Although you might not have heard it before, one of the most popular card games played in casinos all around Asia is baccarat.
Popularly known as the card game of choice for high rollers, baccarat has quietly earned a somewhat mysterious name for itself in the casino scene. Much of this is down to the simple ruleset that baccarat is played by, which leads observers to think that those who win big must have some special insider knowledge or secret strategies that they have never heard of.
Although it looks too simple to be true, the fact of the matter is that baccarat really is mostly down to luck, which is part of what makes it so attractive to high-rolling players who don’t mind losing big. However, despite this, there is a surprising amount of strategy that you can use to improve your chances in a given game. Read below for an overview of this mysterious game, as well as some tips and tricks to help you level up your strategies!
What is baccarat?
How exactly do you play baccarat? Are the rules really as simple as they appear from the outside?
The short answer is yes, they really are that simple! In a game, there are only three possible outcomes: a player win, a banker (or dealer) win, or a tie. Players make bets based on who they think will win when the cards are dealt. Cards two through nine are assigned their face value, while a 10 card and jack, queen and king cards have a value of zero. In most games, an ace is worth one.
Players are dealt hands face up, with two for each player and the banker. Whichever hand gets the closest to a total value of nine wins. If you bet on the player to win, then the winnings are double what you wagered. If you bet on the banker, then it will be 95% of the wager due to the slight house edge. If the cards dealt exceed nine, then you add the two cards together and drop the one or two to get the value.
Is there strategy in baccarat?
Although it might seem like a game of pure chance, much like blackjack, there is a surprising amount of strategy that you can implement in your game plan. While not guaranteeing you a win every time, if done correctly, you can nudge your chances ever so slightly in favour of a win. Most of the strategising in baccarat is done using betting strategies and other types of betting signals.
· Never make the “tie”: Out of the three possible bet types that you can place, never choose the “tie” bet. The tie bet comes in with a 14.4% house edge, compared to 1.06% for the banker and 1.24% for the player bet. This is a massive disadvantage in comparison. By avoiding it completely, you can significantly increase your chances of winning.
· The banker is your best bet: With the lowest house edge in comparison to the player bet and a tie bet, the banker bet is likely to be the right choice in a good majority of scenarios. In fact, this is precisely why there is a 5% penalty on winnings from banker bets, which leaves you with only 95% of what you wager if successful. As such, it’s never a bad strategy to simply stick with the banker if you don’t know what else to choose.
· Follow the banker until it loses: Because of the house edge that banker bets have, a good strategy is to keep betting on the banker to win until it loses. This strategy is a good one to choose, as once it loses, you are likely to see either a player bet or a tie bet – with the tie bet being very unlikely. As you only lose out 5% each time the banker wins, you won’t be draining your bankroll too quickly, and the big wins that you get once you strike a successful player bet make up for this.
· Chase the player bet until it loses: Conversely to the above, you can also decide to chase the player bet until it loses. This has much the same effect as the previous strategy, though a player win is obviously statistically slightly less likely than a banker bet.
· Keep tabs on your bankroll: One of the most difficult things to be disciplined about when playing baccarat is keeping tabs on your bankroll. As we all know all too well, you can only play as long as you have a bankroll to support it. This is particularly difficult in a game such as baccarat where the pace of play is incredibly quick and there is often very little time between rounds. Furthermore, if you are pursuing a strategy such as chasing the banker until they lose, then your bankroll will be taking a 5% hit even if you are winning every time. As such, one of the key things to bear in mind is to keep tabs on your bankroll and to not let it “roll” away from you!
How to try out new baccarat strategies
As you can probably tell from the above, even though baccarat is one of the simplest games to play, there is a surprising amount of strategy that can be implemented. In fact, you can use this assumption to your advantage, as baccarat often lures people in with its simplicity, which leads novice players to think that it is a game of pure chance. This means that with even a basic amount of strategising, you can significantly boost the likelihood that the odds will swing in your favour.
If you fancy trying out some of the above strategies as a way of boosting your game, the best way to do this is through using a demo account. By using a demo account, you can try out as many game types and strategies as you want without risking any of your hard-earned cash. With that said, head over to Bitcasino to open up a free demo account and get strategising today!
Words: Sean McNulty