Baccarat remains a popular gamble thanks, in part, to a house edge that hovers around 1%. This incredibly small house advantage—the smallest among casino games—results from the fact that baccarat relies heavily on chance for both the house and the player. That doesn't rule out baccarat strategies altogether though.
By way of comparison, the “player” and “dealer” positions in baccarat each carry the same probability as the red and black bets in online roulette. Considering that red and black bets are touted the best possible bets in roulette, it is easy to see why baccarat strategy is centered on “player” and “dealer” bets.
Besides consistently betting on the “dealer” position because it has a slightly higher percentage of paying out, there are very few baccarat strategies that have been proven effective over time. Baccarat systems have also failed to improve players' odds. Below are several dissenting baccarat theories espoused by longtime lovers of the game.
How to Win Baccarat—Should You Place a Tie Bet?
Some players feel that the best baccarat strategy is to bet consistently on the “tie” position because it offers the highest payouts. However, this strategy does not work out mathematically in favor of the player. While there is potential for large gains from a tie, rarely are the gains large enough to offset the losses.
How to Win Baccarat—Spotting Patterns
Another popular baccarat strategy is to try to spot patterns and bet accordingly. Casinos do everything they can to facilitate pattern watching as a strategy, often even handing out small paper grids to players so that they can better track the progress of the game.
However, because baccarat relies heavily on chance, pattern tracking is not effective in accurately predicting the outcome of a deal. Furthermore, the cards in baccarat are shuffled after each deal, eliminating any card counting possibilities.
How to Win Baccarat—Play with the Least Number of Decks Possible
To truly succeed in baccarat, players should seek out tables wherein the least number of decks are in use. Fewer decks mean a bigger player edge.
On the contrary, the house edge increases on the “tie” when more decks are in play. Should you be lucky enough to spot a single deck baccarat table, refrain from placing a “tie” bet. At these table, stick to wagers placed on the “dealer” and “player” positions.
How to Win Baccarat—Should You Use a Baccarat System?
Whatever baccarat strategies you employ, keep in mind that baccarat is constructed in a manner that favors the house. In the long run, the casino always comes out ahead. Knowing this, allow yourself to adopt a c'est la vie philosophy and simply enjoy the game for the fun and relaxation it provides.