Baccarat Strategy – How to Beat the House Edge in Baccarat


Baccarat is a card game with a long history in European casinos and is among the most popular casino games worldwide. It’s relatively simple to play and offers the potential for large payouts. It is played on a table with seven to 14 seats for players and a dealer’s area. The game is dealt from a shoe with six or eight decks of cards. Each card has a numerical value, with the exception of picture cards (Jacks, Kings, Queens) and aces which equal one point each. Card suits don’t count in Baccarat, as the game is determined by the total of the hand. The goal is to bet on either the Player or Banker hand, which has a score closest to nine.

In a standard game of baccarat, two cards are dealt to the banker and one to the bettors’ hand. A third card may be drawn if the first two cards have a total of 8 or 9. A 9 is considered to be a “natural” and can’t lose. If the first two cards are a 6, 7 or 8, they must stand and a third card is not drawn. When the hand has a total of more than 9, the second digit is used to determine the winner.

After the deal, the winning hand is announced and any bets are paid out. Winnings on the Banker are typically paid out 1:1, although a commission is usually charged when betting on the Banker’s hand. Bets on the Player’s hand can pay as much as 8 to 1 depending on the casino and the type of bet placed. The game is simple to learn and the rules are very similar to those of blackjack.

Some advanced baccarat players use a pattern-matching strategy to reduce the house edge on bets on either the Banker or Player. This strategy requires players to watch the game for patterns of wins and losses, and then make bets based on those trends. For example, if the shoes tend to zigzag between banker and player wins, this strategy calls for players to double their bets on the opposite hand when they appear.

Another baccarat strategy is to avoid the side bets, which can add up quickly and take you out of your bankroll. These bets are made on a tie, the player’s or banker’s winning, and the number of points scored in the game. These bets can be lucrative, but they are also the most risky and require more knowledge than basic baccarat rules. Luckily, most online casinos don’t offer these bets and will only pay out your winnings on the main bets.