California may have card rooms and a handful of casinos, but the state is lagging behind many other markets in terms of its online gambling presence.
This means you might find baccarat at retail locations, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find an online table that lets you play for real money.
Until there are legal online casinos in California, bettors in the state have only a few options if they wish to play baccarat. Let’s explore how to play baccarat for free in California.
Where to Play Real Money Baccarat Online in California
Right now, there are precious few options for Californians who wish to play baccarat online for real money. In fact, the available sites are slim to none. The state just finished a contentious California sports betting battle on the 2022 ballot, with both initiatives losing.
We mention sports betting specifically because it can open the floodgates for more legal online gambling options.
This has been the case in numerous states: sports betting first, then legislators shift gears to look at legalizing online casino sites. Normally we’d mention nearby states with live online casinos, but unfortunately, those markets are concentrated near the East Coast and in the Midwest.
Currently, only a few states such as Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, and West Virginia have online casinos. Las Vegas? Nevada doesn’t have legal online casinos. Some Las Vegas properties allow you to play online, but only while you’re physically located in that property. For Californians, that’s a minimum 5-hour drive or a hefty plane ticket. So Vegas isn’t a great option unless you’re already traveling there.
There is one reasonable alternative for California players looking to get some online baccarat game-time in: sweepstakes casinos.
How to Play Sweepstakes Baccarat Online in California
Sweepstakes casinos are legal in every US state, including D.C., except for Washington and Idaho. That means Californians can play at sweepstakes sites. The catch? Baccarat isn’t too common at sweepstakes sites. As it stands, there are no online sweepstakes casinos in the state that have a baccarat game. Blackjack and roulette are the most common table games at sweepstakes sites. Therefore, it is not easy to play baccarat in California.
How Sweepstakes Casinos Work
Sweepstakes casinos operate using a sweepstakes model, as the name indicates. You can purchase an in-game currency, usually called Gold Coins or something similar. Gold Coins (or their equivalent, depending on your preferred sweepstakes site) have no monetary value. You can play baccarat for free in California. In other words, you can play games online just for fun. You get free gold coins for signing in daily and completing tasks.
Then, there’s a second currency, most commonly called Sweeps Coins or Sweepstakes Coins. You get these for free when you purchase Gold Coins. When you play with Sweeps Coins, anything you win can be redeemed for cash prizes. You can also typically mail in a request for free Sweeps Coins.
By the way, these sweepstakes casinos are all examples of 18+ casinos in California — meaning every legal adult can play.
Playing Baccarat at Live Casinos in California
California has a thriving casino and card room scene, offering players plenty of opportunities to play baccarat. The state has dozens of legal card rooms where you can play various table games, baccarat included.
On top of that, there are plenty of California Indian casinos with table games to offer. EZ Baccarat is one of the more common forms of baccarat you’ll find at any legal gambling destination in California. There are three among many destinations in California that allow you to play baccarat:
Come one, come all to the world’s largest card room. Commerce Casino & Hotel is located outside of Los Angeles at 6131 Telegraph Rd, Commerce, CA, 90040, and it boasts more than 270 table games to play. There’s also a full hotel with 200 rooms and numerous restaurants. If you’re visiting LA or live in the area, Commerce Casino is a great spot to play some baccarat.
Pechanga Resort Casino
Pechanga Resort Casino, 45000 Pechanga Pkwy, Temecula, CA 92592, is the second-biggest casino in California. It offers a massive retail space with more than 4,000 slots and plenty of table games. Baccarat is chief among the casino’s offering California card sharks a great selection of tables.
And there are many other casinos. These are just the beginning. California has dozens upon dozens of card rooms, plus a large selection of land-based tribal casinos. Find one near you for a solid way to enjoy baccarat in the state.
How to Play Free Online Baccarat in California
You can try baccarat for free in California despite the state having no online real money tables. One way to give it a try is to visit the site of an online casino that’s already legal in another state such as Michigan. Many online casinos will allow you to demo the games on their site for free. This is a great way to get started and learn the ropes without staking any money. Because there’s no real money involved, you can do this legally from anywhere in the US.
Another option is to search the App Store or Google Play for baccarat. There are many free apps that will let you try baccarat for free, though some do require in-app purchases to keep playing for extended periods. The best part about these apps is that many allow you to play online for fun with friends.
Types of Baccarat Online
There aren’t too many types of baccarat out there. The fact is, baccarat is a pretty solid game overall and variants don’t add too much to the experience. However, the most common type of baccarat in California is called EZ Baccarat, and it changes things slightly from the core baccarat experience. In EZ Baccarat, players create two hands to two to three cards. The goal is to get each hand as close to a total of nine as possible.
EZ Baccarat slashes the odds difference between the dealer and player, making it a slightly fairer version of baccarat for players.
How to Play Live Dealer Baccarat Online in CA
Right now, you can’t play live dealer baccarat in California. Live dealer games combine the convenience of mobile play with the fun of retail casino play. A live dealer streams a table and doles out cards, settling bets from a remote location. You watch this play out on your device, making bets and decisions from your device.
Live dealer games go hand-in-hand with legal online casinos, which California doesn’t have yet. If the state legalizes online casino gaming in the future, it’s safe to expect live dealer games to become available.
Baccarat Bonuses in California
If and when California legalizes online casinos, baccarat players will be able to claim some great welcome bonuses for use at the virtual baccarat table. Common online casino bonuses include deposit matches, risk-free betting windows, and no-deposit bonuses.
If this indeed does happen, you’ll need to look out for playthrough requirements. Some online casinos require you to bet a certain multiple of your bonus before you earn the full credit. We will update this section with more detailed info if California makes meaningful progress towards legalizing online casinos.
Playing Legal Baccarat Online in California
Currently, any site offering real-money online baccarat in California is not safe to use. You may stumble across sites offering games for real money, but they are not to be trusted. There are numerous grey market and offshore operators that can skirt laws and offer their services to players in states where online gaming is otherwise illegal.
These sites are inherently risky because they can take your money and shut down with little to no notice, and they do not offer solid protections for your funds or data. As tough as it is, your best bet for playing at legal online casinos in California is to wait it out until the state authorizes them in full. In the meantime, sweepstakes casinos are card rooms or casinos are your best bet for playing table games such as baccarat.
How to Play at the Best Online Baccarat Casinos in California
If online casinos become legal in California, bettors will follow a process to get started:
- Choose your preferred online casino.
- Download the app or head to the desktop site.
- Sign in by providing the requested info and following the prompts. You’ll need:
- Phone number
- Government-issued ID
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Make a deposit. Remember to check for a welcome bonus, as it might be contingent upon your deposit amount.
- Find the baccarat game you’d like to play.
- Make a bet and hope for the best!
How to Play Baccarat in California FAQs
No. Online casino games are not legal in California, so you can’t play baccarat online for real money in the state. Bettors can enjoy free online baccarat in California as part of the sweepstakes casino market. You can enjoy baccarat at California casinos and card rooms.
The minimum gambling age in California is 18, but it doesn’t matter at this moment because online casinos are still prohibited. Once they’re live, you will confirm you’re of age using personal info and a government-issued ID.
No, because there are no online casinos live in CA. If and when online casinos do come to California, it’s likely they’ll have live dealer games.
If California legalizes online casinos, you will be able to play from your mobile device. This is the most common method players use to engage with online casinos and is likely going to be a big part of the state’s online casino industry if it becomes a reality.