Baccarat is almost entirely a game of simple guessing. You decide which hand you think will win and hope for the best. Players do not lose money if they lose to the banker. All players are simply betting based on which hand will have the total closest to 9. If the winning hand was simply determined by the highest total, there would be some strategy based on the shown cards. However, the mere fact that any total over ten receives the new total of the second digit of the number makes it very difficult, if not impossible to make accurate predictions.
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The Top Strategies
As with any casino game, there is a house edge that reveals the likelihood of the player hand winning against the dealer. However, the percentage is still very close. The banker hand wins 50.68% more hands than the player. That alone would be a good reason to play the odds and always bet dealer hoping to come out slightly ahead in the end. However, every winning bet on the banker hand is subject to a 5% fee to the bettor. From this fee, and the original odds, the house edge can be determined as:
- Player Hand Bets - 1.36%
- Banker Hand Bets - 1.17%
Much like Blackjack, Baccarat is susceptible to card counting, although there has been no known continued success as is often associated with Blackjack. Card counting is possible but it only gives the counter a very small window of opportunity after a long period of waiting. The card counter must not play during the entire play of an eight deck shoe and only bet when they have counted down to a single hand. So, over the course of about 100 rounds (depending entirely on the number of draws or stands), only one will be the window of opportunity. Obviously, this is an almost impossible task (and fairly obvious to an offline casino) way of counting cards.
One of the smartest strategies that you can use when playing Baccarat is bankroll management. Do not give into the temptation to make large bets to make up for losses. As Baccarat is fairly close to a 50/50 chance game, you are likely to only continue to lose larger sums of money. Set a sum of money that you are willing to lose and spread it out over a length of time. If you expect to play about 100 rounds (usually around 2 hours), you should plan to spread your bankroll over those rounds. For example, if you have $200.00 to play, you can afford to bet $2.00 on each round.
If you lose your entire bankroll, do not make the mistake of thinking that immediately depositing more money will allow you to make your money back. Accept your loss and wait to let it sink in before risking more money. It's much better to accept a loss of $200.00 and walk away than have to face the $1,000.00 you lost trying to win your money back.
In the same way, set an amount that you want to win and stop playing when you have reached that mark. If you would like to win $75.00 on top of your original $200.00, have the patience and common sense to quit while you're ahead and hope to do as well at another time. Most gamblers that lose large amounts of money failed to stop when they had won their money back or made a tidy sum on top of their original bankroll.
Betting the Tie
In Baccarat, any player can bet that the player hand and dealer hand will tie. This bet always pays out at a ratio of 8 to 1. So, if you bet $100.00 that the hands will tie and they do, you will win $800.00. This may seem tempting but the bet actually carries a staggering house edge of 9.5%, one of the highest. Never make bets that the hands will tie
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