Baccarat is rapidly starting to threaten blackjack for the title of most popular card game to play at the casino. That’s quite an achievement for a game that had been practically forgotten 20 years ago. There are several reasons for its resurgence. One is that online baccarat it is a game ideally suited to the web-based casino format. Another is that it is easy for even a complete novice to learn the basics and then adopt a tried and tested baccarat strategy.
If you have read through our guide to baccarat rules you will know that the only strategic decision you need to make relates to where and how much you should bet. This means a baccarat strategy is a little like those you encounter in roulette. Most are centred around trends and betting progressions.
Gamblers can be a superstitious bunch, and plenty of the baccarat strategy advice you will encounter is a mixture of mathematics and magic, all bound up with mysterious names. We have done our best to strip away the superfluous window dressing and distil out three commonly used strategies. Why not try them out at one of the 20 plus baccarat games on offer at Mount Gold online casino? They work just the same on either a fully automated game or if you choose a live dealer baccarat table.
We can’t guarantee they will bring you success, no gambling strategy will do that. But they will help you to manage your bankroll, to avoid major losses, and will give you a good chance of coming out of your gaming session with a profit.
Baccarat 101 – avoid the Tie
The first strategy tip is one on which every single baccarat expert will agree. Some novices see those 9/1 odds and decide they look far more attractive than even money (or 19/20 in the case of backing Banker). However, the mathematics prove that placing a bet here is a fool’s errand.
It all comes down to house edge. Even with the complicated rules the dealer follows to determine whether Banker gets a third card, the house edge when you back Player or Banker is almost identical, at a fraction over one percent. This is, incidentally, one of the lowest house edges in any casino game. The house edge for the tie, on the other hand, is more than 14 percent.
For this reason, other online casinos might cheerfully encourage you to back the tie all the way! We operate differently at Mount Gold and prefer to help our players protect their bankroll and enjoy their gaming experience.
There is only one situation in which it might be worth backing the tie, and that is if you are playing a special variation of the game that incorporates a jackpot or bonus reward. If this boosts the return to something higher than 9/1, you should give it due consideration.
The one-sided approach
We have already mentioned that there are parallels between baccarat strategy and roulette. In roulette, you see plenty of strategies that involve sticking to a specific 50/50 wager, for example always backing red.
The one-sided baccarat strategy follows an identical approach. Baccarat is played in 60 hand shoes, and when you play one-sided, you back either Player of Banker for all 60 hands. Initially, it sounds so simple to be no strategy at all, but there is some solid reasoning and more going on behind the scenes than is first apparent. The point is that the typical shoe will not be evenly shared between Banker and Player. In fact, eight times out of ten, one or other will end the shoe significantly ahead.
The risk with this strategy is that you might back the wrong horse, and this is why many players use a “stop loss.” Lose three consecutive hands, and you sit it out till the side you are backing wins again. It prevents you from being on the wrong end of a catastrophically bad run.
Grind out a win
The Oscar’s Grind strategy is more complex but still easy enough to learn. It is also a little more interesting than the one-sided strategy. Each hand, you back the “last three underdog,” meaning whichever of Player or Banker has won only one of the last three games. If there is no underdog, ie one or other has won all three, you do not place a bet.
If you win, you go again, and if you lose, you double your bet until either you win or there is no underdog to back. Either way, you then “reset” to the base bet amount. The strategy allows you to grind out gradual wins but protects you from big losses that can be caused by a long losing streak.
There are many other baccarat strategies out there, but these should be enough to get you started – can you beat the house?