Most casino games are based on luck, and this is also true in Baccarat. There is not a huge amount that you can do to alter your luck if it is not going your way, but that does not mean that you are purely at the mercy of the casino. This article offers some tips on improving your chances of winning Baccarat games.
Understand the rules
In Baccarat, the aim of the game is to have a hand of two or three cards that adds up to nine (or eight, as a second preference). Most cards are worth their face value with the exception of aces (which are worth one) and picture cards such as Jacks, Queens and Kings (which are worth zero). If the total of the hand is more than ten, the first number is removed from the equation. For example, a hand that totals eighteen becomes eight. The “perfect” hand will contain two cards that total nine, and this is known as a “natural nine” hand. Likewise, a hand containing two cards that add up to eight is known as a “natural eight” hand. If any player (including the banker) has a “natural eight” or “natural nine” hand, he or she wins the game unless there is a tie between two players. If this occurs, the game is deemed to be void. If a “natural” hand does not occur, players can choose whether to bet or fold.
Look for casinos with fewer decks
Most Baccarat games have eight decks, but you can increase your odds of winning if you come across an online casino that offers fewer decks. If you bet on the dealer’s hand when playing a game that has fewer decks, you can push the odds slightly more in your favor.
Bet on the right hands
Picking the right hand to bet on is crucial for success in Baccarat games. There are three betting options in Baccarat:
- betting on the player’s hand.
- betting on the dealer’s hand
- betting on a tie
To successfully bet on the player’s hand, the player needs to have a hand that is greater than the dealer’s hand. To successfully bet on the dealer’s hand, the dealer’s hand needs to be greater than the player’s hand at the end of the round. On this bet, you win even money and are charged the standard 5 per cent commission on your winnings at the end of a shoe or when you exit the game (if this is before the end of a shoe).
Although you do not pay any commission on winnings if you bet on a tie, the house edge is significantly higher than when you bet on the player’s hand or the dealer’s hand and can be as high as 14 per cent. Because of this, it is best avoided whenever possible. Betting on the banker’s hand has the lowest house edge and is one of the safest betting options – despite the commission charges if you win the bet. As betting on a tie has the highest house edge of any betting option, the advantage will continuously swing in the favor of the casino.
Quit while you’re ahead
If you do happen to win, do not carry on playing. While you may get lucky in the short-term, you are likely to lose out in the long term so it is better to end your playing session if you start winning to avoid the possibility of losing your profits. This advice also applies if you are coming towards the end of your bankroll as playing on can easily mean that you are spending money that you can no longer afford to part with.