If you’ve ever watched any of the James Bond movies, you’re probably familiar with the casino game baccarat. Although it might seem slightly complicated at first, it’s actually an easy game to learn and is extremely popular with gamblers worldwide. In addition to being fun to play, the house edge remains one of the lowest in the casino. Thus, players have frequently been awarded handsome profits. Essentially, you are betting on the flip of a coin. (We will discuss this in more detail later in the article.) This simplicity allows both amateurs and professionals to enjoy this Italian game.
Created in the 1400s, baccarat has seen a surge in popularity throughout the past 40 years. Macau announced that, in 2017, its 40 casinos made around 88% of profit of their $33.2 billion from the game. New Zealand also enjoyed healthy profits from baccarat last year. Even though land-based casinos aren’t as popular here as they are in Las Vegas, many online casinos provide the game. We’ve outlined a few of our favourite websites below. We highly recommend that you check them out if you’re interested in the wonderful world of baccarat.
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Rules of Baccarat
- All players are seated around a baccarat table and two hands of two cards are dealt. These two hands are known as the bank hand and the player hand.
- The player must guess which hand will be closer to 9.
- The player can bet on the bank hand, the player hand, or a tie.
- All face cards and 10s as zero, whilst aces have a sum of 1. The other cards represent their normal values.
- If the total of any hand value passes 9, the quantity of 10 is subtracted from the total.
- Sometimes a third card is drawn for each hand but this will depend on the casino in which you are playing.
- If you wager on a player hand that wins, you will receive a 1/1 payout.
- If you wager on a bank hand that wins, you will also receive a 1/1 payout. However, you will then have to pay a 5% commission.
- If you win a tie bet, you will receive a payout of 8/1.
Though luck does have play a role in baccarat (as in most casino games), it is a good idea to play the game using some kind of strategy. Following are some of the most common strategies that gamblers use:
- Keep track of your bets – You will usually be able to keep track of all the previous bets that have been made on the baccarat table. Spot the trends and stay safe by starting with low bets.
- 1-3-2-4 – Many players swear by the 1-3-2-4 strategy. This means you place 1 unit in the first game, 3 in the second, 2 in the third, and 4 in the fourth. However, you follow the pattern only if you are winning. As soon as you lose, you go back to the start of the sequence.
- Know when to stop – As with any casino game, it’s important to know when to stop. Remember that the casino will always have the house edge and you will probably end up losing if you play for an extended period of time. Set aside the amount of money you want to play with, and never exceed it.
Odds in Baccarat
As we have touched on previously, baccarat has the lowest house edge among all the games you can find at the casino. The banker hand has an edge of 1.06% while the player hand has an edge of 1.24%. When you compare this to other games, you will see that it makes sense to play baccarat more often. Blackjack has a house edge of 1.5%, craps has a house edge between 1.4% and 5%, and three card poker has a house edge around 1.5 %.
Variations of Baccarat
- Chemin de Fer – This is very similar to baccarat except that players bet against each other instead of having a banker hand.
- Baccarat Banque – This is similar to Chemin de Fer. However, the casino will always hold the bank. The banker will sit in the middle of the table and cover all the bets on both sides.
- High-Limit Baccarat – The difference with this version of baccarat is the ability to combine player and tie, and banker and tie bets. Therefore, players can make a total of five bets while playing this game.
Top 3 Baccarat Tips
- Don’t rely on tie bets. Incredibly, the tie bet has a house edge of around 14.4%. That means you will lose 14.4 units for every 100 you wager. When you compare this with the player hand (which has a house edge of 1.24%) and the bank hand (which has a house edge of 1.06%), it’s easy to see why you should use it minimally.
- Check out the banker hand. The banker hand will win, on average, 50% of the time. This is why a 5% commission is always charged when you win; it stops you from having the edge. Nonetheless, the banker hand is always a good option.
- ● Try to capitalise on streaks. The hand that always has the best chance of hitting a streak is the banker hand. If you notice a streak occurring, place a bet on it. However, note that while something has occurred a few times in a row, it won’t necessarily continue to happen.
It’s easy to see why baccarat is increasing in popularity. Players are becoming aware that its house edge is the lowest among all casino games. This means you are more likely to walk away with a profit, even if you’re an amateur.