The card game baccarat is one of the most popular games in today's online casinos, thanks to its simple rules. The main objective of the game is to guess the winner of the game round and place a bet on the particular outcome of the game being in favour of the player or the banker. The fun part is that it doesn’t really matter if the player is winning since you can also bet on the banker. This is crucial for most baccarat strategies. You can find more detailed rules for the game in our guides section; however, for the purpose of this article we want to focus more on the odds and the best strategies.
The Odds of Baccarat
In online baccarat, the odds of winning depend on whether you are betting on the player's hand or the banker's hand. If you bet on the banker, the house edge is 1.17%. If you bet on the player, it is 1.36%. You can also bet on a tie, which pays the most, but, unfortunately, also has an incredible house edge of 14.40% and thus significantly lowers your chances of winning compared to the other two bets.
The winnings and payouts, however, remain the same whether you put your money on the banker or on the player. Both bets give you double the stake as a profit. On the other hand, a won tie pays 8:1 or 9:1, depending on the table you are on. There might be some other bets available on some tables; however, for the purpose of the baccarat strategies, we are only looking at bets on the banker or the player, as these are the most profitable wagers in any scenario.
When playing a traditional game of Punto Banco Baccarat, you always have these three types of bets available to you. However, if you want to win more in online baccarat, you should know which bets are worth placing. This is the key to any of the more complex betting systems. Let’s have a closer look at the bets, and some more of the probabilities.
Bet on the Banker
Betting on the banker is always the safest bet in online baccarat – 45.86% of bets on the banker are won. The actual probability of the banker winning over the player is 50.68% if we also take ties into consideration. But to compensate for this, the casino usually receives a 5% commission on your winnings for this type of bet.
Bet on the Player
Statistically, bets on the player are won 44.62% of the time. The only advantage to betting on the player rather than the banker is that the casino doesn't take any commission when you win a player bet, meaning you get the full payout on your bet. This might seem tempting as the odds are only slightly worse compared to a bet on the banker in exchange for no commission on your winnings. However, if you do the math, it’s still less profitable than putting your money on the banker.
Bet on a Tie
If you want to take a risk, you can bet on a draw. The probability of winning is a low 9.52%, but the payout is much higher. However, it’s still not worth taking your chances with this type of bet because, as previously explained, the house edge is by far the highest compared to the other two options.
General Baccarat Strategies
Punto Banco Baccarat is a card game, so luck plays a crucial role in the outcome of the game. There are many Baccarat strategies and tips out there, but none of them guarantees players a profit. This does not mean that the baccarat strategies are not useful, but that they are not 100% guaranteed precisely because baccarat is a game of chance.
One of the simplest tips is to always put your money on the banker. This is because the house edge on the banker bet is smaller than the other two options. Even after the commission has been deducted from the profit, betting on the banker is still the better choice. The difference might not be very noticeable in the short term, but mathematically you will get much better results in the long run following this simple trick.
Many players tend to write down the outcome of each hand while they are at the baccarat table to see which hand wins. Some claim to spot patterns, but in reality, this is not true and is only a guessing game with no guarantee. This process is reminiscent of writing down roulette numbers: it can help you choose a number, but it can never predict a win.
Progressive Strategies for Baccarat
Players can also find many baccarat systems online. These systems guarantee players that they will win, which is, unfortunately, only wishful thinking. While some of these baccarat strategies really work in theory, they lack some considerations when put into practice. Usually, the casino has rules that prevent the successful application of these baccarat systems, such as table limits.
The most frequently used betting systems are baccarat strategies with a positive or negative progression. For example, Martingale, Paroli, Labouchere, and Fibonacci. You might already be familiar with some of them as they are also very popular with roulette players. Betting systems of this type work best in games with even-money bets. This means that baccarat is very well suited as the chances of the player or the banker winning are almost the same. Generally, we can differentiate between two types of strategies. Let’s have a closer look.
Baccarat Strategies With Negative Progression
When using a baccarat strategy with a negative progression, you increase the size of your bets after a loss. The Martingale System is the most common strategy used in baccarat or roulette. For example, you might want to try to double your bet in the next round. If you are successful, you make up for all of your losses from the last round and even come out of it with a small profit. If it doesn't work, you can double your bet again until you finally win.
The truth is that this method in no way increases the chances of winning in the long run, for a couple of reasons. In theory, this kind of betting system works if you have an unlimited amount of funds available. This is the first big hurdle for most players as they can’t afford to double up endlessly until they get a win. But even if you have enough money to sustain increasing your bets, there's another factor that stops baccarat strategies with negative progression from being successful: sooner or later, you will reach the maximum table limit. When you hit this limit, you can’t increase your wager any further, and you won’t be able to continue with the progression in the system.
Baccarat Strategies With Positive Progression
Systems with a positive progression are also a very popular form of betting strategy. As the name suggests, players using such a system increase the size of their bets every time they win. A popular example would be the Paroli System. Most believe that by doing this, they will manage to make up for any losses suffered in the process.
This assumption is partially correct. Again, in theory, baccarat strategies with positive progression work really well. In reality, however, you face the same problems as previously described for systems with a negative progression.