# Baccarat – Strategy according to David Spanier

Principally there is no strategy that guarantees a win every time in Baccarat. There are, however, a few simple moves that can improve your winning chances.

An important aspect in playing Baccarat in many casinos is the so called scorecard, which is just a piece of paper and a pencil, where each player writes down their results. In many casinos you will find people using a simple system for placing their wagers based on their previous results. They tend to believe that by observing this betting pattern they will be better informed and will therefore be able to place their wagers in a better way. Since this doesn’t break any rules, most casinos tolerate and some even encourage this system. Remember, though, that any previous result will have absolutely no influence on future outcomes. Many think that if heads falls eight times in a row, the coin is destined to land on tail, in other words they believe the probability of tail becomes higher. This is not the case, as the probability remains 50% each time. Therefore, none of these strategies are actually useful in Baccarat, so try to stay away from similar strategies.

Although you will find many people using this technique, don’t try it yourself. Casinos would never allow it if they were to lose money because of it. It may even be a way for the casino to distract you from more important parts of the game.

## Game Systems

If you’ve ever counted the number of articles online that give strategy advice on how to play Baccarat, you surely know that there is no system that guarantees a win. There are, however, certain decisions that can affect your results. Some players believe that as a result of big bets used in the game, the profits must also be big. Remember, this isn’t poker, so a player doesn’t bet large amounts in order to end up in front of you.

The Martingale system is the most frequently recommended strategy used in Baccarat. If you lose \$10 in your first bet, for instance, your next bet will be double that amount, so \$20. Should you lose again, the next wager will be \$40 and if you win you will have \$60, which is a \$10 profit. You will soon start to notice, however, that this system is absolutely perfect for the bank, because it guarantees them only a small loss. On the other hand, if you reach the limit of your bankroll and you can hence no longer increase your bet, you will lose a lot of money without the opportunity of getting it back. The Martingale system therefore requires a solid bankroll. The profits from it tend not to be so large, anyway.

## Strategy According to David Spanier

### Counting Fives

Even though observing the cards in play doesn’t have any impact on the rest of the deck, it was proven that a large amount of fives in the beginning of the game yields a very advantageous position for the bank and vice versa. This phenomenon, which isn’t as reliable as for instance card counting in Blackjack, is worth mentioning. In an eight-card deck there are 32 fives. If you notice that more than 8 fives have fallen in the first 100 cards, or more than 16 in the first half of the deck, it is profitable to bet on the bank. On the contrary, if there are many fives left, bet on the player.

### Records

Most casinos offer cards called “Table de Banque” (bank tables), where you can record each side’s winnings, similarly to Roulette. You can try to find a pattern according to the sequence of wins. If the banker and player alternate in winning, there is no reason to believe that there will be an extensive series of wins for either side. One of the methods that seem to be the most successful at chemin de fer is based on assessing the other players’ luck. If one player seems to win frequently and looks trustworthy you could start betting like him. On the other hand, if you find a losing player, bet the opposite of him. My advice, as you will hear later, is based on observation of events. It is the safest and easiest way for you to take advantage of certain players being more fortunate.

### Betting Plan

In a fair game, similarly to tossing a coin, I recommend betting twenty times the minimum wager; let’s just say 100 units. If you win four games using a 5-unit bet, increase the bet to 10. If you win another two, your profit will be 40. Increase the bet by a half to 15. If you are lucky and win another two games, you will reach your maximum bet. A careful player will set aside 50 units and will start over with the minimum bet. Or they will sometimes try their luck at a faster paced game, like craps.

After a losing streak I also recommend increasing your wager. After four lost games with a base wager of 20 units, the total loss is 20 units. Take half of the remaining sum of 80 units and try betting 10. If you win back your loss you will get back to five-unit bets. If you lose with 10-unit bets as well, you can try betting 20 units twice. If you win both, the total loss will only be 20. At this point it would be wise to just quit.

In any case, stop playing of you lose both 20-unit bets. Don’t bet the next 100 units. If you have money you really want to spend, play a different game, like craps or roulette, where there is a bigger chance of winning your money back in a single game. Baccarat isn’t the best game to chase your losses. It may look tempting, but unless you get very lucky, you will just increase your loss.

### Sequence Strategy

A strategy that uses sequences is based on increasing your bets after a win and returning to the minimum after a lost game. The easiest method is using a series, for example 1-2-3-5. The basis of the method is betting one unit in the first game, and if you win, two in the following, and then three, and so on. The following game you will bet five units and you continue increasing the wager until your first loss. This guarantees that after a long series of wins you will always bet the maximum. After each loss you return to one-unit wagers. Four wins in a row will yield a profit of +11, while four consecutive losses only mean a loss of up to 4.

With this betting style it is even possible for players to bet on opposite sides and end up with the same profit at the end of the series. The following example shows how in a series of 20 games one player will always bet on the Bank and the other player always bets the Player, using the sequence 10-20-30-50.

Notice that there is nothing magical about our system. If the bank and player would win in an alternating fashion, both players end up losing. For alternating wins in a series the “avant dernier” method is more successful. If the series starts with P-B-P, bet the second-to-last game, which is B. Another advantage of this system is if there is a long series, for example P-B-P-B-P-P-P-P-P. In this case the result would be W-W-W-L-W-W-W (W=win, L=loss).