Baccarat is one of those casino table games that has changed a lot in recent years. We are not talking about the rules of the game or the way it is played, but more and more people nowadays are getting involved in playing the game. The reach of Baccarat has increased exponentially, and it is no more the game only meant to be played by people in suits or evening gowns.
The game itself is straightforward to understand, has low house edges and excellent odds to make it a very popular game at every casino, and hence most casinos nowadays definitely like to keep games like these on the gambling floor.
The game of Baccarat begins when the dealer deals two cards each to the Banker as well as the player who has the ‘shoe.’ The shoe is indicative of whose turn it is among the players on the table.
On each turn, the player has the option to bet for the player as well as the banker, also more so known as Punto and Banco. The third option for a bet, although rarely used, is the standoff or for a tie. Some casinos allow the players to deal in turn or there is a separate dealer. The players also can opt not to place a bet, hence passing the shoe to the next player on the table. The dealer can also provide the players with paper and pencil for the easy keeping of the records of their bets and winnings.
Let’s dig more into the game by learning about the rules and payouts first before we can evaluate the most profitable strategies.
Rules of the game
The rules of Baccarat, for anyone familiar with any kind of casino game, are very simple and easy to understand. The game is played with six or eight shoe decks. The dealer (separate person or one of the players not involved in current round) will deal two to three cards each to the player as well as the banker.
The player involved in the current round, or simply the player that has the shoe, can place bets on one of the three outcomes. He can bet on the player’s hand, on the banker’s hand or on a tie (known as standoff).
For the bet to win or lose, there is a straight comparison between the hands of the dealer and the player. Tens or faces have zero value, aces have value 1 and cards from 2-9 have their face value. The better hand is decided by adding the values of the cards included in the hand. If the sum goes into double digits, the ten’s place is discarded, for example, five is the same as fifteen, which is the same as twenty-five as the tens place is discarded anyway.
Three card rules:
If the player or the dealer has a hand with a total of 8 or 9, no cards are drawn further. The hand is said to be normal or natural.
If the player’s total equals or is less than 5, the player is dealt a third card. If the player takes the third card, the bank decides to take a third card according to its third card rule.
If the bank’s total is less than or equal to 2, the banker draws a third card.
If the bank’s total is 3, the bank draws the third card if the player’s third card is not an 8.
If the bank’s total is 4, the bank will draw a card if and only if the player’s third card is not either a 0 (10 or higher) or a 1, 8 or a 9.
If the bank’s total is 5, the bank will draw a card if the player’s third card is 4, 5, 6 or 7.
If the bank’s total is 6, it will draw a third card if the player’s third card is 6 or 7. The bank stands without getting the third card on having a total of 7 or higher on the first two cards.
A popular mini-version of Baccarat is also available to play in casinos, known as the mini-Baccarat having max fun. Usually, the Baccarat is a leisure filled game with around 35-40 rounds per hour. But the Mini-Baccarat is fast paced and can go up to 150 to 200 rounds per hour. Now that is fast, and hence needs more quick thinking on your feet, and more alertness to be aware of ever so changing scenarios. This way, the Mini-Baccarat can turn into maximum winning or can even bankrupt you!
The payouts and house edges:
The payouts in Baccarat are very simple: the player is paid even amount of the bet he or has placed if the bet is successful on the player or the banker. That is, one is to one payout of the bet if you placed a bet on the player winning of the banker winning and the result was as you predicted (or placed a bet on).
If the player decides to bet on a tie, the payout is either eight or nine times the bet amount in case the bet is successful. The eight is to one, or the nine is to one are the most standard payouts for a standoff bet, and they can vary from casino to casino.
The house edges on player’s bet are around 1.1% for six as well as eight-deck Baccarat and slightly less for Banker’s bet. The tie bet, however, has a high house edge of around 14-15% depending on the rules the casino has set for the table. Remember to read all the payout schemes as well as the house edges before participating in any casino games, especially when there are many variations of the same casino game that goes by very similar names.
Strategies to Win at Baccarat
As now you know almost everything about the game Baccarat, let’s get straight into how to make most of the money you have. Here are some of the strategies to be used in Baccarat that will definitely give you an advantage.
Never bet on the tie bet. Even though the payouts are lucrative and however you think it is the likely outcome, it is no so most of the time. It has a high percentage of house edge as well (at least 14% in most casinos), and that makes the tie bet or the standoff a completely worthless bet.
Banker is your best bet. No doubts here. It has the most probability of occurring, and at more than half-chances, you are always betting safe on the banker. What’s more interesting is that the house edges on the banker’s bet are very low, and that makes it a good all-around bet in the game of Baccarat.
One of the prime strategies you can try out at Baccarat is kept going with the banker until it loses. However, you should remember, that having a streak on banker doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the streak will continue. So, you should refrain yourself from going all out on such streaks just because you are winning.
When the player wins, and you were betting consistently on the Banker, take a breath and do not immediately turn the ride. Rather, wait for one decision before putting up any more bids. Whatever that decision is, that is what you should bet!
The tie literally does not count! It is the condition where neither the Banker nor the Player loses. And hence, if the game goes like this: Banker, Banker, Tie; you should continue betting on the Banker as if nothing happened.
Martingale Strategy: You need some money management to try this strategy, though. It simply includes doubling your bet until you score a winning hand.
Golden Eagle: This strategy involves rotating the bets on Player and the banker based on a few of the previous outcomes. This strategy is easy to learn and implement and involves low buy-in money and bankroll requirements. It takes an hour or two for any familiar Baccarat player to learn, but it is well worth the time.
Silver Tiger: This is a bit more aggressive strategy than the Golden Eagle and has some exit strategy to lock in more big wins in less time. The strategy has its own bet placement instructions and a unique betting sequence.
The most essential thing while gambling is to understand the rules of the game you are gambling in, and get to know the game inside out. Once you start learning some strategies, be sure to check them out on free to play games, which do not involve any actual money. This way, you can test the strategy yourself, your understanding of them, and all of that without losing any of your money.
Many online platforms allow the players to play Baccarat online, without any requirement for debit or credit card verification, and they allow the players to play anonymously as well. Such platforms are a great place to start with if you wish to learn more about casino games without losing your actual money.