
If you get one perfect pair with this wager, you’re paid out at 25:1. However, there’s a special bonus win for getting two perfect pairs on the same hand, and this is paid at 200:1.
Once again, this side bet is only based on the first two cards dealt to each hand. The house advantage is 8.0 percent.
If you’ve played in a brick and mortar casino and have seen the Dragon Bonus at a Baccarat table before, this is essentially the same thing with a different name. You can bet on the banker or player bet winning by certain totals or in certain ways.
The pay table is as follows:
- Win by 9 points (30:1)
- Win by 8 points (10:1)
- Win by 7 points (6:1)
- Win by 6 points (4:1)
- Win by 5 points (2:1)
- Win by 4 points (1:1)
- Natural 8 or 9 win (1:1)*
- Natural Tie (Push)**
* A natural win is when the player or banker immediately wins because they start with a total of 8 or 9.
** A natural tie is when both hands tie with a total of 8 or 9.
Something important to note here is that you shouldn’t make a Player Bonus bet with a regular banker bet (or vice versa) because they can never both win at the same time.
It’s also critical to understand that the house edge on the Player Bonus and Banker Bonus are not the same. The house advantage on the Player Bonus is only about 2.7 percent, which makes it generally the best side bet that First Person Baccarat has to offer. With the Banker Bonus, however, the house advantage is much larger at 9.4 percent.
How to Win at First Person Baccarat
Strategy in this game is as much about getting the best payout rate as it is about getting the best experience that you can that matches up with the type of play that you like as an individual.
Generally speaking, you should have the majority of your play center around trying to find trends with the player and banker bets since these two wagers are very close to each other in terms of having a really low house edge. Card counting for Baccarat can come into play in terms of helping you know which of these two bets will have the best payout rate in the moment, but it’s generally not viable in and of itself for getting an edge against the casino like the case can be in some other titles like blackjack.
What you typically want to avoid is any side bet that has a large house edge. These are basically just there to catch players who want to try something new and who don’t care about strategy, and they pay the price by having a house advantage that’s several times what you have using the strategy above.
The innovative gameplay aspects of First Person Baccarat are particularly notable, and that includes the interface itself, how smooth the graphics and presentation look and the ability to choose between multiple types of tables or to play on multiple tables at once.
This title definitely has a place in the favorites of any player who is a Baccarat fan, and it’s easily one of the top games in the genre along those lines.