Strategy for Playing Baccarat

Baccarat strategy

Baccarat strategy is very simple because the gameplay is easy but rewarding. High rollers and small bankrolls can both get hours of fun, making Baccarat one of the most popular casino games.

Baccarat is one of James Bond’s favorite games because it’s easy to follow on-screen. It’s an elegant game, simple but with great gameplay.

Casino table games like baccarat, craps, roulette, and blackjack are very popular in casinos. Card games are usually some of the best games to play because the house edge is small.

With good money management, you can play for a long time with a moderate bankroll and have a lot of fun.

There’s always the chance you will win, and playing for real money is exciting. To help you enjoy the gameplay, we’ve put together some baccarat tips you should know going in.

Why You Should Play Baccarat

Baccarat is a game of chance with some of the lowest house edge of any table games in online casinos. Baccarat players can make small wagers and play for a long time with a small bankroll. 

Baccarat is a fun game that’s popular in casinos all over the world. Your best bet is to understand the baccarat rules and the house advantage, and then have fun!

Why do people like baccarat?

People like baccarat because it’s elegant. You make a wager, win almost as often as you lose, and can get a lot of play for your bankroll. High rollers can wager massive amounts on what amounts to a coin toss, which is precisely the excitement some people like.

Unlike poker, you don’t need to worry about skilled players wiping you out quickly, and it’s relaxing to have a dealer take care of everything for you.

People like to enjoy the atmosphere of the casino and have a table game experience. The simple back and forth between dealers and customers is an experience some people crave.

What is the house edge for baccarat?

It depends on the version of baccarat you are playing. The most common form for beginners is mini-baccarat.  In mini-baccarat, the table has a casino employee dealing and controlling the action.

The house edge in mini-baccarat will be 1.06 for the bank hand, which has the best odds overall. Some casino games might vary the rules a little by eliminating the bank hand commission and adding another push.

Regardless, the house edge for baccarat is minimal, and you can enjoy playing a lot of hands with a moderate bankroll.

What are Deposit Bonuses and Promotions?

Deposit bonuses are very common for first-time and loyalty account top-ups. Bonuses are nice because they’re basically free money that you can play within the casino.

The first-time bonus is usually called a welcome bonus. These bonuses can be significant, so comparison shopping can really pay off.

Of course, you should look for great deposit bonuses, but keep in mind that there are a lot of factors that go into choosing an online casino.

Look for a casino licensed by a respected jurisdiction, and that has a variety of popular games. They should be professional and shouldn’t be getting bad reviews for customer service.

How to Play Baccarat

The game of baccarat is similar to blackjack but is much simpler. The only decisions you need to make are how much to wager and on which hands. With only a few simple rules, you can enjoy hours of entertainment.

Baccarat is usually played in casinos. Several 52-card decks are shuffled together and put into a card dispenser called a “shoe.” A croupier or dealer will collect the bets and deal the cards.

In higher-end games, the table will be separated from the main gaming floor. It might have one or two dealers and a croupier to oversee the baccarat game. Players can pass the shoe around to deal the cards, or one of the dealers might deal.

The game is straightforward. You have the option of betting on either the player hand, the banker hand, or a tie. After all of the bets have been placed, the croupier will deal the hands and make payouts to the winners.

The rules sound complicated, but it takes less than 5 minutes of practice to learn them. The ease of playing baccarat is one of the reasons it’s so popular.

  • The number cards carry their face values, with Ace counting as one.
  • Tens and higher all count as zero.
  • Discount the tens place value so that 12 becomes 2, 16 becomes 6, and 18 becomes 8.
  • If a player’s hand is less than 5, a third card is dealt to the player. If the banker’s hand is less than 3, another card is dealt to the banker. The banker must stand on 6 or higher.
  • The closest hand to 9 wins.

The Element of Luck in Baccarat

Baccarat is a game of pure chance. Lady Luck will be playing with you or against you. There aren’t any gaming strategies that can overcome her influence.

Experienced gamblers know that Lady Luck is a powerful force. She’s either with you or against you at any particular time. But, over time, her whims average out to a slight house advantage.

Even though luck is a strong pull over time, you can either maximize or minimize the pull of Lady Luck. If you want to maximize the element of chance, play a few big hands and stop.

The averaging pull of luck has less chance to act on your hands by playing a few big hands. You can either walk out wealthy or wise in only a few minutes.

If you want to minimize the role of luck, place many small hands. The more hands you play, the closer to the statistical mean your play will approach. 

In an online casino, you might be able to play 250 hands per hour, while in a land-based casino game of Punto Banco, you might only see 50 hands per hour. 

It all depends on the experience that you’re after. Either way can be an evening of good fun and excitement.

What’s the standard version of baccarat?

The standard version of Baccarat is Punto Banco, or American Baccarat. That’s the ruleset we’ve been describing so far.

  • The player and bank hands are played according to house rules, with no actual player input. 
  • The house always bets on the bank hand. 
  • There’s a 5% commission charged on banker bets.

Mini-Baccarat is similar but usually has lower limits and is faster. The same rules and strategies apply to both Punto Banco and mini-baccarat.

What’s the best hand in baccarat?

The best hand in baccarat is natural. A natural is any hand that adds up to nine. Since the closest hand to nine wins, you can’t lose with a natural.

You can tie if both the banker hand and player hand have a natural. This kind of tie isn’t uncommon and results in a push, where everyone gets their money back.

If you win with a natural, you get the same payout as any other win. The thrill of seeing the numbers add up to nine does add thrill to a hand, though.

The Payouts for Baccarat Bets

Baccarat payouts double your wager for player hand wagers. So, a bet of $100 will return $200, doubling your money. 

If the banker wins, banker bets will be returned at 195% of the water. So, if you wager $100, you will receive $195.

You will receive an 8 to 1 payout on a tie, so your $100 wager will return $900. 

What are Side Bets?

Side bets are possible in some versions of baccarat.

Extra pushes and other situations can usually receive a side bet. The odds aren’t typically great with side bets, but it depends on the exact baccarat variation you’re playing.

How do you win the baccarat game?

Baccarat is a game of pure chance. The only thing you can do to improve your odds is to always bet on the banker. There is no other winning strategy in online baccarat.

Like a coin toss, there are set statistical odds for each outcome. Players don’t make any choices except to bet on banker, player, or tie.

Even though the best bet is on the banker’s hand, you will slowly move through your bankroll. The slight house edge should be considered a service fee and simply enjoyed.

The Best Baccarat Betting Strategy: Bet with the Banker

The one strategy tip everyone knows is that you should always bet on bankers. We’ll break down the math so that you understand why this is true.

The banker has a slight edge, which means you should always bet on the banker’s hand, regardless of any wagering system you are using.

The probability that the banker’s hand will win is 45.843% vs. 44.615% for the player’s hand and a 9.543% chance for a tie.

Since the banker wins more often, there is a 5% commission for banker hand bets. So, the house edge formula works out to .45843*.95-.44615=-.0106415

The banker hand has just slightly more than 1% better payouts than the player’s hand, including the 5% commission.

The tie returns 8 to 1, but remember, there are nine different possible numbers. The house edge rises to 9.5% for the tie, so it’s generally considered a suckers bet.

Baccarat Card Counting

Baccarat card counting is possible, but it’s not possible to make money doing it. The problem is that the cards coming out of the shoe change the odds so slightly that the count never gets high enough.

Casinos also tend to shuffle the shoe often and won’t allow you to dictate when they do it. If you play baccarat online, you can assume that the game will shuffle the shoe often, making card counting completely impossible.

One note, card counting isn’t illegal, but it will get you banned from casinos for unwelcome play. If you lurk around the tables for hours, you might eventually catch an edge, but the casino will be suspicious if you watch for that long.

With that said, it is possible to increase your odds slightly by knowing the count. 

For basic Baccarat card counting, you need to memorize the card values. 

  • Add 1 for any A, 2, or 3 cards that are dealt.
  • Add 2 for any four cards that are dealt.
  • Subtract 1 for any 5, 7, or 8 cards.
  • Subtract 2 for six cards.
  • Divide the count by the number of decks remaining in the shoe.
  • If the count is above 16, you should switch from the banker bet to the player bet.

Best Strategy for Winning Baccarat

The winning strategy for baccarat is to relax, have fun, and understand that the house will always have the edge unless you’re counting cards or cheating.

Playing with a betting system can be fun, as long as you fully understand it going in. There are a few systems, and they can be a fun way to play with the numbers. 

None of them give you a statistical edge, but they can figure into a style of playing that’s exciting and fun for you. If you want to see big wins, try Paroli, but if you’re going to try to cover losses, Martingale might be fun.

As long as you’re having fun, you’re winning. Here are some fun betting systems to try out.

The Martingale System

The Martingale system is the most popular of all betting systems. It’s popular with beginners because it’s the easiest system to master.

Gamblers with a large bankroll believe that Martingale will protect them from losses at the baccarat tables.

Keep in mind that your chances of winning don’t change based on winning streaks or losing streaks. Unless you are cheating or counting cards, there isn’t a way to win at Baccarat long-term.

The Martingale system assumes that you can’t possibly lose forever. So, if you double your bet with each loss (to cover previous losses), you’ll eventually win back your money.

If you do win, return to the first bet and start over. Since a tie bet is a push, ignore the ties and focus on your wins and losses.

The problem is that you’ll run into table limits. The odds never change. When you hit the table limit and have to give up the strategy, you’ll give up all of your previous wins.

Having a long losing streak eventually happens. It is possible to lose eleven times in a roll. It’s unlikely, but the total odds remain the same. 

Martingale makes frequent small losses less likely but makes large, infrequent losses inevitable. If you play for a few hours and see 1000-2000 hands, you’ll eventually see a big loss.

The Fibonacci Strategy

The Fibonacci system suggests that you should increase your bet size according to the Fibonacci sequence. So, each time you lose, you will increase your bet by a multiple of 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55.

The logic is that the Martingale system is essentially correct, but the wager amounts are incorrect. Unfortunately, incorrect wager amounts aren’t the flaw in the Martingale system.

The Fibonacci system solves a problem that doesn’t exist and fails precisely in the same way as the Martingale system. You’ll run into table limits and be forced to give up the system.

Your average wagers will be smaller than in Martingale, so you’ll lose less often. On the other hand, your winnings will also be smaller. In the end, the house edge will be preserved.

The Paroli System

The Parioli System is the opposite of the Martingale System. If you are on a winning streak, you double your bets. Each time you have the winning hand, double your wager to maximize your winnings.

Paroli doesn’t change the game’s odds, and it runs into the same problem as Martingale and Fibonacci. Just like it’s possible to lose 11 times in a roll, it’s also possible that the player wins 11 times in a roll. 

These kinds of streaks are inevitable if you play long enough, but Paroli makes these streaks memorable and fun. 

Statistically, it’s just as valid as any other system, so if you enjoy the gameplay, have fun!

The Labouchere System

The Labouchere System is a complicated system that uses confusing math to disguise your losses. Remember, the money you lose in baccarat equals the average bet multiplied by the house advantage and multiplied by the number of hands you play.

So how does Labouchere work?

  • Choose a sequence of numbers, like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • Bet the sum of the first and last numbers. In our example 1+5=6
  • Remove winning numbers after a win, but add a number after a loss.
  • If only one number remains, bet that until you lose, and then add a number as usual.
  • Your bet will float up and down, but the average wager will decide your spend.

The D’Alembert System

The D’Alembert System is progressive like Martingale, Fibonacci, and Labouchere, but your rate of increase is linear instead of exponential.

Choose a base bet unit, a one-dollar chip, for example. If you win, take away one chip, but if you lose, add one more chip to your next bet.

A five-win sequence would be 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. A losing sequence would bet 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, increasing each bet by one in the next round.

The wins and losses eventually even out, returning you to the house advantage. Your spend will be the average of all of your bets multiplied by the house advantage and again multiplied by the number of hands you play.

So if there’s no winning betting system, what can I do?

The key to having fun with baccarat is understanding that your spend per hand is very low if you make moderate bets. A one-dollar average wager played for one hundred hands will only cost a few dollars. That’s a lot of gameplay for a small spend. 

Think about it like this. Everything in life costs some money. If you’re having fun and enjoying yourself, then spending responsibly is fine.

 Have fun playing and enjoy the atmosphere of the game. If other players are talking, it can be a great social experience. It gives you something to do, and a few hours at low wager tables is very inexpensive.

Have fun playing baccarat by understanding the game

Understanding the game will help you manage your expectations. Baccarat isn’t a game of skill like poker, where a shark can clean up against the fishes. 

Baccarat is a game of chance, and you pay a little to enjoy the camaraderie and excitement of casino gaming. It’s fun, something to do, and it’s social.

Baccarat is popular with new and experienced gamblers.  It has a small house edge, and the elegant gaming is timeless.

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