Baccarat is a casino game with a reputation for sophistication and luxury. It’s often associated with high rollers and is even featured in the 2013 movie “The Great Gatsby.” In America, Baccarat is played with real money – $100 bills are scattered across the table – but in Europe casinos use oblong chips. Regardless of how you choose to play, there are certain rules and strategies that should be understood before betting any cash.
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player, it is important to understand the basic rules of Baccarat before playing. In a nutshell, the objective is to bet on either the Banker or Player hand that you think will have a value closest to nine. The value of a card is determined by its number and the pips (the dots on a card that indicate clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) added together. Face cards have no value and aces count as one. If the Player and Banker hands have a total of 9 after all of the cards are dealt, then the winning hand is declared. Otherwise, further cards are dealt to determine the winner.
There are three different types of bets in Baccarat: a ‘Banker’ bet, a ‘Player’ bet, or a ‘Tie’ bet. A ‘Banker’ bet predicts that the banker’s hand will have a higher value than the player’s. A ‘Player’ bet, on the other hand, predicts that the player’s hand will have a higher value compared to the banker’s. A ‘Tie’ bet, however, predicts that the player and banker’s hands will have a similar value after all of the cards are dealt.
A popular baccarat strategy that focuses on positive progression is the Paroli System, also known as the Reverse Martingale. This betting strategy involves doubling your wager after each win and returning to the initial bet size following a loss. For example, if you start with a bet of $10, then after each win you will increase your bet by $5 until you reach the maximum bet allowed at that particular table.
In Baccarat, the minimum bet size varies from casino to casino, but typically ranges between $20-$25 in the US. Many players will opt for this small bet because it allows them to manage their bankroll more effectively and avoid losing more than they can afford to lose.
In addition to a small minimum bet, it is important to know how to read the game’s trends in order to maximize your chances of winning. Our article, “Fate in the Cards: Understanding Baccarat Trends”, first appeared in our Jul/Aug 2011 issue and was followed up by the second part, which came out in Sep/Oct 2011. The two articles have since become a reference for many players in understanding baccarat’s complicated trends. The two parts of the article explain how to read baccarat’s standard trends, The Big Road, The Bead Plate and the three derived roads, Big Eye Boy, The Small Road and The Cockroach Road.