Here’s the reality–there are few, if any, systems or techniques that can improve your odds in online baccarat. Baccarat lacks the complexity of blackjack where there are a number of methods and opportunities to improve your odds and diminish the house advantage. There’s no such thing as baccarat ‘basic strategy’ and certainly nothing like card counting and shuffle tracking.

Baccarat is essentially the ‘luck of the draw‘ determining whether or not you win. Strategic decisions can’t change this nor can in-game tactics. It’s a very simple game which is one of the reasons that it is popular worldwide. You can, however, make sure that you play the game the right way and don’t lose money that you don’t have to. Here are some very fundamental strategy basics that can help you get off on the right foot.


–CHECK THE ODDS: This mantra should be drilled into the head of every casino gambler, poker player, horse racing enthusiast and sports bettor. There is no such thing as ‘uniform odds’ on all bets in all games. Some casinos offer better odds than others on specific bets and games. You need to ‘shop around’ and find the most advantageous odds for the game you’re playing. In baccarat, you’ll see the most variance on Banker bet commissions. Player bets are typically 1-1. The ‘Tie’ bet is usually 8-1. The commission on Banker bets is *usually* 5%. Some casinos charge a higher Banker bet commission and a few charge lower than 5%. You should walk away from anything higher than 5% and play at lower than 5% if you can find it.

–BANKER VS. PLAYER: There is some dispute in baccarat strategy if a player should always bet on the ‘Banker’ or the ‘Player’. Assuming that you’re playing at a casino that offers ‘fair odds’ of 5% or less on Banker bets (and if you’re not go back and read the first strategy tip above) it doesn’t matter much from a mathematical standpoint. There’s a case to be made for both the ‘Banker’ and ‘Player’ bets. The ‘Banker’ wins 50.38% of the time in baccarat. The ‘Player’ is paid at 1-1 with no commission but wins slightly less than 50% of the time. The reality is that in either case the casino still has a slight advantage based on their odds percentage. That being said, most serious strategy sources and experts I’ve consulted with prefer the ‘Banker’. In sports betting it ‘pays to be a contrarian’ and buck the consensus. In baccarat, it doesn’t.

–DON’T BET TIES: The 8-1 ‘Tie’ bet is a ‘sucker bet’ like the ‘Insurance’ bet in blackjack. It’s simple mathematics. You’re getting paid at 8-1 when ties occur slightly less than nine times every 10 hands–just under 9%. That means the ‘Tie’ bet would have to pay at 9-1 just to break even over the long haul. And since you’ll be losing 9 of every 10 bets your bankroll will have to be big enough to withstand long losing streaks. Plus keep in mind that even though the probability of hitting a tie is 1 of every 10 hands that isn’t guaranteed meaning you’ll be chasing just to break even in the short term with no mathematical chance of winning in the long term.

–LOOK FOR FEWER DECKS: This is more applicable in a live casino setting but it’s a good thing to know. Like blackjack, fewer decks is usually advantageous to the player. In bacarrat, the house edge with eight decks is 1.06%. With a single deck its 1.01%. This might not sound like much but in gambling all winning players take advantage of an aggregation of small edges.

–MAKE SURE TO KNOW THE RULES: Obviously, you need to know the rules of baccarat. You also need to know specific rules for the table you’re playing at. For example, casinos sometimes offer single deck play that (in theory at least) favors the player. They balance this out with other rules–usually in ‘fine print’–that work against the player. Often the ‘net net’ is a game with a greater disadvantage than the multiple deck games you were trying to avoid.