Baccarat has been around since the 19th century, and it’s usually regarded as the domain of high rollers. In fact, 91% of Macau casino revenue in 2014 was attributed to wealthy punters trying their luck at this card game.

Luckily, online casinos don’t have roped off areas or dress codes. Everyone is welcome to play, and there are games with wagers suitable for players with any size bankroll.

Baccarat is definitely a game of chance, and most serious players just enjoy the thrill of winning or losing tremendous sums during the course of a single hand. However, for those who want to take a more measured approach, I’ve put together these winning tips for baccarat.

Know the Rules of the Game

Before you think about playing, it’s vital to learn the rules of the game. I know this sounds like common sense, but you’d be amazed at how many people jump in without a firm grasp of what’s going on.

There are multiple versions of baccarat, but Punto Banco is easily the most popular. Therefore, we’ll be focusing on those rules in this article.

The outcome of a game of baccarat is decided by comparing the hands of the banker and the player. The object is to have the hand with the highest value. This will either result in a player win, banker win, or a tie.

Card values are as follows:

  • Two through Nine – Value is the number shown on the card.
  • Jack, Queen, King – Value is 0.
  • Ace – The value is 1 point.

Using the above values, the cards in a hand are added together to achieve a total. If the total is a single digit number, then this total is used. If the total is a two digit number, then only the right digit is used (for example, a total of 12 would result in a value of 2).

Punto Banco is traditionally played with four, six, or eight decks. The players can wager on himself to win, the banker to win, or a tie.

Both player and banker get a pair of face-up cards. If either or both have a total of 8 or 9, then the result is either a win or tie. Otherwise, the game continues.

If the value of the player’s hand is 0 through 5, they receive one additional card. Otherwise, they get nothing.

If the player didn’t get a third card, the banker draws an additional card if they have a total of 0 through 5. Otherwise, the banker receives no extra cards.

When the player does get a third card, the following rules apply to the banker:

  • The banker gets a card if they have a total of 2 or less.
  • If the banker has a total of 3, they draw a card (unless the player’s third card was an eight).
  • The banker draws with a total of 4, but only if the player’s last card was worth 2 through 7.
  • The banker only draws with a total of 5 if the player got a 4 through 7 on their third card.
  • With a total of 6, the banker only draws if the player’s third card was a 6 or 7.
  • The banker does not draw if they have a total of 7.

Bet on the Banker

Most casinos require a 5% commission to the house on banker bets. Despite this, it’s still the safest bet in baccarat. That’s because it comes with a 1.06% house edge. Meanwhile, the player wager has a slightly higher house edge of 1.24%.

A successful tie bet results in a lucrative 9 to 1 payout. Unfortunately, the house edge is a frightening 14.36%, making it the worth bet in the game. Unless you’re in the mood to throw your money away, this option should always be avoided.

Take Betting Systems with a Grain of Salt

Betting systems allow you to establish a strategy throughout your gaming sessions. While some players view these methods as a sure-fire way to win, I suggest taking a more cautious approach.

Remember: baccarat is a game of chance. Therefore, even the cleverest system is bound to fail you sooner or later.

However, I’m not suggesting that you avoid them at all costs. Just view them for what they are, which is a novel way to keep your attention focused on the task at hand. Otherwise, you’re just as well off flipping a coin.

For those who are interested, here are a few examples of common betting systems:

  • Flat Betting – This strategy calls on the player to repeatedly place the same wager, regardless of whether they win or lose.
  • Positive Progression – This type of strategy focuses on increasing wagers after a win, while reducing them after a loss.
  • Negative Progression – The opposite of the positive progression, this strategy preaches increasing your wager after a loss and reducing it following a win. Of the three examples provided here, this is often considered the most potentially damaging to your bankroll.

Don’t Try Card Counting

Card counting in baccarat is a difficult proposition, but it is possible at land-based casinos. That changes, however, when you’re playing online. Virtual casinos can reshuffle the decks as often as needed, so don’t expect to gain any sort of advantage in this area.

Virtual baccarat table

Don’t Take Notes

At both land-based and Internet casinos, baccarat players are encouraged to take notes on previous hands in order to chart patterns or streaks. This is no more helpful than documenting the results of multiple coin tosses, so don’t waste your time. At best, taking notes simply provides you with a false sense of security (which is just what the casino wants).

Pay Attention to Betting Limits

Before you select a table and start making wagers, be sure you’re aware of the betting limits. There are plenty of affordable baccarat tables at online casinos, but there are also those geared towards high rollers. If you don’t pay attention, you might wind up having to risk more than you’re comfortable with.

Manage Your Money

Prior to starting a session, examine your bankroll and determine how much you’re willing to lose. If you ever reach this amount, then stop playing immediately. After all, you can always start another session when you’ve managed to replenish your bankroll.

It’s also a good idea to manage your individual wagers. If you risk 25% of your bankroll and lose, then your session is going to be over surprisingly soon. Instead, focus on modest bets that allow you to stretch out your online experience.

Final Thoughts

Baccarat is a game of pure chance, so always approach it as such. Sure, it can provide a tremendous amount of excitement, but it can also drain your account in the blink of an eye. By following the tips above, and keeping an eye on your bankroll, you’ll be able to get the most bang for your buck.

Additional Reading

For more gambling tips, please see the following: