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How to Win at Baccarat

How to Win at Baccarat

Baccarat is a game which has been played since the 19th century but remains very popular. While it involves a large amount of luck, there are strategies and trends which can help you to win when you sit down for a game. From not making tie bets to the one-sided baccarat strategy, here some tips to use when playing in an online or offline casino.

What Is Baccarat?

Baccarat is one of the oldest and most popular casino card games. It is particularly popular among high-rollers and Asian gamblers – especially in Macau. Baccarat seems complicated and elegant, but it is actually as simple as betting on the flip of a coin.

Baccarat is a game of chance played between the players and the banker, with every round of betting called a coup. There are three possible outcomes when playing baccarat: 

Outcome

What Happens

A player wins

A player scores a higher result than the banker

The banker wins

The banker has the highest score

Tie

Value of banker and players hands are the same

 

The game is played in an exclusive roped off area (the baccarat pit) to separate itself from other casino games. Players are often rich and the table’s minimum bets are often quite high.

A conventional baccarat table is roughly the size of a craps table that has three casino dealers and as many as 12-14 players.

How To Play Baccarat

Baccarat is played on a table with eight decks of cards – each with the two jokers removed – that is held inside a dealing box called the shoe (this is also known as the bank). Players bet on the player's hand winning, the banker’s hand winning, or there being a tie. The payouts for the three bets are:

  • Player's hand –  1:1
  • Banker’s hand – house edge of 1.06%; player edge of 1.24%
  • Tie – 8:1

The dealer shuffles the cards and gets the player to cut them using a cut card. Once players have placed their bets, the player and banker are each dealt a two-card hand – the values of the cards are:

  • Aces = 1
  • Tens, Jacks, Queens and Kings = 0
  • Number cards count as their face value, 2-9

The object of the game is for players to pick the winner from the dealer or player, with the results of that decided by whoever gets closest to a total score of 9.

Finally, dealers pay out winning wagers and collect losing ones. The dealing player does not assume any financial responsibility of the bets (like in pai gow) but is just dealing cards.

How to Win at Baccarat

How To Play Mini Baccarat

Mini baccarat follows the same rules are conventional baccarat. However, here the dealer turns over all the cards, making this a much faster game. The odds are of course the same as those of the conventional big table, assuming you are playing with the same amount of decks. Sometimes mini baccarat is played with a 6-deck shoe, which changes the odds slightly.

How To Play Midi Baccarat

Midi baccarat is pretty much the same as mini baccarat, except that the table is larger, and you will usually find it in the high-limit rooms – not on the main casino floor.

The Four Trends In Baccarat Strategy

There are four main trends when betting in baccarat, with the one followed being determined by the outcome of the shoes – these trends are essentially the pattern of winning: 

Trend

What It Means

Zigzag zone

Outcomes form in a zigzag between banker and player

Streaky bankers and players

Winning streaks between player and banker

Trend switch treatment

Players alter their betting in the hope of staying with a winning trend

Hovering state

A defensive strategy with no defined trend

Using The Trend Switch Baccarat Strategy

We explained earlier that there are four basic trends to baccarat:

  • Zigzag zone
  • Streaky bankers and players
  • Trend switch treatment
  • Hovering state

When using the trend switch treatment strategy, you begin by combining the zigzag zone and streaky bankers and players trends. If you lose three times, you then switch to using the other trends, so that you don’t get caught in a losing strategy.

Using The One-Sided Baccarat Strategy

While there are three possible outcomes to baccarat (player, banker, or tie) in the one-sided baccarat strategy you are only concerned with one bet – either the player or the banker.

 

What this means is that you decide whether to bet on the banker or player and every wager you place is on that individual.

 

The idea behind using this approach is that it allows the player and banker to gain an advantage over time, giving overall odds of 4:1 of you breaking even at the end of your game.

Using The Breaking The Doubles Strategy

A hugely popular approach for online baccarat gamblers, the breaking the doubles strategy sees you bet the opposite of the zigzag pattern of outcomes streaking between the player (P) and banker (B). Below is an example of how this might work:

If the zigzag pattern is: B P B P B P B P B P, you should bet the opposite and continue with this pattern of betting.

If you don’t achieve your outcome target then you double down once.

Beginner's Strategy For Playing Baccarat Basic Strategy

Baccarat is a game of chance and that means luck plays a crucial part in the outcome of your games. While beginners should research the trends and strategies, you should start your games on the understanding that there is no approach that comes close to a guaranteed win.

What this means is that the beginner's strategy for playing baccarat is to adopt sensible and regimented bankroll management – decide how much you are willing to bet before stepping into a casino and stick to this amount.

How to Win at Baccarat

Top Tips For Winning (And Not Losing Overall) At Baccarat

Picking the right strategy isn’t the only thing that with protect your losses and increase your chances of winning when playing baccarat. Below we’ve covered off some top tips that will help your game.

Don’t Make The Tie Bet

Your odds of winning a tie bet are just 9%. This means that while it can give you a big payout, it’s a losing betting strategy in the long run.

Play Short Games

Some casino games, such as poker, can benefit players who favour a long-term approach. However, baccarat is characterised by streaks that see players lose or win. To give yourself the best chance of managing your bankroll, play short games instead of running with a winning streak or fighting against a losing one.

Make A Banker Bet

Banker bets win just over 50% of wagers. If you want a strategy that offers small but long term wins, this is a good approach to take.

Be Mindful Of Playing Mini-baccarat

Mini-baccarat is fast-paced and that allows for more bets to be placed. However, the speedy nature of the gameplay means you can quickly find yourself at a loss. While mini-baccarat can be great fun, be mindful of playing it unless you’re well-versed in the rules and strategies of baccarat.

Summary: Baccarat Is A Game Of Luck With Strategies To Improve Your Odds Of Winning

Baccarat is a fun game to play and one that can be quickly picked up by beginners. While there’s plenty of luck involved, selecting a strategy and following tips for playing will improve your odds of winning. So get well-versed in this game, head to a casino, and have some fun with baccarat!

FAQs

Is Baccarat A Good Game To Play In Casinos?

Baccarat is an enormously popular card game based on chance. This means while there are rules and strategies to playing baccarat, once you know the basics you can (if you want) just play the game without having to worry about your approach. 

How Do You Play The Card Game Baccarat?

Baccarat is a card game played between the banker and up to 14 other players. Check out the video below for a quick guide on how to play baccarat:

Are There Any Strategies For Baccarat?

There are many different strategies and trends for baccarat. The main baccarat strategies are:

  • Breaking The Doubles
  • One-Sided
  • Trend Switch

The main baccarat trends are:

  • Zigzag zone
  • Streaky bankers and players
  • Trend switch treatment
  • Hovering state

Can You Win When Playing Baccarat?

Like any casino game, when you sit down to play baccarat you have a chance of winning. However, because baccarat is based so heavily on chance, your ability to affect the results is lower than in some games – such as poker. To win at baccarat you need to know the rules, be versed in the strategies, and enjoy a bit of luck. Of course, even the best players can lose to the house, as poker legend Phil Ivey discovered.