Many casino games don’t require any skill to play. Slot machines, keno, and roulette are perfect examples of simple games that don’t feature extensive strategy.
The drawback, though, is that many of these same options don’t provide great odds. Slots, particularly those in land-based casinos, feature some of the highest house edges in gaming.
You can switch to blackjack or video poker, both of which offer great odds. However, you won’t win consistently if you’re bad at strategy.
What can you do if you want solid odds without studying complex strategy? Play baccarat for real money! I’ll explain why below.
Baccarat Features Some of the Best Odds
Decades ago, many gamblers ignored baccarat. After all, this game featured high stakes ($50 and above) and carried the reputation as a snobby, elitist affair.
Fast-forward to today and baccarat’s reputation has changed greatly. Mini tables feature low stakes ($10) and a down-to-earth atmosphere.
Many players are just now beginning to see one of baccarat’s best attributes as a result: its low house advantage. You can achieve a 1.06% house edge as long as you bet on the banker hand winning every time.
The casino takes a 5% commission out of banker hand wins. Even still, you’re almost in a coinflip situation when gambling against the casino.
Another favorable proposition includes wagering on the player to win. This bet carries a 1.24% house advantage.
Although just a little less favorable than the banker wager, the player bet is still worthwhile if you’re looking for some variety. Plus, you don’t need to worry about settling 5% commissions at the end of your session.
The tie bet carries either a 14.36% or 4.85% house advantage. The difference involves whether it pays 8:1 (14.36%) or 9:1 (4.85%) when the player and banker tie.
In either case, you should avoid betting on these hands tying. The tie wager is baccarat’s version of a sucker bet.
Baccarat Strategy Is Easy
Baccarat isn’t the only game that gives you a strong chance to beat the casino. As mentioned before, though, blackjack and video poker feature extensive strategy.
In contrast, baccarat doesn’t require much thought at all. You achieve optimal strategy just by wagering on the banker hand, this is why Baccarat is the best game for first-time gamblers.
If you’re feeling frisky, you can bet on the player hand. Those who are into trend betting sometimes alternate between the two propositions.
Here’s an example of trend gambling:
- You normally wager on the banker hand due to its superior odds.
- However, you witness the banker win four times in a row.
- You feel like the player is due for a victory after losing four straight.
You don’t stand any better chance of winning by following trends like these. Nevertheless, trend betting is fun for a change of pace.
Overall, though, you only need to worry about wagering on the banker. Done repeatedly, this strategy drops the house edge to its lowest point.
How to Play Baccarat
Baccarat isn’t like blackjack, where you and every other player receive a separate hand. Instead, the table features two spots near the dealer marked “Banker” and “Player.”
After wagers have been placed, the croupier deals each side two cards to begin a hand. The hand that scores closer to 9 wins.
Here’s a quick recap on how to play baccarat:
- You place your chips in one of the three designated betting areas.
- The croupier deals a hand to the Banker and Player side.
- The hand closest to 9 wins.
- The dealer sorts out all winning and losing bets.
How Are Baccarat Scores Determined?
This game’s simplicity is one of its greatest attributes. You merely need to put chips in the proper betting circle to play.
However, you may be interested to know exactly how scores are determined. Here’s a brief rundown on the scoring process:
- An 8 or 9 on the first two cards is a “natural.”
- The banker or player automatically wins with a natural if the other side doesn’t also have one.
- The player receives a third card if their score is under 5.
- The player stands with a 6 or 7.
- When the player receives another card, the banker draws for a third one depending upon the following rules:
- Banker always draws if the player has 0 through 2.
- Banker always draws on 3 unless the player has 8.
- Banker draws on 4 if the player has 1 through 7.
- Banker draws on 5 if the player has 4 through 7.
- Banker draws on 6 if the player has 6 or 7.
- Banker always stands on 7.
Tips for Better Baccarat Play
I’ve discussed how easy it is to use perfect baccarat strategy. Nevertheless, you might still appreciate a few extra tips.
Stick with the Banker Bet
I can’t reiterate this single piece of advice enough. If you want the best-possible chance of beating baccarat, then you should always wager on the banker winning.
The bummer is that casinos take 5% out of wins. Their reasoning is that you have a 50.68% chance of winning banker wagers.
Therefore, they must take these commissions to ensure their edge stays intact. Even still, the banker bet’s 1.06% house advantage is one of the lowest in gaming.
Don’t Obsess Over Betting Systems
Earlier, I covered how trend gambling offers an interesting way to enjoy baccarat. But neither trend betting nor any other gambling system will help you win long-term profits.
The problem with these strategies is that they do nothing to counteract the house advantage. You can watch trends and manipulate your betting patterns anywhere you want.
The only thing that gambling systems are truly good for is spicing up sessions. You may get lucky and have immense success with a system while also getting to try a new method of playing.
Always Leave Enough to Cover Commissions
You don’t need to worry about manually paying commissions in online baccarat or many land-based settings.
Online real money casinos automatically take 5% of your winning banker wagers. Meanwhile, some brick-and-mortar venues see you cover commissions following every hand.
Other casinos, however, don’t require you to pay these 5% cuts until you leave the table. Such scenarios create difficulties if you don’t separate commissions from your main bankroll.
Assuming you can’t cover the full amount at the end of a session, then casinos will obtain your personal details. They’ll ensure that you pay up at a later date or face legal consequences.
Choose Stakes You’re Comfortable With
Mini baccarat has made playing in land-based casinos more affordable than in past years. You can play land-based baccarat for as little as $5 to $10 in some cases. Online baccarat features just $1 stakes.
However, you still need to avoid getting carried away. You may be tempted to bet more during hot streaks or even when you’re losing.
The latter situation is extremely dangerous, because it constitutes chasing losses. You could end up losing your entire bankroll as a result.
That said, you should set a stop-loss limit (e.g. $100) before each session. You want to quit for the day upon hitting this limit.
Collect Baccarat Bonuses & VIP Rewards
Both land-based and online casinos usually offer loyalty rewards to baccarat players. You should take advantage of these VIP benefits to pad your bankroll.
Internet casinos have the added bonus of offering bonuses. For instance, you might get a free $25 bet for live dealer baccarat.
Or, you could receive a match deposit bonus. An example of the latter would include a 100% match bonus worth up to $200.
Get Your Baccarat Bankroll Ready
You never want to risk money that you can’t afford to lose on baccarat or any other casino game. Therefore, you should come up with a casino bankroll management plan.
Your first goal here should be to avoid betting anything that’s needed for bills and other expenses. This process involves going through your weekly/monthly finances and determining how much is left over for gambling.
Next, you want to set a unit size and determine how many units you’re willing to lose in a given session (i.e. stop loss).
Here’s an example:
- You have a $300 baccarat bankroll.
- You normally make $5 bets.
- 300 / 5 = 60 units
- You set a stop loss of 15 units.
- You’ll never gamble past 15 units in a session.
You don’t have to master a difficult game like blackjack to win more often in gambling. Baccarat provides around the same odds of winning and is much easier.
You just need to follow the simple strategy of wagering on the banker hand winning every time. This strategy is good enough to yield around a 1% house edge.
Other tips include creating a bankroll management plan, going for bonuses/VIP rewards, and forgetting about betting systems.