Baccarat is one of the oldest casino card games, with roots all the way back to 14th-century Italy. This historical legacy and exotic-sounding name has given the game an air of mystique, and novices to the casino scene often mistakenly consider it to be a complex, if not esoteric, game. This couldn’t be farther from the truth of the matter, however, and baccarat is one of the more accessible card games available, particularly when compared to poker and its many variations. Furthermore, with the right strategies and playing style, baccarat can even be one of the more winnable card games on offer
With this in mind, the following article will give an overview of the basic mechanics of the game, how to choose an appropriate strategy for your playing style, as well as a concise overview of some basic and advanced baccarat strategies. With that said, please read below for some easy-to-learn strategies that you can put to use today in a Bitcasino online baccarat game!
Basic baccarat rules
The rules of baccarat are relatively simple compared to other Bitcasino card games and are designed to ensure a fast pace of play. The aim of the game is simple – players look to reach a total value of 9 by two cards, with the game ending in either a victory for the player, for the banker, or via a tie. Before dealing, participants bet on any of the outcomes that they think are the most likely to happen and place a bet based on this. The number cards are worth their stated value, with the 10, Jack, Queen, and King cards being worth zero. Additionally, an Ace card is worth 1.
Cards are dealt face down and one by one, with the first card going to the player. The same applies to the second dealt cards. If the player receives a 9 on the first dealing, this is the best hand, with a total value of 8 being the second best. If the total count of a hand exceeds 9, this is adjusted by subtracting 10. Certain house rules dictate whether the bank or player will receive a third draw card (the maximum draw per hand).
Baccarat bet types:
· Banker bet: The house edge on the banker bet comes in at 1.06%, and the player must add a 5% commission to the banker on each winning bet.
· Player bet: On the player bet, the house edge is 1.26%, which essentially amounts to the same odds as the banker given the commission the player must pay to the dealer.
· Tie bet: With the tie bet, the house edge is 14.36% with pay-out odds of 8 to 1. Although an enticing option, this bet type is not recommended given the comparatively low odds.
How to choose a baccarat strategy
As a fundamental principle when choosing a baccarat strategy, you should always seek out playing strategies that reduce the house edge, which allows you to increase your chances in the game and to manage your bankroll more effectively. It should also be remembered that like all casino games, the odds are based on luck rather than skill alone, with the odds in favour of the house at 45.85% and for the player at 44.62%. The odds of the hand ending in a tie are much lower, and come in at 9.53% (although with a higher pay-out of 8 to 1). As such, players should think of game strategies not as a way of guaranteeing returns but instead as a way of increasing the odds of winning in your favour over the house or any other players.
Betting strategies for baccarat
Now that you understand the basic mechanics of the game, as well as what to keep in mind when choosing a baccarat strategy, let’s turn to some of the most popular betting strategies that you can implement today.
Betting on a tied hand: This strategy has the highest odds if successful, but the lowest probability.
1-3-2-4 system: This is a positive progression system that starts with the player betting with one unit. If the player loses that hand, they keep betting a single unit. Once the player wins a hand, they then proceed to bet three units. If the player wins again, they then bet two units, and if they lose, they go back to betting one unit again. If the player wins four in a row, the sequence is started again.
Martingale system: In contrast to the 1-3-2-4 strategy, the martingale strategy is a negative progression strategy. With this system, following each loss, players are required to double their stake, which relies on the player eventually winning to cover their losses and turn a profit. Because it requires the player to double their stake with each loss, the total amount on the line will eventually reach the table maximum, which could provide a big pay-off if successful.
Banking on the banker: One simple approach that players can try when first entering a game is to bet on the banker as your first bet. As bankers will generally have a competitive edge over 50% of the time, this is usually a safe bet. You can try this as an opening strategy to test the waters before attempting a more complex strategy. Although somewhat of a boring strategy, given the odds, this is a good way to get a feel for the table and to ease yourself into the game!
Bet with the banker until they lose: Following on from the above, when choosing a strategy, players are generally looking to capitalise on winning streaks and the bet type that will have the best odds of a winning streak. In most cases, this will be the bank given the odds always tilt slightly in their favour.
Don’t make tie bets: Baccarat has very low house edge odds on two out of three of its bet types (i.e. the banker, the player, and a tie). The bank always has a slight edge over the player, and the tie has the worst odds overall. As such, it is often a waste of a bet given the slight tilt in favour of the bank. Even though the pay-out will be the highest on this bet type, players should remember that this is only the case given the much lower odds of winning with it. Players should prioritise more consistent, lower-value pay-outs with better odds that accumulate over time.
Choosing your decks: When you play a game of baccarat, players will notice that different baccarat game types play with a different number of decks of cards. It’s important to remember that the house edge is proportional to the number of decks on the table. As such, the fewer decks in play, the better your odds. Although the advantage will be very slight, in a game of pure chance, such as baccarat, over time this might be enough to tip the odds in your favour.
Tips for implementing baccarat strategies
With the above strategies in mind, the following are some quick types that can help you implement them successfully in your games:
· Keep track of your bets: Since the odds of winning are essentially 50-50 and the rate of play is very high, it’s important to keep track of the game history to spot any potential trends. Always start with low-value, safe bets. Having said that, given the essentially 50-50 odds at stake, players shouldn’t get sucked into keeping detailed written notes. Mindfulness is, in this regard, a much better strategy.
· Trust your instinct: As baccarat is a relatively simple game, it’s difficult to guess outcomes with any degree of accuracy. For this reason, it’s best to trust your betting instinct in such a high-pace style of game.
· Keep a handle on your bankroll: As baccarat is a game of pure chance with a high pace of play, it’s good to always keep a close watch on your bankroll. It’s rare to win more than one or two hands in a row, so don’t get overly optimistic or too disheartened depending on how the odds play out. Sit back and enjoy the game!
Baccarat is one of the most enjoyable card games on offer, and the simple rules and fast pace of play have made it a firm favourite among both novice players and seasoned veterans. With this overview in mind, it’s now time to put these betting strategies into practice! Players can get started today by choosing a baccarat game from the selection at Bitcasino and get practicing!
Words: Sean McNulty
Images: Shutterstock & Bitcasino