Many of the baccarat tables you will find in Michigan are mini-baccarat tables, which means instead of a series of high-rollers taking turns to around a table, everyone bets on the outcome of the dealer’s hand. Though the rules look complex, this is a simple game to enjoy as a player, especially since you can really only bet on three outcomes each time: the player, banker or tie.
Baccarat is a favorite at both live and online casinos thanks to its low house edge. If you avoid the expensive tie bet, you’ll typically get returns of around 99%. In addition to software-based versions of online baccarat, you can find this game at live dealer online casinos, a game streamed in real time for you to bet on.
This page has all you need to know about baccarat in Michigan. You’ll find what games are available at casinos in Detroit and statewide, plus the various online options. If you’re new to the game, there’s also a rundown of how to play a hand.
Is baccarat legal in Michigan?
You can legally enjoy baccarat, along with many other table games at live casinos and soon via online casinos in Michigan.
The laws allowing each were passed more than 20 years apart:
- Live casinos: A 1996 referendum (known as ‘Proposition E’) set legislation in motion to license land-based casinos. The three big Detroit casinos and expanded tribal casinos around the state were made legal with the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act.
- Online casinos: Bill 4311 was one of three signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at the end of 2019. This allowed for online casinos and online poker (sports betting was introduced in a separate bill). Live casinos then partnered with national online gambling brands, with the first casino apps and websites expected to appear in late-2020.
To gamble online you need to be the age of 18 or older and physically located within state lines. There’s no requirement to be a permanent resident, though the apps will block bets if you step outside of Michigan.
Different forms of baccarat found in Michigan
When you play baccarat on the floor of any Michigan casino, you’ll be playing a variation known as Punto Banco, or American baccarat. This is a simplified variation of the original game, which is known as Chemin De Fer.
The origin of this game is France and some historians have mentioned precursor games as early as the 15th century.
While each player deals the cards in Chemin De Fer, in Punto Banco, players bet on a hand which is always dealt by the casino employee.
This keeps things simple and as a player you won’t need to memorize the complex drawing rules to enjoy the game. It also makes the game faster, with several players able to bet at once.
Tables in casinos in Michigan have either seven or nine players, known as mini or midi-baccarat, respectively.
There are other variations, though not currently found in Michigan. They include Baccarat en Banque, which uses three decks and auctions the dealer position to each player. There’s also a three-card version with different rules, which is common in Asia.
How a hand of baccarat works
In many casino games, there are strategy decisions or points at which you have the option to continue with the hand or fold. With baccarat, you simply choose one of three bets, then wait for the outcome.
This simplicity for the player is balanced by complex rules for the dealer. There are different scenarios depending on the initial cards for each of the dealer and player positions. You can bet on either of these outcomes, or the tie. Tied hands are rare, though the big house edge for this bet means most players avoid this wager. Side bets are covered separately below.
Here the order of events in a typical American baccarat hand:
- Place your bets: Table minimums will depend on the casino. $5 is common at live casinos in Michigan, with online casinos allowing lower bets. You can bet on three outcomes: player, banker or tie. You can bet on more than one option.
- Initial hands: The dealer will then deal two cards each, face up, one for the player, the other for the banker. Points are calculated by using the totals on cards two through nine, counting aces as one and 10s and face cards as zero. If the total goes over 10, then 10 is removed. For example, a hand containing a nine and four would be worth three points.
- Natural winners: On some hands only two cards are dealt for each hand. These are known as natural hands. This happens when either hand shows a total of eight or nine. When this happens, no more cards are drawn. The result can be a win for either the player or banker, or a tie.
- Drawn cards: This is the complex part, if there’s no natural hand then more cards will be drawn.
Here are the rules:
- Player: This hand will stand on a six or seven total and will draw a third card if the total is zero to five.
- Banker (when player stands with six or seven): Draws with zero to five, stands with six or seven.
If the player draws, the rules for the banker follow this format:
- Player total: zero, one or two, then the banker will draw a third card, otherwise the rules depend on the banker’s current total
- Banker total equals three: Draws a third card unless the player’s third card was an eight.
- Banker total equals four: Draws a third card when the player hits two through seven as a third card.
- Banker total equals five: Draws a third card when the player hits four through seven as a third card.
- Banker total equals six: Draws a third card when the player hit ssix or seven only.
- Banker total equals seven: Stands.
- Bets settled: Once the drawing is completed, bets are settled. Bets get 1:1 with a 5% commission. If you picked the tie bet and win, then you get a 9:1 return.
The standard game uses six to eight decks, which are shuffled regularly enough to make card counting impossible.
House edge and player returns
Both player and banker pay 1:1. They are subject to a commission of 5%, which makes up the house edge.
Note that the tie bet has terrible odds. This typically returns between 8:1 and 9:1, though only hits an average of once every 12 times.
Side bets on Michigan baccarat games
You’ll find many different side bets at baccarat tables around Michigan. The most popular is the Dragon Bonus bet. This is optional, typically requiring an additional $5 bet. You make it on the same side as your main bet (banker or player). Wins are calculated based on the winning margin, with a win by nine points paying 30:1. Any natural win will pay 1:1.
There are many other baccarat side bets. These include wagers on pairs (either hand pairs or perfect pairs type bets), bets on suits (all red or black), and Dragon 7 (which pays big prizes for hands with a trio of sevens).
Live baccarat in Michigan: Detroit casinos
Here are the options for baccarat in Detroit, along with the other table games and entertainment.
- MGM Grand Casino: The baccarat game at the MGM Grand has an Asian twist. This is the Dragon Bonus baccarat side bet. It is optional, but pays up to 30:1. You’ll get paid for winning with a natural, or for winning by a large points margin when cards are drawn. Table minimums start at $5 off-peak, though can go as high as $25 during busy times. There are 159 table games and 3,500 slots at this casino. Choices include blackjack, roulette, craps, casino poker variations and video poker.
- MotorCity Casino: There are two versions of baccarat at MotorCity casino and both are the same format, with the dealer handling the cards. There’s mini-baccarat, with seven players, and the larger midi-baccarat, with nine players. Tie bets on both versions pay 9:-1, with table minimums from $5 and up. This casino is housed in an historic building, and hosts 59 table games, 2,700 slots and plenty of dining and entertainment options.
- Greektown Casino: There are mini- and midi-sized baccarat games at Greektown. Both games feature the popular Dragon Bonus side bet. There is a commission-free variation too, where the drawing rules are different. Here the winning banker bets are a push if this hand wins with a three-card seven. To balance this, winning banker bets are not charged commission. This version has a Fortune 7s side bet. Greektown has a selection of 3,000 electronic games and slots and includes several virtual table games.
Live baccarat in Michigan: Tribal casinos
With 23 tribal casinos as well as three commercial resorts in Detroit, there are plenty of gambling options across the two peninsulas. The smaller tribal casinos focus on the most popular table games (blackjack and roulette and games like three-card poker and Casino Hold’em).
The list below covers the casinos that have baccarat options:
- Firekeepers Casino, Battle Creek: This large casino features baccarat among a long list of popular table games and more than 2,800 slots. High-stakes games can be found in the Aurora high-limit lounge.
- Four Winds Casino, New Buffalo: There are four separate Four Winds Casinos with three in Michigan. You’ll need to head to the biggest, in New Buffalo, to enjoy baccarat. This can be found in the high-limit gaming area, as well as on the regular casino floor.
- Gun Lake Casino, Wayland: You can find a single nine-seat midi-baccarat game at this casino with more than 2,000 slots and a choice of popular table games also offered.
- Soaring Eagle Casino, Mt. Pleasant: This large tribal casino has a seven-seat mini-baccarat table among their impressive list of table games and thousands of slots. They feature multi-game progressive jackpots as well as jackpots for specific games.
- Turtle Creek Casino, Williamsburg: There are 40 table games at this casino, including baccarat. Turtle Creek also has 1,200 slots, a poker room, sports bar and multiple dining options.
Baccarat at online casinos in Michigan
With so many online casinos to choose from, you can take advantages of bonus offers while you find the one you prefer.
You have two options to access the online version of Michigan casinos. They will work via your web browser on your desktop or laptop computer or through mobile apps (for both Android and Apple phones). The apps include the geolocation technology needed to ensure you’re inside state lines when you bet.
Online baccarat comes in two formats:
- Software: Here you’ll be playing against the computer. The cards are shuffled between hands, using random number generator software. You place bets from 50 cents per hand and up, then click a button to deal. The drawing happens automatically. Side bets include the Dragon Bonus, Fortune 7s and others.
- Live Dealer: Some Michigan online casinos feature live dealer casinos. These stream real baccarat games from studios located in the larger casino resorts and you can bet on them via your computer. These games give you time to place each bet, continuing without you if you miss the deadline. Unlike other live dealer casino games, you can disconnect during a hand without losing out. You get paid on the outcome of the current hand, then sit out. Other popular live dealer casino games include roulette, blackjack and Casino Hold’em.
Online casino bonuses and baccarat games
Bonuses for new players at online casinos in Michigan include no-deposit (free-play) deals, matched welcome bonus offers and no-lose rebate-style deals. You can often take advantage of more than one.
With casino bonuses, you’ll need to play through your bonus money a set number of times before it is considered cleared. At this point, you can withdraw your balance.
Baccarat isn’t the best game for bonus clearing, due to its low house edge. Online casinos will add weightings to different games. The lower the house edge, the more likely a game is to be either excluded from bonus clearing requirements or have a low weighting. This means you need to bet a lot more on baccarat than you would on online slots, for example, to clear a bonus.
One strategy is to take advantage of the bonuses, clear them using slots and then enjoy your boosted bankroll to play the online baccarat games.
Betting on both banker and player options at the same time to clear bonuses isn’t allowed. This is considered bonus abuse at some casino brands and could see your bonus voided.
Loyalty rewards and ongoing promotions are worth looking at. Welcome bonus offers are naturally short lived, with the ongoing deals keeping your bankroll topped up for the longer run.
Other table game options at Michigan casinos
Baccarat is a popular game with availability at all the larger Michigan casino resorts and online casino apps. When it comes to the most popular table games in the Great Lakes State, there’s some serious competition. Here are the most popular Michigan games, along with side bets and game variations:
- Blackjack: No game has the popularity of blackjack. Consider trying the Super 4 side bet in Michigan. It uses your two cards and the dealer’s two cards for big money prizes. Perfect pairs and 21+3 side bets are also common. Free-Bet Blackjack, Blackjack Switch and Spanish 21 can be found in several casinos.
- Roulette: If you bet small, you’ll be able to enjoy the American roulette wheel in almost all Michigan casinos. The best odds come via the European wheel (with a single zero), which is reserved for larger bets. There are online bonus-game variations of roulette, including some with more than one wheel.
- Casino poker: These ‘carnival’ games are based on poker hand ranks, though played against the house and not other players. Popular variations of these can be found in most live casinos. They include three-card poker, Let It Ride, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Caribbean Stud. Side bets with progressive jackpots are common with these games.
Wrapping up: Baccarat in Michigan
You can enjoy baccarat in the luxury casino resorts in Detroit, the tribal casinos around the state and online. This is the Punto Banco rules variation, where the house employee dealer handles the cards and navigates the complex drawing rules.
With a choice of side bets, simple game play and big betting limits, baccarat offers a refreshing change from the other popular table games. If you want to sharpen your skills online, you can find this game at almost all Michigan online casinos as well.