Are Baccarat Side Bets Worthless?

Baccarat Text in Gold Letters With Hands Holding Large Coins Sideways

Baccarat is one of the simplest games to play in the casino. You only have three basic choices when making a bet, including the player side, banker side, or both hands tying.

Many gamblers are satisfied with this simplistic setup. However, other baccarat fans crave more betting options.

Luckily, some casinos also offer the option of baccarat side bets.
These side wagers give players a chance to win bigger prizes than standard wagers.

The downside, though, is that side bets also carry higher house edges. This guide discusses many of the side wagers that are available in this game. It also covers whether or not you should ultimately consider these bets.

What Are Some of the Baccarat Side Bets?

Baccarat offers well over a dozen wagers. I won’t get into every exotic bet that’s available in this game. But you can see some common ones that are found in land-based and real money online casinos below.

All Black/Red

You bet on whether the player hand will contain all black cards (clubs and spades) or all red cards (diamonds and hearts). The “all black” wager typically offers a 24:1 payout and has a house edge of 6.53%. On the other hand, the “all red” bet normally delivers a 22:1 payout with a house edge of 14%.

Bellagio Match

You wager on if the banker or player will get a three-of-a-kind (e.g. three jacks). This bet pays 68:1 if the banker has a three-of-a-kind and 75:1 when the player holds this hand. The house edge is typically 5.27% on the player’s hand and 8.57% on the banker’s hand.

Dragon Bonus

You’re betting that the player or banker will win with an 8 or 9 (a.k.a. natural) by a certain point margin. The banker or player must win by the given point total for your wager to be successful.

You stand to win more money when betting on higher margins of victory. Here are the available wagers and typical payouts with the Dragon Bonus (same for player & banker):

  • 9 points (margin of victory) = 30:1 payout
  • 8 points = 10:1
  • 7 points = 6:1
  • 6 points = 4:1
  • 5 points = 2:1
  • 4 points = 1:1
  • 3 points or less = Loss

The house edge on Dragon Bonus wagers is 2.65% for the player’s hand and 9.37% for the banker’s hand.

Dragon 7

This wager revolves around the banker winning with a three-card hand that equals 7 points (e.g. 2 + 3 + 2 = 7). You’ll win 40:1 on your original bet when successful with Dragon 7. The house edge is 7.61% on these wagers.

Lucky Bonus

Lucky Bonus, a.k.a. Super 6, is a wager on the banker winning with a hand that’s worth 6 points. This bet normally pays 18:1, but it could pay 12:1 when offered as Super 6. It only has a house edge of 2.34%.

Matching Dragon

You bet on how many cards of a specific rank (e.g. 9) will be dealt to the banker and player. The required number of cards and normal payouts include:

  • 6 cards = 100:1 payout
  • 5 cards = 60:1
  • 4 cards = 40:1
  • 3 cards = 20:1
  • 2 cards = 3:1
  • 1 card = 1:1
  • No cards of the specific rank = Loss

A Matching Dragon wager has a house edge of 16.99%

Panda 8

Panda 8 revolves around whether the player can win with a three-card hand that’s worth 8 points (e.g. 4 + 10 + 4 = 8). This wager pays 25:1 when the player side completes the necessary requirements. It has a house edge of 10.18%.

Benefits of Baccarat Side Bets

There’s a reason why side bets are available in many land-based and online baccarat games—they’re popular!

Baccarat is an exciting game that has achieved widespread popularity throughout the globe. However, it can get stale due to its limited betting variety.

Side bets spice up the action by providing more options. You can add Dragon Bonus or Panda 8 to your standard banker bet and take a shot at winning big money.

The standard tie bet also provides the opportunity to win big. But it carries a horrendous 14.36% house edge and payouts at 8:1. Few people care about an 8-to-1 payout when they’re giving away nearly a 15% advantage to casinos.

Side wagers may not be the friendliest propositions on your bankroll either. But most of them don’t feature anything close to a 14.36% house edge.

Cons of Baccarat Side Bets

Baccarat offers a unique combination of a low house edge and simple strategy. You can reduce the house advantage to just 1.06% by making the banker bet every time.

Again, side wagers add variety to the equation. But they also feature a larger house edge than 1.06%. In some cases, you can face even worse odds.

Take Panda 8, for example. It may offer an interesting set of rules, but it also carries an atrocious 10.18% house advantage.

Closeup of an Active Baccarat Table

This brings me to another point in that side wagers force you into using bad strategy. Rather than taking the easy route towards more winnings with the banker bet, you’re purposely placing wagers that feature large house edges.

Finally, you also need to worry about the volatility of these bets. The odds of winning most of these wagers are quite high.

You might be looking past these low odds toward the 25:1 payout. But on average, you’ll be waiting quite a while before winning this bet.

That said, you need a larger bankroll to deal with the high volatility of side bets. Assuming you don’t have a big bankroll, you’ll be relying on lots of luck and a quick win to stay in the game.

Are Side Wagers Worth Your Time?

You can see that placing side bets definitely isn’t the best long-term plan. Many of these wagers feature a much higher house edge than the banker or player bet.

Then again, any type of gambling forces you into a negative-expectation situation. You should be focusing on the entertainment side of gaming rather than expecting to win big profits.

Side bets liven things up and make your baccarat sessions more entertaining. They feature different rules and larger payouts than the average bet.

I certainly don’t suggest that you choose side wagers that feature the highest house edge. You could lose serious money by going this route.

On the other hand, though, you should consider side bets if they make the experience more fun. You might even get lucky and win a big payout this way.

Just remember that you don’t have to place side bets in every round either. You could bet on the banker in each round and throw in a side wager every now and then.

What’s the Best Baccarat Strategy Overall?

You don’t need to strain your brain to figure out the best strategy to play baccarat. All you have to do is wager on the banker hand winning in every round.

Again, this strategy reduces the house edge to just 1.06%. And this is even after the casino takes out a 5% commission on banker wins.

El Royale Online Casino Baccarat

Some gamblers will tell you that it’s best to follow a pattern-based strategy. When following patterns, you either raise or lower bets, or even change wagers, based on which side is winning more.

Here’s an example:

  • The player hand wins three times in a row.
  • You normally bet $10 per round on the banker.
  • However, you think that they’re extremely likely to win in the next round.
  • You wager $30 on the banker because they’re supposedly due for a win.

It makes sense, in theory, that if one side is winning a lot, then the other side is bound to win next. But this logic falls into the gambler’s fallacy.

The gambler’s fallacy is the idea that past outcomes somehow dictate future results. However, this thinking doesn’t apply to fixed-odds games like baccarat.

The banker hand has a 51.6% chance of winning in every round. These odds don’t change just because the banker has won three times in a row.

In summary, you don’t have to do anything fancy to win more in baccarat. You just need to pick the banker side every time.

You can also throw in a side bet every now and then for fun. Just know, though, that side wagers actually give you a lower chance of winning money than the banker or player hands.


Side bets in baccarat are a fun way to add more excitement to the game, However, players should be aware they are increasing the house edge when they place these wagers. As a result, they are more likely to lose money in the long run if they choose to make side bets.

You can learn more about casino games like baccarat or real money poker by reading our latest casino blogs.

Posted in: Online Casino GamesStrategyTable Games

Most Recent

See all recent
Play Space XY Game at Online Casinos & Win Real Money
BY Nick Pappas | October 5, 2023

Space XY isn’t your run-of-the-mill game that you can play at any online casino. It’s pretty unique in terms of the mechanics and how the gameplay works. Space XY also...

read more
DuckyLuck Online Casino Slots List on the Left and Wrath of Medusa Slots Game on the Right
DuckyLuck Wrath of Medusa No Deposit Bonus & Other Offers
BY Nick Pappas | October 3, 2023

The popular DuckyLuck no deposit bonus for Wrath of Medusa was only available when the site launched in 2020. The good news, however, is that you can claim similar bonuses...

read more
Online Slot Game son the Left and Person Playing Poker on a Laptop on the Right and the LuckyLand Logo in the Center
The Best Slots Like LuckyLand — Top iGaming Sister Sites
BY Nick Pappas | September 22, 2023

There are many online slots like LuckyLand that you can play. In fact, the best real money online casinos carry an extensive collection of slot titles that are equally fun...

read more