Choosing Between Commission and Non-Commission Baccarat
Before playing any online casino game, it is essential to ensure you fully understand the rules. This also applies to Baccarat. While the game is built on a very simple principle, two versions are commonly found at online casinos and there are important but subtle differences between them. Here we explore the differences between Commission and Non-Commission Baccarat so that you are fully informed before you start playing in your favorite baccarat casino.
Baccarat Basics – A Quick Recap
The basic rules of Baccarat are easy to learn; you are betting on which position will have a total closer to 9 at the end of a round. In both Commission and Non-Commission versions of the game, cards are worth their face values and if a position has a total greater than 10, then 10 is subtracted. For example, a hand of 9 and 5 is not worth 14, but 4. Two cards are dealt to each position and in some scenarios a third may be dealt.
The rules governing the third card are the same in both versions but they are quite intricate. However, it isn’t the end of the world if you do not fully understand them when you start playing, as it is the responsibility of the dealer to ensure they are followed.
The simplicity of the game extends to the betting; the possible bets are:
- 1. Banker Bet: Betting on the Banker means you’re wagering that the Banker’s hand will win. The payout depends on whether you are playing Commission or Non-Commission, and this will be explained a little later on.
- 2. Player Bet: If you place your bet on the Player and the Player’s hand wins, you are paid at even money.
- 3. Tie Bet: The riskiest bet in Baccarat is wagering on a Tie. This bet wins if the Player’s and Banker’s hands tie. It has a much higher house edge the the Banker and Player bets, but it also offers a much larger payout, usually 8 to 1.
The Banker Bet and Commission vs Non-Commission Baccarat
In Commission Baccarat, the most common version of the game, the Banker’s hand is slightly favored over the Player’s hand due to the third card rule. As a balancing measure, casinos impose a 5% commission on winning Banker bets making the payouts 0.95:1. Essentially, for every dollar you win on a Banker bet, the house takes 5 cents as its fee.
This 5% commission adjusts the payout rate, which indirectly influences the house edge. However, even after this 5% is deducted, the Banker bet still has the lowest house edge, averaging around 1.06%, which makes it the most statistically favorable bet in Baccarat.
The Non-Commission Variation
Non-commission Baccarat does away with this 5% commission on winning Banker bets. If you bet on the Banker and win, you are paid at 1:1. However, this doesn’t mean the casino gives up their advantage.
To maintain an edge, casinos alter the payout when the Banker wins with a score of 6. In most Non-Commission Baccarat games, if the Banker wins with a 6, the payout is only 1:2, or half of the original bet.
Effects on the House Edge
It is important to understand the difference in the house edge between the two versions. By removing the 5% commission and modifying the payout for a Banker winning with a score of 6, the house edge on Banker bets in Non-Commission Baccarat typically increases to roughly 1.46%, making it less statistically favorable compared to Commission Baccarat.
On the other hand, the Player bet is not affected by this rule change and its house edge remains the same (1.24%). As such, the Player bet becomes more attractive in non-commission Baccarat. While the Banker bet still has a slightly lower house edge than the Player bet, there is less of a difference.
The Pros and Cons of Commission over Non-Commission
Many players prefer Commission Baccarat and there are a number of reasons for this. However, there are drawbacks that it is important to be aware of. The main advantage to the game is its lower house edge. Even when considering the commission, it is potentially the more profitable game. On the other hand, the commission is also the game’s main disadvantage as it may reduce a player’s immediate returns.
The Pros and Cons of Non-Commission over Commission
Just as some prefer the Commission game, others prefer Non-Commission Baccarat, which has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Non-Commission Baccarat is arguably a simpler game to understand. However, it’s main advantage is that it offers larger immediate returns as the Banker bet pays the full amount. The game’s main disadvantage is the higher house edge, which means that in the long run, more money is lost to the casino.
A Matter of Personal Preference
Choosing between Commission and Non-Commission Baccarat comes down to individual preferences about strategy, immediate wins, and long-term profitability. Ultimately, there games are very similar, but it is worth spending some time playing them both to discover which is the right one for you. Last, but not least, make sure you understand how your finances work and have fun while playing.