# Baccarat Tips

Perhaps, since many gamblers think baccarat is similar to blackjack – which it is in some respects – it is largely thought that the game can be played with a mathematical strategy, such as the basic blackjack strategy.  And although card-counting can be applied to baccarat, the changes in odds are minimal, which also means that the odds of the game advantage to come up in the player’s favor are likewise minimal.  The rules of baccarat often do not even enable the player to capitalize on these odds.  In contrast to blackjack, the card results are limited, and there are far fewer actions a gambler can take when betting on a hand. In fact, there are none.

To give merit to card counting, a player can use this to gauge when they may possibly have an advantage over the casino (more of one type of card being dealt out of the shoe will slightly increase the chances of either the Player or Banker hand winning).  But the truth of the matter is that card counting is nine times less effective at baccarat than it is at blackjack.  This is why the majority of professional gamblers and mathematicians will tell players to not bother with a card-counting strategy at baccarat.

Players will also likely hear admonitions to stay away from using the Martingale System.  For players who are not familiar with this “system”, it is a mathematically based wagering stratagem designed to cover losses and insure profit.  For instance, if a player bets \$1 and loses, the next bet will be doubled to \$2.  If this bet is lost, then it is likewise doubled – to \$4…and so on.  If the player wins on the \$4 bet, they will have a \$1 profit from when they started with the \$1 bet.  This system does work in this regard.  However, just like the doubling over savings plan that starts with a penny, amounts can get very large, very fast.  There is no way of predicting when a player will go on a losing streak, which can mean devastation to a gambler using the Martingale system.  This type of money management can be the downfall of an entire bankroll in the blink of an eye.  Additionally, the Martingale system does not work at tables with lower betting limits.  The system requires a large bankroll to begin with – and since it also requires flexibility in allowing for losses, sometimes these losses exceed table limits, in which case the system collapses along with the player’s bankroll.

One may ask why it is wise to play baccarat if systems and strategies pose no use in the game.  And the answer is simple.  Baccarat naturally gives one of the lowest House Edges in the online casino.  There are only three bets a player can make, one of which should be avoided at all times.  Of the two other bets, they are relatively close in odds, although it is advisable to play only one of these bets.  Thus, baccarat is a smart game to play no matter what.  Here are the strategy tips a player can and should follow to optimize their success at online baccarat.

Tip # 1 ——- Bet on the Banker Hand most of the time

Depending on the number of decks being played, the casino advantage for the Player hand wager is generally 1.25%, whereas on the banker hand it is only 1.06%.  The banker hand does carry with it a 5% vig, or commission, bringing the House Edge up to 2.5%.  However, when the wager is counter-weighed by the player hand, the edge lowers to more near the 1% mark.  This tip is not to say that a player should never bet on the player hand, for sometimes a hunch can be the best thing going for a gambler.  Since the house edge is relatively similar for both bets, it is presumptuous to entirely negate the player hand wager.  However, in the long run, a player should be making more bets on the banker than on the player.  Going back the card-counting issue, if a player does indeed insist on counting cards, they should pay attention to 6’s and 4’s.  When more 4’s are leaving the deck, the banker bet has slightly better odds, whereas when 6’s leave the deck, the player bet has a slightly better chance of winning than it does from the start of a fresh deck.  As for the tie wager, it should be out of the question since it gives a casino advantage of nearly 15%.

Tip #2 ——- Play Baccarat Games with the fewest decks

Many online casinos will offer different versions of baccarat, such as a one deck version, and a 6 or 8 deck version with higher minimum betting amounts.  Looking at the House Edge, it is lowered, albeit not substantially, for every deck taken out of the equation.  A baccarat game using eight decks will deliver a probability of 45.86% of winning on the bank hand, 44.62% of winning on the player hand, and 9.52% of winning on a Tie.  These same probabilities in a baccarat game with six decks are 45.87% on the banker hand, 44.63% on the player hand, and 9.51% on the Tie.  A slight difference of only one hundredth of a percent shows, which is also apparent when looking at the House Edge.  For an eight deck game, the casino advantage on the banker hand is 1.06%, whereas it is 1.05% in a six deck game.  For the player and tie hands in an eight deck game, however, the edge is slightly better in the eight deck games – Another reason to stick with the banker bet.  Although this difference is so negligible that most players do not advise picking one version of baccarat over the other, it is advisable to take all the advantage one can possibly take.

Tip #3 ——- Play Baccarat at Casinos with the lowest commission possible

On the banker bet, the casino charges a vig, or commission to counter the players advantage.  Usually this commission is 5%, which returns a House Edge of approximately 1.05%.  However, sometimes casinos will only impose a 4% commission, which brings the House Edge on the banker bet down to only approximately .6%.  Any informed player would see that this bet is one of the best in the casino.  If you can get a 4% commission, by all means take advantage of it – and bet on the banker every time.

Tip #4 ——- Manage your money wisely, without a “system”

As I said before, any system like the Martingale, which is designed to cover losses, should be avoided.  Unless you play baccarat with a very hearty bankroll, and do not mind losing every bit of it, play with a money management system that does not try to chase after losses.  If you want to take your chances, then by all means use a system – just know when to quit.  As for other bankroll management strategies, a good one is posted on this website.  Whatever you decide to follow, be sure you plan ahead of time.  At the least, set yourself limits on losses and stake amounts.