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Baccarat Strategies

Baccarat, a casino card game is said to have originated in Italy and then spread over France during the 15th century. The game then became immensely popular in casinos of United States and other European countries. There are three important variants of Baccarat – the Punto Banco, the Baccarat Chemin De Fer and the Baccarat Banque. The first version is purely a game of chance, while the remaining two require a certain amount of skill to be administered.

Different Versions Of Baccarat

  1. Punto Banco – It’s a type of baccarat played in North American Casinos. Here the player has the option of becoming the ‘player’ or the ‘banker’, even though this classification has nothing to do with the winnings. It is just the order in which the cards will be dealt; first to players and then bankers. Cards are dealt face down and initially only two cards are dealt. Based on the cards, the players can opt for one more card or not. The person who has the highest score in the end of this exercise wins.

  2. Baccarat Chemin De Fer – This version of baccarat is mostly played in France. This is considered to be the original baccarat. One player is the banker and other players are punters. The banker deals the cards. The person designated as the banker may wage the bet and the other players will either decide to go against or not play. The cards are dealt face down, two for the banker and two for the punters. If any player has an eight or a nine then all the cards are shown, else the players can decide whether to have a third card or not. All the cards are compared and the highest hand wins. If the banker loses the position is passed on.

  3. Baccarat Banque – This game is similar to baccarat chemin de fer, but here the banker holds his position till the entire pack of cards (usually a mix of three packs) is dealt.

An important point about baccarat is that there are no hard and fast rules. Different casinos have their own rules for the game. Some casinos (especially in Las Vegas and Atlantic City) have special rooms to play baccarat. 

Strategizing Baccarat

‘The house always wins’. This is a common phrase when it comes to casinos. A casino is often referred to as the ‘house’ and their winning streak is called the ‘house edge’. Though the house has the upper hand in card games like baccarat, there are some strategies that can help in increasing winning options for you. They are simple and easy to execute.

  1. The Martingale Betting System – It is speculated that this system of betting has been in existence for more than 300 years. The system is based on the principle that one big win is enough to recover all that was lost before. This system is used in gambling and trade with equal fervor. It prophases the doubling of the betting value after each loss. This means that every time a bet is doubled the winnings are also doubled and hence one win in the streak would be enough to cover any losses. This strategy is not a fool proof strategy though. Gambling is mostly based on luck and hence there is always the chance that the loser might keep on losing.

  2. The Fibonacci Betting System – This is yet another betting strategy followed by many baccarat players. The strategy is better suited for people who place small bets. In this system, you can first bet with a single unit. Stick with that number till a losing hand is dealt. Then increase the bet to the sum of the winning wagers following the Fibonacci sequence and so on. This system works well when the stakes are small.

  3. The Paroli Betting System – This is the anti-martingale betting strategy as its working is the direct reverse of the martingale system. Here the bet is changed with the winning streaks instead of the losing ones. So accordingly the bets keep doubling with each win. The principle behind paroli is that winning streaks should be taken advantage of. This system is again not a fool proof system of betting. For that matter no gambling is fool proof.

  4. Spotting the Patterns – Another simple strategy than can be used for baccarat is spotting the patterns in the game. Pattern watching is something that is encouraged by casinos around the world. Many casinos are known to hand out small notebooks or pieces of paper and pencil to facilitate the players to note down the patterns. Basically this is keeping track of repetitive patterns in the outcome of the game. However, many argue that pattern spotting is not a feasible strategy in a game of pure luck and as such it does not work in favor of the players.

Other than the ones mentioned above many people use card counting as a strategy to win. Another common method inuse is going to the table which has the least number of decks. All these strategies are applicable to the three versions of baccarat. They are strategies that give the player a ‘feeling of safety’ and also a feeling that winnings are based on good planning. The game, however, is definitely based on luck, irrespective of the various strategies employed. This may also be the reason many gamblers consider it mythical to be able to play baccarat with a strategy. 

The funny thing about the game is that its name is derived from the word ‘baccara’ which means zero in Italian. This may be because zero is the value that is given to all the face cards in the game and also the value of a hand when the total of the cards held is ten. Zero is also the lowest score that can be obtained in the game. This seems to be the only logic in naming the game baccarat because the highest score in baccarat is nine. Whatever may be the strategy used and however much a person tries or is experienced the game always offers a 50-50 chance to win. Every game is a new game and has nothing to do with the previous one and hence the percentage chance of winning never changes. Still the game remains a classic and a favorite among gamblers of the world.

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