Baccarat Betting Simplified

There are three decisions an online baccarat player has to take. The first is which baccarat game to play. This will be discussed later. The second decision is how much to wager. This depends on the size of the player's bankroll and his bankroll management policies. It has nothing to do with the game of baccarat and therefore will not be discussed here. The third decision is whether to bet on 'Player', 'Banker' or Tie Bet. This is the most crucial decision and will be discussed first.

The Tie Bet wins if 'Player' and 'Banker' have hands of identical value. This happens about 9.5% of the times. The fair payout for this would be about 10.5 to 1. However, online casinos only offer a payout of only 8 to 1. The leads to a house edge of over 14%. Slots have a house edge of only about 5%. Blackjack and video poker offer a house edge of around 1%. Hence it should be clear that the Tie Bet is a sucker bet. It tries to attract players with an 8 to 1 payout but in effect is ripping them off. It should be avoided at all costs.

The bets on 'Player' and 'Banker' both payout at 1 to 1. But the casino charges a commission of 5% on bets on 'Banker'. The implication of this is as follows. If \$1 is wagered on 'Player' and 'Player' wins then the player wins \$1. However, if \$1 is wagered on 'Banker' and 'Banker' wins then the player wins \$1 less 5% commission or only \$0.95. Therefore most players wager on 'Player'. However, the issue is somewhat more complicated. Computer simulations have shown that the probability for 'Player' and 'Banker' winning is not the same. For online baccarat played with 6 decks, the probability of 'Banker' winning is 45.87% and that of 'Player' winning is 44.63%. Hence despite the commission on 'Banker' payouts the house edge for 'Banker' bets is 1.06%. The house edge for 'Player' bets is 1.24%. Therefore the correct bet is 'Banker'. Online baccarat players should wager on 'Banker', always on 'Banker' and only on 'Banker'.

The question of which baccarat game to play now can be addressed. Online baccarat games differ only in the number of decks used. Microgaming baccarat is played with a single deck, whereas Playtech baccarat is played with 6 decks. The probabilities of the three outcomes depend on the number of decks used. As the number of decks used in the baccarat game increases, the probability of the Tie Bet winning increases marginally. Consequently the probability of 'Banker' winning decreases. Since 'Banker' is the preferred bet, players should opt for online baccarat with single decks. Or in the eventuality a single deck game is not on offer players should opt for the game with minimum number of decks.

Comment by: Hal Mason On: July 29, 2009
Good tip thanks for the advice guys... I'm not the biggest baccarat player but do play from time to time so advice like this really goes a long way for a player like me.

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