Baccarat Strategy: How to Give Yourself the Best Odds

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Baccarat is one of the most popular card games, both online and in land-based casinos ⁠— and it’s easy to see why the table game has become a darling of casual and seasoned players alike. With the right baccarat strategy, you can help grow your bankroll, raise your winning odds, and take your gameplay to the next level.

You have seen the game in popular media, especially in James Bond movies, thanks to its glitz and glamour. Because baccarat has a relatively low house advantage and is fairly easy to master, it has become a player favorite across the entire casino spectrum, from the mini-baccarat tables in Macau’s Cotai Strip to the high-limit rooms of Monte Carlo and even online.

As far as the best odds go, baccarat is among the top four casino games, alongside blackjack, Jacks or better (the 9/6 variant), and craps. In a lot of ways, you could say it resembles blackjack, but it is much simpler and more exciting. It’s a rookie-friendly game too.

Although it’s partly a game of chance, baccarat has a few nifty tips, strategies, and hacks you can use to dramatically improve your odds of winning. That’s why we put together this Baccarat strategy guide.

With European appeal and all the glitz and glamour, baccarat can be a little intimidating at first. However, behind the tough exterior, you’ll find a decent card game with only three possible outcomes per hand. In fact, there’s little to no skill required to get started.

Like most table games like Blackjack, baccarat uses three to six standard 52-card decks which are shuffled together and placed in a dealing machine called the ‘shoe.’ Playing the game is as simple as it can get.

Despite what it might sound like, the croupier does all the heavy-lifting, including dealing out the cards from the shoe. All you have to do is place your bet, sit back, and let the fall of the cards decide your fate.

First things first: you have to wager using chips/tokens/checks on the Player hand, Bank hand, or make a tie bet.

The croupier will then deal out two cards to the Player (also known as the Punter), and two cards to the Banker, all of them face up. The goal here is to guess which hand has a count that’s as close to 9 as possible.

●  Cards 2 through 9 carry their face values.

●  Each of the Tens (10s) and Face (also called Court = J, Q, and K) cards has a numerical value equal to zero (0).

●  Every Ace card counts as 1 numerically.

The values of the two cards are added to determine the worth of each hand. If the Player has 2 and Q, for instance, then the hand is worth 2 points. If the Banker has 3 and 5, the hand’s value is 8.

If the total of any hand is more than 9, the count is adjusted by deducting 10 or by dropping the sum’s first digit. Therefore, if the hand’s two cards are 9 and 6, the total comes up to 5 and not 15.

Each hand can hold up to three cards, and there are rules specified by the casino on whether the Player hand or Banker will receive a third drawcard. Most house rules dictate that a Player must stand when the count is 6 or 7.

When the Player hand is worth less than 5, a third card is drawn. If the count is exactly 5, the Player can either stand or call for a third card.

When does a Banker receive the third card? This happens if the Banker’s count is less than 3 or as stipulated by the most favorable odds.

On the other hand, the Banker must stand at any count of 6 or higher.

The Banker may stand or draw a third card if the Bank hand’s count is exactly 3 to a Player’s 3rd card of 9. The same should happen when the Banker’s count is 5 and the Player has received a 4 in the third-card draw.

Baccarat Payouts

Player Hand Bets: You win if the Player hand is closer to 9 than the Banker hand. And it pays double or evens (1:1). That is, a winning wager of $20 on the Player hand wins $20, bringing your total payout to $40.

Banker Bets: If you bet on a Bank hand and it wins, you will be paid evens minus 5% house commission. For example, if you bet $20 on the Banker and it wins, you will get $19 in winnings. In this case, $1 will go to the house as a commission.

Tie Bets: When you make a tie bet, you are essentially wagering that the Bank hand and the Player hand will have an equal count. A winning tie bet pays out at 8:1. So, if you bet $20 on a tie and it wins, you will get $160 in winnings as well as retain the original bet of $20.

One thing to note is that all bets placed on the Banker and Player hand will be pushed if the result is a tie, meaning that neither hands loses or wins. You can decide to leave the bet as it is, remove it, switch it, or reduce/add the chips.

Betting With the Banker: The Simplest Baccarat Strategy

Assuming that the casino is using eight standard 52-card decks; Tie bets pay at 8:1; Banker bets pay evens minus 5 percent commission; and that there’s a 1:1 payoff for Player bets, then the math says:

●  Player hand loses 45.87 percent, wins 44.63 percent, and ties 9.51 percent.

●  Bank Hand, on the other, loses 44.65 percent, wins 45.87 percent, and ties 9.51 percent.

If we remove all hands that tie from the equation, then the Bank hand loses 49.32 percent of the hands, while it wins 50.68 percent. On the flip side, 50.68 percent of Player hands lose, while 49.32 percent win.

The Martingale System and Other Betting Strategies-:

As you can see, the system has a near-100 percent success rate in the long-run. Despite looking like a sure-thing, however, the Martingale System comes with a few risks and shortcomings that include:

●  It’s not ideal for someone with a small bankroll, as you can run out of money quickly or before you can hit that much-awaited win.

●  If you experience too many successive losses, doubling your bet may reach the table limit. That’s certainly a huge bummer because you won’t get a chance to double your wager once more.

●  You may have to bet way too many times to win a decent amount of money.

●  Some casinos don’t allow the use of the Martingale System.

Lucky for you, there are a few other systems that have been proven to be just as effective, including Fibonacci, Paroli, Labouchere, and Doubles.

The Paroli System-:

Step #1: bet $10 on the Player hand until you win. Then double to $20.

If you lose, return to step #1. Otherwise, go to step #2.

Step #2:  Bet $20 until you win. Then bet $40.

If you lose, go back to step #1. If you win, double again and bet $80

Step #3: Bet $80 until you win.

Return to step #1 if you lose. If you win, also go back to step #1.

This goes on and on until you lose or win three times in a row, and then the circle begins.

#TIPS TO PLAY-:

Tip #1 – Set Win/Loss Limits, and Stick to Them

Every good thing comes to an end at some point, including a winning streak. That’s why it pays to set win limits when playing baccarat. Setting this limit will not only protect your bankroll but also help sharpen your baccarat strategy for winning.

Because all baccarat bets come with a house advantage, you’re bound to lose in the long run. For this reason, you should stop immediately when you reach your win limit, so you can lock in your profits.

For instance, if your win limit is $200 and you start with a bankroll of $100, you should step aside when you hit a total of $300. Perhaps you should take a breather, exercise, go for a drink, or even take a walk.

The same should be true for losses – set a loss limit and stick to it.

If your loss limit is set at $80, you should count your losses when your bankroll reaches $20. Log off your online casino account or switch to another game.

Tip #2 – Break Down Your Bankroll

The odds are good that you play multiple casino games. As such, each game should have a bankroll of its own. This is true for online players and those who visit land-based casinos.

If you have set aside $100 for baccarat out of your $500 bankroll, be sure to check out of the table as soon as the balance hits $400 or when you reach your win/loss limits.

Similarly, you can play baccarat in sessions of one hour, two hours, etc. Each session should have a fixed bankroll, win limit, and loss limit.

Tip #3 – Wager on Low House-Edge Bets

In the game of baccarat, your choice should be simple: always bet with the Banker. This should be your general rule of thumb because betting on the Bank hand has a favorable house edge of 1.06 percent.

You should absolutely steer clear of tie bets, as they have a very high house advantage of 14.36 percent.

Don’t shy away from betting on the Player hand. Its RTP of 98.76 percent is marginally lower than that of a Banker bet (RTP= 98.94 percent).

Tip #4 – Avoid All-In Bets

Obviously, you don’t want to put all your eggs in the proverbial one basket. Your bankroll is your capital and it should last long enough for you to see good returns.

Unlike what’s portrayed by Hollywood films, putting all your money on a single hand is a terrible idea. There’s no glamour in losing your entire bankroll in one go.

Tip #5 – Use the Right Baccarat Strategy

The Martingale system may be a good fit for high-roller players with huge bankrolls. However, it’s not so great for someone with a bankroll of $20 on a $1 minimum table.

Instead of risking the loss of the whole bankroll in a few rounds, such a bettor may benefit from using the D’Alembert betting system that’ll reduce the chances of making fast and steep losses.

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