Can Strategy Really Help You Beat Baccarat?

Baccarat players have been duking it out for centuries over whether system play really improves your odds. Some say that there are ways of getting ahead in the game, while others maintain that the idea of affecting a purely random game is sheer poppycock. Find out where GP editorialista Melanie Fischer stands after launching her own personal quest to separate myth from fact:

Baccarat Odds

First up, baccarat is a favorite passtime among gamblers and card players for three main reasons:

  • Baccarat odds are very good, and the house has only a slight advantage over the game’s players.
  • Baccarat is a game of chance, not a game of skill.
  • Baccarat is very easy to learn.

Despite the glitz and glamour that often surround baccarat tables, the game itself isn’t that complicated and baccarat odds aren’t heavily in favor of either the house or the player. In fact, the house has just a slight winning edge. And although baccarat playing areas in physical casinos are often roped off and exclusive-looking – leading people to believe that the game is high-stakes and, therefore, difficult – it’s really not as tough as it looks. Any idiot could learn to comprehend and master it in a matter of seconds, and the tables are usually open to any player who wants to give it a shot.

Baccarat odds vary slightly depending on how many decks are used in the game. The fewer the cards, the better the odds are for the player. The margin of difference between using one deck in a game compared to eight decks, for example, is very small. Yet any percentage, no matter how small, can affect the outcome of the game. Many also believe that using a system in baccarat can give players an advantage, but the validity of this idea is questionable.

The rules of the game allow baccarat  probabilities to favor the bank just slightly. According the game’s rules, the banker will win the game 50.68 percent of the time, unless there’s a tie. This means that the player will win 49.32 percent of the time. With such a slight advantage of winning, many people wonder why casinos even continue to field the game. The answer is that casinos still make money off baccarat because they often require a commission on winning banker bets.

Baccarat Systems

Most people believe that baccarat is a game of chance and that no amount of knowledge can increase a player’s chances of winning. However, this is not entirely true inasmuch as knowing the game’s rules before betting a lot of money on it can certainly help any player be more successful.

Stating that any specific baccarat system will work for all players, on the other hand, should be taken with a grain of salt. There are certain strategies published in books and posted on internet blogs, but when scrutinized, most of the systems can’t be definitively proven to work.

No baccarat system, in fact, works all the time. If they did, casinos would’ve gone out of business long ago–which, last time I checked, they haven’t. What’s more, most of the published baccarat systems are extremely complicated and based on mathematical equations, and they may work in a perfect and controlled environment, but the reality is that no baccarat system can work 100 percent of the time.

A huge majority of casinos, professional gamblers and even gambling novices all agree that there is no such thing as a foolproof baccarat system. Some other casino games involve a little more skill and knowledge, but baccarat is essentially a game of chance.