Baccarat Strategy: How to Give Yourself the Best Odds

While in North America and Europe, blackjack is the table game king, in Asia, Baccarat dominates. On a global scale, twenty-one tables contribute to gaming revenues with about 31%, while baccarat ones do so with 9%. That said, in Macau, the world’s gambling capital, this comparing card game of French origin pulls in a little under $15 billion per year, largely thanks to Asian high-rollers who prefer it over every other casino pick. According to some sources, it is responsible for 88% of all Macau gaming revenues online baccarat real money.

Even though it may not have comparable popularity in the Western World as in Asia, baccarat is still well-established everywhere. It ranks as one of the big three, concerning table fun, along with roulette and blackjack. Nowadays, anyone can find plenty of $10 options at most casinos. Ones that accept $5 bets are also widely available. Reports suggest that venues across the globe are seeing an uptick in baccarat action simply due to Asian’s traveling more and locals getting more familiarized with it thanks to the rise of online baccarat real money sites.

The reason why James Bond’s favorite game has recently experienced a rise to power is that many casuals, thanks to the magic of the internet, are just now discovering it as a viable option with decent winning odds. In general, this is nothing more than a guessing game, where gamblers look to wager on who has the better hand, the banker or player, whose card total is closest to nine. That is all.

Below we break down the winning probability in play at baccarat tables and what players can do to give themselves the best odds possible when chasing big wins at Asia’s top gaming choice.

Can Baccarat Be Beaten? – Understand the Casino’s Advantage

Many veteran gamblers like to joke and equate betting on baccarat, also known as punto banco, to wagering on a coin toss. And, they are right. Standard games utilize eight decks, and the cards in play feature different point values. An ace is one, while tens and face cards are zeros. Those in the two to nine range have a pip value, which, for newbies, is equal to the number of pips printed on the card.

A round begins with players making a player, banker, or tie wagers. Though, some tables also offer player/banker pair wagers, as well as a slew of other innovative side-bets. After all the bets get laid down, the dealer provides two cards each to the banker and player hands. The maximum number of points in the game is nine, and whoever’s hand is closest to this figure wins. The third card per hand may get dealt depending on the scenario the first two produced.

Due to the possibility for players to make three different wagers per hand, each has a specific house edge. The one for the banker bet is lowest at 1.06%. The player edge is slightly higher at 1.24%, and the tie wager has a house advantage of 14.36%. These percentages apply to standard eight-deck games. In six-deck ones, the edge on the player and banker bets stays the same, while the tie one jumps to 14.44%. A one-deck baccarat game analysis yields the following figures. A banker bet has an edge of 1.01%, a player one of 1.29%, and a tie an advantage of 15.75%.

For perspective’s sake, blackjack has a default casino advantage of 2%, while European roulette boasts an edge of 2.7%. So, the odds in baccarat are favorable.

Baccarat Strategy – Which Ones Actually Work?

The simplest and most effective baccarat strategy is to make the banker bet, always, as it has the lowest theoretical house edge. Hence, it carries the best odds. That said, because of its decent win probability, many tables take a 5% commission for every winning banker bet. Thankfully, at most establishments, these get labeled as commission baccarat. Venues inform players of this practice. Note that no-commission games are gaining traction in many regions and online as a way for operators to lure in players.

Aside from always only making the banker bet, players can also explore progressive betting systems when playing baccarat or any casino-style gaming game. These entail players’ adjusting their bet sizes depending on previous outcomes. Positive progression is when gamblers increase their stakes when they win and decrease them following a losing bet. Negative progression is the opposite procedure. Gamblers will raise their stakes when they lose and lower them when they win. The latter schemes are more popular, even though both types cannot guarantee wins in the long haul because of the random nature of gambling. Moreover, if a player languishes in an extended losing streak, these systems can quickly dig him into a financial hole from which there is no exit.

The most famous progressive wagering patterns are the Martingale, the Fibonacci, the Paroli, the Labouchere, and the D’Alembert. These may produce short-term results, but it only takes for Lady Luck to turn her back on players for a while for them to be rendered ineffective and super dangerous.

Types of Baccarat Bets: Picking a Strategy

Though everyone has their approach when playing baccarat, a few rules of thumb virtually always apply. So, the best strategy includes the following tips:

  • Favor the banker wager – It provides the best winning chances.
  • Avoid the tie bet – As outlined above, it features the worst odds of the three elementary bets.
  • Do not make side-bets – Some tables will offer attractive side-bet options but know that these will likely have worse odds even than the tie wager.
  • Stick to your budget – Never chase losses. Gamblers should never spend more than what they can afford to lose.
  • Use betting systems in moderation – Players into low-stakes games, with decently budgeted sessions, can look to implement the Martingale system, starting with the minimum wager possible then doubling up on every loss.
  • Look for no-commission tables – These provide better profitability.
  • Don’t fall prey to ole wives tales – There are no hot tables, and if a player has lost several hands in a row, that does not mean he is due for a win.
  • The fewer decks, the better – Eight-deck games are the casino standard, but finding lower-deck ones, and playing at these, means that gamblers will face slightly better odds.


Baccarat is a gambling game with a house edge that is even lower than blackjack’s default advantage. Therefore, players who can practice impulse control and stick to the advice outlined above should consider it, as doing so can lead to a steady stream of wins.

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