# Baccarat Variations & Side Wagers

Love the game? Here are some more ways to play and boost the excitement with Baccarat.

## Commission vs. Non-Commission Baccarat

Usually in Baccarat, the house charges a 5% commission on any winning Banker bets, because the Banker’s hand has slightly higher odds of winning compared to the Player’s hand. Non-Commission versions of Baccarat don’t charge this fee.

The catch? With Non-Commission games, if you bet on the banker and it wins with a total of 6, you only get half your wager back. In other words, there is one specific outcome where even though you technically win, you lose half your original bet.

## EZ Baccarat

EZ Baccarat maintains the same general rules as the standard version but provides two additional side bets: Dragon 7 and Panda 8.

### Dragon 7 Side Bet

Dragon 7 is an optional side bet on the outcome of the banker’s hand – if the banker’s hand ends up being a three-card hand totaling 7 (as per Baccarat’s standard rules), then the Dragon 7 side bet wins, paying 40 to 1.

#### How is it played?

After placing your initial player or banker bet, place your side bet on Dragon 7. If a third card is dealt to the banker’s hand (as per the “third card rule”), and the hand total adds up to 7, you’ll win 40 times your side bet.

If a Dragon 7 occurs, it creates one rule change to the main game: all bets originally placed on the banker hand are tied or “pushed” – meaning all players have their original bet returned to them; losers don’t forfeit their original bet, and winners don’t receive an additional winning amount.

### Panda 8 Side Bet

Panda 8 is an optional side bet on the outcome of the player’s hand – if the player’s hand ends up being a three-card hand totaling 8 (as per Baccarat’s standard rules), then the Panda 8 side bet wins, paying 25 to 1.

#### How is it played?

After placing your initial player or banker bet, place your side bet on Panda 8. If a third card is dealt to the player’s hand (as per the “third card rule”), and the hand total adds up to 8, you’ll win 25 times your side bet.

Tip

These side bets require a third card to win, and not every Baccarat hand results in a third card being dealt. Stay realistic when placing side wagers, and factor them into your play budget.

## Squeeze Baccarat

Squeeze Baccarat is a minor variation that may be offered by some sites. The rules of play stay the same, except that players get the chance to bend, fold and twist (i.e. “squeeze”) the cards as part of the dealing process. Squeezing has zero impact on the outcome of the game – but it does add some tactile fun for players, creating excitement and anticipation as the numbers are slowly revealed.

Squeezing also makes each round of gameplay slower, so if you’re looking to lengthen your play time without necessarily spending more, this version might be for you.

### How is it played?

The players with the highest wagers on each of the “Player” and “Banker” hands are given the cards dealt to that respective position, to squeeze or simply touch/hold. Every hand in Squeeze Baccarat is thrown away at the end of the round, so players can “squeeze” to their heart’s content – as long as it doesn’t fully crumple or rip the cards.

### Do I have to squeeze?

It’s fine to just look at your cards, or to ask the dealer to turn them over for you, but the common etiquette is to offer your squeezing privileges to another player if you’re not in the mood.

Tip

Make sure not to “squeeze” your cards in any other table games!

## Dragon Bonus

Dragon Bonus is a side bet that pays on a natural win, or when a hand wins by a large margin, such as four points or more. Make this wager by betting on either the Player’s or Banker’s hand in the marked area.

Tip

Not all casinos offer side wagers. Be sure to check the house rules before you play.

## Optional Pairs

Some tables offer an additional wager called Optional Pairs, with bets placed on Banker’s hand, Player’s hand, or both. This wager wins 11 to 1 if the first two cards for the Player or Banker are an identical pair, for example, two Jacks.