Baccarat is a simple game with straightforward betting rules and modest payouts. However, many punto banco games come with a variety of side bets which offer bigger returns for riskier propositions.
One such side game is the Dragon Bonus. Whereas standard player bets and banker bets pay the same odds every time, this additional wager offers higher returns depending on the margin of victory.
Popular in Asia and Australia, the Dragon side bet is also available at several leading online casinos. Read on to find out how it works and where to play.
Dragon Bonus rules and payouts
At its core, the Dragon Bonus is just like the standard baccarat bets: you can either side with the banker, or with the player. If you bet on the banker, you win if the banker has the highest score; and if you bet on the player, you win if the player has the highest score.
What separates the Dragon bet from regular baccarat wagers is the extended payout table. The higher the margin of victory, the bigger the payoff – except in the case of naturals. If the winning hand has a score of eight or nine points on the initial deal, the return is 1 to 1. If both hands draw a natural and the result is a tie, the bonus bet is pushed.
For all other outcomes (i.e. any non-natural hands), a winning margin of four points or more earns a payout. For example: if the player has six points and the banker has one, the player wins the bonus bet by a margin of five points. If the hands are tied, or if the margin is three points or less, the bet loses.
Winning hands are paid out like so:
- Four points pays even money
- Five points pays 2 to 1
- Six points pays 4 to 1
- Seven points pays 6 to 1
- Eight points pays 10 to 1
- Nine points pays 30 to 1
These odds apply to both the banker bonus and the player bonus.
House edge for Dragon side bets
Live every side bet in the gambling world, the Dragon bet has a significant effect on the house advantage. It more than doubles the edge on the player bet, while the odds on the banker – normally one of the best bets on the casino floor – are more than nine times worse than a standard wager.
The figures below are calculated for an eight-deck baccarat game.
|Baccarat hand||Standard house edge||Dragon house edge|
Where to play Dragon Bonus baccarat for real money
Although closely associated with Asia and the myriad baccarat rooms of Macau, the Dragon side bet can be found on punto banco tables all over the globe. This includes several land-based Australian casinos:
- Crown Melbourne
- Crown Perth
- The Star, Sydney
- Jupiters Casino, Gold Coast
- The Treasury, Brisbane
Dragon bets are also available on a number of real money baccarat games at our top-ranked online casinos. Our favourites are:
Baccarat Star – A sleek, Asian-style online baccarat release with an improved 12 to 1 bonus payout for an eight-point winning margin.
Playboy Baccarat – Microgaming’s sexiest live dealer baccarat tables offer a number of side bets, including Big, Small and Perfect Pairs.