baccarat strategy

How to Win at Baccarat: Strategy & Tips

Baccarat is a card game that requires skill, but it’s technically a game of luck. That said, if you can memorize a few of these critical pointers, you’ll be well on your way to some solid wins (and you might just have lots of fun along the way).

Keep in mind that no betting strategy is foolproof. You might win big, but there will always be inevitable losses. Baccarat strategies have been designed to help players extend their bankroll and keep playing longer.

The best baccarat betting strategy is knowledge. Every good baccarat player starts by having a solid grasp of the rules. Baccarat will always have odds in favor of the house. But, of course, there are a few tricks and strategies you can use to try to improve your chances.

What is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a card game played in casinos across the globe. Not unlike blackjack, it’s a comparing game played between two players—the “player” and the “banker”. In order to win baccarat, you need to determine if the banker or player will win, or if the result will end in a tie.

Each card is assigned a point value:

  • Cards 2 through 9 are worth face value
  • Face cards have no value
  • Aces are worth 1
  • Jokers are not used

Valuing your hands can be tricky at first. The hand value is calculated according to the units digit of the sum of the cards in your hand. For example, 3 + 5 is worth 7 points, but 5 + 6 is only worth 1 point (5 + 6 = 11 and the units digit is 1). The highest possible hand in baccarat is 9.

Baccarat Punto Banco

There are three common variations of baccarat: chemin de fer, baccarat banque and punto banco. In most western countries, like the USA and Canada, punto banco is the variation of choice and is simply called “baccarat”. In this game the player (punto) hand and banker (banco) hand are both handled by the dealer. Gamblers can either bet on the banker hand, the player hand, or a tie to win.

Common Baccarat Strategies

Gamblers throughout history have always tried to come up with ways to improve their chances at winning baccarat. Here are a few of the more popular baccarat betting strategies. 

Martingale Betting System

This simple gambling strategy has been around since the 19th century. In baccarat, it simply means you double your bet following a loss, and come back to your original wager if you win. This can mean substantial wins (but substantial losses, too).

Paroli Betting System

The Paroli betting system involves doubling your wager after three consecutive wins. The object, therefore, is to obtain three wins in a row. After the first win, you double your wager, after the second, the wager is doubled again. In the event of a loss, the player returns to their original bet and the sequence begins again. This betting system is used mostly in baccarat and roulette.

1-3-2-4 Betting System

This betting system is also a progression system. You increase your bet each time you win a hand. In this case, after the first win you increase your wager threefold. If you win again, you double your wager for the next hand, and the final win you quadruple it. If you lose, the bet drops back to the first wager and the sequence starts again.

Bet on the Banker

It’s common practice to always bet on the banker in baccarat. The house edge always slightly favors the banker, so that’s why many players use this strategy.

Never Bet on a Tie

If you win on a tie, you stand to make a fair bit of cash, but the house edge on a tie bet can be as high as 14 percent. Most seasoned players will advise against this move.

Understanding House Edge in Baccarat

Like any casino game, baccarat is geared for the house to win. This is a mathematical advantage called the house edge. You might be pleased to know that baccarat has one of the lowest house edges of any casino game. At just 1.06 percent on the banker’s hand, the odds are in your favor. 

Baccarat Throughout History

Since baccarat has been around for centuries, there’s a lot of mythology surrounding the game. Here are a few interesting tidbits:

License to Thrill

When you think of James Bond, you might think of shaken-not-stirred martinis and hold’em poker. But, did you know that chemin de fer baccarat is actually 007’s game of choice? He plays the game in several of the Bond novels. Look for mentions of baccarat in Casino Royale, Thunderball and Goldeneye. You can probably pick up some baccarat strategies used by Bond himself.

Royal Rumble

Baccarat caused quite a stir within the crown in the late 1800s. The Royal Baccarat Scandal, also known as the Tranby Croft Affair, involved the Prince of Wales (or the future King Edward VII) and a few other gents at a house party. A lieutenant colonel of the Scots Guards was accused of cheating at baccarat, guests were asked to keep it quiet, but of course the secret got out.

A lawsuit commenced, and Edward was called to testify, which caused quite a media stir. As a result, the lieutenant colonel was dismissed from the services, and baccarat became incredibly popular from all the attention.

As you can probably tell, attempting to cheat is not likely your best baccarat betting strategy. You might just find yourself involved in a royal scuffle like our friend King Edward did.

That said, we hope you picked up a few good tips on how to improve your baccarat game along the way. Whatever strategy you choose, we wish you the best of luck on your baccarat journey. Happy gambling!

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