Mini Baccarat Rules
One of the things about casino table games is that sometimes the original format ends up being really inefficient in terms of the amount of time between plays. This is definitely the case with games like Baccarat where a lot of the original fun in the game was being around other people and socializing with high-stakes gambling being the center of the conversation. Casinos realized that this atmosphere with only a few hands being dealt per hour was fairly slow and inefficient, and that's why they created mini Baccarat rules for a faster game.
How Mini Baccarat Rules Came to Be
Big table Baccarat is considered the classical and original version of the game. This typically requires at least three dealers, and as many as 14 players could be seated at once. As mentioned above, this was a particularly social game, and bets didn't come out very quickly because cards were dealt face-down to start with to build suspense. There was a huge entertainment aspect to the game, and while this brought in a lot of high rollers, it also drastically slowed down the game. With the advent of the Internet and with Baccarat games at lower stakes becoming much more common, a faster version of the game was needed.
This is where mini Baccarat came into place. This game was developed to have the same basic rules and odds as big table Baccarat but to play much more quickly. For example, you'll find that the cards are always all dealt face-up, and there is no long, elaborate pause to build suspense as the game is dealt. This speeds up the game in a major way, but these tables would typically play with fewer players and a single dealer, so there were even more speed-related tweaks added.
The Transition to the Internet
Mini Baccarat rules were used as the basis for games on the Internet because multi-player options at the same table weren't really viable options just yet. Even if you play Baccarat with Live dealer, you're still playing with a single dealer at each table and a handful of players. This falls in line with this style of Baccarat game rules, and that's good because online players are usually into the game for the action instead of the entertainment and suspense aspect of it. They're surely not in it for the social experience since that hasn't been well-developed at most online Baccarat casinos so far.
Changing the Odds
One thing that can be changed as far as the odds go in mini Baccarat happens when fewer decks are used. A full table Baccarat game typically uses eight decks. However, a mini version of the game can often use just six or even one, and this can change the odds a little bit. The house advantage on a banker bet is 1.06% with eight decks, but it's 1.01% with a single deck. This is slightly in favor of the player. Along similar lines, a single deck will have the player bet at a house edge of 1.29% when it's just 1.24% with the full shoe of eight decks.