When it comes to winning while playing Baccarat, there are many challenges that face the bettor. Chief among these is that most casino games are, to some extent, based on random chance. You can practice other pursuits such as golf, pool or darts and get better every day, but with Baccarat, you’ll always be at least somewhat reliant on luck. You could hit a hot streak at the table on Tuesday, and lose everything on Wednesday, even if you do the exact same thing each day.
So the question has to be asked: can you play a Baccarat strategy, given the element of chance that is always involved? After all, Baccarat is a game into which the player has no input other than betting. They don’t touch the cards, can’t call for another card to be drawn, or stick on a score they’re happy with. This means that from the moment you place your bet, everything is down to the casino – so surely, giving yourself the edge is nigh-on impossible?
Thankfully, there’s good news, and Baccarat success is achievable if you focus on the key of any advanced strategy for Baccarat: the fact that you only control your bets. The following approaches to the game are based on the constant awareness of this fact, and how it can be leveraged to improve outcomes at the table.
In Baccarat, there is a small advantage on the side of the Dealer due to how the cards fall. However, in Baccarat practice there is a more-or-less equal chance of Player or Dealer winning any given hand. Players using the One-Sided Strategy pick one side – Player or Dealer – and always bet on that outcome.
The logic of this is as follows: there is an almost equal chance of either outcome, so you’re unlikely to run up a catastrophic run of consecutive losses by always choosing the Player of the Dealer. The probability of the various outcomes in a hand of Baccarat is that the Dealer will win 45.9% of the time, the Player 44.6%, with the remaining hands ending in a tie. In other words, across 100 hands of the game, roughly 46 can be expected to be won by the dealer, 44 or 45 by the Player, and around nine or ten will tie.
The Dealer and the Player, in other words, will win a nearly-equal number of hands, and the One-Sided Strategy is based on the reasonable assumption that these hands will not go “Dealer-Player-Dealer-Player”. Instead, at any given time, there is a decent chance of each side winning several hands in a row. There is always the risk of choosing one and seeing the other go on a hot run, but this should be evened out over the course of several hands; if you can hang in the game, you should eventually see the luck swing back your way – and hopefully, deliver profits as it does so. Better yet, there may be no need to wait for the swing; if the first hot streak is on the side you have chosen, you can walk away with a profit without needing to wait for the variance to level out.
Of course, this strategy raises the question over which is the best bet to choose. Yes, the Dealer will win more often, but remember that there is a commission applied to Dealer wins at all casino Baccarat tables. As Baccarat odds are set at Evens for Dealer and Player, and at 8 or 9/1 for the Tie, most bettors who use this strategy prefer to stick with Player bets – where the house edge is at its lowest thanks to the commission.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the Tie is never the right choice for this strategy. While the Tie does offer larger payouts, they typically aren’t large enough to compensate for the rarity of a Tie actually occurring; you’d need to play for a long time – and get very lucky – if waiting for a run of Ties in a row.
This strategy, like the One-Sided approach, rests on the principle that there will be “runs” in games of Baccarat. At any Baccarat table, there will be a means to keep track of who has won each hand. This way, you can easily see “trends” developing. This strategy relies on the fact that those trends will break eventually – and when they do, there is likely to be a “correction”.
In other words, because there should be a roughly equal number of Dealer and Player wins, a long run of wins for one indicates that there should be a run of wins for the other in the near future. You can, in fact – if you’re feeling ambitious and have had a run of good luck – transfer from the One-Sided Strategy to bet Against The Trend, thus profiting from runs on either side.
The 1-3-2-4 system is not about what you bet on, but how you bet. In particular, it is about how much you bet. You strategically increase and decrease your bets in a way which gives you a chance of maximising your wins. Let’s deal with the name first: the 1-3-2-4 system may sound unusual, but it’s actually a reference to the way you should bet. Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you place £10 on the first bet. If that loses, you’re back to square one and your next bet will also be £10. This rule applies if you lose at any point during the sequence – any loss is followed by starting again from “1”. If your first bet wins, however, on the next hand you will bet £30 (3x£10). With a win there, you’ll have made £40. On the next bet, place £20. If you win again, you’re at £60 profit, but crucially, even if you lose, you’re still £20 up and can either walk away or begin the sequence again.
The final part of the sequence – the “4” – means in this case that you bet £40. As you’re already £60 up, you’ll still have made a £20 profit if you lose. If you win, you’ve made £100 off four hands of Baccarat. Let’s set it out step by step, taking £10 as your original bet, or one “unit”. Importantly, you must always revert to Step One if your bet loses, and only progress to the next step if you win:
Step One: You bet £10. If your bet wins, you’re £10 up. If it loses, you’re £10 down.
Step Two: You bet £30. If your bet wins, you’re £40 up. If it loses, you’re £20 down.
Step Three: You bet £20. If your bet wins, you’re £60 up. If it loses, you’re £20 up.
Step Four: You bet £40. If your bet wins, you’re £100 up. If it loses, you’re £20 up.
Step Five: Either take your winnings and go or start from Step One again.
Essentially, the 1-3-2-4 system is designed to maximise your profits from consecutive wins. Successfully following this strategy can see you win 10x your initial bet in four bets. It doesn’t mean you’re any more likely to get those wins – nothing that you can do makes that possible – but it can help you build up your profit if you follow it correctly.
There is an element of risk in this strategy, mostly at Step Two. If you lose there, you’ll be down £20, or two “units”. Then again, if you are betting without a strategy and lose two consecutive hands, you’re down two units anyway. One of the key points to this strategy is that if you win your first two bets on it, you guarantee a profit even if one of the next two is lost – and maximise it if all four are won.
Do all of these Baccarat betting strategies work?
No strategy works absolutely in any game of chance – which Baccarat is, perhaps more so than any card game. The strategies above will not increase your chances of winning a hand of Baccarat. Nothing will, but using the above strategies can allow you to use the quirks of the game to your benefit.
None of them will work without implementing a stop-loss amount and a walk-away target for your play. There is nothing you can do to stop a hand of Baccarat dealing you a loss. There is one thing you can do to stop losing several in a row, and that’s leaving the table before it becomes a problem. Equally, when you’ve won a certain amount – one successful round of the 1-3-2-4 strategy, for example – leave and enjoy your win rather than trying to push it too far.
If you treat the strategies above as ways to maximise what you win, rather than approaches to ensure that you win, they can certainly work in your favour. They don’t offer any guarantees, but as guidelines, they’re hard to beat.
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