Casino baccarat is one of the table games that come with the best odds for the player. It is worth choosing for regular play and more complex betting strategies.
Its theoretical house edge that can go as low as 1.06% makes it one of the best among table games. More so, it makes baccarat worth learning if you want to play and have a good chance to win.
The practical and fact-based introductory elements you will read will teach you how to play baccarat and win.
Learn the Game Basics First
You will have enough time and resources to learn how to play like an expert at the table. But, for now, the baccarat basics have the priority.
Baccarat is a card comparing table game played between players and one banker. In on-land and online casinos, the dealer occupies the position of banker.
Card and Hand Values
The game’s dynamics depend on the hand values of you, the player, and the banker. Essentially, the one with a higher value wins.
However, cards have specific signification in baccarat. Numbered cards amount to the value written on them, except for 10 cards. These and face cards amount to zero, while aces take the value of 1.
You can compare the functioning of baccarat to some versions of blackjack, the main difference being that there is no busting hand.
In casino baccarat, the maximum you can hold is 9. A hand value summing up to 10 amounts to zero instead. More so, if you exceed the total, you must subtract 10. That will be your new score.
A hand containing a seven and an ace amounts to 8. A seven and a three equal zero, while, say, two sevens would total 14, but result in a hand valued at 4, since you must subtract 10.
Both the player and the dealer follow the same hand value dynamics.
Hands valued at 8 or 9 are referred to as naturals. Additional drawing rules apply if neither the player nor the banker have naturals from the two initial cards.
If the total falls anywhere from 0 to 5, an additional card is dealt. Both the banker and player stand for 6 or 7 valued hands.
Once the player draws a third card, the dealer must follow a set of specific rules:
Banker Rules Depend on Player’s Third Card
- The banker total is 2 or less – the dealer draws a card regardless.
- The total is 3 – the banker draws unless the player’s third card is 8.
- Its total is 4 – the dealer will draw unless the player’s third card falls in the 2-7 interval.
- The banker’s total is 5 – they draw another card unless the third player card falls in the 4-7 interval.
- The total is 6 – the dealer draws unless the third player card is 6 or 7.
- The banker stands for 7, regardless of other elements.
Who Wins in Baccarat?
You now have an idea of card dealing and hand total dynamics work. However, learning how to play baccarat and win is a different story.
Your aim is not to have a better hand than the dealer’s, like in blackjack. Rather, you place your wager on which participant you think will win.
In most game versions, you have three bet options: player, banker, or tie bets. Their meanings are self-evident. However, this fact denotes that you can bet against your own hand and still win.
The Essential for Your Success
The only theoretically viable way to learn how to play baccarat and win is by assessing the odds and payouts of each bet.
We will consider the probabilities of being right with each wager in a standard Punto Banco game played with eight decks.
- Player hands have a 44.62% chance to win and 45.85% to lose.
- The banker’s hand has a higher 51% chance of winnings in any round.
- The probability of a game ending in a tie are around 9.29%.
Given the discrepancy in outcome probabilities, the wager payout amounts are adjusted accordingly.
Player hand wins have a payout of 1:1, read as one-to-one. Thus, if you guess correctly that the player’s hand is the winner, you receive the equivalent of your initial bet, plus your initial wagered sum returned. In other words, you double your stake.
Banker hands have a range of payouts, depending on the game type. The payout ranges from 0.95:1 to 0.9:1. You get a little less than your bet amount, with 5 to 10% of it being taken as a dealer commission. However, no-commission baccarat is an existing option and would be the most advantageous version for the player. Unfortunately, no commission games have an added rule for the dealer winning on 6s, resulting in worse odds.
Tie bets are very unlikely to succeed, and the payout reflects that. It generally amounts to 9:1 or 8:1.
The objective outcomes, along with the specific payout amounts for each and the card drawing rules, generate an overall description of the bank's edge over the player.
The House Edge
In gambling theory, the house edge denotes the game organiser's theoretical advantage over a player. It describes the wager fraction that the casino will keep over time.
The one specificity of the game and the essential for knowing how to play baccarat and win is that each bet type has a different house edge.
Betting on the player comes with a house advantage of around 1.24%. This value indicates that for 100 credits you wager, the casino will (theoretically) keep 1.24 of them. Tie bets are disastrously disadvantageous for the player, with the house edge varying between 4.85% for the 8:1 payout, to 14.4% for the 9:1 payout.
However, the best bet you can place in baccarat is on the dealer. The bet will come with a 1.06% house edge, the lowest possible in the standard game. This bet is what you should go for to have a fighting chance.
The Best Possible Approach
Here is how to play baccarat and win most often. You should continuously place small wagers on the banker's hand.
This approach will guarantee that you will have as many winning rounds as possible. Note that we are only going off statistical results, so we only make informed predictions.
Should You Stick to One Bet?
You may expect our advice to imply strategic changes from one bet to another when it calls for it. This is not the case.
Each casino baccarat round has an evenly distributed probability for its outcomes. Granted, the dealer will discard some cards, but the effect of previously dealt hands are minimal when the game is played with six to eight decks.
Thus, the bet house edge is the only certainty you can go off when making decisions.
What Will Help More
Think, instead, about your long-term betting variations and strategy. Look into general wagering strategies that can apply to baccarat, such as the martingale.
Think about the viability of such systems and stay informed by reading expert journals. You should look for the baccarat version that provides the best odds when playing online.
In the end, baccarat remains a game of chance. There is no guaranteed method of turning the odds in your favour. You may know how to play baccarat and win most often, but your luck remains the only possible factor that will ensure that you obtain an overall profit.