You should be warned by the fact that casinos encourage keeping score as it is unlikely they would encourage an activity that would work against them! In fact, the cards are shuffled between hands and randomly dealt seeming to imply that strategy will not help you in the game. However, there are only three bets that can be placed – on the banker, the player or a tie and there are strategies that you can employ when placing bets to help you improve your chances in the game. Baccarat has an extremely low house edge of only 1.06% and the rules are among the easiest card game rules to learn. This makes it simple to apply strategies.
Choosing your Baccarat Game
When choosing a baccarat game to play, try to find the game with the lowest number of decks being used. Games typically use between one and eight decks of cards, although six decks is the most common. If you are able to find a baccarat game that is using only one deck of cards, you should jump at the chance to play. This will maximize the player’s return on the banker bet and will result in a house edge of only 1%. If one-deck games are not available, play a six deck game with a 4% commission on winning banker hands.
The Banker Bet
The banker bet has the lowest house edge in the game. It can be as low as 0.9%, while the player bet has a house edge of 1.29% and the tie bet has a whopping house edge of as high as 15%. Keep in mind also that if you bet on the banker and the banker wins there will be a commission, or vigorish, on the win of approximately 5%. In other words, if you place a $100 bet and you win, you will be awarded $200 ($100 win, plus your $100 bet), but will need to pay a 5% commission, leaving you with takings of $195. Considering this, it is worthwhile to mix up your bets between the banker bet and the player bet. The banker bet has slightly better odds, but taking into account the vigorish, the difference is even slighter. To keep the game interesting, a combination of these bets is ideal.
The Player Bet
The house edge on the player bet is 1.29% which is slightly higher than the banker bet (0.9%). You are also not required to pay vigorish on your winnings from a player bet and this makes the bet attractive. The player bet is a worthwhile option and it is a good idea to mix up the player bets and banker bets in your game.
The Tie Bet
Good strategy for baccarat will tell you that you need to avoid the tie bet. The tie bet has a significantly higher house edge than the other two bets – up to 15%, as opposed to 0.9% for the banker bet and 1.29% for the player bet. The odds for the tie bet are extremely high and players will do better to stay away from it. These bets have been attractive for many players as they can pay out as much as 9 to 1. Players are attracted by the idea that if they place $100 on a tie bet and it wins, they can take home as much as $900. While this is attractive, keep in mind that it is unlikely.