Every game has a learning curve, and baccarat is no different. While some find it relatively easy and straightforward to learn, many others find it complex. Regardless of how you feel at first, once you understand how the game functions, things to become much more manageable.
It should go without saying that, as in most casino table games, a great deal of luck is needed to be successful. With that being said, there are still plenty of ways to make good and bad decisions. In this article, I’ll get into the top mistakes that new baccarat players often make when learning the game.
1 – Not Knowing Betting Options and the Associated Risks
In baccarat there are two betting options: betting on the banker, and better on the player. The house edge is 1.24 and 1.06 respectively, which is very small compared to most other casino games.
It’s important to note that both award a payout of 1:1, but the banker’s odds are a little better than the player’s. Because of this, the banker’s winning may have a five percent casino commission attached.
In any case, it’s a good idea to look at the odds and the payout rate for the specific variant you are playing. They will vary from casino to casino, so it’s always a good idea to make sure you know the numbers before you begin playing.
With a house edge of this magnitude, regularly making this bet is going to end up costing you in the long run. It is okay to take a flyer and make the bet when you’re feeling lucky, but it’s not a good idea to make a habit of it.
2 – Not Playing Online
Since 2010, the rise of real money online casinos has given gamblers a serious opportunity to capitalize on the reduced house edges and expanded game options.
Simply put, odds and payouts are almost always much better online as they are at a physical casinos. The reason? Online casinos just don’t have the costs associated with a brick and mortar establishment. Not to mention, they can regularly adjust their odds, game offerings, and lower minimum bet requirements.
In addition to the aforementioned advantages of online casinos, it’s also important to take into account the valuable bonuses offered by online gaming sites. Because there are so many to choose from, online gambling sites frequently offer players incentives to use their site.
If you’ve never gambled using an online site before and are unfamiliar with the term “bonuses,” you could really be missing out. Bonuses can come in many forms, but the most common are deposit matches, where the site matches your initial deposit up to a certain dollar amount, or even sign-up bonuses which give you “free money” to use towards gambling on their platform.
If you think these perks sound too good to be true, it’s understandable. Just know that they are actually legitimate and can provide a huge boost to your bankroll if you take advantage.
Finally, one last reason you need to be exploring online casinos is because they offer a vast array of game options. For example, at a physical casino there may just be one form of baccarat being played, but online you can find variations like Royal Vegas Casino Baccarat, Casino-Mate Baccarat, and 7 Sultans Casino Baccarat, just to name a few.
Whether you’re only looking to play baccarat or try your hand at other casino games, going online is a great way to reduce the house edge and give yourself some better options.
3 – Thinking You Can Beat the System or Can Pay for the Key
No matter how smart you are, how lucky you are, or how good of a system you’ve developed, you aren’t going to find or develop a baccarat betting system that tips the scales in your favor (sorry).
Because so many high-rollers enjoy playing baccarat, a market has developed for selling the secrets to the perfect betting system that gives you the best chance to win. Unfortunately, these should not be taken seriously.
In fact, sometimes they’ll even hurt your overall performance because you’ll incorrectly think you have an advantage and bet too much money.
The bottom line is that there are plenty of scammers looking to make money off of bogus “winning systems” for all types of casino games. If someone approaches you and has something to sell that they claim improves your chances of winning, it’s best to stay away.
4 – Betting on the Player Hand Too Frequently
As I explained in the first section, knowing the odds is important. When gambling, it’s crucial to recognize that even when the differences in percentages seems small, over a long period of time it can add up to be much more significant. Essentially, always (or almost always) play on the side of the numbers to get the best results.
Yes, betting on the player hand has a low house edge, but betting on the banker is lower. People frequently get confused with how the house edge functions because of the 5% commission, but the house edge already includes this. This means that even when accounting for the 5% casino commission, the banker bet only has a house edge of 1.06%.
The main takeaway of this situation is that betting on the banker hand is always the smarter play when playing baccarat. Over time, this will pay off even if it isn’t apparent after a few hands.
5 – Trying to Use Card Counting
Congrats! You’ve learned how to card count and have been making a few extra dollars on the blackjack tables using your new skill. Unfortunately, if you’re bringing this practice over the baccarat side of things, you’re simply wasting your time.
The reason card counting is useless in baccarat is because only the second digit of the combined total matters. That means that 2 or 3 cards on the lower side can make a higher card total than two cards, even if they’re high cards.
If you try to use card counting to get an advantage on baccarat, there’s a 100% chance the game is going to be less enjoyable, and 0% chance it’s going to help you win any more money.
6 – Not Setting Limits
No matter what game you’re playing, or even if you’re betting at the casino or sportsbook, any time you’re gambling, you need to have limits in place.
These limits should go beyond just your simple bankroll (you do have a functioning bankroll in place, right?) and should also include a number “up” and a number “down.” If you get up a certain dollar amount, recognize that it’s your time to walk away before you squander your winnings. If you get down a certain dollar amount, acknowledge that it’s just not your day before things get any worse.
Let’s face it – nobody likes to walk away from the table when they’re winning, and nobody wants to accept defeat. However, if you don’t set limits, you’re gambling career simply isn’t going to last very long.
Baccarat can be an exciting and profitable game, especially for some of the high rollers. It’s important to make sure you’re learning the basics of baccarat strategy before getting started, or you risk draining your bankroll.
Many more advanced strategies are out there to learn, but if you avoid these rookie mistakes you’ll be setting yourself up for success.