Between 2008 and 2009, Australians collectively spent over $19 billion on gambling. That’s a lot of money spent, but how about money earned by players?
When enjoyed responsibly, gambling is not only fun, it can also put cold, hard cash in your pocket.
Although baccarat is often thought of as a complicated game only, it’s actually fairly simple. If you know your odds and develop a baccarat strategy, this game can earn you as much money as blackjack or poker, and without the need for a complicated process.
Whether you’re just taking up baccarat or you want to improve your game, understanding how baccarat works and what strategies are available you can help better your game. Keep reading to learn about the options available to you.
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Before You Create a Strategy, Know the Game
Baccarat is one of many casino card games worth trying. But before thinking about creating a strategy, you should know all the ins and outs of the game.
Study the basic rules and learn how to play baccarat so you know what you’re doing when you sit down to play. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Baccarat is either played with a 6-deck shoe or an 8-deck shoe.
- It’s a fast-paced game and the uncomplicated rules vary depending on the rules of the house.
- The dealer will deal two cards to the “Banker” (dealer) and two cards to the Player (you).
- An ace is counted as 1, 2-9 are counted at face value, and 10, as well as face cards, are counted as 0.
- The goal of the game is to come closest to 9 points.
- You can place your bet on the Player, the Banker or a Tie.
The Role of Luck in Baccarat
Baccarat requires you to make far fewer decisions than you would if you were playing blackjack or poker. A big part of that is the fact that, in baccarat, luck is the biggest factor on whether or not you’re going to win.
Like roulette or slots, baccarat has a lot to do with chance and less to do with strategizing. Nothing that you do can affect the outcome of the cards. The bets are placed before cards are dealt and how cards will fall is unpredictable.
With that said, there are some basic strategies that can increase your chances or increase your winnings. We’ll discuss these in more detail below.
Playing the Odds in Your Baccarat Strategy
Because the role of luck is so prominent, your strategy has a lot to do with playing odds. There are some casino games that offer better odds than others. But just knowing your odds can really help your game.
Bet on the Banker vs Betting on the Player
One thing is for sure when it comes to baccarat… it has one of the best house edges. The Banker and Player both have a house advantage of just over 1%.
However, based on probability, the Banker is more likely to win than the Player. In an 8-deck shoe, the Banker has an advantage of 1.06% and Players odds are 1.24%.
Based on those odds, the Banker will win slightly over 50% of the time. So placing a bet on the Banker in your first hand is a good rule of thumb.
Remember that most casinos place a 5% commission on the Banker bet. But the Banker bet still gives you the best odds.
Don’t Bet on the Tie
Betting on the tie gives you the least chance of winning. But it does offer the best return on your bet.
The house edge on the Tie is 14.36%. Most players will avoid making this bet since it has one of the worst house edges in the casino.
If your goal is to win more often, stick with bets on the Banker or the Player.
Number of Decks Used
The number of decks used at a table will also affect your odds. The more decks used at a table, the lower your odds of winning are.
A 6-deck shoe has a lower house edge as well as lower commissions on Banker bets. Commision is usually 2.75% instead of 5%.
An 8-deck shoe has lower odds. However, most casinos only offer 8-deck tables. But if you can find a 6-deck table, give it a try because it will improve your odds.
Beyond Odds – Other Baccarat Strategies
Now that you know what gives you the best odds when playing baccarat, it’s time to learn about more advanced baccarat strategies. We’ll explain these in more detail below.
Play Trends Along with the 1-3-2-4 Strategy
Playing trends is one strategy for winning baccarat. If the Player is winning more often than the Banker than you should place your bets on the Player, and vice-versa.
That means that you shouldn’t change your bet based on the thought that the Player has one too many times and it must be time for the Banker to start winning. When the Banker does indeed start winning more often than the Player, that’s when you switch your bet.
This is also known as riding the streak. It’s such a common strategy that casinos often offer pencils and charts so players can track the trends.
You can ride the streak and use the 1-3-2-4 strategy in tandem to increase your winning. A 1-3-2-4 strategy is a form of strategic betting and it’s one of many gambling tips that make you money.
The 1-3-2-4 betting strategy is based on a principle that helps win back losses from previous rounds of betting. You place 1 unit in the first round, 3 units in the second round, 2 units in the third round, and 4 units in the fourth round, and so on.
Even if you’ve won all 4 rounds in the system, you go back to 1 and start over again. This minimizes your losses and maximizes your winnings.
Tracking Game History Online to Use Trends
If you’re playing baccarat online, the platform usually provides the game history. This gives you access to the outcomes of the most recent rounds so you don’t have to track the trends separately.
Using the game history is just a way to track trends when playing online. When first starting out, play it safe by placing lower bets. You can use this along with the 1-3-2-4 strategy to win back your losses as well.
Go With Your Gut
This may seem simple enough, but there’s actually scientific proof that your gut is best at making decisions.
Basically, there are two ways to gamble. One way requires that you put careful thought into probable outcomes. The other requires that you listen to your gut instincts. But which is going to help you win more often?
Use a combination of both. Scientific studies show that when combined with hard information like probabilities, using your cut to make a call leads to the best decision making.
Research also shows that our brains are able to pick up on subliminal signals that we may not be consciously aware of. Your brain may notice a dealer’s tell and listening to your gut can lead to the best outcome when making risky decisions.
So that gut feeling you have to bet on the Tie, it might actually mean something.
Anti-Strategy Baccarat Strategy
Sometimes the best strategy… is no strategy at all. That’s the idea behind an anti-strategy.
Using an anti-strategy is based on the principle that baccarat is a game of luck. Therefore you should avoid the common strategies used by players.
Don’t Chase Trends
This anti-strategy says that you shouldn’t place your bets based on trends or riding the streak.
When you’re using the cards that casinos give you to track the trends, you’re distracted by notetaking instead of playing the game. And, and it’s base, it is a game of chance anyway.
There aren’t patterns to be discerned in a game of pure chance. The cards are randomly shuffled and, as such, don’t actually give any patterns to track.
Even if there were patterns that were worth tracking, you can’t influence it in any way and there’s no way to guess what it might be.
Don’t Count Cards
Card counting can come in handy when playing a game like blackjack. But this is a useless strategy for baccarat because of its rules.
Being able to count cards will have even less of an effect if you’re playing online. Internet casinos use random number generators that make it much more difficult and ineffective to count cards.
Plus, although card counting isn’t illegal, casinos know when you’re card counting and they don’t like the practice.
Don’t Use the Martingale System
The Martingale system entails that you double your bet each time you lose. That way, you can make up for your losses when you win.
However, when it comes to a baccarat strategy, the Martingale system ignores that your odds are constant. In this way, you’re never assured to win on any one round.
Ready to Try Your Hand at Baccarat?
Know that you know the secrets behind a baccarat strategy, are you ready to put them to use?
Have a look at our guides for some of the best casinos in Australia.