Is Your Baccarat Money-Management System Maximizing Your Gains?

Two Baccarat Tables

Baccarat is a casino staple. In most parts of the world, baccarat is the far and away the popular choice when it comes to casino games.

Many players prefer baccarat because the game is left 100% to chance. The player makes a choice between two hands, and the dealer takes care of everything.

The hands come down to nearly a coin flip with a shallow house edge on either bet. Even with a ridiculously low house edge, it’s vital that you’re receiving the most bang for your buck.

Here’s everything you’ll need to know about employing a baccarat money-management system that maximizes long-term gains. Much of this will revolve around earning comps, as bankroll management deserves its own post entirely.

7 Tips for Baccarat Money Management

In no particular order:

  1. Know the basics of baccarat
  2. Earn comps
  3. Explore other freebies
  4. Play bigger rounds
  5. Lean on casino employees
  6. Play the best baccarat games
  7. Game the system

1. Know Baccarat Basics

Baccarat is a straightforward game to play with some complicated scoring. Fortunately, you don’t need to understand the scoring to play baccarat and win.

The player starts the hand by betting on one of three bets; the banker, the dealer, or the tie. After all player’s bets have been placed on the table, the dealer will deal with the cards, collect the losing bets and pay the winners.

It really is that elementary of a game. However, how you bet could significantly impact whether you win or lose in the long run.

At 1.24%, the player bet has one of the lowest house edges in the casino. That means a player can anticipate losing only $1.24 for every $100 they bet at a baccarat table.

Most casino games weigh in at double that, and many slot machines are as much as 8x higher. So, the player bet in baccarat is among the best in the casino.

That’s until you look at the banker bet. The banker bet carries a house advantage of a minuscule 1.06%.

The banker bet does carry a 5% commission on all winning chances, but that’s accounted for in the baccarat house edge. The banker bet can’t be beaten for games that require zero skill or strategy.

Then there’s the tie bet. The tie bet offers an exciting 8:1 payout, but the chance comes with an advantage of over 14% in the casino’s favor.

The tie is purely a sucker bet; avoid it entirely.

Because baccarat has such tight margins, comps can be a way for a player to squeak out a net win. Yet, the casinos aren’t going to shower the average baccarat player with freebies.

So, you need to grasp ways to increase the comp rate. Then you’ll truly be getting the most out of your money playing baccarat.

2. Earn Comps Playing Baccarat

Alongside responsible baccarat bankroll management, why not check out how perks work at the casino?

The first step you need to make when arriving at the casino is the rewards or VIP program. Here you can sign up for the casino’s loyalty program, where you can earn comps based on how much you’re playing.

Many players assume the casinos distribute free meals and other goodies based on how much you win or lose. These two factors don’t get rolled into the math used by the casino, not directly anyway.

The casinos set a percentage of every dollar you’re gambling to doll out the comps. The rate varies from game to game.

Closeup of a Baccarat Hand

Still, the casinos couldn’t care less whether you’re winning or losing. They merely average out your bet size, the standard number of hands per hour on a game, and calculate the comps per hour.

Baccarat has a relatively low comp rate at most casinos because the house edge is so soft. Players at the baccarat table will earn comps at a rate of around 0.2%.

Bear in mind that it’s 0.2% of all wagers you place. If you’re wagering $20 per hand, you’ll earn $6 an hour in comps.

This isn’t the same for every casino, so asking the staff at the player’s club booth is good. You can also use subtle ways to increase your influence with casino staff and increase the comps you’re earning.

3. Explore Your Options for More Freebies

One way to possibly increase the comps you’re earning is by looking for casinos with the highest rewards on average. Unfortunately, you may not be able to pin this down to an exact figure.

Still, by looking in online reviews or, preferably, casino gambling forums, you can spot the casinos that tend to offer better rewards to their players.

Until you’ve booked a reservation, you won’t be tied to a specific casino. Especially with real-money online baccarat, shopping for the best rewards will get you in the mindset of making the most of your investment.

You’ll need to be cautious to not fall into the trap of chasing comps. Chasing comps is a relatively common practice in the casino, and it’s most prevalent at slot machines.

Players have a tendency to prolong their gaming session to hit the next comp level. This behavior causes the player to lose their bankroll more quickly with little to show for it.

You’ll rarely be earning a comp that can come close to matching the theoretical losses that you’ll incur by chasing comps. Instead, you should be allowing the comps to come organically over time.

The freebies aren’t going anywhere, and your bankroll will survive much longer. You’re probably not going to run across anything better than 0.2%.

When you consider the house edge is only 1%, that’s not a terrible return at all.

4. Play Bigger Baccarat Games

Most casual baccarat observers are more familiar with the small mini-baccarat tables that dot the casino floor. Yet, in the high stakes area, the game is played on a much larger table.

These games can accommodate twice the number of players as the mini version, often seating a maximum of 16 players.

Because of the larger crowd and higher stakes, these games move much slower than the mini-baccarat game. You may typically expect to pay one-third to half as many hands per hour on the large tables.

However, the minimum baccarat bet can be up to $100. This scares many players away because they simply aren’t accustomed to making that size bet.

Closeup of Hand Betting Chips on Baccarat Table

Still, with such a low house edge, your losses will be minimal. Plus, you’ll be earning comps at a much faster pace.

Everyone knows that the casinos take special care of their high rollers, and the comp rate can go up substantially in the VIP areas.

You’re still playing baccarat, but the comp rate may go to 3%. Earning 3% at $100 per hand will clearly gain you more comps than playing for $20 at 2%.

5. Lean on the Casino Employees

Striking a conversation with the pit boss rarely does any harm. In fact, you should always present your player’s club card to the pit boss to ensure that you’re earning comps.

This simple gesture will at least let the pit boss know that you’re a serious player. You’re more likely to get bumped if the pit boss likes you, so it helps to be genuine and courteous when dealing with all casino employees.

Before you leave the table, ask the pit boss where you are in the rewards tiers. If you’ve had a rough session or struck up a friendship, you may ask if you can get bumped up.

A pit boss usually won’t hesitate to look out for a player that’s just been beaten up for 4-hours, if they like them.

6. Play the Best Baccarat Games

One of the best baccarat games in the casino is EZ-Baccarat. This variation is played precisely the same as the standard version of the game, with a few exceptions.

The house doesn’t charge any commission for banker bets. That means you’ll see a truer payout on wins.

However, the banker bet will push on 7s under the right circumstances. The house edge in EZ-Baccarat is even lower than standard baccarat.

So, you’ll have a better chance at winning and still be earning comps at the same rate as mini-baccarat.

7. Game the System

When all else fails, consider this baccarat betting strategy: Tricking the pit boss (or live online dealer, perhaps) into thinking you’re getting more than you are.

Imagine your average bet amount is $10 per hand; you could start at $50-$100 when sitting down for the first several hands. The pit boss will note your bet amount and what time you started playing.

If the casino is busy, it will become more challenging to determine whether you vary your bet amount. So, you may be earning comps at a rate 10x higher than expected based on your bet total.

This baccarat betting system won’t always work, and personally, it seems shady. To each their own — I’m not qualified to make any moral judgments.

Baccarat All Comes Back to the Comps

Everything you’ll need to know to get the most from your money playing baccarat comes back to the comps. How you use the games and casino personnel to manipulate the rates on your comps will go a long way towards your actual gains/losses in the casino. There are plenty of online casino game operators with great VIP rewards as well.

Remember that the closer you can stay to even at the tables, the more freebies you’re ultimately going to get for your money.

Posted in: BankingStrategyTable Games

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