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Baccarat is an increasingly popular table game at almost all online and land-based casinos, and the Dragon Bonus is one of baccarat’s most popular side bets. Thanks to its relatively simple gameplay and exciting possible outcomes, baccarat attracts all types of players.

In this guide, we’ll break down the Dragon Bonus to help you understand what it is and if it’s appealing to you. At its core, the Dragon Bonus is a side bet that allows you to wager on the gap between the player’s hand and the banker’s hand after all cards have been drawn. We’ll also go over some strategies relevant to this bet and cover where you can play Baccarat Dragon Bonus online.

Play Baccarat Dragon Bonus

Play Baccarat Dragon Bonus

Play Baccarat Dragon Bonus for free in demo practice mode to try it out risk-free. If you run out of credits, simply refresh the page to reset your bankroll. Here are more free online baccarat options to try.

How To Play Baccarat Dragon Bonus

Once you know how to play baccarat, playing the Dragon Bonus variation is easy. It is a side bet, so there are separate areas on the table for you to place chips. The Dragon Bonus side bets pay independently of the game as well, so you can lose baccarat and still win the Dragon Bonus and vice versa.

Here’s what you need to know about the Baccarat Dragon Bonus:

  • You must put a bet on the base game to bet on the Dragon Bonus (player, banker, or tie).
  • The Dragon Bonus is specific to the hand (the player or the banker).
  • You can place between zero and two Dragon Bonus side bets, one on both hands.
  • The side bet does not have to match the regular game wager. For example, players can

How Win Baccarat Dragon Bonus

Unlike some blackjack side bets that are based on the cards drawn, Baccarat Dragon Bonus side bets win based on the final score of the hands. Here’s a breakdown:

  • The Dragon Bonus bet pays 2:1 if the corresponding hand wins with a natural eight or nine.
  • Both Dragon Bonus bets push (you get your bet back) if the game results in a tie.
  • If the corresponding hand wins with a non-natural number of four or more, the player wins even more than 2:1. See below for the full breakdown of the payouts.

Baccarat Dragon Bonus Paytable

Win By 9 Points30:1
Win By 8 Points10:1
Win By 7 Points6:1
Win By 6 Points4:1
Win By 5 Points2:1
Win By 4 Points1:1
Natural Winner1:1
Natural TiePush

As you can see, the larger the gap between the hands, the larger the payout.

Natural Winner & Natural Tie

A natural hand in baccarat is a hand that doesn’t require any card draws to make a hand. In the case of the Baccarat Dragon Bonus, these natural outcomes are valued as any natural hand, even if it doesn’t have a gap of at least four points, and will win a 1-to-1 payout. Natural ties, which would have been losses otherwise, will simply push.

Baccarat Dragon Bonus Strategy


Play the Dragon Bonus Player Bet

The return to player (RTP) of the Baccarat Dragon Bonus depends on which one you choose. If you go with the Player hand, the RTP is 97.35%. If you play the Banker hand, the RTP is 90.83%. If you’re looking to maximize win potential, play the Dragon Bonus player bet.


Play Banker Bet for Base Game

For the base game, the Banker Bet has a return to player (RTP) rate of 98.94%. That’s slightly better than the Player Bet RTP rate of 98.76%. So a solid Baccarat Dragon Bonus strategy would be to bet on the Banker hand for the base game and the Player hand for the Dragon Bonus.


Consider Playing Both Dragon Bonus Bets

It won’t exactly improve your return to player (RTP) percentage, but it will ensure that you’ll win the Dragon Bonus if one of the two hands hits. It doesn’t feel great when you bet on the Player hand, for example, and the Banker hand hits a 30 to 1 payout.

However, be sure to keep budget in mind here. For example, if your budget is $2 on side bets, you’ll want to do $1 on each side bet, not $2 on each for a total of $4. Play smarter, not riskier.


The Results Are Completely Random

The gambler’s fallacy is assuming the Dragon Bonus is going to pay out soon because it hasn’t yet, or because it just hit, it won’t hit again anytime soon. The previous hand has absolutely no baring on the result of the next hand, and vice versa. You always have the same chance of winning the Dragon Bonus every round.



Make the Base Game Your Main Priority

The Dragon Bonus side bets are a great way to mix things up and keep a classic game fresh. However, baccarat is a great game on its own, offering excellent odds and a nice variety compared to other table games (here’s more on baccarat vs. blackjack). Don’t get bogged down in the side bets, it’s the base game that will pay out the most consistently.

The RTP for the Dragon Bonus ranges from 90.63% (Banker bet) to 97.35% (Player Bet). On the base game, the RTP for the Player Bet is 98.76% while the RTP for the Banker Bet is 98.94%. Either way you slice it, the base game offers better odds on baccarat.

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Gambling is for entertainment purposes only. Stay safe and ensure success when you gamble responsibly. Gambling problem? Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER for confidential support. Visit SAMHSA’s National Helpline website for resources that include a treatment center locator, anonymous chat, and more.

Responsible Gambling

When enjoying baccarat, you should always practice responsible gambling. This is especially true when you opt for side bets like the Dragon Bonus, as they naturally create higher wagers and add more risk to your game. Never play above your means and wager only what you’re comfortable losing. Remember to set limits on deposits, wagering, and time when playing online.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER or take advantage of resources such as Gamblers Anonymous or the National Council on Problem Gambling.

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About the Author

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels

Craig Corbeels is a lead writer and gambling expert for He has been involved in the online gambling industry since 2013. Previously, he worked for Gamesys and Bally's Interactive as a copywriter and social media strategist for multiple North American online casinos.
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