In order to develop a good strategy playing Baccarat you really need to understand the game as a whole, including the Baccarat odds. Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games and is very popular. Basically there are three ways to bet. Bet that the banker will win, the player will win or there will be a tie. Baccarat has the lowest house advantage of any casino game at about 1%, as long as you don’t bet on the tie hand where the house has a 15% advantage. As the game goes, there are only two hands dealt per round; the player and the banker, the object here is to get as close to 9 as possible when adding up the cards. Tens and face cards have no value, aces are valued 1 point and all other cards are at face value and if you are dealt a hand that equals 8 or 9 than you have a fair chance of beating the banker.
When figuring out which strategy to use, its best to know how many decks of cards are going to be used in the game, you will either have a game where 1, 6, or 8 decks are used. Players are given a score card, which in my opinion is similar to being able to count the cards like so many have tried in BlackJack. On the scorecard you basically keep track on who has won each hand. Playing in a casino where one deck is used is obviously going to be best for the player, but try to find a seat at those tables!
So as stated earlier there are three ways to bet; tie, the banker or the player. Let’s first talk about the tie bet since this is the one that has the highest banker advantage. Now because it has such a high banker advantage it also has the highest payout at 9:1 and the lowest odds of actually happening. Truthfully speaking I would never suggest that a player bet on a tie. When you are looking for a good strategy and if you ask other successful Baccarat players they will certainly tell you to stay away from the tie bet.
One of the other two bets you can make is on the banker. By placing this bet you are wagering that the banker’s hand will be closer to 9 than yours will be, and also that there will not be a tie. While this strategy is a good one and usually a winning one it tends to get a bit boring. Since the house has an edge, even as small as it is, why not bet where the advantage lies? And actually in betting on the banker you minimize the advantage of the house.
The other bet to make is to bet on the player, you. You are betting that your hand is closer to 9 than the dealer’s hand. This is where the house picks up its 1% advantage. The advantage is only there because there are up to 14 people at each Baccarat table and the dealer’s hand is put up against each player, just like in blackjack. This is a fun bet because it’s always nice when you, not only win the hand but when you bet money that you will win. Using your scorecard is a good way to determine if you should take this bet and gamble that your hand will be better than, and not tie the banker.
You now have an idea of how to bet and how not to bet but I think the best advice to give is to look for the Baccarat game that only uses one deck because it’s easier to guess which cards will be coming. Most players will really find their own Baccarat strategy that works for them only after playing the game for a while. And sometimes trusting your gut instincts can be your best Baccarat strategy.
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