It’s true that Baccarat is pretty much a game of pure luck and good guessing. The rules are already set and you just have to hope that you’ve chosen the right winning hand! However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few things to keep in mind while playing. Here are some Baccarat strategies and tips to remember:
Manage your money wisely.
This is a must-do no matter what game you’re playing. You never want to be in the mindset to lose all your money; otherwise, you’ll never survive a casino! Never make a bet that you can’t afford in the long run, and never increase your bet when you’re on a losing streak. That’s a typical mistake that people make, thinking that they’ll get lucky that one time and make up for what they lost quick. However, Baccarat could go both ways and you could just end up losing more than you bargained for.
Set a loss limit for yourself and learn to walk away once you’ve reached it. You could even establish a limit to a losing streak if you’re not keen on setting a limit to money. For example, either walk away when you’ve lost a quarter of your bankroll or when you’ve hit 3 consecutive losing rounds.
Learn to walk away when you’re winning, too. Most people ride on the high of a winning streak but when that luck runs out, the loss will just hurt twice as much!
Special tip: Casinos will provide you with a scorecard so you can keep track of the trend at your table! It’s pretty straightforward: just mark Banker, Player, or Tie after each round so you can observe the pattern in your wins and losses. While this won’t really help you to determine whose hand will win next, it’ll help you to keep track of whether you’re on a losing streak or not.
Know the Baccarat odds and bet consistently.
The Baccarat odds aren’t an even 50/50 between Banker and Player because of the option to be on “Tie”. Though the 8:1 or 9:1 payout on a Tie win is tempting, it definitely wouldn’t be a good idea to be on it consistently. Why is that? Well, a Tie win is only likely to happen about 9.6% of the time! That’s definitely not worth it, especially when compared to the odds of Player and Banker.
The Banker has slightly higher odds of winning at about 46% while the Player’s hand will win around 45% of the time. Even with such a small margin, many people still tend to bet on the Banker’s hand more often. If you don’t factor in the Tie option, the Banker has a roughly 51% chance of winning as opposed to the Player’s 49%.
Some Baccarat pros would advise that you bet on only one outcome consistently, i.e. always either the Player or Banker, instead of switching between the two every time. This actually gives you a higher chance of betting on a winning hand.
Card counting just isn’t worth it!
Now, card counting isn’t a strategy that we would likely suggest in any casino game; attempting to count cards could get you kicked out faster than you could say “Blackjack!”. Card counting in Baccarat is even less advisable because it just doesn’t give you enough of an edge. First of all, you’d have to wait until a fresh shoe of cards is played so that you can count properly, and even then it’ll only be worth it if it’s a six- or eight-deck shoe.
Since bettors don’t win any bonuses when a natural hand is dealt, there’s no real advantage to knowing when a higher value hand will come out. Additionally, you’d have to bet a huge amount for a marginal profit during a time period too long to make it worth it. Mathematician and blackjack expert Peter A. Griffin once stated that a good Baccarat card counter would only make $0.75 per hour on a $1,000 bet at the perfect time. All that time and money for such small amount just doesn’t make card counting in Baccarat the ideal strategy!