Most of you probably first encountered the classic casino game of baccarat whilst watching the various incarnations of James Bond throughout the years. Bond added a sense of mystique and elegance to the game, whilst drawing in unknown players from all around the world.
There are plenty of reasons to consider playing this deceptively rewarding game. It boasts a house edge that’s amongst the most favourable from a player’s perspective. Citizens in France and Italy have been enjoying this card game since the 15th-century.
We’ll review the basics of playing baccarat, whilst exploring betting strategies to optimise your chances of success!
What are the Rules of Baccarat?
The aim of all baccarat iterations is to guess which hand will have a total that’s closest to a value of nine.
You can wager on the bank hand, the player hand or the tie bet as a player. All face cards and tens boasting a count of zero. Aces count as one. All other cards are worth their face value throughout the duration of the game.
It deals two cards to both the bank and the player hands once you have staked. If the count of a hand exceeds the value of nine, this total adjusts by subtracting 10. There are variable house rules which dictate that either the bank or the player may receive a third draw card. This is the maximum number of cards allowed.
From a wagering perspective, players will earn a 1:1 pay-off whether they’re betting on the bank or the player hand. However, they’ll also require paying a 5% commission that can eat into their winnings.
It’s the tie that offers the biggest potential wins. This is a statistically unlikely outcome it can deliver a payout at odds of around 8:1.
Most of these iGaming iterations operate according to the same set of general rules.
However, it’s important to review each game variation before choosing which one to play. There may be subtle rule changes that may affect house edge.
Here is a handy video, highlighting the rules of Baccarat by Casino Rama…
What are the Advantages of Playing Baccarat and What’s the House Edge?
Baccarat is a relatively simplistic game of chance that’s easy to learn and get to grips with.
Baccarat is typically available is both low and high-stakes formats. It enables you to find an iteration that matches your bankroll and underlying appetite for risk.
Perhaps the most interesting argument for playing baccarat is its aforementioned house edge, and in this respect, it offers inexperienced players some of the best odds at any online casino.
But what is the house edge and how does it fluctuate according to specific outcomes?
Let’s start with the bank hand, with statistically wins 45.87% of all hands and loses a further 44.63% (whilst tying a paltry 9.51%).
The reverse is true for the player hand. It’s clear that backing the bank hand affords players a slight advantage against the house.
Wagering on the player hand affords you a house edge of 1.24%, whereas this declines to 1.01% when backing the bank hand.
Whilst this difference may seem negligible, this variable house edge is competitive and favourable when compared with both iterations of roulette and even blackjack.
How Can Betting Strategies Improve your Chances of Success?
Now we come to the importance of betting strategies. These can enable you to minimise your risk and optimise your chances of winning over an extended period of play.
This is true with basic baccarat strategy, which includes several core elements and relies on several logical observations of gameplay.
One of the first considerations that you need to keep in mind is the precise baccarat iteration that you play. As we’ve already touched on, whilst these boast similar rule sets, look for subtle differences that may afford you a unique advantage and suit your particular betting strategy.
Bankroll management is also a key consideration. It’s important that you set limits in terms of the maximum amount that you’re willing (or able) to lose during a session. This should then inform the betting unit that you’re willing to stake per hand.
In terms of gameplay, it’s also wise to cultivate a strategy that focuses on backing the banker from the start. This may seem counterintuitive given the 5% commission payable on this wager. This bet is more likely to deliver a higher frequency of wins over a sustained period.
This offsets the commission cost and increases your chances of winning, helping casual and inexperienced players to help their bankroll stretch further!
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