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.
Know About Baccarat History
The fascinating and colorful history of baccarat dates as far back as the 1400s when it was invented by an ardent Italian gambler called Felix Falguierein. Baccarat is derived from the Italian word “baccara” which simply means “zero,” reflecting the fact that all face cards and tens have a value of zero.
Though the game initially began with popular medieval-era tarot cards, these were soon replaced by the standard playing cards, and the game made its way to France where it took the moniker Chemin de Fer, a variant of Baccarat en Banque. Between the 18th century and 19th century, the game of baccarat spread quickly across Europe.
It’s believed that Tommy Renzoni, a write-cum-gambler, brought the game to Las Vegas from Cuba. The rest, as they say, is history. And now, baccarat is permitted in all brick-and-mortar and online casinos in US states where gambling is legal, including Nevada and New Jersey.
Basic Baccarat Payouts
Any baccarat strategy should consider the house edge when making the various bets. As you can see, it’s never a good idea to make the ‘suckers bet’ by betting on a tie. The banker bet has the lowest house edge, but there’s a catch!
- Player bets have a house edge of 1.24%
- Banker bets have a house edge of 1.06%
- Tie bets have a house edge of 14.4%
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.
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.
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.
Baccarat Strategy Tips Summarized
What’s the best baccarat strategy tips? We’ve tested some of the most common ones here. We’re always adding to this section, so as we hear about new strategies, we’ll put them to the test and list them here. Will an effective baccarat strategy help you win more often? Read these pieces and you’ll find out the best way to play the game of baccarat for your personality type, goals, and available bankroll.
- Don’t look for patterns – despite perceived hot or cold streaks, treat each hand like a separate event.
- Make the smart bet – betting on the banker is statistically the best bet you can make.
- Forget the tie bet – despite the promise of a large payout, this bet has the worst odds and is not recommended.
- Keep it brief – baccarat is a sprint, not a marathon, unlike other table games.
- Go with your gut – sometimes the best strategy is to not have a strategy.
- Check out the competition – some tables offer lower commissions for banker wins.
- Pay attention to each table – other tables charge commissions higher than the 5% standard.
- Look for tables with fewer than 8 decks – tables that utilize fewer decks are more advantageous to a skilled player.
- Playing baccarat online lets players practice their skills before choosing to play for real money.
- Baccarat card counting: card counting is the process of tracking which cards have been dealt over the course of multiple hands
Baccarat Strategy Tips
Though the game of baccarat is simple to understand, the following tips should be followed in order to maximize your betting advantage to earn consistent wins. These tips will effectively improve your baccarat strategy.
Baccarat Strategy Tips 1: Don't Look For Patterns
When first learning how to play baccarat, new players will often overlook this baccarat strategy. There are those that claim in order to win the game of baccarat, you need to keep track of patterns. Many baccarat tables will keep track of results for a particular game; meaning whether the winning outcomes have been bank, player or tie. Despite supposed winning hot or cold streaks, in baccarat the odds are similar to determining whether a coin toss will come up heads or tails. Each result is a separate event, and though you can try your best to determine what the outcome will be, it is impossible to establish a sure-fire method for winning. Just have fun, and don’t stress yourself over potential sequences. You will ultimately enjoy baccarat much more if you don’t keep track of every hand.
Baccarat Strategy Tips 2: Make The Smart Bet
The moment you sit down at the baccarat table, you might wonder, which bet is better: banker or player? Since betting on the banker is taxed a 5% commission by the house, this bet might seem like an unattractive option for the new baccarat player. However, statistically, the banker bet is the safer bet to make despite the fractional cut on every win. It has a lower house edge, thus the payout makes it worth it in the long term. Over time, the banker bet will typically win 50.68% versus 49.32% on the player bet. This might not seem like much, but this fraction of a percentage will translate into steady gains over time.
Baccarat Strategy Tips 3: Forget The Tie Bet
Any experienced baccarat player will tell you that the tie bet is the worst bet that a player can make. The payout for a tie wager might look tempting, however, you have to be very lucky to pull this bet off because it only pays off 9% of the time! Of course, if you do manage to pull off the tie bet, the payout is quite lucrative, which is what makes it so appealing. That said, unless you are legitimately psychic and can accurately predict precisely when it will show; betting money on the tie bet simply is not worth hurting your future fortunes.
Baccarat Strategy Tips 4: Keep It Brief
Baccarat players more often than not experience short winning streaks followed by a brief drop that can turn into big losses. Unlike a game like blackjack, which can grant patient players long and lucrative upswings, baccarat is more of a sprint than a marathon. The trick to winning regularly in baccarat is to catch an upswing and ride it for as long as long as possible. It’s important to avoid getting too greedy and to dip out early before things take a turn for the worse. Otherwise, your bankroll will feel the repercussions. It’s best to keep your sessions short, particularly if you keep switching between your banker and player bets. As general guide, sit down to play for 10-15 minutes, then walk away before things get ugly. Switch tables if you have to. It’s best to keep it short and sweet.
Baccarat Strategy Tips 5: Go With Your Gut
Even after you’ve played baccarat for awhile, you might feel like you’ve come up with a reliable system that ensures you consistent returns over the long term. In reality, the science only goes so far. Sometimes, uncertainty can be a good thing; and playing and making wagers based on hunches are what make gambling so much fun. Despite all the potential strategies such as keeping scorecards and going with perceived streaks, sometimes it’s best to just go with your gut when you are not sure what bet to make. Statistically, this doesn’t lower your chances of winning, so why not have some fun!
We’ve heard of beginner’s luck, or perhaps even been at casino when a total rookie comes in not knowing what they are doing and wins big; these are the kind of people that typically have the most fun and potentially can win the most money. In baccarat, sometimes overthinking can create losers. Don’t forget to enjoy the game.
Baccarat Strategy Tips 6: Check Out The Competition
The 5% commission is usually the standard when it comes to betting on the banker in baccarat, which cannot be negotiated. However, in land-based casinos, it is not impossible for players to find baccarat tables that are willing to take a smaller percentage of wins on banker bets. Although a 1% commission reduction might sound like nothing, it can definitely make a difference in the long term and keep your bankroll in the positive. This does not mean that you can barter with the dealer – the commission is law at every casino. However, when you’re hitting the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip or spending a weekend with your buddies in Atlantic City, it is possible to find baccarat tables competing with a host of other casinos by lowering the commission rate. Some casinos even offer no-commission baccarat – but the banker bet wins on 6 only pays half, so the no-commission offer may be too good to be true.
Baccarat Strategy Tips 7: Pay Attention To Each Table
Though most baccarat tables only collect a 5% commission on banker bets, do not assume that this counts as the standard for all casinos. Some casinos have baccarat tables that collect as much as 10% or even a 25% commission on banker bet wins. Be mindful of the rules and minimums listed on each table for the casino of your choice. And if you do decide to go with the tie bet, pay attention to the table’s payout for this specific bet. While many casinos offer 8:1 or even 9:1 odds, some are sneaky and can pay as low as 6:1 or sometimes even lower. Even if you don’t go for this risky maneuver, take note anyway – if the casino has adjusted the payout on the tie bet, it’s likely that they’ve messed around with other crucial aspects as well.
Baccarat Strategy Tips 8: The Fewer, The Better
Baccarat tables at land-based casinos generally incorporate 8 standard decks of cards in a shoe (editor’s note: the shoe is the name for the plastic card holder the dealer draws from). Playing baccarat online is different because the digital format does not use physical cards. Smart players will have a slight advantage if they are able find a baccarat table that uses fewer than 8 decks. Although these are not easy to find there are baccarat tables that use 4 to 6 decks. If you happen to come across such a table, feel free to disregard our previous tip about keeping playtime short. The most skilled players can card count with fewer decks, and can predict with fair accuracy the outcome of an upcoming hand. The most elite professionals have been known to perform what is known as “edge-sorting” in order to gain an overwhelming advantage over the house. The most famous of these is Phil Ivey, who managed to win over $20 million at two world-renowned casinos in baccarat using this technique.
Baccarat Strategy Tips 9: Play Baccarat Online vs. Brick And Mortar
Whether you enjoy the atmosphere of casinos or prefer to play in the privacy of your home, baccarat is an exciting game on and offline. The critical difference is playing big or mini-baccarat on the casino floor or playing with a live dealer or standard table game online. Like most online casino games, non-live dealer versions of baccarat are digital, therefore the number of cards in a shoe is unlimited. This does not make the game any more difficult to learn. In fact, players can choose to practice online free as most baccarat online casinos offer instant play versions for all of their casino games. This allows players to improve their skills and up confidence in their game. Play baccarat today free at Planet 7 Online Casino. Simply register for an account. You can choose to practice your skills or make a deposit to start winning real money on all of your favorite casino games today!
Baccarat Strategy Tips 10: Baccarat Card Counting
Card counting is the process of tracking which cards have been dealt over the course of multiple hands to increase your chances of placing a winning bet. It’s a popular strategy for blackjack, and some believe it can be applied to baccarat as well.
When done correctly, counting cards in baccarat can help you select the most profitable bet and reduce the house edge. However, the advantage is very slim and card counting in baccarat is only marginally profitable. Baccarat card counting is viable at a land-based casino or in a live dealer game. It won’t work in an online casino, as there is no shoe and the system can shuffle the cards at any point.
Card counting is still a useful skill to have and can help you hone your baccarat winning strategy. If you want to learn the basics, you can review our easy baccarat card counting guide below.
How to Count Cards in Baccarat
First, find a baccarat table with a freshly loaded shoe. This will give you a clean slate and help you get used to the cadence of baccarat card counting.
When a card is dealt (whether it’s to you, the Banker, or another Player), you add or subtract to your “count” depending on the card’s value. Your “count” is simply a number that helps you determine which bet to place on the next hand. Here are the card values that will help you get started:
- Ace, 2, or 3: +1
- 4: +2
- 5, 7, or 8: -1
- 10, Jack, Queen, or King: 0 (neutral)
Naturally, the count will increase or decrease over time based on the cards being dealt. The total of your count helps you decide which bet to place. On a count of +16 or higher, you wager on the Player hand. At +15 or lower, bet the Banker.
When you break down this baccarat strategy step by step, the process is quite simple:
1. Tally your count using the value above as a hand is played. If you’re playing with a Banker and one other player, it could look like this:
- Your hand: Ace, 7 (total: 0)
- Other Player hand: 4, 2 (total: 3)
- Banker hand: Jack, 4: (total: 2)
2. The count now totals +5, so you bet on the Banker for the next hand.
Card counting in baccarat reduces the house edge by a small margin when done correctly. As cards are removed from the shoe, they make it more likely for either the Player or Banker bet to win. If you can do it well, card counting can give you a small advantage in baccarat.
Now that you’ve read through our complete baccarat strategy tips, you’re ready to take what you’ve learned and put it to the test! You can apply these strategies at online casino to win real money. You’ll receive a welcome bonus when you join, and you can use it to play baccarat and a variety of other casino games.