Baccarat was once seen as the rich man’s game. We have major motion pictures like Casino Royale, featuring Special Agent 007 (aka James Bond), to thank for that. The stigma finally evaporated in the early 2000s when online casinos came along. No crowds. No roped off entries and red carpets. Just a lone player sitting in front of a computer, placing bets of $1+ on one of the most famous casino games in history.
The popularity of baccarat, both online and on land, has grown immensely since then. Most players already know the basic rules and odds of the game. So today, we’ll be talking about ways to become a better baccarat player.
Improve your Odds of Winning Baccarat
There are three easy ways you can improve your odds at the baccarat table. They revolve around nothing more than paying close attention to the pay table and your bankroll, and avoiding silly superstitions.
#1 Check the Odds Before You Play
Because most players already know how to play, few pay much attention to the pay table when they join a game. We are accustomed to a 5% commission on banker bets, delivering a house edge of 1.06%. We know player bets pay even money, for a house edge of 1.24%. And we should all know that the tie is a sucker bet, with terrible odds of 14.36%, if it pays the usual 8 to 1.
Whenever you play baccarat at any online casino or land-based casino you’ve never been to before, it’s imperative that you check the rules and pay table. While most baccarat games still carry the traditional rules and pays, that’s not always the case. The commission on banker bets should always be noted. Anything over 5% is no worth playing. Anything below is a good deal, if all other rules/pays are the same.
In an effort to make things more interesting for players, and profitable for casinos, variant rules do exist. No Commission Baccarat, for example, sounds appealing. In reality, it presents worse odds, due to some banker hands paying only 1-to-2, or being a push.
#2 Keep an Eye on the Clock
Long term probabilities suggest you’re going to lose money playing baccarat; (or any other casino game, for that matter). Therefore, the longer you play, the more you can expect to lose. As such, you should keep your sessions short, and always walk away if you hit a decent profit margin.
Winning 10% more than you came to the table with defies all odds. So, if you hit that mark, you should consider yourself lucky and leave the table. Hot streaks are a myth. If you continue playing, you will eventually lose.
#3 Forget About Patterns
A lot of baccarat players think that betting with or against patterns is the best baccarat strategy. Some will only bet after the same hand wins three times in a row, choosing the other hand as the sure-to-be winner. Others wait for a two-win pattern, then bet on the same hand.
The truth is, the odds of the banker or player hand winning will always be the same with each hand dealt; especially if you’re playing baccarat online, where the cards are reshuffled after each hand. Over the long haul, the banker will win 45.86% of all hands. The player will win 44.62% of all hands. The remaining 9.52% will result in a tie (about once every 10 hands).
Think of it this way. When flipping a coin, the odds are always 50/50, no matter what the previous results were. The odds never change. The same stands true of your odds of winning baccarat. The probabilities never change. Whether any results will occur in repetition or not is realistically unpredictable.
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