First documented as early as the 1400’s, Baccarat has become one of the main games at casinos worldwide and is found on countless online casinos. It inevitably evolved into three different forms (baccarat chiming de far, baccarat banquet, and punto banco) that share the same set of rules with the only difference being how the cards are dealt. At casinos today, the most popular version found is punto banco where players bet on only one of three possibilities. With its popularity, high rollers today bet upwards of millions during their long sessions. If you are just starting out, it can be hard to figure out just what to do to win when playing online. The following are some general guidelines to follow to build a successful strategy.
Know the Rules
The first step to win at anything is to know how to play. Baccarat only allows one turn per hand and only requires the player to choose between three bets – the player, banker, or tie. The goal is to have a hand equal or total as close to 9 as possible without going over. All cards count at face value except aces which equal zero. If your hand is over ten, only the ones’ place is counted (for example: you have 14, so your hand is counted as a 4). While it is possible to achieve a score of 9 this way, it is much better to achieve a natural 9. To start, two cards are dealt to the player and two to the banker. If either of these hands equals 8 or 9, the hand immediately ends, and the bet is paid. If this is not the case, a third card is dealt for both player and banker. The player must draw if the hand equals between 0 and 5 whereas if it is a 6 or 7, the player must stand. The banker then draws based on the player’s hand.
Bet on the Banker
The general consensus for all players is to always bet on the banker, especially if the player is new and unsure of where to place the bet. The banker is a part of the house odds and, in gambling, the house is always favored, making this a safe strategy. Stay with the banker until their winning streak comes to an end. Once that happens, switch to betting on the player and stay aware of where the winning streaks are happening. On top of this, always remain flexible. Sticking with one bet will more than likely keep you from winning large amounts. Ties can also be bet on, but this is the worst bet at the Baccarat table as the odds are the highest against you and bring no benefit.
Play Small Shoe
Standard Baccarat games use 8 decks but, if you can find them online, 6 decks are preferable. Because of the smaller deck, there is a smaller banker commission when they win bets. This, in turn, minimizes just how successful the house can be, giving you better odds than can be found anywhere else. These smaller games are also a great place for beginners with less players and lower limits.
How much to Bet
Some suggest the Fibonacci Sequence idea in that you should always bet more than the last turn until, of course, you have to change where the bet is placed. When betting on a streak, continually bet more since it is a safe assumption the streak will continue. As soon as you have to switch, only bet a small amount. This will save you from suffering heavy losses when the win does not turn out to be a streak.
Quit While You’re Ahead
No matter how long you play, always keep a count on how much you have won or lost. If you walk away from the online game with more than you started with, you have won. Give yourself a time limit or number of games to start with and get a feel for the layout and how the cards seem to be playing. If the games have been lousy, adhere to your limit – never go over what you can afford to lose. If you feel like you’ve got a firm grasp of how things are going, keep playing, and when you’ve reached a decent amount, sign out and save it for another day. You could even use your winnings to bet with during your next game.