6 Baccarat Mistakes to Avoid When Gambling for Real Money

Baccarat Text With a Baccarat Table Game Background

When I want to take a break from the strategy-intensive games I usually play, I spend some time playing baccarat. It offers a good return percentage and is extremely simple to play. In fact, it’s the best option for beginning casino gamblers because of the simple strategy and high return.

It’s easy to play baccarat without making mistakes if you know a few things. Baccarat mistakes cost you money, so it’s worth your time to spend a few minutes learning how to avoid them.

Here’s a list of six baccarat mistakes that most gamblers make.

1 – Taking the Tie Option

One of the worst wagers in the casino is at the baccarat table. This bet is so bad that almost every slot machine offers a higher return percentage. And slot machines are one of the last games casino players should play.

The tie bet at most baccarat tables has a return of 85.64%. This is simply a terrible return. To show you how bad this return is, here are some actual numbers based on different wager amounts.

  • If you bet $20 on the tie, on average you only get back $17.13. If you bet $100, on average you only get back $85.64.
  • Over the course of playing several hands, if you bet $2,000 in total on the tie wager, you only get back $1,712.80. This is a loss of $287.20.

Don’t let the higher payout number trick you into making a bet on the tie. The higher payout is a trick the casinos use to make it seem like a good option. But it simply makes the casino more money when you bet on a tie.

2 – Betting on Yourself

Now that you understand how bad the tie option is, you only have two bet options to consider. You can make a bet on the banker hand or on the player hand. Many baccarat gamblers bet on the player hand because they think betting on themselves is a good play.

Other baccarat players make the player wager because they don’t want to deal with the commission the casino charges on the banker bet when you win.

The truth is that the bet on the player hand isn’t terrible. The return is 98.76% on this wager. This is much better than the tie return percentage, and it’s also better than many other casino games.

But the return on the banker wager is even better. And this includes the commission. The banker return is 98.94%.

Here are the same bets on banker that I ran numbers on the tie bet in the last section.

If you bet $20 on the banker, you get $19.79 back on average. If you bet $100, you get $98.94 back on average.

Over the course of playing several hands, if you bet $2,000 in total on the banker wager, you get $1,978.80 back. This is a loss of $21.20 compared to a loss of $287.20 on tie bets.

3 – Making Big Baccarat Wagers

Now that you know the banker bet is the best option when you play baccarat, you know how to avoid the biggest mistakes. The problem is that even though the banker wager has a good rate of return or return percentage, the fact is that you’re still losing money.

Casino Baccarat Table

This isn’t unique to baccarat. All gambling games are built to win more for the casino than they lose. The important thing to understand when the casino or house has an edge is that the more you risk or bet, the more the casino or house keeps.

In addition to making the banker wager when you play baccarat, you also need to make the smallest wager possible. This means finding baccarat tables with a low minimum bet and never betting more.

The lowest baccarat table minimums are found in mobile and online casinos. If you’re playing in a land-based casino, find the baccarat table with the lowest minimum bet. But this is always going to be a higher amount than you can play with at mobile and online casinos.

4 – Playing Baccarat Without a Bonus

In the last section, you learned that the lowest bet amounts for baccarat can be found in online and mobile casinos. Online and mobile casinos also offer two other benefits over live casinos.

The first benefit is that you control how fast you play baccarat. You also learned that the more you risk playing baccarat, the more you lose. This means that when you control the speed of the baccarat game, you should play slower to risk less money.

The second benefit of playing baccarat in mobile and online casinos is you can find casinos that give you bonus money for baccarat play. Baccarat bonuses instantly make your bankroll bigger, which means that you can play longer.

When you combine a baccarat bonus with lower bets and slower play, you can play online or mobile baccarat far longer than when you play in a live casino. In fact, it’s easy to play 10 times longer or more.

If you play baccarat in a live casino at $20 a hand and play 65 hands every hour, you’re risking $1,300 every hour.

If you play online baccarat and get a 100% bonus, you already can play twice as long because you have twice as much money. If you bet $1 on every hand, you can play 20 times as many hands even if you don’t get a bonus.

5 – Forgetting About the Commission

Banker wagers pay a 5% commission when they win. This means that if you bet $20, you only get $19 back. Or if you bet $100, you only get $95 back. This wager is still the best option, even after the commission is deducted.

Casinos collect the commission in one of two ways. The way the casino collects the commission doesn’t change the outcome for you, but it can create a problem for you if the casino collects it a certain way and you forget about it.

Hundred Dollar Bills With a Casino Background

Some casinos collect the commission on each hand. This keeps things simple, and you always know where you stand. But a few casinos don’t collect the commission on each hand as it’s played. Instead, they keep track of the commission you owe and collect it when you finish playing.

If you forget about the mounting commission you owe, you might be in for a big surprise when you stop playing.

6 – Doubling After Losses

This is something that I’ve seen many baccarat players do over the years. It’s actually a system called the Martingale that can be used in many different gambling games.

The way it works is that you have to start with a small wager, then you double your wager amount after any lost hand. When you win a hand, you drop back down to the small wager and start the sequence again.

By doubling your wager after losses, the hope is that you eventually win a hand before you run out of money. And when you win, you realize a small profit equal to your original wager size.

This only works on even money wagers, so you have to use the player hand wager. You can use the banker hand, but you have to bet a little more than double your previous wager because you have to account for the commission on wins.

I’ve already explained why the banker wager is best so I don’t need to cover it again. The problem with doubling after losses goes beyond the fact that you have to use the player wager. The real problem is that eventually, you’re going to lose so many hands in a row that you’re going to lose all of your money.

I know that it doesn’t seem like you can lose four or five or even six or more hands in a row, but it’s eventually going to happen. Don’t use this baccarat system or any other baccarat system. If you do, you’re going to lose.


When you know which baccarat wager to make and what to avoid, the game is one of the best the casino offers. With a return to player percentage of almost 99%, there aren’t many better options. But mistakes quickly lower the return number, so you have to make sure you’re not making any mistakes.

The tie baccarat wager is worse than most slot machines, so you should avoid making it at all times. You should also stick to the table minimum bet amount because even with a high return, the casino is still winning in the long run.

Baccarat systems don’t work, so you can ignore them. Finally, don’t forget about the commission on banker wagers and play online baccarat for lower bet amounts and bonuses.