Baccarat Strategy 2023 – How To Win at Baccarat
Baccarat is one of the most engaging casino games you can play online; what's more, it's relatively straightforward to grasp too. In this article, we have not only outlined the basics for beginners, but also extensively detailed Baccarat betting strategies and systems that you can use to improve your gameplay. Read on to learn more!
How To Play Baccarat
The basis of Baccarat is simple to grasp: players must bet on one of three possible outcomes, which are whether the Player’s or the Banker’s hand will win, or if there will be a Tie. Each hand is dealt with either two or three cards, and the hand closest to a total of nine is the winner.
With that in mind, let’s explore each element individually.
A baccarat table is usually in a semi-circular shape designed to accommodate 12-14 players. Regardless of the latter, however, only two hands of cards are dealt.
Players don’t get their own cards; instead you'll be assigned your own section of the table, which is split into different segments called betting areas where you can place your chips.
These betting areas include ‘Player’, ‘Banker’, and ‘Tie’. The dealer is positioned at the centre of the table, allowing them to easily distribute the cards.
The game is usually played using six to eight decks of cards. Card values are as follows:
- Aces: One point
- 2 to 9: Face value
- 10s and face cards (King, Queen, & Jack): Zero
If the value of your hand exceeds 9 in total, then only the second digit is counted. As such, 10 is worthless, 11 becomes 1, 12 equals 2, and so on.
For example, say the Player has a 10 and an 8, and the Banker has a 6 and a 7. Here, the Player would win, since 0 + 8 = 8, while the Banker only has 6 + 7 = 13, which amounts to a value of 3.
Placing a Bet
Before the cards are dealt, the dealer will call for your chips to be placed on the betting segments either on the Banker, Player, or Tie.
You must choose which hand you believe will be the closest to 9. If you opt for the Tie bet, this means you are wagering that both the Player’s and Banker’s hands will have the same value.
Playing the Game
Put simply, Baccarat is a guessing game where the objective is to bet whether the Banker’s or the Player’s hand has a total closest to 9.
After the bets are made, the dealer will deal two cards to the Banker’s box and two cards to the Player’s box. If either of these two sets total 8 or 9, then the one with this hand receives what is called a natural win.
However, if no one has a natural win, then an additional card may be drawn.
Baccarat has explicit rules about whether this third card is drawn, which are as follows:
- If the hand is between 0-5, the Player is dealt a third card.
- If it is 6 or 7, then no additional card is taken.
- No card is needed with a natural win or a Tie when the hand is 8 or 9.
Banker (The Banker’s actions depend on the Player’s hand)
- The Player draws a 2 or 3 as a third card – if the Banker has 0-4, a third card will be drawn. Otherwise, they will stand with a 5-7.
- The Player draws a 4 or 5 as a third card – if the Banker has 0-5, a third card will be drawn. Otherwise, they will stand with a 6 or 7.
- The Player draws a 6 or 7 as a third card – if the Banker has 0-6, a third card will be drawn. Otherwise, they will stand with a 7.
- The Player draws an 8 as a third card – if the Banker has 0-2, a third card will be drawn. Otherwise, they will stand with a two-card total of 3-7.
- The Player draws a 9, 10, face card, or Ace as a third card – if the Banker has 0-3, a third card will be drawn. Otherwise, they will stand with a 4-7.
How To Win at Baccarat
Baccarat is known for having rewarding payouts and odds in comparison to other casino games. Indeed, it has one of the lowest house edges, which is the casino’s advantage over the players.
Based on the standard rules of the game, the house edge is around 1.09% on the Banker bet, 1.24% on the Player bet, and 14.36% on the Tie.
A winning hand is the one closest to the total of 9 points. Sometimes a tie may occur, where there is neither a win nor a loss for those who bet on the Player and Banker. In case, bets are returned to the players. However, on the rare occasion, that a player placed a bet on a Tie, they would receive a generous payout.
Since the result is determined randomly by the cards dealt and the drawing rules, there are no definite winning strategies. That said, there are a few useful strategies you can employ here. For instance, we strongly advise that you steer clear of Tie bets, which are extremely risky although they may offer the biggest payouts.
In addition, it is best to bet on the Banker, since there is a statistically better advantage and a slightly lower house edge.
Since the Banker’s hand has higher odds of winning, usually casinos will charge a 5% commission on all successful Banker bets.
However, there are more complex strategies and systems detailed later on in this article that can sharpen your gameplay.
- Mini-Baccarat is played on a smaller table, normally with seven players who make lower bets. It is also played at a higher speed.
- EZ Baccarat is another popular variation that discards the 5% commission charge on the winning Banker’s hand. Instead, the latter can win with a three-card total of 7 called a ‘Push’.
- Baccarat Banque is mostly played in European casinos, with the Player who places the largest bet becoming the Banker.
- Progressive Baccarat is a game where a progressive jackpot is included that grows with each bet.
- Free Baccarat is great for anyone who is new to the game and wants to practise. This is usually made possible at casinos that offer demo versions of real-money baccarat, which don't require you to make any deposits or to use your own funds. However, bear in mind that you cannot make any winnings here, either.
- Live Dealer Baccarat allows for an immersive experience where you can interact with real-life dealers and other players.
Things To Keep in Mind
When incorporating any blackjack strategy, it's a good idea to take the following points into consideration.
- In baccarat, you can bet on the Banker or the Player having the winning hand, or else on a Tie. Betting on the Banker has the highest RTP at 45.84%, while betting on the player has an RTP of 44.61%, and a tie an RTP of only 9.45%. The lower the chances of you winning, the higher the payouts will be if you do win.
- When making a bet on the Banker winning the round, the casino is very likely to take a cut of the bet. This is done because the house edge in this case is lower, and so the casino needs to ensure it doesn’t make a loss. The Banker’s cut is usually 5%, but there are some casinos that take as much as 20% – which, in our opinion, is too much.
- In this article, we mention the term ‘even-money bets’ a couple of times. This refers to bets where your odds of winning or losing are 50%, and therefore the payout is usually 1:1. Bets on the banker’s hand and the player’s hand in baccarat are considered to be even-money bets.
Winning Baccarat Strategies
Having said that, while these strategies can increase your chances of winning, they never be 100% infallible. Therefore, always keep your budget in mind, and never wager more than you can afford.
The Martingale System
The Martingale system works on the premise that a player should double their wager after every loss, and go back to their original wager after every win.
Here’s how it works in baccarat.
In theory, this strategy seems quite sensible, but there are a number of things that can go wrong. For a start, you can only use this with even-money bets, so you should never utilise this strategy when making bets on the banker and the player being tied.
Secondly, it’s crucial to think ahead. If you have a string of bad luck, your £/€5 initial bet can end up being a £/€640 bet within eight losses. That’s a lot of money already lost, and a lot more money that needs to come out of your bankroll in order to potentially recuperate your losses and make a relatively small profit.
Thirdly, some casinos have table limits that include how low the lowest bet can be and how much a single player can wager throughout the whole duration of the game. If the lowest bet is £/€10 and you’re unlucky enough to have a losing streak, you will exceed the table limit within eight consecutive losses, as your eighth wager alone would be of £/€1,280.
The Fibonacci System
The Fibonacci Sequence was devised by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci in the Middle Ages, and it has served as a great system for roulette and many other casino games that allow for even-money bets.
The system starts from 1 and works by adding the previous two numbers together to create a third. So, starting from 1, the sequence goes as follows: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, and so forth. (1, (1+0=)1, (1+1=)2, (1+2=)3…)
When using the Fibonacci strategy for baccarat, you will need to look at the numbers in the sequence as units (for example, 1 unit = £/€5), and you should follow through with the sequence when you make a loss, and then go back two numbers whenever you make a winning bet.
Here’s how it works in baccarat.
When looking at it like this, this system is effective, but there are some obvious flaws to it.
For a start, if you experience a losing streak, a unit of just £/€5 can result in a £/€165 deficit in your bankroll within eight bets. That cannot be gained back with just one win, as a winning bet after this would give you £/€105, leaving you £/€60 in the red.
Secondly, as we mentioned before, many casinos have table limits that include how low your lowest bet can be. If your one unit is £/€10, you’ll be making £/€80 bets within six losses – so unless your budget is high, this baccarat basic strategy won’t really work.
The Paroli System
Unlike the two baccarat strategies mentioned above, the Paroli System works on the premise that wins and losses tend to come in streaks, and players should therefore make smaller bets when they’re losing, and larger bets when they’re winning.
In essence, this strategy works by starting with wagers of one unit and doubling them when you win, and going back to one unit when you make a loss.
Here’s how it works in baccarat.
Once again, this betting system seems like a sensible solution to managing your bankroll, but the flaws of this system lie in its logic. That is because there is no guarantee that wins or losses come in streaks, and even when there is a 50% chance of winning for every bet, there is also a 50% chance of losing the same bet.
With that in mind, it's easy to see that five or six one-unit losses are not that uncommon, and that would leave you in the lurch before you’ve even started.
The Labouchere System
In this particular land-based and online baccarat strategy, the first step is to decide how much you’d like win. Let's say that we’d like to win £/€50.
The next step in the Labouchere baccarat is to break up the £/€50 into smaller numbers that add up to 50. So, we’ll say: 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13.
Now, it’s time to start betting, and our first bet will be the first number in the sequence (in our case, 5) added to the last number in the sequence (13). The result is a bet of £/€18.
If we lose, we will add our loss (£/€18) to the sequence, which will then look as such: 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, 18. Then, for our second bet we will add the first and last numbers (5+18) and make a bet of £/€23.
If we win, however, we will remove the two numbers we have just bet. So our sequence would be cut down to: 6, 7, 8, 10. Then, our next bet will be the first and last numbers in the new sequence, resulting in a bet of £/€16.
Here’s how it works in baccarat.
This system is quite simple to understand and execute, whether you’re an old hand at baccarat or a novice. It can also help you win larger sums of money – but that, once again, is all down to luck.
As can be seen from the example above, it is easy to quickly deplete your bankroll, especially if you end up on a losing streak. So, while this may seem like a great system, we honestly wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with a small budget.
The D’Alembert System
The d’Alembert system is another fairly straightforward strategy for baccarat. Indeed, all you have to do is to decide how much each unit is worth, make an initial bet of one unit, and then add one unit every time you lose, and deduct one unit every time you win.
For our example below, we will imagine our unit is worth £/€5.
Here’s how it works in baccarat.
As far as any baccarat strategy goes, the d’Alambert system is one of the more sensible ones that allows for gradual increases when you’re losing, and gradual decreases when you’re protecting what you’ve won.
Moreover, it is ideal for those players with smaller bankrolls. Overall, there’s not much to fault here, except that a large sum per unit can result in a huge loss if you don’t know where to stop. Of course, this strategy is not foolproof, and you need to understand that a risk is always involved when gambling.
The 1-3-2-4 System
The 1-3-2-4 staking system is one of the comprehensive betting strategies ever created, and one that returns a profit from the second winning bet in a row.
How it works is all in the name: you basically set an amount for your unit, and then bet one unit, followed by three units, two units, and four units. If at any point you make a losing bet or get to the fourth bet unbeaten, you then return to the first wager and start over.
In the example below, each unit is worth £/€5.
Here’s how it works in baccarat.
The main advantage of such a system is that it works with both small and large amounts (there’s nothing stopping a high roller from having one unit being worth £/€100 instead of £/€5, for example).
Moreover, while the 1-3-2-4 baccarat limits your losses to a maximum of two units and can give you up to 10 units in profit, those numbers apply per round and not for the whole game.
Which Baccarat Strategy Works Best?
In the section above, we explored numerous baccarat systems that professional and amateur players use both at land-based and online casinos. Nevertheless, we understand that for those who are not well-versed in such systems, it may be confusing to pick a winning baccarat strategy. So, which one works best?
The answer depends on a lot of factors, but none are more important than your budget.
As we’ve seen, systems like the Martingale, the Fibonacci, and the Paroli can help you manage your bankroll while playing, but to account for potential losing streaks, one must have a rather large budget. So, given that you can afford such a budget (you should never, ever play more than you can afford to lose), these systems are worth exploring.
Nevertheless, for those who have more modest budgets, we’d recommend trying the d’Alambert or the 1-3-2-4 Systems, as these two baccarat winning strategies may help keep huge losses at bay.
How To Handle Your Bankroll When Playing Baccarat
Many players often think of gambling strategies as a safe way to manage their bankroll; in reality, though, all these do is help you break down your budget, which can lull you into a false sense of security that a win is just around the corner. For that reason, it’s important to:
- Set a budget that is reasonable and only play amounts that you can afford to lose.
- Never increase your budget to chase losses or because you’re on a winning streak.
- Consider your winnings as being independent of the budget and put them aside. Alternatively, if you’d like to continue playing with your winnings, then set aside a sizeable percentage (such as 25 or 50%) so that you can walk away with something even if you lose.
- Quit while you’re ahead. If you’re on a winning streak, don’t continue playing until your bankroll goes down to zero. If you’re on a losing streak and your bankroll is down to zero, call it a day.
- Remember that you can’t win every bet, every time. Sometimes you’ll have a good round and, on other occasions, you won’t. Both are okay so long as you stick to your allocated budget.
- Ensure you fully understand how your chosen strategy works. Take your time to familiarise yourself with it, think about how much each unit is going to be worth, and see how your budget fits into the system.
Tips & Hints for Baccarat
As we explain in more detail below, there's more to winning at baccarat than just using a strategy. For a better understanding of what we've just said, take a look at our top tips below.
Understand the Game
Baccarat is by no means a complicated game, and there are only a handful of rules to wrap your head around. Nevertheless, knowing the value of each card and when the player or banker need to draw a third are crucial to understanding exactly what is happening. In other words, baccarat rules and strategy go hand in hand.
As in all other games of chance, luck plays a large role in baccarat. This means that even the best baccarat strategy may be thrown off-course due to multiple back-to-back losses. Therefore, you’ll need a back-up plan on how to handle your bankroll if this happens.
Moreover, do remember to keep emotions in check. Whether you are winning or losing, keeping a cool head and an eye on your bankroll will make the experience more enjoyable.
Pick a Version of Baccarat That Suits You
There are tonnes of variations of baccarat online, including Baccarat Squeeze, where you take a peek at the cards; EZ baccarat, which has no 5% commission on the banker’s hand, and the Chemin de Fer, which is faster-paced version of the original. This means you can easily find a game type you enjoy and feel comfortable playing.
Try Playing for Free First
Many online casinos let play a number of games for free, including baccarat. If you're a beginner, this is great news – you’ll get a better understanding of how the game works, and which strategy you'd prefer to use.
Baccarat Gambling Strategy Conclusion
A winning baccarat strategy is the stuff dreams are made of, but these systems – although they can be extremely helpful – are not foolproof. That’s why, while these strategies can help, they cannot guarantee a win.
If we had to put things into a nutshell, we'd sum everything up like so: enjoy the thrill of the game, but always maintain a sense of realism! Ultimately, as with all all casino games, there is always an element unpredictability in baccarat, which is at the end of the day what makes it so much fun.
Baccarat Strategy FAQs
Baccarat is a card game in which the player and the banker draw cards in the hopes of getting a total of nine, or as close to nine as possible without exceeding it. The game can be played online against the computer or against a real-life croupier at a live dealer casino.
In a nutshell, the player and the banker draw two cards each. Their value is then added, and if it’s below five, the player/banker is then allowed to draw a third card.
Baccarat is a game of chance, so there is no such thing as an infallible baccarat gambling strategy. Nevertheless, a good strategy can help you manage your bankroll more effectively by giving you a plan to follow.
Baccarat has one of the best RTPs for any casino game, meaning you have a reasonably good chance of success every time you play. Even so, as there is always an element of luck needed in casino games, you can’t beat baccarat every time regardless of your chosen strategy.
Not at all. Online baccarat is either overseen by a certified random number generator (RNG) or a live dealer, and is as fair as any baccarat game you can play at a land-based casino.
Online baccarat is overseen by an RNG, which is certified to be fair and cannot be tampered with by the casino. In this case, you are playing against a computer. In live dealer baccarat, however, the gameplay is live and overseen by a real-life dealer.