Dragon Bonus in Baccarat: Is This Side Bet Worth It?

Baccarat is one of the hottest games in brick-and-mortar casinos and online. Its popularity has caused many variations and side bets, such as the dragon bonus, to develop over the years.

Best Bets

The dragon bonus side bet adds some fire to the standard baccarat game, and it can result in some pretty impressive payouts if you’re lucky.

But is it worth it? We will take a closer look at this exciting wager so you can decide for yourself.

Understanding Baccarat Basics

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In real-money baccarat, you wager on either the banker’s or player’s hand getting closer to nine. Despite their names, each hand doesn’t specifically represent the house or a gambler at the table.

Cards one through nine are worth their face value, while 10s and face cards are worth zero. The two cards in each hand get added together to determine the value.

If a hand goes over nine, the first number in the double-digit score drops, and the second one is the final score. For example, if they equal 14, you drop the one, and the hand is worth 4.

If playing live dealer baccarat, the dealer plays out each two-card hand based on a set of rules, and you just sit back and watch it unfold.

It’s that simple. The banker bet wins 45.8% of the time, and the player bet is a bit lower at 44.6%. You can also bet on them tying, but the odds of getting a tie are much lower, winning only 9.6% of the time.

What Is the Dragon Bonus in Baccarat?

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Baccarat’s dragon bonus is a side bet, independent of the main game, that lets you wager on the number of points a specific hand will win by.

If you guess the correct outcome, it pays out accordingly. The larger the disparity in points, the better the payout.

How Does the Dragon Bonus Work?

Knowing a little more about how the scoring works becomes important here. At most casinos, it’s a natural win when a two-card hand adds up to an eight or nine. Also, the dealer typically stands on 6s and 7s but will draw a third card if the hand’s value is five or under.

Due to its payout structure and thrilling twist on the base game, this Asian side bet is now popular at many tables around the globe. Today you can find the option at many land-based and real-money online casinos.

How to Play the Dragon Bonus Bet

When you place a dragon bonus bet, you are wagering on which hand will win and how many points it will beat the other by. For example, if the player’s hand is an eight and the banker’s hand is a three, it’s a five-point difference. So you would need to wager on “win by 5” to get a payout. 

You can also use the dragon bonus to bet on the opposite hand of your main wager. So you could bet “win by 8” on the banker’s hand and place a standard bet on the player’s hand. That way, if you lose your standard bet but happen to win the dragon bonus, you still get a nice payout. 

The odds of winning a dragon bonus can vary depending on how many decks are in play. Let’s look at the payouts and an example of the odds of winning each wager based on an eight-deck shoe. 

Dragon Bonus Side Bet Typical Payout Odds for Player  Odds for Banker 
Natural Win (8 or 9) 1:1 16.259% 16.259%
Win by 4 1:1 3.737% 4.024%
Win by 5 2:1 3.324% 3.147%
Win by 6 4:1 2.826% 2.385%
Win by 7 6:1 1.792% 1.591%
Win by 8 10:1 0.682% 0.566%
Win by 9 30:1 0.368% 0.308%

Strategies for the Dragon Bonus Bet in Baccarat

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Baccarat is luck-based, so there isn’t any amount of skill or strategy that can influence the outcome of the cards. Still, our pros suggest a few things that may help you play your best.

  1. Start by paying attention to the odds and house edges. Some side bets aren’t worth making. For instance, the “win by 9” dragon bonus bet pays out a whopping 30:1, but your chances of getting it right are pretty slim. And if you bet that on the banker, the house edge is even worse.
  2. Choose your wagers wisely.
  3. Another helpful tip is to manage your bankroll. Plan how much you want to spend before you start gambling and stick to it so you won’t have any regret, and as always, gamble responsibly.

Baccarat Dragon Bonus Odds & House Edge

In the standard game without side bets, baccarat has one of the best odds. The player wager is at 1.24% house edge, and the banker is as low as 1.01%. The bet with the worst house edge in the game is the tie at 14.36%.  

Of course, side bets usually heavily favor the casino, so adding the dragon bonus into the equation changes things. The house edge for the player side goes up to around 2.65%, and the house edge for the banker dragon bonus climbs to a lofty 9.37%.

Bacarrat Hand Standard Game With Dragon Bonus
Player 1.24% 2.65%
Banker 1.01% 9.37%

Obviously, the smartest wager you can make in baccarat is to take the banker in the standard game and avoid the side bets. However, it’s worth mentioning that many baccarat tables charge a 5% commission fee on banker wins to compensate. 

Commission-free tables do exist, although there are restrictions there too. Typically if you wager on the banker and the hand wins with a total of 6 points, you only get half your bet back. You can find dragon bonus tables with a commission fee and without, so be sure to read the rules before you play. 

Dragon Bet Variations You Can Try

There are several variations of baccarat, such as Punto Banco, Chemin De Fer, Super 6, and Baccarat Banque, and you can find the dragon bonus side bet in most of them.

You can also place a wide array of other side bets in combination with the dragon bonus. For instance, the pair bet lets you wager on whether the cards dealt will be the same and pays out 11 to 1. Doubling up your side bets can give you a chance to score big if luck is on your side. 

Of course, winning multiple side bets would take quite a bit of luck, but that’s not to say it’s impossible. While they can be an exciting addition to a basic baccarat game, keeping a realistic mindset is best.

Is the Dragon Bonus a Good Bet in Baccarat?

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Mathematically speaking, the dragon bonus increases the house edge in baccarat, especially for the banker bet. If you’re in it to win it, this side bet isn’t the smartest choice.

However, most people only play baccarat for entertainment since it’s a game of luck. The level of risk you’re willing to take is up to you.

With that said, the dragon bonus is a great way to spice up gameplay. Since there are only three wagers in the base game, this side bet adds many more options. 

The Top 5 Baccarat Real Money Online Casinos

If you want to try this exciting side bet, choosing the right casino is important to have the best gambling experience.

Our team is always researching and testing new gambling sites that are safe, offer quality games, and have reliable payouts.

Here are our top recommended casinos to play baccarat online and other popular real-money casino games.

Try to Hit the Dragon for Extra Fun!

Baccarat is the perfect game for all levels of players due to its simplicity and low house edge.

Still, if you’re looking for a change, the dragon bonus side bet will surely add an element of excitement. Just keep the house edges in mind, and be sure to practice good bankroll management.

Try something different and play a dragon bonus baccarat game today!

Baccarat Dragon Bonus FAQ

Here are some common questions about Dragon Bonus.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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