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Guide to Baccarat Strategies

Baccarat is a classic casino game. Face paced and high stakes options make this game fiercely popular with high rollers and instant thrill seekers. It’s quick, simple and exciting with limited betting options. Baccarat, aka Punto Banco is easy to learn but there are some strategies new players can take on board for a more enjoyable experience. So here is our top 10 strategy tips for playing a smooth game of baccarat.

Introduction to baccarat

Baccarat was first established in Italy during the 1400s. It is thought that an Italian man named Felix Falguiere, created the game ”baccara”. It still keeps its pronunciation today but when this game became popular in France they added the silent ”t” on the end and this spelling stuck around the world. Its direct translation to English is ”zero”, which is due to all of the tens and face cards being worth zero during the game. Players often refer to them as ”nothing” too. Baccarat has risen in popularity worldwide and has become one of the most popular casino card games. Why? because the rules are simple, it’s easily accessible and highly enjoyable. It’s also an ideal game for all types of players at the casino, high rollers, lower rollers, beginners, experienced etc. Despite the common misconception that it’s only suitable for high rollers. 

So, if you’re looking for a straightforward card game without having to learn complicated bets and memorise many rules – baccarat is the game for you. There is also a high chance of winning (44.62% to be exact) which needless to say, players love. If you haven’t played baccarat before, the aim of the game is to get as close to 9 without going over. You will make a bet on either the player or banker. And of course, this is completely dependent on the cards that they are dealt. So, let’s get one thing straight, baccarat is 100% luck like many casino games. However, there are certain strategies and skills you can adopt to give yourself a much better chance of winning. Therefore, we Casinos Jungle experts have created a list of the top 10 strategies you can use when playing baccarat.

Baccarat Strategies

First things first, before we take a look at the best baccarat strategies, we need to remind you to learn the rules first. This may sound extremely obvious but you’ll be surprised by how many people jump into baccarat because they hear the rules are simple and assume they don’t need to do any research beforehand. Not only will this be frustrating for other players around the table but it will slow down your gameplay as you work things out whilst playing. You need to ensure you know how the table works, the betting options available, odds and more. The truth is that the first step to winning any game is learning and understanding the rules first. Oh and of course, read this page on strategies first and you’ll be off to the best start in playing baccarat. So without further ado, let’s take a look at these strategies… 

1. Find the games with fewer decks

Playing with fewer decks in baccarat means the house edge will be smaller and lower variability of the potential cards. Therefore, the game will not have as large of an advantage over you. However, it can be difficult to find casinos (land-based and online) that offer one deck games of baccarat. If you’re playing online, it will be significantly easier to find the smaller deck games. You will find that in most casinos the typical amount of decks is eight. However, it’s also common to find three, four, five or six decks as well. Do your research and hunt for the fewer deck baccarat games to give yourself a better chance of winning.

2. Set a budget and stick to it 

This won’t help you with winning, but it will certainly help to cut your losses. Like any casino game, you need to go into it prepared for the worse outcome – losing all of your money. If this thought frustrates or angers you, you should not be playing. Don’t expect to win every time, as we all know this is rarely the case. Setting a budget and sticking to it will help you control how much money you could possibly lose beforehand. So you will not leave feeling overly disappointed. And any winnings will be again! Do not ever use the money that you need for important things, this is a very dangerous road to go down. You should only use disposable income that you can afford to lose. Take the losses in your stride. Sticking to a budget will also make it easier to pick baccarat games that correlate with your means.

Make sure you’re always having fun

Remember that baccarat was created to be a fun and entertaining game. If playing is becoming stressful and frustrating you need to take a break and step away from it for a while. Continuing to play whilst feeling these negative emotions is not a responsible way to play. Do not let your emotions get too involved whilst playing, it should be a lighthearted form of entertainment. If you play baccarat with the right mindset (there are potential gains but they’re not guaranteed) then you will have a much better time and take the wins and losses in your stride. 

4. Don’t waste time card counting

The truth is card counting in baccarat isn’t really worth the time or effort. It’s common for many beginner baccarat players to believe that counting the cards will give them a great advantage. But experienced players will tell you, it’s a waste of time. Yes granted, it will give you a small advantage but the time, effort and practice spend learning to count cards would be much more beneficial to put into other strategies. Also, it’s very unlikely that you will get a count good enough to change the return until much later in the game. And at this point of the game, you probably won’t want to risk enough to get a count that will make a small difference. Therefore, it’s much more advantageous to focus on other strategies. Use your time wisely. 

5. Never wait for ”cycles” to finish

This is a common mistake made by many baccarat players, usually the less experienced ones. Many players believe that you should wait for the banker or player to lose before you enter the pot. Why? because they think it will boost your odds of winnings. This strategy is always implemented by the players that believe in winning or losing streaks. But as we all know, baccarat is based on luck and this theory has no factual evidence to support it. There is absolutely no point waiting for an imaginary ”cycle” to end and will simply just be wasting your time by waiting.

6. Ignore baccarat fallacies

For most casino games, there are many fallacies out there. And baccarat isn’t any different! Do not make the mistake of believing them all, despite how common they are and how long they’ve been around. Do your research first and base your strategies on evidence. The biggest mistake a player can make is believing all the fallacies that come from no factual evidence and are simply unproven theories. A popular baccarat theory is the ”“illusion of control” a theory that gives many unproven conditions to follow that will hugely influence the outcome of the game. However, we must always remember that baccarat is based on luck. Technically, the only thing you can control is how you react to the unpredictable gameplay and the skills that come with each.

7. The tie bet should be avoided

Ignore the tie bet in baccarat, it isn’t important and placing a bet on it is never a good idea. Why? first of all, the house edge for betting on a tie can be as high as 14.5%, much higher than banker and player bets. Many players make the mistake of betting on the tie to simply liven up the gaming experience and make things more interesting. And course, with huge hopes that the game will go in their favour and it will be a tie. Whilst this is likely, it’s much more unlikely. Play safe and give yourself the best possible chance of winning a return. The bottom line is that betting on a tie will give you a MUCH lower chance of winning. 

8. There is no best bet, choose the best bet for you

 Contrary to belief, there is no ”best bet” that you can make in baccarat because no one knows the outcome of each game. You should way up the pros and cons by yourself first and decide what type of baccarat player you want to be. Many players choose to bet on the banker because the house edge is always higher. Whereas others always bet on the player because you can earn more winnings. The choice is yours! There is no best bet or ”right choice”.

9. Don’t double your bet after losses

If you’re a regular casino card game player, then it’s extremely likely that you’ve come across this strategy before. It’s more formally known as the ”Martingale Betting System” and many players implement it into their gameplay, predominately in roulette, blackjack or baccarat. Essentially, this strategy requires you to double your bet after every loss. Sounds risky, huh? Players do this in the hope of when (more like IF) they win, it will be a big enough amount to cover the previous losses. This is in fact extremely risky and completely dependent on the fact that you are guaranteed to have a win after losses or a losing streak. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case and just to remind you once again – the outcome of the game is based purely on luck. Therefore, adopting this strategy can be a quick way to lose all of your money. There are much safer strategies to implement a higher chance of winning.

10. The positive progressive strategy

This strategy is simple. It follows the idea that after every win you make, you should increase the wager. It’s expected to increase your winnings in the hope of achieving a balance where your losses do not outweigh your winnings. Of course, it’s risky but just as risky as any strategy. Many players decide to implement it because when if they’re lucky enough to go on a winning streak, they can make some significant gains.

Variations of baccarat

As baccarat’s popularity has increased rapidly over the years, it’s no surprise that the variations of this game have too. Players can now choose from so many different variations available at land-based casinos all around the world or online. However, there are three variations that are undoubtedly played the most and have become the most popular – Punto Banco, Mini-Baccarat and Chemin de Fer. So, why not check them out and apply the strategies listed above? Let’s take a look at more details of each variant…

Punto Banco

The Punto Banco variant was born in Cuba in the 1950s! It has undoubtedly become the most popular variant all over the world. In this game, the players are referred to as ”punto” and the banker as ”bunco”. The name was created because players are up against the bank (”banco” means bank in Spanish). It allows up to 14 players around the table at the same time, which is the highest number of players allowed for any baccarat variation! So it’s a great social gaming option at casinos. In this game, 6-8 decks are used and distributed by the dealer. Another reason it is so popular among players is because of its accessible betting levels.

Mini-Baccarat

If you haven’t already guessed, this game is essentially a mini version of the original game of baccarat. Firstly, the maximum amount of players that can play is 7 in opposition to 8-10 in a usual game of baccarat (dependent on casino). This game is well-known for its low bet rates so it’s attractive to all types of players but mainly the ones who are simply playing for entertainment and looking for less serious gameplay with smaller returns. It’s somewhat viewed as a less intense and serious version of baccarat for various reasons. Such as there is only one croupier who acts as dealer and banker, instead of three in a normal game. This variant of baccarat is extremely popular in America and is in fact player more than the original game in land-based casinos and online. It’s perfect for beginners or small-time gamblers but it’s not uncommon to see experienced gamblers around the Mini-Baccarat table too.

Chemin De Fer 

The Chemin De Fer variant is a french version of the game. However, it undoubtedly came from the Italian version, with a few simple adjustments. In this game, you will use 6 decks of cards instead of 7. It has become so popular because players have much more active participation than in any other variant of baccarat. Players will get to be the banker during this game and take turns to shuffle and distribute the cards. This also gives players a higher sense of control over the game, although of course, never the outcome. Also, all cards are distributed face down instead of face up. The only other major difference is the player will be able to make the decision whether or not to draw the third card. Which player? the one that made the biggest bet.

Conclusion

This guide is created with love and expertise from Casinos Jungle. Ultimately, there are only three outcomes of the game – either the banker has a higher card, the player has a higher card or it’s a tie. And you should always remember that baccarat is a game of luck. As we’ve mentioned before, the house always has an edge however it’s very possible to earn money through playing. Understanding and implementing some of the strategies listed above will undoubtedly help minimise losses and maximum gains. It’s also important for players to try out different variations to also find the right one for you! Start off by learning the basic rules of whatever variant you’ve selected then test and practice different strategies to see what works best for you. Good luck!