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Baccarat is probably one of the most prestigious gambling games available on the casino. This card game originated in the south of Europe in the middle of the 15th century. That probably makes it older than its other casino peers, such as blackjack or roulette. Nowadays, thanks to high stakes, it is especially popular with so-called high rollers.

Just like roulette, the rules of baccarat are very simple. In the most popular version of Punto Bianco, or in the American Baccarat, a player only puts a bet on one of two hands. The remainder will be taken over by casino employees.

Whether you play the American or any other versions of baccarat, the goal of the game is always the same. The dealer deals two hands, one for the dealer and the other for the player. The player then tries to guess which of these two hands will have a total of 9. This makes it somewhat similar to blackjack, where players have to get as close to 21 as possible.

Baccarat then has several differences in comparison with blackjack. For example, it is more forgiving if a hand exceeds 9 points – if the total is 10 or more, only the last numeral counts. This means that if you get dealt 9 and 6, the final value is not 15 but rather 5.

If a player gets lucky and bets on the right hand, he wins in the following ratio:

  • Bet on the player: 1:1
  • Bet on the banker: 1:0.95
  • Tie bet: 1:8 (or 1:9 in some casinos)

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Baccarat - Tips and Tricks

1. Clever players bet on the banker - Best way to play Baccarat

Baccarat rules allow three betting options: bet on the banker, bet on a player or bet on the draw. The first two offer a decent payout, while the bet on the draw is a really bad option.

To minimize the house edge, bet on the banker. The house edge here is only 1.17%. If you feel the need to change the game a bit, the bet on the player means a 1.36% house edge.

If you are rich and you really want to lose money, bet on a draw where the house edge climbs up to 14.12%.

2. Baccarat and counting cards

There is an obvious common ground between baccarat and blackjack: both are card games where the dealer pulls cards from a "shoe"

As you surely know, in blackjack, a player can gain an advantage over the casino by counting cards and then adjust the size of his bets based on the ratio of high and low cards in the deck. It would be easy to think the same applies to the baccarat.

Unfortunately, it does not apply.

Game experts and mathematicians have attempted to count cards in baccarat. They have found that reducing the house edge in baccarat by card counting is possible, but it requires very complex calculations and reduces house edge by tenths of percents.

So for a regular player, counting cards is a useless option. If you are a mathematical genius, it is not worth it and it is better for you to play the blackjack instead.

3. Progressive systems for baccarat

There are much advice and many betting systems available on the internet, which usually involve raising the bet in some way.

Undoubtedly, the most popular system is the martingale. When using a martingale, you double your bet after each lost game. Once you finally win, the net profit is equal to the original bet. Other popular systems include, for example, Labouchere, Paroli, 1-3-2-6 and others. There is an immense amount of them and they all work on a similar principle.

The problem with these systems is obvious - they do not eliminate the house edge. In fact, they only give you advice on how to make small profits, but when you are playing for a long time, that includes one big loss. And once you’re done with the systems, you’re probably done with the game itself. The systems are not bad, but they come with a hazard - incredibly often players start thinking that they have found a secret and that they can defeat the game.

So if you are looking for a winning baccarat strategy, ignore the so-called gaming experts.

4. Which baccarat strategy works?

Baccarat is like most casino games. You should play it mainly for fun because you love the excitement and the feeling of playing when you can get lucky and win some nice money.

Set up a bankroll for your game and stick to it. The decision how much you're willing to lose and how much you want to win can not only save you money but also score a nice win!

It may shorten your casino visits but when you continue the game while winning, the house edge will push you into red numbers sooner or later.

It may sound boring, but it is true.

House edge is not something that you could cheat, but if you like trying your luck, baccarat is a great game. Just make sure that you play smart: bet on the banker, don’t listen to strategy experts selling their "miraculous" systems and stop playing once you reach your limit.

How to Win at Baccarat - Strategy by David Spanier

An important aspect of playing Baccarat in many casinos is the so-called scorecard, or just a pen and a piece of paper where the results of each player are recorded. In most casinos, you will see many people using a simple system for the placement of bets. It makes them feel that they will be better informed and place their next bet better by following this pattern. Because it does not violate the rules of the game, casinos tolerate and support this system. But remember that the previous result has no effect at all on a future result. Many think that if you got heads 8 times, the likelihood of getting tails increases. But this is not the case, the probability is still 50% for both sides. So no such strategy is actually useful in Baccarat. You should not bet on such a strategy to win.

Still, you'll see many people use this technique. Better avoid it. The casinos would never allow a method that would make them lose. This may also be a way for the casino to divert your attention from the most important parts of the game.

Game system

If you've ever read articles on the internet with advice on playing Baccarat, you surely know that there is no winning baccarat strategy or guaranteed system to win the game altogether. Nevertheless, the decisions made depend on a certain approach to the game. Some players even think that because of the high stakes associated with this game, Baccarat must afford more winnings, too. Remember, this is not poker and the big money some players are betting are not meant to end up in your pocket.

The Martingale system is most often recommended for success in Baccarat. E.g. if you lose your first bet of $10, the next bet will be $20, and if you lose that, the next bet will be $40, and if you win you will have $80, which means a $10 profit. But you surely know that this system is perfect for the banker because it guarantees him low losses. Once you reach your cash limit and you can’t afford a higher bet, you lose a lot of money without the chance to get them back. The Martingale system requires a large financial base and the profits are not big.

A strategy by David Spanier

Counting fives

Even though the series of playing cards does not affect the remaining cards in the deck, it has been calculated that a high ratio of fives at the beginning of the game makes the remainder of the deck more favourable for the banker and vice versa. This phenomenon, which is not as reliable as computer calculations for Blackjack, is worth watching. The eight-pack contains 32 fives. If you notice that more than 8 fives were drawn in the first 100 cards or more than 16 in the first half of the deck, it is advantageous to bet on banker's hands. Conversely, if more fives remain in the deck, start betting on the player.


In casinos, there are usually scorecards called "Table de Banque" (bank tables) available for the players where you can record the winning games of each party just like in roulette. You can try to find a system in the game according to the order of wins. If a banker and the player win alternately, it cannot be assumed that a longer series of wins of one party will occur. One of the best methods, most suitable for Chemin de fer is, is to judge the luck of the other players at the table. If a player wins often and looks "trustworthy", you should bet like he bets. If another player keeps on losing up to their last chip, you should declare him a "lost cause" and bet the opposite of what he bets. My advice, as I explain below, is to follow a certain sequence to the end. It's the surest and easiest way to get the most out of luck.

Staking plan

In a game of equal chances, like a bet on coins, I recommend betting 20 times the minimum bet, say 100 units of the total. If, when you bet five units, you win 4, raise the bet to 10, and if you win two more, you have won 40. Raise the bet by half to 15. If you are lucky enough to win two games again, you have reached high bets if you feel that your luck will not leave you. A careful player would rather leave 50 units aside and start again with the minimum bet. You can also switch and try your luck in a game with faster progress like craps.

After a lost series, I recommend raising the bets based on the principle that the loss must be quickly retrieved. After four lost games with a base bet, the total loss is 20 units. Take half of the remaining 80 units and try to bet by ten. If you get back the lost amount, which is the essence of the tactic, go back to the five unit bets. But if you lose your 10 unit bets, too, you can try 20 units at last. If you win both, the total loss remains only 20. It is wise to leave at this moment.

In any case, stop playing if you lose both 20-unit bets. Do not bet another 100 units after 50. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, switch to another game like craps or, even better, roulette where there is always a chance to get money back in one lucky game. Baccarat is not a game where you can catch up the money. It looks tempting, but if you're not lucky, you'll usually be adding more losses to your account.

Playing by sequence

A sequence-based staking plan consists of raising bets after winning and returning to a minimum bet after a lost game. One of the easiest methods is following a sequence, e.g. 1-2-3-5 (of course you can bet in a different ratio that suits you). The essence of the method is to bet one unit in the first game, if you win in the next game you bet two units and after another win, you bet three units in the third game. After winning, you bet five units and you will continue to raise the bets by five until your first loss. This ensures that you always bet the maximum after on a long series of wins. Go back to one unit after each loss. Four wins in a turn will earn +11, while 4 losses will lose only 4.

With this betting method, it is even possible for players to bet on the opposite sides and end up winning the same series, provided that each player has a reasonable number of winnings in succession. Here is an example of when in a row of 20 games, one player bets continuously without exception on the banker and the other player on a player using the sequence 10-20-30-50.

Result Player Bank
P +10 -10
B -20 +10
B -10 +20
B -10 +30
B -10 +50
B -10 +50
P +10 -50
B -20 +10
B -10 +20
P +10 -30
P +20 -10
P +30 -10
P +50 -10
P +50 -10
B +50 +10
P +10 -20
P +20 -10
P +30 -10
B -50 +10
B -10 +20
Total +40 +48.5*

Note that there is no special magic or recipe which sides are winning in the betting system. If the player and the banker were taking turns winning in this series, both players would lose. The "avant dernier" method is suitable for consecutive alternating winnings. If the sequence begins with P-B-P, bet to the next-to-last game, which is B, etc. In addition to winning when winnings alternate, the system has a further advantage in the case of a long series - e.g. P-B-P-B-P-P-P-P-P gives the result of W-W-W-L-W-W-W (W - win, L - loss). The method is not suitable for winnings alternating by two e.g. B-B-P-P-B-B-P-P results in L-L-L-L-L-L.

These practices and strategies are from the amazing book by David Spanier - The Pocket Guide to Gambling. Unfortunately, the book is hard to get today. In any case, if you have the opportunity, do not to hesitate to buy this book. It is full of information about the most popular games in the world of gambling.

Counting Cards in Baccarat

If you play one of the European baccarat, under certain circumstances you have the option to choose whether to take a third card or not. As a player, you can more or less influence the outcome of the round. And because there is some similarity with blackjack at baccarat, the obvious question arises whether card counting techniques can increase your winnings.

A number of mathematicians tackled this issue in the 1970s, including Edward Thorp’s counting systems. But they all came up with the same result. For the vast majority of baccarat variants, it makes no sense to count cards at baccarat. It doesn’t give the player any advantage at all.

Why Play Baccarat Online

You can play Baccarat in virtually all online casinos. Most casinos also offer several variations of the game. Very often you can also find baccarat in the live game section. There’s a lot to choose from.

Playing online then has several advantages. First of all, you can bet virtually from anywhere, at any time. Traditionally, baccarat tables have been only available in larger casinos. Nowadays, you can play baccarat on your mobile phone on your train commute or at home in your living room. These games are the same as those you can find in casinos.

The indisputable advantage of online casinos is the generous bonuses for new players and special VIP programs which help you get great prizes or extra money.

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