Baccarat is an exciting casino game that is easy to find online and in many land-based casinos. However, it can also be very easy to get carried away and lose money, especially if you don’t understand the odds. That’s why it’s important to play responsibly and stick to a budget.
To help you do that, here are six baccarat tips to keep in mind while playing the game. 1. Learn the rules and betting options.
Baccarat is a game of chance that pits the banker’s hand against the player’s hand in an attempt to score a total closest to nine. Each round, players place a bet on either the Player, Banker, or Tie. Once the bets are placed, cards are dealt and the winning hand is announced. The losing bets are collected and winning bets are paid out depending on the result. If the Player and Banker hands both have a “natural” (a pair of 8s or 9s), the game ends in a tie. Otherwise, additional cards are drawn to determine the winner.
2. Avoid the Tie Bet.
While the tie bet in baccarat pays out 9:1, it’s still a poor choice for players. A 4% house edge makes it one of the worst bets in the entire casino, so we recommend avoiding this side bet altogether. Instead, place a bet on the Banker hand, which offers better odds.
3. Know the Rules and Expectations.
In baccarat, the dealer deals two cards each to the Banker and Player hands. Unlike blackjack, where players can make decisions during the course of a hand, baccarat is an entirely passive game. Once all bets are placed, the croupier announces the total of each hand. The hand that scores closest to nine wins the round. The croupier then collects losing bets and pays winning ones.
4. Understand the Value of Each Card.
The simplest way to play baccarat is by counting the cards in each hand to figure out their value. Each card has a different value, with the exception of 10’s and face cards (Kings, Queens, and Jacks), which count as zero points. Numbers ten and above count their digit, with the second digit taking precedence. For example, a 7 and a 2 would be worth five points. Winning wagers for the Banker or Player are paid even money, while winning bets on the Tie are returned to those who made the bet.
5. Know How to Interpret the Results of Each Round.
Once the Banker and Player hands have been played out, the croupier will announce the winning hand. In some cases, the hands will be so close that they produce a tie. If neither hand has a natural, additional cards are drawn to decide the winner.
While some players swear by strategies like the Martingale Strategy, these tactics are unlikely to change the odds of a hand. Ultimately, the best way to reduce the house edge of baccarat is by placing a bet on the Banker hand. Despite the 5% commission, a Banker bet is the safest option because it pays out even money.