‘No’ to Baccarat Strategy: Only Bet on Banker
The most powerful force behind the popularity of pure luck games like baccarat is the inexplicable belief in fate and a faithful logic behind head-or-tails phenomena. At land-based casinos, you find players bending laboriously over score cards, scribbling down results in the expectation of a pattern or a lucky streak to jump on.
In some Macau casinos, computer monitors installed at the baccarat tables show the history of all wins and if the same hand scores again and again at a certain table, that table gets overcrowded in no time. Math experts and weathered gamblers frown at such zealous attention to patterns and consider it a complete waste of time. It falsely ascribes some governing logic to randomness.
However, statistically speaking, the Banker hand has an in-built advantage over the Player hand, thus, the mathematically logical thing is to keep betting on the Banker. The Banker bet has an RTP of 98.94%, whereas the Player bet has an RTP of 98.76%. Math whiz gamblers advise: always bet on the Banker!
Debunking Baccarat Strategy Myths
On a similar note, many players assume that a shoe will seek to balance itself over time and compensate for ‘unnaturally’ repetitive wins on one side, thus eventually switching to the other side. This is known as Gambler’s Fallacy. It is the presumption that nature seeks balance, especially in a casino, no less at a baccarat table. For instance, it is well known that the typical 8-deck baccarat shoe (excluding the last 13 cards marked by a cut-card) will have about 81 hands before the shuffle. Statistically, the chances for each bet are the following: 37 Banker wins, 36 Player wins, and 8 Ties. The so-called regressive player, i.e. the one assuming a shoe will make up for a deficit of certain wins, will bet on the Banker mid-shoe, if Player has already won most rounds. Don’t assume that the baccarat shoe has a mind of its own, it will not seek to compensate imbalances! You could get tails 3 or 50 times out of 50 flip coins, the coin has no preference.
Baccarat Tips: How to Optimize Your Betting Strategy
Even though baccarat experts warn against trusting patterns, there are still basic tips that can be useful to novice and experienced punters alike, including how to manage your bankroll and how to optimize your bets in terms of bet size and side to bet one.
Valuable Baccarat Game Tips That Will Sharpen Your Play Strategy
Never bet on a Tie!
Tie bets have a very high house edge, 14.4 %, so unless your gut feeling is poking you relentlessly, better stay away from Tie bets/Egalities.
Always bet on the Banker!
As we already pointed out, statistics suggest that the Banker wins slightly over 50% of the time.
Ride the Banker until it loses!
You can also ditch the Banker when it loses. If the Banker loses, you can skip one hand, i.e. make no bet, and then bet on the hand that has just won. When Player loses, go back to Banker. This move is not statistically justified, but it takes into account that Banker losses do occur often also.
Change your bet size using the 1-3-2-4 Strategy!
Varying the size of your bets can help you minimize losses and, in some cases, even maximize wins. The 1-3-2-4 Strategy advises betting one unit at the first round, three units at the next round, then decrease down to two units and increase your bet up to four units right afterwards. Keep repeating the same 1-3-2-4 scheme again and again as long as you keep winning. When your bet loses, just jump straight back to betting one unit.
Mini baccarat is like a one-handed bandit!
In traditional big table baccarat at land-based casinos, the game is slow and elegant, with probably 40 baccarat rounds an hour. Mini baccarat online, however, can swallow up your bankroll in no time, as the game is fast and has something like 150-200 rounds an hour. Set yourself betting limits and leave before you start spending the kids’ inheritance!
There really can be no baccarat strategy in the short term!
If you are looking to profit from playing baccarat, realistically speaking, it only makes sense to optimize your betting if you play more than a few rounds.