Baccarat is not a game of skill. After you’ve placed a bet on either the banker or the player, the game is out of your control.
Unlike other casino games such as blackjack, you can’t make decisions that affect the outcome during the hands. There’s no basic strategy to follow.
Players simply choose a side and watch as the action unfolds.
If you’re new to the game, we recommend that you study the rules of baccarat first.
The house edge in baccarat is very player-friendly. The casino has only a 1.4 percent advantage on bets on banker, which is one of the better odds you’ll find both online and in live casinos.
Here are some other mathematical facts about baccarat:
In baccarat, the odds of a player's hand winning are just slightly lower than the odds of the player's hand losing. The player's hand will win 44.62 percent of the time. The player's hand will lose 45.85 percent of the time.
Ties are a rarity, but they do happen. The probability for a tie in baccarat is 9.53 percent and the payoff for a tie is 8 to 1, but the house has a huge advantage on these bets.
If you factor out the tie, then the banker's hand wins about 51 percent of the time. This one percent is a very marginal advantage, but it's slightly better than coin-flip odds. If you're unsure what bet to make, bet on the banker's hand to win.
Understand Baccarat Odds
The most important baccarat odds to understand surround the tie bet.
While 8-to-1 seems tempting, the reality is that the true odds of a tie are much longer than this, and this bet has a house edge of over 14 percent.
The odds of the banker winning are a little better than of the player winning, because the banker's hand is determined after the player's hand. In other words, the banker knows what he has to beat before deciding whether to draw a card.
However, a player who wins a banker bet must pay a five percent commission to the house and this evens the odds out a bit.
Analyze Baccarat Odds
Even with the five percent commission, the baccarat house edge on banker bets is 1.17 percent as opposed to 1.36 percent on player bets. This means there is really no reason to ever bet on the player other than the enjoyment of "betting on your hand."
Many players use the sheets provided to track the wins and losses of player vs. banker and try to bet "trends."
The reality is that long term odds have little effect on short term results and the banker will beat the player a little more than half the time even if the banker has won the last ten or 20 hands in a row.
As we said before, baccarat is a game of chance ad there’s nothing you can do to affect the odds as soon as a hand has started.