The Thinking Gambler’s Guide to Baccarat

Thinking Man and a Baccarat Casino Table Game

Once you start playing baccarat for real money there isn’t much thinking involved. But this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to think about how you’re going to play before you place your first wager.

Thinking about the three wager options is the first step, and it’s the most important decision you have to make. It turns out that there’s only one option if you want the best return when you play baccarat.

You can use comps and bonuses when you play baccarat, but they don’t move the needle far. And you can forget about baccarat gambling systems, because they just make you lose more.

Banker Wager Thoughts

Of the three baccarat wager options, the banker bet is the best option. It’s over 10 times better than the tie bet option, but only slightly better than the player option.

I’ll give you the numbers that show exactly why the banker option is the best option, but first you need to learn about an important part of betting on the banker.

Instead of paying 1 to 1 on wins it only pays .95 to 1. The casinos collect a commission of 5% on every banker wager you win. In other words, if you bet $10 and win you get your $10 back and win $9.50, or if you bet $20 you get back $20 plus a win of $19.

Casino Baccarat Table

The commission is included in the casino house edge and return numbers listed below.

The house edge the casino holds on banker wagers is 1.06% and the return is 98.94%. What this means in real-world dollars and cents is that you can multiply the casino edge times how much you bet to see how much you’re expected to lose.

When you make $450 worth of bets on the banker hand you can expect to lose $4.77.

Player Wager Thoughts

The banker wager is good, but the player wager isn’t bad. It also pays at a true 1 to 1 without a commission, so it’s easier for some baccarat players to use and understand.

The casino edge is 1.24% on the player, which means the return is 98.76%. As you can see, this is close to what you can get in returns betting on banker.

When you make $450 worth of bets on the player hand you can expect to lose $5.58.

On the same amount bet, $450, you lose an extra 81 cents betting player instead of banker. If you’re risking $10 on every hand, this means that over 45 hands you lose less than $1 more. This is why it’s ok if you want to avoid dealing with the commission, but I still suggest betting on the banker in the long run.

Over years of playing you can bet a total of $100,000 or more. And the difference in losses on $100,000 is $180. This still isn’t a huge amount, but I’m sure that you’d rather spend that $180 on something else than giving it to the casino.

After all, $100,000 is only 10,000 bets of $10 and you can play 100 hands every hour at the baccarat table. At this rate it only takes 100 hours to play 10,000 hands.

Betting on a Tie

The tie wager in baccarat is one of the worst casino bets, so it really doesn’t need a section in this article. I could cover everything you need to know about the tie by saying that it’s so bad that you should never make it. But in order to be complete I want to show you just how bad this option really is.

The casino edge for tie is 14.36%, which gives you a return of only 85.64%. To put this in perspective, the worst games in most casinos are slot machines and most slot machines offer a higher return than this.

Las Atlantis Online Baccarat

When you make $450 worth of bets on a tie you can expect to lose $64.62. Compare this to how much you can expect to lose making the same amount of wagers on either the banker or player. Both of those wagers are over 10 times better in the long run than betting on a tie.

What Baccarat Casino Comps Do

Now you understand how much it costs you to play baccarat and you know that the banker wager is the best option. You also know that when you make the banker wager, in the long run, you’re going to lose a little over 1% of all of the money you risk.

As a short explanation, when you earn casino comps for playing baccarat, it can push the house edge percentage across the line to slightly under 1%. This is a low edge, better than slots and most table games in the casino, but it’s still a casino edge.

What this means is that even though it’s a low edge, you’re still going to lose. You should always try to get comps when you play baccarat, but don’t expect them to be big enough to make it profitable to play. This isn’t how casinos and comps programs are designed to work.

In addition to this problem, comps are rarely given in the form of actual money, Instead you earn services or products that have some value, but rarely have as much value as cash.

Do Baccarat Casino Bonuses Help You Win?

Baccarat bonus offers, which you can get at some mobile and online casinos, give you more money to play with. But they rarely are designed in a way that can help you win.

You need to understand exactly how a casino bonus works before you can tell if it can help you win or not. Before I show you how to see if a bonus can help you win, you need to understand that most bonuses aren’t going to help in the long run.

For a baccarat bonus to help you win you have to be able to clear the bonus while you still have part of the bonus available. This means that sticky bonuses never help you win when you play baccarat. It also means that most bonuses don’t work because you lose more than the bonus is worth trying to clear it.

Closeup View of a Casino Baccarat Table

I’m going to use a 1% edge to keep the math simple because it’s close to the actual edge for the banker wager.

You need to multiply the casino edge times the total amount you need to wager to clear a bonus to see if you should have any bonus left when you clear it. For example, if you deposit $150, get a $150 bonus, and need to play 50 times the bonus and deposit to clear the bonus, you have to bet $15,000.

$15,000 X 1% is an expected loss of $150. This means that by the time you clear the bonus you should lose the entire bonus. This ends up being exactly the same as if you played without the bonus.

Can a Gambling System Beat Baccarat?

Casino gambling systems exist for most casino games, including baccarat. These systems come in all shapes and sizes, with some being simple money management systems and others requiring tracking of past results. I’ve even seen a card counting system for baccarat.

Many baccarat systems use the player wager and double your risk following every loss. This works ok for a while, but when you lose several hands in a row your bets become huge. Eventually you lose so many hands in a row that your bankroll is eliminated.

To be 100% honest, some baccarat gambling systems do work for a short time. But you never know when you have to quit to avoid disaster. And disaster is coming sooner or later with any baccarat system.

As far as baccarat card counting systems, they work somewhat like card counting works in blackjack. The main difference is that you can use a counting system to beat blackjack but you can’t use a counting system to beat baccarat.

The only system that I know of that can beat baccarat I something called edge sorting. And casinos have changed their cards in most cases so this doesn’t work, and the casinos that haven’t almost always use rules that prevent you from being able to edge sort.

Gamble Smart When You Play Baccarat

You only have three wager options when you play baccarat, and now you know exactly how to think about each of these options. The main thing to know about baccarat is which of these three options is the best, and the answer is clear.

Comps can make a decent baccarat game better, but it’s rarely the best game in the casino. Baccarat bonuses can also help your returns in a perfect situation, but they usually don’t help you win.

Like most casino games, you can use gambling systems when you play baccarat. But there isn’t a baccarat gambling system that actually works.