Strategies in Baccarat
To become a successful baccarat player, you not only need to understand the rules but also the various gaming strategies that exist. It’s no secret that baccarat is a game of chance rather than skill, but that doesn’t mean you can’t implement certain strategies to give you a bit of an edge. There is no strategy in baccarat that will guarantee you a victory, but you can learn how to maximize your odds of winning and better manage your money while playing.
Mastering the Game
Before you can even think about using baccarat strategies, you need to have a solid grasp of the rules. A standard game of baccarat uses six to eight decks with two hands dealt: The Banker’s hand and the Player’s hand.
The dealer places two cards on the table. The tens and face cards are zero points, while all other cards are worth their face value. The Ace is one point. If the total value of your hand is a two-digit number, you can only count the second digit.
- Banker receives a 10 and an 8.
Player receives 9 and 2.
In this example, the banker is the winner because 0 + 8 = 8 points, while the Player’s hand is only 1 point because even though 9 + 2 = 11, only the second digit is counted.
While the game can get a little more complicated than this, this is the overall gist of it.
Betting on the Banker
When you plan baccarat, you are not limited to just the “Player.” You can also bet on the Banker. In fact, you should always bet on the Banker.
What makes this the best bet of the game has to do with the house edge. While the house edge of a Player’s bet is 1.24%, the house edge of a Banker’s bet is just 1.06%. The only other option is the Tie bet which has very low odds, meaning you shouldn’t choose it.
So, this strategy is simple. Grab a baccarat table and put your money on the Banker. Wait until it’s the right time to cash out while remembering basic money management tips to avoid preventable losses.
Baccarat Pattern Tracking
In the game of baccarat, pattern tracking is the process of keeping track of the outcomes of previous rounds in an attempt to identify trends that you can use to predict what hand will win next.
As statistics show that the Banker will win 45.843% of the time, the Player will win 44.615% of the time, and a Tie will occur 9.543% of the time, you can use these numbers to determine which hand is likely to win next.
In a land-based casino, you would have to keep track of these numbers in your head. However, online casinos make it easy to track patterns by recording wins on a display, referred to as the ‘Big Road.’
You may be familiar with card counting if you have ever played blackjack. However, this strategy is not exclusive to this other table game. Card counting can also be effective in baccarat if the conditions are right. In addition, you don’t need to be a math wiz to use this strategy.
For card counting to work in baccarat, you must be playing at a table that uses either a 6-deck or an 8-deck shoe. You must also start counting when the shoe is fresh. In live baccarat found in online casinos, the shoe changes about every 30 minutes. This is when you’ll want to join the game.
When you join the game with a fresh shoe, begin your count at zero. Depending on the cards that appear after this point, you will either increase or decrease your count. If an Ace, 2, or 3 is dealt, add 1 to your count; if a 4 is dealt, add 2. If a 5, 7, or 8 is dealt, subtract 1 from your count. If a 6 is dealt, subtract 2. If a 9, 10, J, Q, or K is dealt, add 0 to your account.
It may take a couple of rounds, but you’ll start to notice whether or not it’s better to place a bet on the Banker or Player. If the count is lower than 16, bet on the Banker. Suppose your count is above 16, bet on the Player. Simply avoid the Tie.
The 1-3-2-4 Strategy
The 1-3-2-4 baccarat strategy is based on the fact that either the Player or Banker has a roughly 50% chance of winning. With fairly even odds, either one could win.
To use this strategy in baccarat, you will follow a simple progression. In the first round, bet 1 unit. In the second round, bet 3; in the third, 2; and in the fourth, 4. However, you will only progress to the next number in the sequence if you win a hand. You will need to start from the beginning if you lose.
Each number in the sequence represents the number of units to wager in that particular round. For example, if each unit is equal to $/£/€1 and you win all four rounds, you would end with a profit of $/£/€10.
Other Tips for Winning
So you already know that you should stick with the Banker bet and never make the “Tie” bet. We also reviewed some other great strategies in baccarat that help put the odds in your favor. Here are a few more tips you can implement to ensure victory.
- Steer clear of mini-baccarat. In standard baccarat, you can expect to play about 40 decisions per hour. In mini-baccarat, you can play up to 150 to 200 decisions. This is far too fast and can result in major money loss.
- Practice good money management. Set a cut-off goal before you even start and if you lose that amount of money, stop playing.
- Don’t break a run. If you are betting on the Banker and the Banker continues winning, don’t suddenly switch and start betting on the Player. Stick it out until the end.
No matter what strategies or tips you choose to use while playing baccarat, it is important to remember that the outcome of each hand is entirely independent of your decisions. However, familiarizing yourself with baccarat odds and following a system can help you keep better track of your bets and may increase your odds of winning.