Baccarat is one of the oldest games that’s still available to play at the casino. Despite its age, it’s still as popular as ever and remains a mainstay at any big online casino. The game is heavily associated with high rollers thanks to its popularity with the French nobility in the 19th Century. Since then it’s also been closely associated with James Bond, the fictional MI6 agent made famous in books and films.
Although it has a reputation for being a game for high rollers, Baccarat tables with low stakes still exist at most online casinos, and it’s an excellent choice of game for beginners and expert gamblers alike. The game is mostly luck-based, although that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to improve your odds.
Here at Xfire, we’re big fans of Baccarat, and have spent many hours at the tables. We know what it takes to win the game, and we’re always looking for new strategies to improve our odds. In this guide, you’ll be able to learn some of the ways you can increase your chances of success while playing Baccarat.
The tips and strategies in this guide will hopefully improve your winning odds and help you to land more wins. If you’re a complete Baccarat beginner, it’s worth checking out our Baccarat: Rules of the Game guide which explains the rules of the game and its different variations.
On this page you’ll find
Choosing the Best Site to Play Baccarat
Before playing any casino game, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a good online casino to play at. You may already be signed up to an account, but changing sites regularly can bring in rewards. Online casinos always offer new players welcome bonuses, and by signing up to a new site, you can easily get your hands on one of these offers.
You should, of course, make sure that the casino you want to play at offers Baccarat. While it’s a popular game, it’s not always available at every site. Some casinos will offer just one or two versions of the game. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a site that has a few different varieties so you can try them all out.
If you’re looking for a new online casino, taking a look through our top casino list can give you a good idea of which site to choose. Have a look through some of our casino reviews to make sure that the site you want to sign up to offers Baccarat.
There are loads of different online casinos out there, but not all of them are safe to use. The casinos featured on our site have all been tested for fairness and confirmed to be reputable and trustworthy. If you want to have the best experience playing Baccarat online, make sure you choose a good site.
Making the Most Out of Your Casino Bonus
One of the best pieces of advice we can give any player who’s new to the world of online casinos is to find a good bonus. Almost every online casino offers a welcome bonus to players who are signing up for the first time. These can range from free spins, free bets, matched deposits and no deposit bonuses.
While nearly all online casinos offer bonuses, not every bonus is worth signing up for. Some are a lot bigger than others, and many are trapped behind complicated restrictions and wagering requirements. Before you sign up, make sure the bonus is going to be reasonably easy to claim.
With the right bonus, you can really maximise your chances of success as you won’t be risking your own money. Take a look at our top casino bonus page to find the best current online casino bonuses. You should be able to sign up, collect your bonus and use it to play Baccarat and hopefully start winning big!
Understanding House Edge
With casino games, house edge is always something you’ll need to consider before you start playing. If you’ve never heard the term before, basically the house refers to the casino, and the edge is the advantage that the casino has over the players.
All casino games have a built-in advantage that favours the casino as this is how the business makes money. Despite this, it’s still possible to win large sums of money provided you get lucky because the advantage is random and is usually only small.
The house edge is a representation of how much the house will take from you over a theoretical time period. So for a game with a house edge of 4%, you could expect to lose around $4 if you bet $100 over a year. Of course, the amounts will vary a lot. Some players can win big, and others can lose much more.
Whenever you’re looking for a new casino game to play, you should always check out the house edge as it will give you an idea of how much you could expect to win. House edge will sometimes change depending on what you’re betting on. In Baccarat, for example, there are several different betting options which all have a different house edge.
Generally, the higher the house edge, the higher the payout. Some players are drawn to the bigger payouts as these are more exciting, but the trade-off is that the casino will win more from these bets. Of course, if you want to improve your chances of winning, it’s always better to choose the option with the lowest possible house edge. You can never eliminate the house edge, but choosing the right game type and bet will help you to get the casino’s advantage as low as possible.
Choosing the Right Game Type to Play
There are lots of different types of Baccarat out there which can make getting started a little confusing for a beginner. If you want to maximise your chances of winning, choosing the right game type is important.
If you want to learn more about the different types of Baccarat and their rules, you can find more details in our Baccarat: The Rules of the Game guide. Below are some of the most popular types you’re likely to find at a casino and a short explanation of each game.
Punto Banco – Punto Banco is the most common type of Baccarat that you’ll come across at online casinos. In this game type, you don’t necessarily have to win your hand to win the game. You can place a bet on either your own hand or the Banker’s hand before the game starts. The Banker is the casino, and while you’re playing against them, you can still win if they win the hand. As with other Baccarat variations, a hand wins by being an eight or nine, and if this isn’t achieved, a third card is given out. Players don’t get a choice over whether they receive the third card or not in Punto Banco, it’s determined by the value of the hand.
Mini Baccarat – In mini Baccarat, the game works in pretty much the same way as Punto Banco for the most part. Here though, smaller stakes are usually allowed, and games are over much quicker. The small stakes can be a positive for new players, but the speed of the game can make it difficult to know what’s going on.
Chemin de Fer – Chemin de Fer is the classic version of the game, popularised in France which explains the name. The name actually comes from the French word for railway which was used to show that this was the faster version of the classic Baccarat game. In this game, the Banker is a role which is taken on by one of the players at the table. The Banker is chosen by whoever wants to bet the most and other players have to match the bet to continue.
Choosing Your Bets
In most forms of Baccarat, you usually have a few different options to bet on. These bets all have different chances of winning, and most have a different payout. Depending on what you prefer, one bet might seem might more appealing than another, but you should also pay close attention to the house edge of each. Below we’ll explain the different types of bet that are available in Baccarat and what kind of payout and house edge you can expect.
- Player Bet – The Player bet is the bet that you, the Player, will win your hand. If you place a Player bet, you’ll need to win your hand to win the bet. This bet pays out at odds of 1:1, meaning a $10 bet will return $20 with $10 of profit. The house edge for Player bets is usually at 1.24%. Some games might use fewer decks which will give a slightly different house edge.
- Banker Bet – The Banker bet is a bet that the Banker’s hand will win. This means that even if you lose your hand, you can still win your bet provided you placed a bet on the Banker before the hand was dealt. This bet also pays out at odds of 1:1, but most casinos will also take 5% commission on any winnings. This means that with a winning $10 bet, you’ll receive $19.50 with $9.50 in profit. Despite the commission paid, this still has the lowest house edge of any of the Baccarat bets. In fact, the Banker bet has a lower house edge than almost every table casino game. House edge is usually 1.06% but can get a little lower for a single deck game.
- Tie Bet – Occasionally in Baccarat, both the Player and the Banker will have a hand of equal value, in this case, after the third card has been dealt, the game is a tie. While this is uncommon, it is a potential outcome, so there’s a betting option for the tie. The payout for a tie is usually 8:1. This may seem tempting, but the tie is so rare that this event has a very high house edge of more than 14%. Some casinos offer a 9:1 payout which gives a lower house edge of 4.85%.
- Side Bets – Side bets are other bets that are sometimes offered by the casino. These can include betting on suits, whether the cards will be black or red and whether hands will be higher or lower than a certain number or an odd or even value. Side bets often look tempting as they can have big payouts, but they usually have a much higher house edge.
Advanced Baccarat Strategies
While Baccarat is based on luck, there are still strategies you can adopt to give you a better chance of winning. These won’t necessarily boost your odds, but they do help you stay in control of your game. Some players swear that certain strategies help them consistently land wins while playing online Baccarat.
When you play Baccarat, you’ll usually notice the outcomes on the game either come in opposite streaks of Banker and Player wins or will come in long streaks of the Player or the Banker winning. The best strategies look to take advantage of these streaks and maximise your winning potential.
The following are examples of some popular Baccarat strategies that are designed to take advantage of either opposite or Banker/Player streaks:
The One-Side Strategy
This strategy involves you picking either the Player or Banker bet and sticking to it throughout the game. While it may seem like the odds of your success will be 50/50, at some point, either the Player or the Banker is likely to gain an advantage.
Begin this strategy by picking either the Player or the Banker bet at the start of a new shoe. If you’re playing online, you can usually start at any point. Make sure to set both a stop loss and a win limit. You ideally want to stop betting if you lose three times in a row. Wait until your chosen bet comes up again before resuming your betting. Once your win limit is reached, you can stop or simply move onto a new table to start the process again.
This is one of the simplest Baccarat strategies and is perfect for new players who are just starting out in the game as there isn’t anything complicated to remember. Just make sure you stick to your limits and ideally you should be betting a consistent number throughout.
The Trend Switch Strategy
In Baccarat, you’ll often notice trends and patterns emerging in the outcomes of the hands. The two most common trends are zigzags and streaks. The zigzag trend is where the outcome switches back and forth between Banker and Player wins. Streaks are where one outcome goes on a long run. For example, four Player wins in a row.
The trend switch strategy involves picking one of the trends to bet on and switching whenever you lose two times in a row. For example, you’d start off alternating your bets between Player and Banker but after losing twice, would start betting on the previous outcome that won. So if you just lost and the Player won, switch to betting on the Player.
As with any strategy, you’ll need to set a loss limit and win limit. The loss limit for this strategy should be larger than other strategies. You can use a flat bet throughout for this, or if you prefer, you could double your bet after losing two in a row.
The Breaking the Doubles Strategy
This strategy aims to take advantage of the fact that most games of Baccarat involve zigzag patterns or small clusters of either Player or Banker wins. The strategy starts off with betting the opposite of the outcome that came before you. For example, if the first outcome was a Player win, you bet on the Banker next.
You continue this strategy until either you reach your win limit, or you encounter a double. You should set your win limit before you start playing and stick to it, even if you’re on a good run. A double is where the Banker or Player wins twice in a row. If you happen to lose, the strategy dictates that you should double your bet.
In most cases, the doubled bet will be successful as there’s a high chance of the pattern reverting back to a zigzag. If it doesn’t, and you lose again, pause your betting until the pattern resumes. Keep going with this strategy until you either reach your win limit or your loss limit.