Top Baccarat strategies that will improve your odds
Baccarat is a popular casino comparing card game played between two hands called the Player and the Banker. Each coup consists of three possible outcomes – Tie, Banker, and Player. Despite being categorized as a game of chance, Baccarat has many strategies that can increase your win rate.
Our casino specialist team has tested some of the most efficient baccarat strategies available. After running some experiments, they concluded that the winning ones have three things in common:
- They are easy to learn;
- Offer you the ability to reduce the house edge (thus, increase your winning chance);
- They are statistically validated.
This article will explore the basics of the game and three Baccarat strategies that you can apply to your gameplay and improve your odds.
Let’s get started!
Baccarat basics guide – how to play the game
Like other popular casino card games, Baccarat is played with three to eight standard card decks, usually shuffled in a machine used for dealing called “shoe.” Despite seeming quite intimidating at first, the game only has three available outcomes, so getting your hands dirty with Baccarat is simple.
Firstly, you will have to wager your chips on one of the available bets (Player, Banker, Tie). Then, the croupier will deal two face-up cards for the Player and two for the Banker. Your goal is to guess which hand has a value that goes closest to 9. Here are the values for each card:
- Cards from 2 to 9 have their face value;
- Cards from 10 to K count as zero;
- Aces have a numerical value of 1;
To find out how much your hand worths, all you need to do is add up the numerical values of the two cards. For example, if the Player has a three and an Ace, the hand will be worth 4 points. Similarly, if the Banker gets a 6 and a 10, the hand value will be 6.
Now, what happens when your hand value is higher than 9?
In this situation, the count is adjusted by either deducting ten or getting rid of the sum’s first digit. For instance, if your Banker hand is 6 and 8, the total will be 4 instead of 14.
Additionally, if the Player hand is worth less than 5, a third card is automatically drawn. However, if the value is equal to 5, you get the option to either stand or draw a third card. Similarly, if the count of the Banker’s hand is less than 3, you will receive the third hand. However, the Banker will have to stand on any count that is 6 or higher.
What are the Baccarat Payouts?
As mentioned above, Baccarat has three possible outcomes. Let’s find out what their payouts are:
- Player Bet: if the Player hand is closer to 9 than the Banker hand, you win and be paid double or evens (1:1). Thus, if you wager $10 on the Player, you will get an additional $10, bringing you a total payout of $20.
- Banker Bet: if the Banker wins, you will be paid evens minus 5% commission. For instance, if you bet $100 on the Banker and you win, you’ll get $95 in winnings, and $5 will go to the house as a fee.
- Tie Bet: essentially, if both hands are equal, you will win the Tie bet. The payouts are set to 8:1, so if you bet $10 and the round results in a Tie, you will get $80 and keep the money you’ve bet.
Tips: If the game results in a Tie, all the Player and Banker bets will be pushed, meaning that none of the hands loses or wins, and you will retain the money you wagered. You can keep your stake as it is, remove it or add more chips.
The Baccarat bet you should avoid
Baccarat is widely regarded as one of the safest casino card games available. Still, some of the wagering options are safer than others. Our suggestion is avoiding the Tie bet at all costs, as it will quickly drain your balance.
While the Tie bet 8 for 1 payout might seem like a great deal for new players, it has the worst odds of winning, and the house edge for this bet is 14.36%. The house advantage is exceptionally high since if you were to make a thousand $1 bets, you would lose around $143.6.
Contrarly, the Banker bet has a house edge as low as 1.06%. However, if the 5% commission that the “Bank” requires you to pay seems like too much, you can go for the Player bet, which has a marginally higher house edge of 1.24%.
The bottom line? None of the working Baccarat strategies include the Tie bet, so consider avoiding it.
Pros and cons of playing Baccarat
Before we get to the advanced Baccarat strategies, you should know the main advantages and disadvantages of the game so that you know what to expect. Let’s find out:
- Baccarat is one of the easiest casino games – many casino professionals compare Baccarat’s complexity to slot machines. While this is true to some extent, since the game rules are easy to get a grasp of, being successful requires a strategy.
- Most casinos have Baccarat tables – whether you want to play online or at brick-and-mortar casinos, you will surely find a Baccarat table. Some casinos, especially internet-based ones, offer players special incentives that allow you to try out the game without committing your real money.
- You get far better results in the long run – compared to other table games such as Roulette, Baccarat has a shallow house edge (1.06%-1.24%). Thus, you will be able to play for an extended time without having to worry that the casino will drain your entire balance due to statistical advantage.
- Lack of atmosphere – Baccarat is a social casino game; thus, it requires interaction with other players to be fun. While this is possible in land-based casinos, online gaming platforms lack the social element, making the game less entertaining.
- The game won’t bring you a fortune – while high rollers enjoy playing Baccarat due to the decent payouts and low house edge, gambling experts agree that casual players won’t generally be able to win a large amount since luck plays a more critical role in the outcome than in other card games like poker or blackjack.
Three Baccarat strategies you can start using today
Throughout the years, casino enthusiasts and statisticians have been working together to create a fool-proof Baccarat strategy. However, after trying out various mathematically proven techniques, experts have concluded that beating the house edge is nearly impossible in the long run. Of course, some strategies work, yet none of them will give you a 100%-win rate.
Below, we listed three of our favourite Baccarat strategies that will bring you better returns:
1. Betting on the banker – the simplest and most effective Baccarat strategy
Everyone who has some experience with the game must have heard that you should always bet on the Banker. Despite being a total non-sense for new players, this strategy is the simplest to use, bringing the best returns.
The main argument why this technique works is that the theoretical house advantage for the Banker bet is 1.06%, which means that the return to player percent is set at 98.94%. Thus, if you were to make a hundred $1 bets, you would get approximately $98.94 back, which is slightly better than the Player bet with an RTP of 98.76%.
However, the Banker bet is not only a great choice due to its low house edge. Let’s have a closer look at the math behind the Banker betting Baccarat strategy we’ve tested:
- Statistically speaking, the Player wins 44.63%, loses 45.87%, and ends in a tie 9.51% of the time;
- On the other hand, the Banker wins 45.87%, loses 44.65%, and ties 9.51% of the time;
If we delete the ties from the equation, then the Banker has a win rate of 50.68%, while the Player only has a 49.32%-win rate. By using our logic, it’s evident that you’re more likely to win when betting on the Banker. To ensure that they are still profitable in the long run, casinos have implemented a 5% commission on all the Banker hands that win.
Even if you include the commission and exclude the hands that result in a tie from the equation, the Banker bet still has a low 1.17% house edge, which is better than the other available bets.
As a wise man once said – The numbers never lie!
By using simple calculus, you can tell that you’re more likely to make a profit if you put your money on the Banker. Of course, betting on the Player hand is still a viable strategy since the 1.36 house edge is almost as low as the Banker bet.
Be aware: The Return to Player percentage and house edge metrics are purely theoretical, meaning that they only show you whether a specific wager is better or worse than the others.
2. The D’Alembert system
Created by the famous French theorist Jean le Rond d’Alembert, this progressive system is designed to prevent you from making reckless bets and losing everything quickly while also allowing you to recoup the bets you lost.
The D’Alembert system (also known as the 1-2-3-4 system) is easy to implement in your Baccarat strategy. All you have to do is select a base unit, which should be the value of a single casino chip. Thus, if you’re playing with $1 tokens, your base unit is set to 1.
Now, for every bet, you lose, increase your next one by 1 unit. Let’s say you bet $5 in the first round, and you lost. In that case, your next bet should be $6. If you win the first hand, keep betting the same amount until you lose.
Once the first unit increase has been made, the system changes. For every winning round, you should lower the bet by one token. For example, if you bet $8 and you win, the next wager should be $7.
Tips: The D’Alembert system is a popular gambling strategy that hinges on the statistical principle that wins and losses will even out eventually. Thus, you should not expect too high returns from this Baccarat strategy.
3. The Fibonacci system
Even though some casino analysts say that it makes no sense to use the Fibonacci sequence in online gambling, this Baccarat strategy surely outperforms others. In case you need a reminder, here’s how the Fibonacci sequence looks like:
In a nutshell, the next number of the sequence is found by adding up the two numbers before it.
Unlike the previously mentioned strategies, the Fibonacci system involves a lot of math. But don’t worry, you won’t have to be a calculus prodigy to implement it in your Baccarat strategy. Here’s the trick- for every bet you lose, increase the wager value for the next round. Continue doing the cycle until you win a round.
You may be wondering why you should keep progressively increasing your wagers when you’ve already lost money previously. Well, the idea is simple – if you keep increasing your bet value despite losing, you will eventually win and recoup your previous two losing bets.
Suppose you start with a $1 bet on the Player. If you lose the first two rounds, then the third bet should be three times the original amount – $3 in our case. If the third bet results in a win, you will recover the money you lost in the first two rounds.
This Baccarat strategy is quite intuitive. All you have to do is bet by following the Fibonacci sequence: $1 until you lose, then increase it to $2 until you lose, then $3,$5, $8, $13, and so on.
No matter what stage you’re on in the sequence, you should immediately revert the bet to the original amount if you win.
Be aware: While the Fibonacci System looks ideal on paper, it only works if you have an infinite balance. However, in a real-life situation, it will quickly drain your balance, so you should only use this strategy for short-term profit.
After reading this in-depth Baccarat tutorial, you are ready to go out there and try out these strategies to make some profit. If you’re afraid of committing real money, you can start with a Baccarat simulator and test your skills with demo funds. However, playing on a simulation won’t be as entertaining since you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings.
Our team of casino specialists recommends choosing a Baccarat bonus from our site and beginning your journey with an online gambling platform. Of course, remember to gamble responsibly and if you ever feel like you’re no longer playing for fun, make sure you reach out to a gambling addiction specialist.