Baccarat is a simple yet exciting card game, great for new and seasoned players alike. It presents some of the best odds in the casino, and although there are various strategies that players can adopt, in truth, little skill is needed to play as this is essentially a game of chance.
Whether you're playing a live casino game or a solo version, the goal of baccarat is always the same; to predict which of the two hands dealt will win. A win is determined by which hand lands the highest count closest to nine.
There can be anywhere from seven to 14 players involved in a game, and the number of seats available depends on the version of baccarat you are playing. Regardless of the number of players seated, only two hands of cards are dealt - the Player’s and the Banker’s.
At no point in the game will you or other players handle your own cards nor will you play against each other. Each player has their own betting area, with the dealer standing front and centre in full view. Cards are pre-shuffled and drawn face-up for players to see. In each round, you must choose from these three options:
For all winning bets on the Banker’s hand, the dealer takes a 5% commission. In full baccarat, a rectangle is located on the table and filled with numbers to track commissions. Each number represents a player - when a commission is owed, it's marked through the number. In other baccarat games, a commission circle is placed next to each individual betting area. When you are ready to pay and leave the table, the dealer will refer to the rectangle or circle to settle the debt as needed.
The aim is for you to bet on the hand that will land the highest count (the count closest to nine). The value of a hand cannot be higher than this. Kings, queens, jacks and tens hold zero value, whilst cards two through nine are worth face value. Aces are worth one point.
When it comes to adding up points, if the value of the cards drawn reaches double digits, the first number is discounted and the last number becomes representative of the value of the hand. So, if the points total 10, the hand's value becomes zero.
The Martingale Strategy is widely recognized in casinos around the world and revolves around the single rule of doubling your bet value after each loss. The rationale behind this approach is that eventual wins will offset accumulated losses. To effectively employ this strategy, be consistent with your betting units. Staying within your predetermined minimum and maximum limits is crucial to maintaining the viability of the strategy.
Flip the Martingale System around and you get the Paroli Strategy. Instead of doubling your bets after a loss, double your bets each time you win.
Let’s say you bet $1.00 and win. In the next round you would bet $2.00. The doubling up on bets continues until you eventually lose. And when that inevitably happens, drop that bet back down to its original $1.00. Now, let’s say you bet $1.00 and win, and then bet $2.00 and lose. In this case, you would go back to $1.00 and if you win again, you would bet $4.00. The ultimate goal of the Paroli strategy is to secure victories in a consecutive series of three rounds.
The Fibonacci Betting System, commonly associated with roulette, can also be adapted for use in baccarat. The strategy centres around Banker bets, adhering to a predetermined sequence of values in each round.
Start with a minimum bet and whenever you win, move on to the next value within the sequence. If a round is lost, go back to the start of the sequence and begin again from there. The sequence to follow is:
1 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 21 – 34 – 55 – 89 – 144 – 233 – 377 – 610 – 987
The Labouchere Strategy is one of the more complex strategies out there. Start by creating a sequence of betting values, setting your first bet according to the sum of the first and last number of that sequence.
For example, if the sequence is 2-4-6, the betting amount would total 8 (2+6). If you win, you eliminate the winning numbers (2,6) and bet according to the remaining value (4). If you lose, add the 8 to the end of the sequence which becomes 2-4-6-8 and repeat the process by making your next bet 10 (2+8).
It takes quite a lot of getting used to and you'll need to score several wins with the Labouchere Strategy before you eventually start to cover your losses or even turn a profit.
In this strategy, you set a chip size that acts as your base bet. Whenever you win, you follow the sequence (1-3-2-6 or 1-3-2-4), adding chips as necessary. We would suggest steering clear from Tie bets with this one as it's put to better use on Player and Banker bets.
3 /2 strategy is done by placing five chips of equal value across either the Banker and Banker Pairs bets or the Player and Player Pair bets and following this sequence.
Place three chips on Banker or Player. Place two chips on Banker Pair or Player Pair. Repeat these steps per round while adapting chip values to your budget.
It’s no secret that baccarat is one of the iconic 007’s favourite casino games, often prominently featured in Bond books, films and video games. Each round is played at a specific amount and split across the three bet areas. For example, you would play each round at $100, split $70 on the Banker, $25 on the Player and $5 on a Tie. Amounts can vary according to your budget, but the split should be similarly cut like the example.
The house edge in baccarat is quite low, which bodes well for players. The Banker's hand is at 1.06%, while the Player's hand sits at 1.24%.
In baccarat, 45.8% of the time the Banker’s hand will win, whilst the Player’s hand will win 44.6% of the time. That's why players tend to favour betting on the Player/Banker as a winning bet. Although it's a more assured bet, it doesn’t come free – here's a reminder that a winning bet on the Banker’s hand benefits the dealer with a 5% commission. Keep in mind that the house always holds the advantage.
The odds for Ties winning is around 9.6%, giving you a high payout of 8:1. The house edge is quite high though, at 14.36%, so placing a Tie bet can be risky.
Card counting is a strategy more suited to experienced players. By counting the cards dealt and calculating which ones are in play, the goal is to make an educated guess on the number and value of cards left to be played, and bet accordingly. However, there is widespread agreement among experts that card counting does not work in baccarat. In games where multiple rounds are dealt from a shoe, card counting becomes a potential issue. The fact that there are no known professional baccarat card counters or teams further supports this idea.
It's important to prioritize bankroll management in baccarat and remember that there’s a time to raise the stakes, and a time to walk away. It’s in your interest to know when to do what. To help manage your bankroll we suggest:
At the end of the day, baccarat is a game of chance. It’s best to view these strategies as ways of making the game more interesting and fun, rather than as keys to success.
This is a more advanced baccarat betting strategy. The idea is to place wagers on the opposite outcome from the previous round. So, if the Player won the previous round, wager on the Banker, and vice-versa.
The Martingale Strategy is the most successful baccarat strategy, evidenced by its global popularity.
Baccarat is a game of luck, although there are strategies you can use to potentially increase your chances of success.
The Banker’s hand tends to win more frequently in baccarat.
Betting on the Banker’s hand has a lower house edge, which could be seen as giving you an advantage.
Yes! Playing no-commission baccarat means that the house edge is reduced in your favour.
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