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5 Baccarat Strategies for Live and Online Play
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Do you believe baccarat is too hard to learn? Learn five baccarat strategies to play with ease in both live and online play settings.
Baccarat is considered to be one of the most popular card games in casinos, with fans understanding that it’s as much about players pitting themselves against each other first and the casino second as it is about applying strategies that can change according to the opponent. On the other hand, newer players may initially choose to play blackjack, baccarat’s cousin, because they believe that baccarat is too difficult to learn.
On the contrary, the gameplay of baccarat are quite easy to grasp and require fewer decisions on the part of the player than poker or blackjack; the part that takes time is mastering them and learning which strategies best serve your unique approach to the game. Interestingly, it is an understanding of strategy alone, not necessarily bold betting, that most often makes for a successful baccarat game. This article will equip any level of player with five basic strategies that can be practiced to achieve more consistent wins at the timeless game of baccarat.
The game of baccarat centers on three separate boxes that appear in front of every player. These boxes are associated with a different bet: the player, the banker, and the tie bet. Players select the number of chips to place on one of these boxes. Baccarat can be played with anywhere from six to nine decks of cards, which are reshuffled before the next hand regardless of how many are used.
Players receive two face-up cards in the player box on the first round, and the banker hand is received in the box. The main goal is for the player to achieve a figure as close to 9 as possible. Based on the value of the two cards that the player starts with, they can choose to stand or request another card to try to get closer to 9. Should the player hand be dealt the same points as the banker hand, the tie bet wins that hand.
Baccarat Strategies for Success
Like any game of chance, betting and winning at baccarat is about much more than knowing the rules of the game. Learning simple baccarat betting strategies can lead to winning more games and deepening your understanding of how baccarat can be successfully played. The following list represents five proven strategies you can use today to play your best baccarat game.
1. Stick to Low Wagers in the Beginning
Although the “baccarat attack system” — a strategy in which bets are increased each time a player wins — is bandied about with great frequency, there is no basis to support the idea that you will continue to win once you start winning. Stakes in baccarat games can rise quickly, even raising to millions of dollars in mere moments, so being conservative with wagering in the beginning helps ensure that you don’t make bets that can swiftly empty your bankroll. It can also be helpful to know the house edge for the game you are playing. In this case, baccarat has the lowest house edge out of any casino game at 1.06% to 1.24%.
2. Beat the Odds by Knowing the Odds
Of all tips and tactics that can help you win at baccarat, nothing is more vital than understanding that it is inherently a game of calculating probability. Remember, baccarat differs from many other similar card games in that your goal is not to beat the banker. Your goal is to always play the strongest bet in every single round. In many rounds of baccarat, that might even require you to bet against yourself.
Analyzing the table at all times helps to inform you regarding the best moment at which to place a bigger bet. Also, it’s universally accepted that baccarat is not a game that can be beat in the long run. The longer you stay at a baccarat table, your chances of losing increase exponentially. This means you need to analyze your time at the table while also calculating the odds on who is at the table with you.
3. Count Cards the Right Way
As baccarat is generally played with eight decks of cards, you would certainly need to be a math whiz to keep all of that straight. However, you should not think of baccarat counting as in any way relative to the card counting associated with blackjack. Never fear: The game of baccarat is about how you count, not how many you count.
For example, one smart way to start is by training yourself to monitor the picture cards only. Knowing that each deck contains 12 picture cards means that a total of 96 cards are of interest to you. Count down from this number as they hit the table. This allows you to know how many picture cards remain in the deck at any given time throughout the game and have some idea of potential combinations. This permits you to ascertain the best bet to make.
4. Understand What a Streak Is and Isn’t
We’ve established that baccarat is, by design, a game of probability. However, even high-rollers can forget that this applies to surprise winning streaks, as well. Whether you are playing real money baccarat or mini baccarat, one of the most potent lessons you can carry to any baccarat table is a deep-seated awareness of the fact that streaks are never statistical.
You cannot predict, control, govern, or conjure them by any strategy. This means that if you are scaling your bets just because you are on a hot streak, you are relying on profitability that has no mathematical basis, and that is never a responsible way to play baccarat. Think of streaks as the joyful anomalies they are; remember that the odds of a coin landing on heads are 1 in 2 regardless of how many times you toss the coin or how many times it landed on heads prior. This same basic logic of probability applies to baccarat, and smart players bet accordingly.
5. Don’t Make the Tie Bet
Although it can seem tempting to bet on the tie because the payouts are the largest, this move is generally regarded as a waste of money. Instead, get in the habit of betting on the banker. The banker wins just over 50% of the time in standard baccarat, and many casinos attach a commission to banker bets for that reason. While there may be rare rounds where a player can see a clear profit by betting on the tie, the banker provides the player with the strongest odds consistently.
Using Baccarat Betting Systems to Your Advantage
If your baccarat skills are already high-level and polished, you may be on the hunt for more in-depth ways to advance your game. Getting into the realm of utilizing recognized baccarat systems of play may interest you at this stage. However, systems and strategies are not the same things and it’s important to understand their difference.
A strategy is to be applied as a general, underlying rule that affects all games and relates to the infrastructure of the game itself. Betting systems relate specifically to how an individual player wishes to bet. There are countless systems available for online or a live version of baccarat. Here are brief descriptions for a few of the most popular baccarat winning strategies:
- Fibonacci: Based on the classical mathematical understanding of the Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, etc.), baccarat players using this system attach a “unit” or sum of money to each number in the sequence. A player starts by deciding what that unit will be and bets one unit first. If a win is secured, the player again bets one unit. When you lose, you move on to the next number in the sequence, betting another one unit, then two units, then three, and onward until another win is secured.
- Martingale: Players double their bets every round until they achieve a winning hand, at which point they drop their bets back to the figure they began with. This system is considered “aggressive” for its tendency to result in high-risk betting.
- Follow the shoe: Players observe patterns and wagering across winning hands to catch a streak. For instance, if the tie won the first two rounds and the bank won the third round, this system would dictate betting on the bank.
- D’Alembert: Also dealing in the concept of units, this system promotes fewer monetary swings by dictating that the player increases the bet by one unit after each loss and decreases by one unit after each win. If they win in the first round, the player bets only one unit again.
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