Systems and Strategies for Playing Baccarat
The first thing you need to know about baccarat strategy is that baccarat is not a game of skill but of luck. After you’ve placed a bet on either the banker, the player, or a tie, the game is out of your control. Unlike other casino games such as blackjack, you can’t make decisions that affect the outcome during the hands. Players simply choose a side and watch as the action unfolds. If you’re new to the game, we recommend that you study the rules of baccarat first in order to understand why you will lose or win particular bets, and to have some sense about the gameplay that unfolds.
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1) UNDERSTAND THE NUMBERS
The first thing you need to do for the best baccarat strategy is understand the numbers in the game. The house edge in baccarat is very player-friendly, actually the lowest house edge you will find in all casino games alongside craps. The casino has only a 1.4 percent advantage on bets on banker, which is one of the better odds you’ll find both online and in live casinos. Here are some other mathematical facts about baccarat:
• In baccarat, the odds of a player’s hand winning are just slightly lower than the odds of the banker’s hand losing. The player’s hand will win 44.62 percent of the time. The banker’s hand will lose 45.85 percent of the time.
• Ties are a rarity, but they do happen. The probability for a tie in baccarat is 9.53 percent and the payoff for a tie is 8 to 1, but the house has a huge advantage on these bets.
• If you factor out the tie, then the banker’s hand wins about 51 percent of the time. This one percent is a very marginal advantage, but it’s slightly better than coin-flip odds. If you’re unsure what bet to make, bet on the banker’s hand to win.
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2) KNOW THE BACCARAT BETS AND ODDS
The minimum bets at the mini-baccarat table are normally around $25, and at the larger table approximately $100. These minimum bets become a lot higher at the table in the exclusive area in the larger casinos. Although there are some bets with a ridiculously low house edge, you could potentially lose a lot quite quickly because of the slightly higher than average minimum betting amount. Understanding the odds will help minimise the losses.
You can choose from one of three bets: betting on the banker, player, or a tie between the two. The most important baccarat odds to understand surround the tie bet. While 8-to-1 seems tempting, the reality is that the true odds of a tie are much longer than this, and this bet has a house edge of over 14 percent. It is not recommended to bet on the tie, but if you’re having a good time, feeling relaxed and looking to add some thrill to the game then take your chances on this bet and go ahead! Try not to make a habit of it as you’ll end up losing all your cash.
The odds of the banker winning are a little better than of the player winning, because the banker’s hand is determined after the player’s hand. In other words, the banker knows what he has to beat before deciding whether to draw a card. However, a player who wins a banker bet must pay a five percent commission to the house and this evens the odds out a bit.
Even with the five percent commission, the baccarat house edge on banker bets is 1.17 percent as opposed to 1.36 percent on player bets. This means there is really no reason to ever bet on the player other than the enjoyment of “betting on your hand.”
Many players use the sheets provided to track the wins and losses of player vs. banker and try to bet on “trends.” The reality is that in the long term odds have little effect on short term results and the banker will beat the player a little more than half the time even if the banker has won the last ten or 20 hands in a row. However, it’s up to you to try it out and see if you prefer playing by using this popular method or not, but as we said before, baccarat is a game of chance and there’s not much you can do to affect the odds as soon as a hand has started, but you can test out the card counting method and then decide for yourself whether it’s useful or not.
HOW TO CARD COUNT IN BACCARAT
The purpose of a card counting baccarat strategy is to find out when it will be more favorable to bet on the player depending on the cards that have already been dealt from the shoe. There’s only the tiniest of differences between the banker or the player winning the hand, so you will have plenty of opportunities to place a bet on a winning hand. In order to card count in baccarat, you need to be playing a version of the game which has a six-deck or eight-deck shoe. Contrary to what you might believe, you don’t have to me a mathematical genius as the counting is easy in small numbers. The counting rules are as follows:
1) COUNT 1 FOR ACES, TWOS AND THREES
For every ace, two or three that is dealt from the shoe, you’ll need to count 1.
• Count 2 for every four dealt from the shoe.
• Count minus 1 when a five, seven, or eight are dealt from the shoe.
• Count minus 2 when a six is dealt from the show.
• Count 0 when every King, Queen, Jack, Ten and Nine is dealt from the show.
You keep counting as long as the game is from a single shoe for the count. The higher the number the count is, your odds of winning a player bet become higher and higher. Once you hit count 16, it’s better to place your wager on the player than the banker, when it’s lower, than 16 then keep betting on the banker. Tie bets are too risky to place at all unless that’s what you are after. Once a new shoe is used, then you need to start counting again.
The theory behind using card counting in your betting strategy is that the house edge will depend on the cards left in the shoe. When there are less fives, sixes and eights the house edge will be in favor of the player, and similarly when there are less aces, twos, threes and fours in the shoe then the house edge will favor the banker instead of the player. By monitoring which cards are no longer in the shoe and which ones remain you can make a decision over which bet will be more likely than the other.
As Baccarat is a game of luck, with each hand played being totally independent of the previous one, there isn’t much you can do to improve your odds. Having said this, there is a baccarat strategy of staying clear of a few things so you avoid inadvertently decreasing your odds.
• Start betting without knowing the rules first.
• Start playing until you check the minimum bets. Baccarat has a higher minimum bet than most games, and it differs from casino to casino. Make sure you are aware what it is before placing your chips!
• Place bet after bet on a tie. Ties only occur about once every 9.5 hands so you could waste a lot of money waiting for this outcome.
• Don’t continue betting for a long time while you are on a winning streak, as you are more likely to lose it all on a lost bet.
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