While most people would probably assume that craps or blackjack would be the most popular casino table game, in all actuality, it’s baccarat, and it has been since day one. Baccarat is a very international and traditional gambling card game. It is an old game filled with odd traditions and weird superstitions but nothing else. It was made for gambling and gambling only. There is nothing fancy about the game of baccarat. There is no card counting or algorithm to employ that gives you the advantage over the cards, other players, or the dealer. You don’t build a hand or take a hit. It’s Player, Banker, or Tie, pick one and that’s it. You win or you lose.
Of course, gambling being gambling, there is always a strategy and there’s one that works when playing baccarat. It’s more of a rule of thumb than anything else because, as with any casino table game, you’re going to need a little luck. Timely luck aside, playing baccarat successfully has everything to do with the house edge and the house commission. Being able to decipher and use these two important pieces is the key to your success when playing baccarat.
You’ll quickly notice some odd behavior around any baccarat table. Most of these actions are just old superstitions and traditions people use as just part of the game and they carry no meaning to the game. You see players checking cards. Tossing them this way and that across the table. Bending and marking them, too. It’s just what’s done at a baccarat table. However, you’ll also notice players taking notes during the game on little scorecards. It looks rather complicated at first, like scoring a baseball game but, upon closer inspection, it’s actually very simple, not to mention useless.
The information being recorded is simply the outcome of every hand. Which, you’ll also notice, is almost always provided on a big, bright board hanging over the table. Again, this is just tradition and not any kind of strategy. None of this information is useful and, in fact, taking notes is probably nothing more than a frustrating endeavor. If the losses are mounting, no one likes staring them in the face.
Ignore the Tie
One of the your options when playing baccarat is the Tie. When you sit down at a baccarat table the first option that will jump out at you is the Tie, and that’s because of the odds. At 8 to 1, the Tie odds are the sweetest on the table and this is because the actual odds of a Tie between the Player and the Banker are very slim. This is important to remember because it is precisely what makes the Tie wager so bad. While they are the biggest odds on the table, they just don’t align with the actual odds of a Tie. A Tie between the player and banker is a long shot to say the least and should probably pay odd upward of 35 to 1, depending on how many decks the table is using. This, of course, makes the house edge on the Tie the highest on the table, as high as 15.75%. It’s for this reason not wagering on the Tie is an important rule of playing baccarat.
Ditch the Player
The Player option’s house edge is much better than the Tie and for good reason. This, of course, lowers its payout substantially. When you see the action on the baccarat table, you’ll notice there is a commission on the Banker option. This commissions can be as high as 5% too. Now, if you are looking at basically an even wager and one has a commission like the Banker and one doesn’t like the Player, most people will wager with the Player. However, everything is not as it seems, so read on and never bet the Player option.
Bet with the Banker
Firstly, what makes the Banker the best bet on the board is the low house edge. While the Player option carries a house edge of 1.24%, which is much better than the Tie option as noted. The Banker house edge is even better at 1.06%. At any game in the casino, players who are looking to win look for the low house edges. This is what makes blackjack and parts of the crap table so popular. Equally as popular, the Banker at the baccarat table.
Then there is the commission. This 5% of your winnings scares of many players and keeps them playing with the Player. However, you just have to ask yourself why the commission? Well, it’s because the Banker wins the most, that’s why. Casinos aren’t into losing money and when they know they will, they correct it.
Don’t take notes, don’t bet for Ties. Ignore the Player and stick to the Banker. It’s the only way to win at baccarat.