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Baccarat strategy and tips: How to win at baccarat

Profile Picture: Simon Young

April 17th, 2020

James Bond always seems to win at baccarat. Unfortunately, turning yourself into a suave spy with a license to kill is not a baccarat strategy we can recommend. So, let’s look at other, more conventional ways to increase your chances of winning at this popular casino table game.

Best baccarat strategy

Baccarat is one of the most accessible casino games to play; it’s a myth that it’s a complicated card game for sophisticated high-rollers. In truth, you have only one decision to make each hand: whether to bet on the player, banker, or a tie.

And that’s it.

The dealer then runs the action, and you simply wait to see if the hand you backed is the right one and gets the most points.

Setting aside backing a tie, you’d think that you have a 50/50 chance of winning on either player or banker.

Wrong!

Statistically, there is a slightly better edge for the banker, which is down to the rules of when the banker must draw a third card or stand. Of course, casinos are wise to this and will charge a small commission on your winnings should you back the banker. If you can, find a casino where this commission is lower than the usual 5%.

However, even this commission still leaves a tiny edge in your favor – so backing the banker is always the best baccarat winning strategy.

As far as baccarat tips go, things don’t get much simpler than that! Bet on banker every time and, statistically, even though the house will always have the edge over time, you have the most chance of making a profit in the short term.

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More casino baccarat tricks

Having established that only backing the banker every hand is the best way to play baccarat, there is a baccarat betting strategy that can help improve your chances even further.

You may have heard of different betting patterns that can bring rewards. One we like because it’s easy and reasonably logical, is the 1-3-2-6 system, a staking strategy that you can also use on roulette and craps.

Bet one unit on the banker to start. One unit is your usual stake. If you win, you now have two units, so add one more and bet three units next time. From now on, you are only using your winnings to bet, firstly with two units, and if that wins, a final bet of six. If you fall at that late stage, the maximum you stake from your balance in any cycle is effectively two units.

But win after the cycle, and you have earned 12 units and should now start again at one, the beginning of a new cycle. You are, therefore, risking two units to win 12 on each cycle, meaning you can lose six cycles on the trot and win the seventh – and still break even.

Baccarat rules for dummies: What NOT to do

What to avoid is just as much part of how to play baccarat and win as the previous tips. As you’ve seen, aside from the unlikely tie, there is roughly a 50/50 chance of the player or banker winning.

Just because the player has won the previous four hands, it doesn’t make it more likely the next hand will be won by the banker. The fallacy is that after four successive player wins, a gambler will lump way more money than usual on the banker winning the next hand. But, the gambler is forgetting the next hand is always a 50/50 chance, no matter what’s happened before.

Why, you may ask, do online baccarat tables show all the recent winning streaks, or live casinos hand out cards for you to keep a record of results? It’s purely for entertainment because recent results cannot influence what happens next.

By all means, bet on the next hand breaking a sequence – but don’t bet MORE than you would usually have done.

Keep sensible money management

The final and most crucial element of any baccarat strategy guide is nothing to do with the game itself. It applies to all casino games: play within your bankroll.

Always play stakes that will keep you in the game for a long time; should you go on a losing streak. You will soon run out of money if you bet all your funds at once – and there is no fun in that.

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