What Is Baccarat?
Baccarat is a very simple and popular card game that dates back to the 15th century in Italy. But it didn’t gain popularity until it reached France in the 19th century. The original version of the game was called Baccarat Banque. Later on, the Chemin De Fer version took over the position as the most popular version of the game. Chemin De Fer is French and translates to the word railroad. It got its name because it takes less time to play than Baccarat Banque, which is a very time-consuming version of Baccarat.
As casinos became bigger and more organized, Punto Banco became more popular. In this version, only the dealer draws the cards. This makes it possible for more players to take part in the game. More than 90% of Baccarat played in casinos is Punto Banco.
Baccarat is known worldwide. It’s a game that is found in numerous online casinos. To some, it’s also known as a rich man’s game. The reason for this is that many rich people and high rollers often play Baccarat because of the exclusivity and atmosphere of the game. There are many stories about rich men losing their entire fortunes in just a few hours. To others, it’s known as James Bond’s game of preference.
Baccarat is quite similar to Blackjack. Both games are all about drawing cards and getting as close to a certain score as possible. There are a few ground rules that you should know before starting the game. They’re actually very simple:
- The best score is 9. It’s not possible to get a score that’s higher than 9.
- Aces are equal to 1 numerically, picture cards (10, J, Q, K) are equal to 0, and all other cards (2-9) are equal to the number that you see on the cards.
- If a total is more than 10, the second digit is the value of the hand
Here’s an example: You’ve drawn 3 + 8 on your first hand which equals a score of 11. Since it’s over 10, your total score after the first two cards is 1. This isn’t a good hand in Baccarat since it’s low.
Another example could be 10 + 4 = 14. But since only the last digit counts when the total is over 10, the total score is 4.
How to Play Baccarat Like a Pro
Baccarat is a game that’s played between the player and the banker. In Chemin De Fer and Baccarat Banque, the players switch between the roles of the player and the banker. As mentioned earlier, in Punto Banco, it’s always the casino that plays the banker and the players are just the players. But how does the course of the game actually go? You start off by placing a bet.
Placing the Bet
Baccarat is a guessing game. Therefore, players have to place their bets before the cards have been dealt. When placing a bet in Baccarat, you have three options:
- The Banker’s Hand: You bet on the hand of the banker. If you’re correct, you will double your money, also called 1:1.
- The Player’s Hand: If you win by betting on the player’s hand, you will also double your money.
- Tie: Should you be lucky to win after having a bet on a tie, you’re paid 8:1.
Simple, right? But... You should note that you should avoid the tie bet, as it tends to drain players’ wallets. Even though it may have the best payout – 8:1 – it also has, by far, the worst odds of winning. The house advantage tends to be at a whopping 14.36%. This means that if you were to make a hundred wagers of NZ$1, you could theoretically lose NZ$14.36. Now that we’ve established how to make your bets when playing Baccarat, let’s take a closer look at how the game works.
The game starts with the player and banker both getting two cards each. If one or both hands are equal to either 8 or 9, it’s a “natural” win and the game will be over. Bets that have been placed will therefore be cashed out.
If neither the hand of the player nor the banker is equal to 8 or 9, a third card is drawn.
The rules for drawing the third card in the game of Baccarat are different for the player and the banker:
Third card rules for the player
The player always goes first.
- If the hand of the player is equal to 8 or 9 points, this is a natural win and a third card will not be drawn.
- If the hand of the player equals 6 or 7, the player stands pat (doesn’t draw an additional card).
- If the hand of the player equals a total from 0 – 5 points, the player draws a third card – unless the banker’s hand is 8 or 9. In this case, no further cards are drawn and the banker wins
Third card rules for the banker
The third card rule for the banker depends on the hand of the player. If the player drew a third card, the banker must act according to the following rules.
- If the banker has a score of 2 or less, then the banker must draw a third card, regardless of what the player’s cards are – unless the player has a natural win, of course.
- If the banker’s score is 3, the banker must draw a card, unless the player’s third card is an 8 – in which case the banker stands pat.
- If the banker’s score is 4, the banker must draw a card if the player’s third card is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
- If the banker’s score is 5, the banker must draw a card if the player’s third card is 4, 5, 6 or 7.
- If the banker’s score is 6, the banker must draw if the player’s third card is a 6 or 7.
- If the banker’s score is 7, the banker needs to stand.
- If the banker’s score is 8 or 9, neither the banker nor the player draws a card.
How to Win at Baccarat
A common question that is always asked is how do you win in a game of Baccarat? In Baccarat, there is something called a winning hand. The winning hand is calculated after all of the cards have been dealt. Both the banker and the player can’t get more than three cards in a game of Baccarat. Whoever comes closest to the total of 9 wins. If there’s a tie, neither hand loses – the dealer simply collects the lost bets and pays the winnings.
If you’re new to Baccarat, you might not have heard of the famous gambling quote that you “should always wager on the banker”. Betting on the banker isn’t only the simplest and safest baccarat strategy. There’s mathematical proof that betting on the banker is the most profitable strategy when playing Baccarat. Here’s the example:
Assuming that the casino is using eight standard 52-card decks, the percentages of each hand are as follows:
● The player’s hand loses 45.87% of the time, wins 44.63% of the time, and ties 9.51% of the time.
● The banker’s hand, on the other hand, loses 44.65% of the time, wins 45.87% of the time, and ties 9.51% of the time.
If we remove all hands that tie from the equation, then the banker’s hand loses 49.32% of the time, while it wins 50.68% of the time. On the flip side, 50.68% of the player’s hands lose, while 49.32% win.
Looking at this mathematical background, it’s clear that betting on the banker’s hand has a higher chance of winning. In order to correct this difference, there’s a 5% commission on all winning bets made on the banker’s hand.
But there are also other strategies that you can use when playing Baccarat. We have listed these strategies below:
The Martingale System
This strategy is known as one of the most widely used betting strategies. The Martingale System is a common system of progressively adjusting bets in casino games, such as Baccarat. The traditional Martingale System states that you should double down on the next wager if you lost your last bet.
Here’s an example: If you place a NZ$10 bet on the banker’s hand and it loses, then you should put a NZ$20 wager on the same hand for the next bet. But it doesn’t end there. This theory suggests that you should continue until you win. So, if the next bet of NZ$20 loses, you should double to NZ$40 on the same bet, meaning it’s four times the original wager. When you win, you take your winnings and return them to the original bet.
In the long run, the Martingale System has a near-100% success rate. However, it’s a rather risky strategy:
- It’s not ideal for someone with a small bankroll. You can quickly run out of money before you can hit that much-awaited win.
- If you experience too many successive losses, doubling your bet may reach the table limit. That’s certainly a huge bummer since you won’t get a chance to double your wager once more.
- You may have to bet way too many times in order to win a decent amount of money.
- Not all casinos allow the use of the Martingale System.
Lucky for you, there are many other strategies to try out. They have all been proven to be just as effective. Just remember to always set a limit for yourself so that you don’t lose control when playing the game.
The Fibonacci System
This particular strategy is based on the famous Fibonacci number sequence in which the next number in a progression is decided by the sum of the previous two numbers:
1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 etc.
In this particular strategy, there’s a great deal of math involved. However, you don’t need to be a wizard of numbers in order to put this system into practice. It’s actually not that hard when you’ve first gotten the gist of it. For every bet that you lose, you should increase it on the next wager. This cycle continues until you hit a win. Like the Martingale System, the Fibonacci System assumes that the doubling of the wager will be extremely profitable in the long run. Maybe, an example would make it a little easier to understand:
You start with a NZ$10 bet on the player’s hand. If you lose your first two wagers, your third wager should be 3x your original bet, i.e., NZ$30 (3 x NZ$10). If you win the third bet, your winnings will be NZ$30, which means that you’ll have won back the money that you lost on the first two wagers.
If your losing streak goes to three in a row, then your fourth wager should be 5x your original bet (NZ$50). If luck is on your side, and you win the fourth round, you’ll receive NZ$50 in winnings, which is the sum of the last two losing hands, i.e., NZ$20 + NZ$30.
It’s simple: bet NZ$10 until you lose, and then wager NZ$20 until you lose. If you lose the NZ$20 bet, go ahead and increase it to NZ$50, then NZ$80, NZ$130, NZ$210, NZ$340 … just follow the Fibonacci sequence.
When using Fibonacci, the bets don’t grow as fast as they do when using Martingale, but it’s still advisable to set a limit for yourself to keep an eye on the bets and not lose control.
The Paroli System
This strategy is the complete opposite of the Martingale System. Some even call it the Reverse Martingale System. It’s a form of positive betting system where you double your bet every time you win until you lose. The aim is to achieve 3 wins in a row. Here’s an example for you:
Step 1: Bet NZ$10 on the player’s hand until you win. Then double it to NZ$20.
If you lose, return to step 1. Otherwise, continue to step 2.
Step 2: Bet NZ$20 until you win. Then bet NZ$40.
If you lose, go back to step 1. If you win, double the amount again and bet NZ$80.
Step 3: Bet NZ$80 until you win.
If you lose, return to step 1. If you win, also return to step 1.
This continues on and on until you lose or win three times in a row, and then the circle begins.
The Labouchere System
If you’re looking for a simple baccarat system, the Labouchere System may not be the one for you. It’s a more complex strategy that may take some time to master. It’s a negative progression system where you increase your wager after every lost bet. The key principle is that you should be able to win back your losses after a losing streak with a few wins – not just one win as in the Martingale System. Are you interested in getting to know the strategy? There are four rules to the Labouchere System:
Rule #1: Create a sequence
This can be any sequence of your choosing. Let’s use the example of 1, 2, 3, 2, 2.
Rule #2: Bet the amount equal to the sum of the first and last number of the sequence
Following the example above, you’ll have to bet NZ$3, which is the sum of NZ$1 (first) and NZ$2 (last).
Rule #3: Cross off winning numbers after a win
If you win on this bet, then you remove the first and last number of the sequence. Then you bet the next two numbers in the sequence 2 + 2 = NZ$4.
Rule #4: Add a number to the sequence after a loss
If you lose the bet, you must add the number to the sequence. The sequence will therefore be 1, 2 3, 2, 2, 3. Then, you must start all over and bet with the total sum of the first and last number of the sequence again: 1 + 3 = NZ$4.
You continue this strategy until you’re left with only one number. When you’re left with one number, it means that you’ve been on a winning streak and have won back a lot of bets.
The D’Alembert System
This system is a positive progressive system, but it’s designed to protect you from making quick and steep losses, while still recouping lost bets. With this particular strategy, you must decide on a base unit (the value of your chip or token). If you’re playing with NZ$1 chips, then your base unit is 1. For every bet you lose, you should increase your bet by 1 chip. So, if you’ve bet NZ$4 and lost, your next wager must be NZ$5. For every time you win, take away 1 chip from your bet.
We recommend that you’re careful when betting and that you don’t bet more than you’re willing to lose.
Online Baccarat: Pros and Cons
With the advent of online casinos, it has become much easier to enjoy the world of online gambling. You can play wherever you want, at any time you wish. You only need an Internet connection and a smart device. Simple and easy. It’s become incredibly popular to play at online casinos. There are other advantages to online Baccarat than just the fact that it’s convenient. Below, we have gathered a list of the advantages of playing online Baccarat:
- It’s convenient and accessible. From anywhere, anytime.
- Lots of different bonuses and promotions.
- You can use free demo versions. Test out the game for free before you start playing with real money.
- Many different variations of the game are gathered in a single place.
- The possibility of playing live.
- Many different ways of paying for the chips or tokens that you play with (multiple payment methods).
But of course, there aren’t only advantages attached to online gambling. There are also some disadvantages attached to playing Baccarat online:
- Not the same atmosphere as in a traditional casino.
- Not all online casinos can be trusted. Make sure to check whether they’re licensed or not!
- Can increase gambling addiction due to the accessibility and convenience.
- Slower payouts than at traditional casinos.
Baccarat is a fun and simple game. There aren’t many rules and it’s easy to learn. If you’ve never tried it before, and you’re curious about what the game is like, go find a demo version where you can learn and practice for free. Or maybe, you’ve tried Baccarat before and you’re just looking for a new casino to play at. Here at Casino Cupid, we’ve created a great list of popular and licensed online casinos. Go check it out! You might find your new favourite online casino.