Baccarat: Winning Methods, Systems, and Strategies

The game of baccarat has been played in casinos for at least four centuries and has changed little over that time. The game has a sophisticated aura about it. James Bond prefers the cousin of baccarat called chemin-de-fer.

The popularity of baccarat (also known as punto banco or chemin-de-fer) among gamblers varies widely around the globe. Macau is the modern epicenter of baccarat, like Las Vegas is to poker. Similarly, baccarat does not have a huge following in Atlantic City or the United States at large. While the game is still hugely popular in some areas of Europe, it is spreading throughout Asia (with Macau as the spark) at an unprecedented rate.


Although similar to blackjack, baccarat is played with a slightly different set of rules. Blackjack is a mathematical game that can be controlled by employing a basic strategy, therefore it provides plenty of room for tactic. When it comes to winning at baccarat, luck plays a larger role, and in some cases, the only role. If a baccarat betting strategy claims that varying your wagers will provide you an advantage, you can assume that the author is lying.


Here are some tried-and-true strategies for beating the baccarat table. Use the following tips to improve your baccarat game no matter where in the world you play “the royal game.”


Make the Proper Bets

If you’re going to play baccarat, there’s really only one bet you should make. In only two sentences, I can give you all the baccarat betting advice you’ll ever need:


Bet against “tie.”

You should never risk not betting “banker.”

Banker bets in baccarat carry a little 1.06% house edge. That beats even the best odds you can get on a bet in craps. You can only get those kinds of odds in blackjack if you use perfect technique and the regulations are very forgiving. Only betting on the banker gives the house a slight edge. They will, of course, end up with all your money eventually, but at least this bet will make it take them longer.


The house has an edge of more than 14% on a tie bet, despite the fact that it pays out at 8 to 1. Perhaps things would be different if the payout for a successful tie bet was 14 to 1. The payment odds are too low in comparison to the genuine probabilities. If you ever bet a “tie” and I happen to be around, I guarantee you’ll be served a free drink and subjected to a short sermon on your evil ways.


Do you provide prop bets? Side bets are never appealing to me, and the baccarat games that offer them are no exception. The most common is the “Dragon Bonus,” which is triggered when a player’s bet wins by four points or more, or when the player rolls a natural 9. It requires an additional $1 bet to activate, but it pays out as a 1:1 bonus. With a house edge of around 6%, the Dragon Bonus is something you should absolutely avoid. The odds on the other available side bets in baccarat are comparable or worse. You should stay away from these risky wagers.


Watch Out for Miniature Games

The standard number of cards used in a baccarat game is eight, or “shoe.” Small-shoe games, which use a shoe of only six cards, are standard wherever you can play authentic baccarat. There are rumors that a half-shoe (four decks) is occasionally used in an Atlantic City game, but I have no way of verifying this.


If you can find a baccarat table with a smaller shoe, do so. As long as there are fewer than eight, it doesn’t matter to me. The odds of winning change by a negligible amount for every deck that is taken out of play. Short-shoe games don’t significantly improve the odds in comparison to full games, but any improvement is welcome.


Take Control of Your Financial Situation (and Retire)

Establishing a unit bet amount, sticking to win and loss limitations, and (most importantly) seeing gambling as amusement rather than a source of income are all important money management strategies. Your bankroll management strategy for baccarat should account for the possibility that you will lose some or all of the money you have set aside to play the game. You may feel differently about your losses at the table if you consider that money to be the casino’s and an exchange for amusement.


If you manage to get ahead, quitting while you’re ahead is a crucial part of managing your bankroll. Both player and banker bets provide the house a minor, but significant, edge of 1.06% and 1.24%, respectively, which will eventually deplete your bankroll. Betting on a tie is a stupid move because the house has a 14.36% edge, meaning your money will disappear from you even more quickly than usual. If you’re up $100 and you’re OK with that, you can call it a day and consider yourself a winner.



Although baccarat is not as widely played around the world as it is in Asia and Europe, it is nevertheless a staple of the casino industry and can be found in digital form at any respectable online gambling portal. Baccarat has a long and illustrious history, an air of aristocracy about it, and two solid bets in the “banker” and “player” positions.


If you play baccarat sensibly and avoid crazy betting strategies like the “tie” bet, you should get your money’s worth out of each session. Just make sure you’re good with money management. A lack of financial resources can quickly dampen any celebration.

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