Baccarat Strategy

3 May

Baccarat Strategy

Often sought, though rarely found, a good Baccarat strategy is usually considered a myth among gamblers

The heart of casino Baccarat game lies in its patterns or streaks. Most casinos will offer pencils and blank charts in order to track the trends. Remember, it is streaks or patterns you seek. Many Baccarat strategists concentrate on riding the streaks, using a variety of money management theories to parlay their wins. Shoes start to develop characteristics, with Banker rolling off 5…6…7…8 or more wins in a row. The idea is to ride the streak: get on, then off at the right time.

Other shoes are described as “choppy:” Banker, Player, Banker, Tie, Player, Banker, Banker, Player, etc. If you cannot discern a recognizable pattern, you have the choice of not betting at all. Remember, many Baccarat players will buy-in, then sit and wait while the game is being dealt, searching for trends, observing patiently, then pick a spot. Naturally, this approach requires great discipline. Shoes do develop outstanding characteristics that can change as the hands progress.

Shoes that are absolutely delightful with outstanding Baccarat patterns that repeat time after time can rarely be seen. There is not a great deal of logic to this, but there isn’t a great deal of logic to a shooter at a craps table making pass after pass, while at the next table over, the dice pass every 2 minutes, each shooter as cold as a glacier.

Same thing is true a Baccarat player who has been losing a few, winning a few, but never really getting anywhere but mostly down, the house edge nipping away at the treasured bankroll. Then, out-of-nowhere he rips off 5 wins in a row. What is to account for this happening?

There have been numerous theories posed and written concerning mathematical deviations and streaks in Baccarat gambling. If you see a noticeable pattern or streak develop, pay attention to it. If there is a run of 6 bankers in a row, there is no reason that there can be another one. There are some who upon seeing a run of three Bankers or Players, will bet against it, figuring it can’t happen again.

It is important to remember that each event or deal, is totally independent of the preceding and following. But with this understanding, there are streaks that occur. The old, “flip an unbiased coin 100 times” example will illustrate this point. That is too small a sample to get the results of exactly 50 heads and tails each. The results will most likely be a deviation for one side or the other, possibly 54 heads to 46 tails. But, within the coin tosses, you will probably have small “runs” of 3, 4, or more of one side of the coin than the other.

The same holds true in Baccarat. Despite the independent nature of these events, Baccarat aficionados look for repetitious patterns in the game’s outcome. They will tell you that you can only lose once when betting into a streak, but lose many times betting against it. Streaks are the easiest pattern to recognize, but there are also several others which are easy to follow as well. One has a pattern of several wins for one side then switches to the other then back.

Below are several common repeating patterns you will encounter sooner or later:

-P-P-B-P-P-B-P-P-B-T-P-P-B-B-P-P-B-T-P-P-B
-P-P-P-B-T-P-P-P-P-P-B-B-P-P-P-P-B
-P-P-B-B-P-P-B-B-B-P-P-B-P-T-P-B-B-B-P-P
-B-P-B-P-B-P-B-P-B-P-B-B-P-P-B-B-P-P

Whatever approach you take, consider Baccarat. There is a reason this is the game of choice for the highest of rollers. However, many baccarat experts are not crazy about scorecard based on changing betting patterns in order to take advantage of a streak. The Baccarat casinos encourage this behavior simply because they know it has no bearing on the outcome of the game. Chasing patterns in baccarat is as pointless as it is in roulette.

One hand has no bearing on the next, and is never influenced by the preceding hands. This is a simple trap that gamblers all around the world fall into at one time or another. If you were betting on the flip of a coin, and it landed heads up 9 times in a row, part of your brain will inevitably yell out to you that a tails is imminent, and it’s likely that the 10th flip will land tails up. This reasoning is spurious; the chance of the coin landing tails up on the 10th flip is exactly 50%, just as it was the first nine times. Any baccarat strategy that makes you change your bets based on previous hands is useless and should be completely disregarded.

Card counting strategy

Card counting is usually associated with the game of blackjack, as it can be quite an effective strategy when utilized properly in the right casino. It would also appear to be a genuinely worthy strategy in baccarat, as it works off of a similar shoe. The problem is of course the issue of used cards being fed back into the shoe before very many have been removed (thus negating any count you had made to that point). In baccarat specifically the problems with card counting are a little different. Unlike blackjack baccarat does not offer opportunities to alter your bet in mid-hand play. Blackjack offers this ability in a number of specific situations, and so you can increase your bet if your count changes during play. Using card counting in baccarat though offers so few situations with an advantage against the house that the overall efforts are worthless.

However, Wizardofodds.com website insists that this strategy may provide good environment for your Baccarat gaming. According to the resource, a good first step in developing a card counting strategy is to determine the effect of removing any given card from the game. The following table shows the number of banker, player, and tie wins resulting from the removing of one card in an 8-deck shoe. The card removed is indicated in the left column.

Card
Removed
Number
Banker Win Player Win Tie Win
0 2259094649086970 2198163195365880 469048148230736
1 2259266202814720 2198201626637560 468838163231312
2 2259390347439480 2198279181695870 468636463548240
3 2259415336955130 2198240411263230 468650244465232
4 2259565639560830 2198132965463160 468607387659600
5 2259056540713470 2198626760121850 468622691848272
6 2259230629854970 2198942636434940 468132726393680
7 2259288625471740 2198847351781120 468170015430736
8 2258880877214840 2198299582316670 469125533152080
9 2259013211112320 2198292198535290 469000583035984
Average 0 0 0

The next table puts these numbers is some perspective by indicating the probability of a banker, player, and tie win according to the card removed.

Removed Probability
Banker Win Player Win Tie Win
0 45.8578% 44.6209% 9.5213%
1 45.8613% 44.6217% 9.517%
2 45.8638% 44.6233% 9.5129%
3 45.8643% 44.6225% 9.5132%
4 45.8673% 44.6203% 9.5123%
5 45.857% 44.6303% 9.5127%
6 45.8605% 44.6367% 9.5027%
7 45.8617% 44.6348% 9.5035%
8 45.8534% 44.6237% 9.5229%
9 45.8561% 44.6235% 9.5203%
Average 45.8594% 44.6253% 9.5154%

The above table shows slight differences in the probabilities according to the card removed. The next table shows the probability according to the given card removed less the average probability, multiplied by ten million.

Card
Removed
Number
Banker Win Player Win Tie Win
0 2259094649086970 2198163195365880 469048148230736
1 2259266202814720 2198201626637560 468838163231312
2 2259390347439480 2198279181695870 468636463548240
3 2259415336955130 2198240411263230 468650244465232
4 2259565639560830 2198132965463160 468607387659600
5 2259056540713470 2198626760121850 468622691848272
6 2259230629854970 2198942636434940 468132726393680
7 2259288625471740 2198847351781120 468170015430736
8 2258880877214840 2198299582316670 469125533152080
9 2259013211112320 2198292198535290 469000583035984
Average 0 0 0

The table above shows the relative effect of removing one card according to the future probability of a banker, player, and tie win. The greater the number the more beneficial it is to remove that card. For example when betting on the banker it is best when 4’s leave the deck, and when betting on the player is best when 6’s leave the deck.

To adapt this information to a card counting strategy the Baccarat player should start with three running counts of zero. As each card is seen as it leaves the shoe the player should add the point values of that card to each running count. For example if the first card to be played is an 8 then the three running counts would be: banker=-502, player=533, tie=6543. Of course the Baccarat player does not have to keep a running track of all three counts. In fact the point values for the banker and player are nearly opposite of each other. A high running count for the banker would mean a corresponding low count for the player, and vise versa.

In order for any given bet to become advantageous the Baccarat player should divide the running count by the ratio of cards left in the deck to get the true count. A bet hits zero house edge at the following true counts:

Banker: 105791
Player: 123508
Tie: 1435963

Assuming you were able to actually play this strategy perfectly you would notice that the true counts seldom passed the point of zero house edge. The next table shows the ratio of hands played, based on a sample of 100 million, in which the true count passes the break even points above. The left column indicates the ratio of cards dealt before the cards are shuffled.

Penetration Positive Expectation
Banker Player Tie
90 percent 0.000131 0.000024 0.000002
95 percent 0.001062 0.000381 0.000092
98 percent 0.005876 0.003700 0.002106

The final table indicates the expected revenue per 100 bets and a $1000 wager every time a positive expected value occurred. Please remember that this table assumes the player is able to keep a perfect count and the casino is not going to mind the player only making a bet once every 475 hands of less.

Penetration Expected Profit
Banker Player Tie
90 percent $0.01 $0.00 $0.00
95 percent $0.20 $0.06 $0.15
98 percent $2.94 $1.77 $11.93

This section shows that for all practical purposes baccarat is not a countable game.

Betting on Banker

So if card counting, streak or pattern spotting, and systems are all useless strategy for baccarat, what’s a good one? Looking at the numbers it becomes clear that the odds are always a little better when you bet on the banker. Does this mean you should always bet on banker? In a technical sense it does, but practically it would be the most boring use of your time ever if you just sat there betting on banker all night. Pattern chasing is most often some added fun to break the monotony that can come from a simple game.

Baccarat Odds

In baccarat game the house edge when you bet on your own hand is 1.24%. If you bet on the banker’s hand, the house edge will be 0.6% on a 4% house cut, or 1.06% on a 5% house cut. The tie bet give the house almost a 5% edge (8:1), or at worst 14% or more (9:1). The tie bet is not worthwhile.

Conclusion

Actually, the baccarat game is really simple. Besides, this game has no effective way to improve your odds and many other strategies. So, the only best strategy at Baccarat is to play the game and enjoy it.

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