In this article, we are going to take a lot at the game of baccarat. It has a reputation as a game exclusively for high rollers and celebrities with a hint of mystery surrounding it. Luckily for those of us that don’t own a tuxedo or have a 7 digit bank balance online casinos have removed the hurdles and now anyone with an internet connection can see what all the fuss is about. If you’ve never played before you’ll soon find out what a thrilling game it is but also how ridiculously easy it is to play!
It’s also the favourite game of James Bond, any game that’s endorsed by 007 has to be worth playing, doesn’t it?
If you are brand new to the game or have played before and are looking for some baccarat strategy tips to increase your odds then check out our pointers below.
You can learn how to play baccarat in just a few minutes but there’s no point going into the game blind without understanding the bets. This is more relevant when you are playing at a land-based casino but it’s still wise to know what you are doing when playing online. We always suggest playing in the free mode at an online casino before playing for real money games online or at a live casino.
To briefly recap on the rules of the game. You have a choice of betting on the banker or the player, two cards are dealt to each hand and the closest to 9 wins the round. There will be certain occasions when a third card will be drawn, this is done automatically and a player doesn’t need to know the third card rules to play the game. While they are not essential to play the game they are still worth learning as it makes it a lot clearer. Really that’s all there is to it.
Play the Banker Bet
When you bet on the banker in baccarat the probability of winning is 45.86% and the house edge is 1.06%. If you compare this to the player bet with a probability of winning at 44.63% and a house edge of 1.24% you can easily see which is the best bet to play in baccarat. Even after paying the 5% commission on winnings to the house, the banker bet is still the preferred bet. The banker bet gets its edge in the same way as the dealer hand in the game of Blackjack goes by drawing last. The only real disadvantage that always betting on the banker bet has is that it can get a bit boring. There’s nothing to stop you mixing it up but as baccarat is a game of chance you can still win playing other bets. If you want to use odds based baccarat strategy then stick with the banker. If you want to mix things up a bit and ride the winning streaks then incorporate the next two strategies after starting with the banker’s bet.
Keep Playing the Banker Until It loses
Making the best of your winning streaks is how you can win over the short term. If you have wagered on the banker to win keep playing this bet but don’t be overly aggressive keep it at an even keel and carry on playing the banker until the winning streak ends. Part of a good strategy that can be applied to all casino games is to manage your bets sensibly.
When The Banker's Bet Loses Wait For a Round
Once your winning streak with the banker’s bet ends sit out for the next round and smell the roses! Whatever the decision is this will be the bet you go with next be it player or banker.
Don't Play the Tie Bet
When you bet on the player hand the house edge is 1.24% and 1.06% for the banker. So the odds look pretty good compared to some casino games. But then there’s the tie bet with a 14.4% house edge, that’s why we suggest you should treat it as if it doesn’t exist! The only bet that is worse than the tie bet is keno which has a house edge between 15-29%.
Baccarat Money Management
The best baccarat strategy we can teach you is money management. Before you enter the game have a strategy in place and stick with it. Bankroll management requires discipline and planning. So as an example if you decide to wager 5 units for each decision, then plan on a bankroll of 200 units which would give you a session of around an hour with 40 decisions to play.
Manage your Emotions
Managing your emotions is connected to money management, all sorts of chemicals are whirling around our brain when we are gambling. Keeping them under control can be difficult when we are on a winning streak and think we are going to the moon! The reverse is the case when we hit that losing streak and our mood plummets. Walk away at the right time and come back to fight another day!
Quit the Game When you are Ahead
Before you start your baccarat session have a figure in mind that you’d be happy to walk away with. As soon as you hit that amount then you stop playing that session and come away with your winnings and a smile on your face ready to play another day!
Play with Fewer Decks
The standard baccarat game is played with eight decks of cards but sometimes you can get lucky and find games with four or six decks which makes the odds a little more preferable.
Play Shorter Blackjack Sessions
Eventually, the house edge will beat you it’s inevitable. There is no strategy devised as yet that will win against the house advantage over time. The best way to make sure that you don’t keep on playing long after you should have stopped is to set a certain amount of sessions you’ll play. Usually, there will be 40-50 decisions in an hour so you could choose a time limit to play, say one hour or to stop after 50 decisions.
Make Sure of the Odds
Most baccarat tables will offer the same odds, the player bet will almost always pay out at evens. What you do need to look out for is the commission on the banker bet. The standard rate is 5% but some when playing baccarat online and at a land-based casino always check beforehand as it can vary with a few offering it for less than the standard rate and some up to 25%!
Beware of the Risks of the Mini Baccarat Table
It’s very easy to be seduced by the mini-baccarat table with its low stake bets and smaller table. You need to keep in mind that the dealer is dealing the cards and the game is played at a much faster rate than traditional baccarat. Typically you can expect 200 decisions per hour if luck isn’t with you, your bankroll can be decimated in no time.
Make Use of the Dealers
If you are playing at a land-based or live dealer casino online with a chatbox function you are free to ask the dealer any questions you might have about the game. They are professionals with a deep knowledge of the games so they should be able to answer any questions you have about any baccarat rules you don’t understand.
Understand That Baccarat is a Game of Luck
There are dozens of strategy systems available that supposedly help you win at baccarat. But we can ensure you whatever the strategy if luck isn’t on your side on any given day then it’s not going to make an iota of difference. Experienced baccarat players will tell you if you have that gut feeling that a session isn’t going down well, then walk away and come back and play at another time.
Only Play Baccarat at Reputable Online Casinos
If you are going to play baccarat at an online casino then we suggest checking out the ones that we recommend on this site as they have all been thoroughly checked to ensure that they are licenced and regulated. In addition to being safe places to play, you’ll find the best games and some awesome bonuses to boost your baccarat bankroll!
So there you go 15 awesome baccarat tips to keep in mind when you next play baccarat online or at a land-based casino. Baccarat is one of the games with the best odds [if you avoid the tie bet] at the casino. It’s an exciting fast-paced game that can be learned in minutes. Grab your martini, shaken not stirred and find out why James Bond chose baccarat as his favourite casino game.