EZ Baccarat Rules
One of the problems with typical games is that the Baccarat rules are made slightly too complicated and slightly too dull for the tastes of a lot of players. The banker bet in particular is a problem because it pays at 0.95:1 with a five percent commission, and this is one of the main sources of complication in an otherwise relatively simple game. This led to the invention of EZ Baccarat, a form of the game with slightly different rules and a couple of fun side bets that inject some simplicity and fun into the experience.
The New Banker Bet
The old banker bet is replaced with a new version in EZ Baccarat. The idea is that the new banker bet pays 1:1 instead of the awkward, commission-based 0.95:1. As compensation for the commission being removed, three-card totals of seven for the banker bet result in a push when betting on the banker if the banker wins. This is a slight concession to make, and it's not such a big deal when you consider the fact that the house advantage on this version of the game with an eight-deck shoe is slightly smaller at 1.02 percent. This is compared to the 1.06 percent you see in standard Baccarat games.
The Introduction of Side Bets
Action is one of the problems that Baccarat has ran into since it has been played for smaller stakes since the widespread introduction of online casino games. The idea here is that there's not usually much fluctuation for a player over a single session except in rare instances of a big upswing or downswing, and this can lead to fairly boring play when the social factor of the game atmosphere has been removed. Along these lines, two new side bets have been introduced to EZ Baccarat to make things more interesting and to give players more options.
The Dragon 7 Bet
One of the new wagers available in this game is called the Dragon 7. It's related to the changes made to the banker bet. Specifically, you'll win on this bet when the banker bet wins on a total of seven that uses three cards. This side bet pays a nice 40:1, and this gives it a house advantage of 7.6 percent. This is better than the tie and pair bets, but it's still nowhere near as good as the banker or player bets.
The Panda 8 Bet
A very similar side bet is called the Panda 8. It's important to note that the number eight is lucky in a lot of Asian cultures, and that could be why they chose this number for the additional bet since the Dragon 7 has the lucky number seven for Western cultures covered. If the dealer wins with a total of eight that uses three cards, then you get a bonus payout. The payout here is slightly less at 25:1 because you have a better chance of hitting than the Dragon 7. This leads to a house advantage of 10.2 percent, relatively in line with the tie and pair bets.
Card Counting Options
It's possible to card count in EZ Baccarat to some degree to figure out when the Dragon 7 and Panda 8 bets have better odds. While the systems required to card count either of these bets are extremely complicated, it is possible to get an advantage in the game using them. It would take an overwhelming amount of practice and studying to be able to get an advantage on these games, but it's possible with a lot of work.