Many gamblers make the mistake of seeing baccarat as a card game that is essentially similar to blackjack, and as such, the strategies of playing blackjack that may be successfully employed in this game can just be ported over onto the baccarat table. Unfortunately, while the games share many similarities, this notion is something of an urban myth.
While there are similarities, there are more than enough differences to make the systems and strategies employed when playing blackjack. Does this mean you should not play baccarat? Far from it, baccarat is one of the fairest casino games available, with one of the smallest house edges of any casino game, so for the smart gambler, baccarat should be one of the games they target at any online casino. The key to playing well is, of course, understanding the subtle nuances of what appears to be a very simple game and if you want to brush up your baccarat abilities, then follow these nuggets of golden advice:
- Always play baccarat at casinos with the lowest commission: Sometimes called the VIG, the commission charged on each banker bet is used by casinos to counter the player’s advantage. Usually, this commission is around 5 percent, but if you can find a casino that offers that magical 4 percent VIG, then you are lowering the house edge down from 1.05 percent to just 0.6 percent! This may seem a small and trifling matter but any gambler will tell you, that any advantage you have to cut the house edge should always be taken.
- Select baccarat tables that use the fewest number of card decks: The difference between one deck baccarat and six and eight-deck games is only small, in fact, there is only one-hundredth of a percentage point difference between the likelihood of getting a winning hand with the dealer, player or on the tie between the six and eight-deck versions of the game. That said, generally speaking, the fewer decks in play, then the lower the house edge and the more chance you have of backing the winner.
- Bet on the dealer, rather than the player, most of the time: The addition of the VIG in the game of baccarat means that the dealer always has a very slight advantage in every hand. For example, in an eight-deck game, the dealer will win 45.86 percent of the time, compared to 44.62 percent for the player and 9.52 percent for the tie. Of course, the differences are only negligible, but over time, if you back the dealer more often then you are more likely to win. Ally this to prudent backing of the player when you have a hunch who is going to win and you have a half-decent baccarat strategy that anyone can follow.
By using these three tips, and by managing the money you have wisely by not making excessive bets you can ill afford, you can ensure that when you next hit the baccarat tables, you have the odds working for you, rather than against you.