Let’s get one thing straight – there is not one single surefire Baccarat strategy guaranteeing you wins. Anyone who claims they have cracked the Baccarat code is either a Trump supporter who yells at kids to get off their lawn or a self-righteous and self-proclaimed “expert” lacking the bankroll to back up him boasting his uncanny skill and technique. And although there’s not really one foolproof strategy per se, considering how much based on the chance the game is, there are some rules you can follow to ensure a pleasant time at the Baccarat table.
How to Play Baccarat – The Rules In a Nutshell
These versions of the free baccarat games are available for free-play using our online download free gaming services. The key factor to baccarat is that despite its numerous variations, this exciting card game is suitable for all online players since it is an easy-to-play card game. Sign up on 21 Dukes Casino and get $25 deposited into your account for free in order to try your luck. Free Online Baccarat The History of Baccarat The name of the game means “zero” in both Italian and French. I’ve seen sources that claim that version of baccarat date back to the late 15th century, making it one of the oldest games played in modern casinos.
First and foremost – learn the mechanics of the game. Make sure you know the rules, how the cards are dealt and what their value is. It can be boring learning all the intricacies like when the player stands and when the banker hits but if you’re betting your money, you need to have a complete understanding of what’s going on.
Despite the fancy suited high-rollers we’ve come to associate with Baccarat, it doesn’t take the intellectual prowess and deductive reasoning of a British Secret Service agent to ace it. In fact, this is probably the most straightforward game you can play at a casino. Despite all the prestige surrounding the game, it’s really nothing more than a coin toss, so once you’re familiar with the terms and bets, you’re all good to go. To prep you up for a night at a glitzy land-based casino or a game at an online live table, here’s a crash course on how to play Baccarat.
Baccarat is played at large kidney-shaped tables that can sit 12 players and two dealers, plus a caller. In front of every player, there are two fields – Player and Banker. Each player places their bet before the cards are dealt and chooses whether their wager goes to the Player hand or the Banker hand. There is also a third option – Tie if the Player and Banker’s hands have equal value. The version of Baccarat played at American casinos is called Punto Banco which stands for Player and Banker. After all players have placed their bets, the Player and the Banker are each dealt two cards. The hand that wins is the one that’s closer to a total of 9. So, if the Player hand is 8 and the Banker hand is a 3, the winning one is the Player and all punters at the table who have placed bets on the Player hand, win. If the hands are equal, it’s a loss for everyone who has bet on Player / Banker and a win for all that have bet on a Tie.
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The Good, the Bad and the Player – Baccarat Bets to Make and Avoid
The first step towards winning is to avoid the Tie bet. Not that we don’t like it or anything but if you’re in it to win it, then wagering your money on a bet with a 14-percent house edge is not exactly a surefire winning strategy. Next, you need to know the odds – although it seems pretty straightforward having only two options to bet – either Player or Banker, there are slightly different odds for the two as follows:
- Banker – 45.843%
- Player – 44.615%
- Tie – 9.543%
*There’s also a commission on the Banker bet so make sure you’re familiar with these before placing a wager.
The Banker Bet
With its higher odds, the Banker bet seems like the most reasonable choice when designing a Baccarat winning strategy. Experts will advise you to bet your money on it because it has been estimated that it will win more than 50% of the time – one of the reasons casinos add the 5% commission on it. Despite this being added, it’s still a preferred choice for many players – both newbies and seasoned pros who swear by it. Experts will also recommend that you keep betting on Banker until it loses as it has a better chance for winning streaks and that you wait for at least one bet after a Banker loss before switching to Player.
A good thing to always keep in mind is that hot/cold tables and winning/losing streaks are pure myths born by the gambler’s fallacy that in even odds bets after many consecutive outcomes of the same results, the opposite one is just bound to happen. There’s absolutely no mathematical or any other proof of such co-dependency so we advise that you don’t employ such practices.
|Outcome||Combinations||Probability||Banker Bet Return||Player Bet Return||Tie Bet 8 to 1 return||Tie Bet 9 to 1 return|
The Player Bet
Although the Banker bet is typically assumed as the better option, it’s a bit different when you’re using a strategy. Considering the commission on the Banker bet, it will be less lucrative when you’re using progressions. Let’s say, you’re playing Martingale – you are doubling your bet after every loss. After four consecutive losses at a 10-unit wager, you’ve lost 150 units (10 + 20 + 40 + 80).
You bet on Banker again and this time you wager 160. Finally, you win and the total payout is 304 units. That’s the 160 stake plus the 160 win, minus the 5% commission. The total amount wagered was 310 (10 + 20 + 40 + 80 + 160) which means that even though you’ve won, you haven’t covered your losses and due to the negative progression and the bet commission, your net loss is 6 units. A similar streak of losses while betting the Player hand would have given the expected 1 unit of profit, that is 10. Despite its lower odds, it’s the better option when playing with systems.
The Tie Bet
Baccarat is known as the casino game with the lowest house edge, however, the Tie bet can definitely tarnish its reputation. The Banker is recommended for its low edge of 1.06%, the Player is also a good option with a house edge of 1.26% and then there’s the Tie bet – standing at the staggering 14.4% house edge, defying logic and critical thinking. Naturally, it’s not a good call to place your money on a bet that has less than 10% odds and the possibility of paying back only 14 units per very 100 units wagered. That’s why the most logical thing would be to avoid it and play as if it doesn’t exist. A tie is a push, so your wager will just wait for the next round. If you’re following a streak and you get a Tie, simply don’t count it and keep playing accordingly.
Practice Baccarat for Free
You can test this experts’ advice in our demo game and see for yourself whether betting successively on Banker yields the highest winning potential. Play for free Baccarat by Pragmatic Play and use its features to hone your betting strategies. The game follows standard baccarat rules and has payouts as follows:
- Player Win – 1:1 (Even Money)
- Banker Win – 0.95:1 (with 5% commission)
- Tie – 8:1 (in case of Tie, Banker Bet and Player Bet are Push)
Played with eight decks, this version keeps history of the last twenty results indicating B for Banker, P for Player, and T for Tie. You have also options to rebet or place different bets before each new deal. With a betting range of 1 – 100 and 500 free credits, the game will also allow you to test out some of the progressive betting systems described below.
Using Betting Systems in Baccarat – It’s Not Stupid if it Works
Some practices used in other table and card games can also be applied to Baccarat. Both simple strategies like the D’Alembert and more sophisticated ones like the Labouchere system can serve your purpose of beating the odds at Baccarat. Positive progression systems like the Parlay and Paroli or negative progressions are also applied by players. To find out how you can use popular betting systems like the Fibonacci progression or the 1-3-2-6 system, read more details about Baccarat betting systems on our dedicated page.
Using a positive progression system means that you increase your bet every time you win and reduce it after a loss. Positive progressions are considered to be less damaging to your bankroll than negative progression betting systems. They are supposed to help you maximize your winnings if you go on a lucky winning streak and keep your losses to a minimum if you end up having consecutive losses. In theory, they do make sense and it is possible to win more money if you get a series of winning outcomes and soften the blow to your wallet in case of several consecutive losses. Positive progressions do not influence your chances of winning or losing a bet and are generally no risk at all.
Negative Progression Systems
Negative progressions are just the opposite of positive progression systems and can actually be harmful to your bankroll. In essence, they postulate that you should increase your wager after every loss and reduce it after a winning bet. At first glance, they seem logical and it’s easy to see why some gamblers will be tempted to try them. The theory behind them is that when you increase your bet, eventually your win will be big enough to cover your losses.
A closer look at how they work will reveal all the problems about such betting practice. There’s a very real risk that you will eventually run out of money, especially if you’re doubling your bet. Besides, there’s the bet limit of the house you need to consider – even if you have enough money to keep betting, the cap of the bet amount will prevent you from placing a wager big enough to cover your losses. Unless you’re very experienced and know exactly what you’re doing, such systems can be a recipe for disaster.
Flat Betting Strategy
Unlike positive and negative progression systems where you have to alter the amount of your bet, a flat betting strategy for Baccarat means that you will be repeatedly placing the exact same wager in successive rounds of play, regardless of whether you lose or win. This approach is considered advantageous due to the lower risk in case of a losing streak. But how can you win more using a flat betting strategy? The best way to profit from the flat betting strategy is to determine correctly which hand will win, Banker or Player, with the accuracy higher than 50 percent. Using the flat betting strategy means that you will place the same amount of bet on every hand. While this is an effective way of minimizing the risk, it doesn’t guarantee big wins. It’s useful if you’re still getting used to the game and not very certain of the rules.
What are the benefits of using the flat betting system instead of the negative or positive progressions?
- Flat betting offers higher chances of actually making a profit.Since you don’t double or increase your bet in flat betting, there’s a smaller risk of overspending. Not adding more money to your wager reduces the risks of bigger losses and presents a better chance of making a profit.
- You can bet more. Flat betting gives you the option for more bets at a lesser value since you don’t double the wager neither after a win, nor after a loss, the way you would in progression systems. You can bet more money because you won’t make big losses due to doubled bets.
- You can use it if you’re not very well versed in the rules. Flat betting is suitable for beginners because of its simplicity and lower risk. You don’t need to make calculations and you can apply it even if you’re not familiar with the rules like drawing additional cards.
If you’re interested in utilizing a betting system, flat betting is the only way to do it without the risk of losing more money than you can afford. Experts advise against using negative progressions and are sceptical about positive progressions as well, so it’s not a good idea to chase after other strategies if you can gain an advantage over the game by using the flat betting system. It doesn’t guarantee a sure win but it is an effective way to increase your odds if you manage to predict the outcome of the round. Even if you don’t, you don’t risk losing a lot of money.
*Flat betting example
Card Counting in Baccarat – Close to Impossible but Still an Option
Card counting has gained enormous popularity at Blackjack ever since Edward E. Thorp published his 1964 bestseller Beat the Dealer. It’s a method that has proven to be lucrative for players who have used it successfully to beat blackjack. But of course, it’s not just the players that caught on to it – the casinos are well aware of it and now blackjack tables are the most closely watched ones, with suspected card counters often being barred from betting or asked to leave the premises. But gamblers won’t let their practice go to waste so they turn to the next best thing where they can continue to hone their skills – Baccarat.
Yes, Baccarat card counting is a thing and might as well be the reason why Baccarat is likely to replace blackjack as the most popular casino game. Although theoretically, you can beat Baccarat by counting cards, the edge you get will be so small that it might not actually be worth your time, considering how much more complicated than card counting at a game of 21 it is. Still, if you have the time and dedication to try and learn it, we have the complete Baccarat card counting guide to help you.
Money Management Is Crucial
If you decide to use progression systems, you need to exercise strict control over your budget. Any system that requires you to increase or double your bet is a pitfall that you’ll have hard time getting out of. Whatever systems you’re using to play online baccarat at the best online casinos, be it the Paroli, Martingale, Parlay or any other, never spend more money than you set out to. Baccarat is a chance-based game, you can never predict with certainty whether you will have a winning or a losing streak. Don’t go chasing your losses and remember the golden rule – quit while you’re ahead.
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Plan your budget – decide on your wager and put a limit on the total sum you’re willing to bet. If you decide to make your wager $10, allow yourself a $200 bankroll and if you lose it all, simply walk away. Take time until the next session. It’s nice to leave the table a winner, but gambling is inherently unpredictable. The worst strategy would be to start chasing your losses or fall for some of the erroneous motivators behind gambling like:
- near misses: being very close to winning but not actually winning and continuing to wager with the assumption that the next round is due to be a win.
- the illusion of control: being able to roll the dice, spin the ball at roulette, or squeeze the cards in baccarat will give you a false sensation of exercising control over a game purely based on luck.
- the gambler’s fallacy: the wrong and unsupported conviction that after a series of the same result or a losing streak, the next one will be lucky and with the winnings, you’ll be able to even out.
Having Fun and Staying in Control Is the Best Strategy
All of these are misconceptions that are actually the first signs of compulsive gambling. We have an innate aversion to loss but we have to accept that in a tight game like baccarat, the chance is the deciding factor. Stop playing when you’ve spent your budget, regardless of whether you’re winning or losing and give yourself some time before you go back to playing. If you’re winning, split your win in half and use only that to keep playing. Even if you lose it, you still walk away with a profit. Remember that gambling is an entertaining activity – enjoy the fun and social aspects of it and stay in control of your bankroll. Now, that’s a strategy that always works.
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Gambling is intrinsic to humanity. And with it, comes the inherent illusion of control it gives us. People like to feel like they can exert skill over something that is purely based on luck. Case in point – chance-based games like Roulette and Baccarat. With both games, it’s pretty obvious that you have a 50/50 chance of getting either red/black, even/odd, or Player/Banker in Baccarat. Not much more effort should go into that than calling heads or tails, right? Still, since we’ve been playing these games, people have been trying to come up with a strategy that can help them predict and influence an outcome that is 100% random and based on luck. Hence, the betting systems that many gamblers use even today.
Types of Betting Systems
Generally, betting systems can be divided into positive progression systems and negative progression systems. With the former, you’re supposed to increase your wager when you win and decrease it when you lose, while with the latter it’s the opposite – increase your stake when you’re losing and decrease it when you’re winning. If such logic seems a bit flawed to you – then you’re right. There’s no proof that they will work, in fact – just the opposite. These myths of keeping to only one outcome and increasing or decreasing your stakes have been debunked on numerous occasions. Yet, people use them because that’s simply how gambling psychology works and because these systems are really easy to use. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular ones used in Baccarat.
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One of the oldest betting systems, the Martingale is a negative progression system used in chance-based games like roulette, baccarat, and craps. In essence, it postulates that players should bet the same amount again after they win and double their bet after they lose.
For example, you bet $5 and you win – then you bet $5 again. However, if you lose, you need to bet $10. You lose again – you bet $20. The idea is that when you eventually win, and actually every time you win, you will be up $5 despite your previous losses. Here’s an example. You’ve bet $5 but after four consecutive losses, you win. You’ve won $160 but you’ve already lost $155 from your previous bets (the initial $5 + $10 + $20 + $40 + $80 from your last winning bet.) So, in theory, it sounds like you can never lose and that you’ll always be up your initial bet. In reality, however, things are different. Imagine betting $5 and having a streak of thirteen consecutive losses, then your next bet would have to be $40,960. Let’s assume you do have that kind of money. If you lose again (more likely than you think) you will have to bet up $81,920 and that’s above the limit of most houses.
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Which leads us to the main point – when you play Martingale, in the long run you will either run out of money or the casino betting limits will cut your strategy short even if you’re willing to place ridiculously high bets. Systems like Martingale could work for short gambling sessions and fewer betting rounds. Although Baccarat with its low house edge seems like a good option to try the system, it’s not recommended that you try it while playing online, especially Mini Baccarat or Speed Baccarat. Online rounds go much faster than playing at a land-based casino, and the chances of getting your bets back using Martingale are bigger if you spend less time playing – about an hour – before you max out and in just an hour, you could play 120 rounds of Baccarat.
Unlike the Martingale system, Paroli is a positive betting progression which is more than 400 years old and was originally developed for a card game called Basset. The name of the system is derived from the Latin word Par which means “one that is equal”. It can be used for all kinds of table and card games that include even odd bets like roulette, baccarat, craps, Sic Bo, Pai Gow poker, and even blackjack with some alterations. Like with other progressions, there’s no guarantee that it will make you a winner, but its simplicity has made it very popular with gamblers.
For this system, you need to have a fixed stake to begin with. The fixed stake is how much you bet at the beginning of each progression. It can be any amount you wish but it’s a good idea that it’s not too high compared to the total amount you’re prepared to wager. About 2% of this would be ideal. In a nutshell, the system works like this: losses follow flat betting, i.e. you don’t change your bet after you lose and you start doubling the bet when you win. Some players double only during three consecutive wins while others like to bet as many progressions as the wins.
The Paroli betting system offers some potential for consistent albeit small wins and unlike the negative progressions, the chance for huge losses is not that big. In theory, if you successfully double your bet on three successive wins, your bet will be multiplied seven times. However, there’s really no guarantee that you will win due to the unpredictable outcome of these games. If you end up on a streak of losses, you will lose. Plain and simple. Like all other betting systems, the Paroli system doesn’t influence the house edge and can be used merely as a way to manage your bankroll.
|First bet||Second bet||Third bet||Result|
|$1, loss||$1, loss||$1, loss||– $3|
|$1, loss||$1, loss||$1, win||– $1|
|$1, loss||$1, win||$2, loss||– $2|
|$1, loss||$1, win||$2, win||+ $2|
|$1, win||$2, loss||$1, loss||– $2|
|$1, win||$2, loss||$1, win||0|
|$1, win||$2, win||$4, loss||– $1|
|$1, win||$2, win||$4, win||+ $7|
The Labouchere betting system, also known as “Cancellation System”, “Cross-out”, “Labby”, “American Progression” or “Split Martingale” is a negative progression which is very popular and widely used by gamblers, despite its complexity. Like the Martingale betting system, the Labouchere is aimed at recovering losses but instead of recovering all previous losses with one single win, it’s supposed to make up for the lost bets with multiple smaller wins instead. It was designed by Henry Labouchere who developed it to be used at the roulette table, particularly the outside even odds bets like red/black or odd/even. However, it can be applied to other even-odds games like baccarat, blackjack, and in sports betting as well.
The cycle of the progression begins with the player writing down a sequence of numbers. For the first bet, add the first and the last number, If it’s a winning bet, cross the numbers of the sequence and bet the first and last from the remaining numbers. If you lose, add another number. The cycle is completed when you have crossed off all numbers. For example, if you write down 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5, you first bet would be 6 (1 + 5). If you win, cross 1 and 5 off, and bet six again (2 + 4). If you lose, add another number. These rules apply after every wager. Cross numbers off when you win, add numbers when you win.
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The main concept of the progression is that no matter how long the sequence, even if you have more losing than winning bets, you will make a profit equal to the total value of the first numbers you wrote down. The progression has the advantage that it’s flexible and allows you to adjust the initial sequence which lets you control the risk and the reward. If you can afford a huge bankroll, you can start with a longer sequence and make a bigger profit if you get to the end of the chain. However, there is always the risk of going on a long losing streak, especially if you play for longer, which will increase your bets until you finish your bankroll or are capped off by the house betting limits. You can avoid this by adding zeros to the sequence.
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The Fibonacci system is very popular with roulette players and it can also be applied to baccarat or any other game with even odd bets. It’s a negative progression system but due to its less aggressive bet increase, it offers a more flexible approach. It’s not that as straightforward but it’s also not that complicated.
Baccarat Strategies That Work
It’s centered on the sequence of numbers known as the Fibonacci sequence where each number is the sum of the previous two. The sequence is 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377 and can go on as far as needed. It can also begin with a zero but when used in betting systems, it always starts with 1. It’s called nature’s number system and plays an important role in mathematics and nature.
When it comes to casino games, it’s applied for the outside even odds at roulette and other games like baccarat, craps, and blackjack. When using this strategy at the baccarat table, you start with betting one unit because the first number of the Fibonacci sequence is 1. If you lose, you move on to the next number in the sequence, so you bet one unit again. If you lose again, the next bet will be two units and so on until you win. When you win, you move two numbers, reduce the bet size by moving back two numbers. If you win on the first bet, simply start the progression anew, betting one unit. A unit represents an amount of money you’ve decided to be your bet in advance. This can be any amount but it’s best if you stick to 1 or 2 percent of the total you’re willing to risk losing.
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