8 Tips That Will Elevate Your Baccarat Playing Skills

Staff Writer Tips & Tutorials 1,321

In Bond movies you may have seen the super spy play high stakes baccarat at posh casinos. That version of baccarat is known as Chemin de Fer, in which one of the players becomes the bank. The more common version at land casinos and the only version at online casinos is Punto Banco. Our baccarat strategies are meant for this version.

The advantages and disadvantages of baccarat are highlighted below.

  • Advantage: The best bets offer an average return of almost 99% when optimum baccarat strategy is used
  • Advantage: The optimum baccarat strategy is extremely simple to master
  • Disadvantage: The only viable bets in baccarat offer low payouts

Tip 1: The Banker Bet Is the Best Baccarat Bet

Most baccarat games offer three bets of which one is Banker bet. This bet wins when the Banker hand is higher ranked. The most important baccarat tip is that the Banker bet offers the highest average return to the player even though it has the lowest payout.

  • Average return: 98.94% (with 8 decks)
  • Payout: 1 to 1 less 5% house commission, which is 0.95 to 1

Many new players are put off by the house commission, but the best baccarat strategy is to keep backing the Banker bet on and on.

Tip 2: Keep the Player Bet on Your Radar

The Player bet wins when the Player hand is higher ranked. The numbers for this bet are given below.

  • Average return: 98.76% (with 8 decks)
  • Payout: 1 to 1

The Player bet is only marginally less attractive than the Banker bet. Some players go by gut feeling and their hunches are often right. A useful baccarat tip for such players is to go for the Player bet when their instinct leads them in that direction.

Tip 3: Wagering on the Tie Bet Is a Rotten Idea

The Tie bet is the third common bet in baccarat. New players get attracted to this bet because it offers a much higher payout than the other two bets. But it is a sucker bet and the correct baccarat strategy is to avoid this bet at all costs.

  • Average return: 85.64% (with 8 decks)
  • Payout: 8 to 1

Very few land casinos and online casinos offer a payout of 9 to 1 on the Tie bet. This increases the average return to about 95%. Our baccarat tip is that you should still avoid this bet.

Tip 4: Stay Away from All Baccarat Side Bets

In order to attract players, many side bets have been added in baccarat games. There is no need to go into the specific returns and payouts of each bet. The general baccarat strategy is to stay away from these side bets. Most of these bets revolve around pairs dealt as the first to cards to the Player and Banker hands.

Tip 5: Number of Decks and Baccarat Strategy

When you have played baccarat for a while at land casinos or online casinos you will realise that the game is played with different number of decks at different tables. The average return for the different bets varies marginally with the number of decks used. This can be of importance to expert and dedicated baccarat players. For them we give this expert baccarat tip.

  • For the Banker bet the average return increases as the number of decks decreases. It is 98.94% for the eight decks game and 98.99% for the single deck game. Since the Banker bet is the preferred bet the baccarat tip for expert players is to look for baccarat games with single decks.
  • However, for the Player bet the average return decreases as the number of decks decrease. It is 98.78% in the eight decks game and decreases slightly to 98.71% in the single deck variant. If you are a fan of the Player Bet for any reason, our baccarat advice is that you look for games with eight decks. Normally eight decks is the maximum.

Tip 6: Do Not Waste Your Time With Road Maps

Many land and online casinos display Road Maps at their baccarat tables. Road Maps track the outcomes of past deals in different ways. These brightly coloured charts look exciting and attract many players. The idea that they convey is that by tracking past results, you will be better able to predict the outcome of the current one. The common Road Maps are listed below.

  • Big Road
  • Big Eye Road
  • Small Road
  • Cockroach Road

The fact is that each baccarat deal is practically independent of the previous ones. Therefore tracking past deals is futile. The correct baccarat strategy is to ignore Road Maps and focus on the other baccarat tips given in this article.

Tip 7: Learn Baccarat Etiquette for Land Casino Play

You play in anonymity at online casinos therefore baccarat table etiquette becomes irrelevant. But at land casinos it is different. Baccarat has a glamorous history. If you do not conform to the established practices you will be looked down upon at the baccarat tables. Therefore take heed of the valuable baccarat etiquette tips given below.

  • The game is pronounced as bah-cah-rat and not as back-a-rat.
  • If it is your turn to handle the cards make sure that you follow the prescribed rituals.
  • First rotate the dealt card.
  • Lift a corner of the card and peek at it. This is referred to as Squeeze.
  • Then turn the card over.

Tip 8: Learning Baccarat Rules Is Advisable Though Not Necessary

In Punto Banco baccarat the dealer plays both the Player hand and Banker hand according to set rules that do not give any choices. The dealer has to know the rules. But as a player you can just bet and then then wait for the dealer to announce the result without learning the baccarat rules.

But if you know the rules you will be able to follow what is going on, rather than looking lost. So our baccarat advice is that you become familiar with the rules. There are two parts – card valuation and card dealing.

  • Card valuation: Cards two through nine are worth face value. Tens, jacks, queens and kings have zero value, Aces are worth 1 point. Hands are valued according to the rightmost digit of the sum of their constituent cards. The highest possible hand value in baccarat is therefore nine. The hand with the higher value wins.
  • Card dealing: Two cards are dealt to the Player and the Banker hand. If either Player or Banker or both achieve a total of 8 or 9 with two cards then the deal is over and the result is announced. If not then a complicated set of dealing rules is applied to determine if a third card is to be dealt to any of the hands.
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