Baccarat Rules and Strategy

Basic Baccarat Rules

Baccarat is played with 8 decks of cards in a shoe. Cards under 10 are worth face value while 10, J, Q, K are 0, and A is 1. Bets are placed on the ‘banker,’ the ‘player’ or for a tie (these aren’t actual people; they just represent the two hands to be dealt).

Two hands of two cards are then dealt to the ‘banker’ and ‘player’. The score for each hand is the sum of the two cards, but the first digit is dropped. For example, a hand of 7 and 5 has a score of 2 (7+5=12; drop the ‘1’).

A third card may be dealt depending on the following rules:

  • If the player or banker have a score of 8 or 9, both players stand.
  • If the player has 5 or less, he hits. Players stands otherwise.
  • If player stands, the banker hits of 5 or less. If the player hits a chart is used to determine if the banker stands or hits.

Baccarat Odds

The higher of the two scores wins. Winning bets on the banker pay out 19 to 20 (even money less a 5% commission. Commission is kept track of and cleared out when you leave the table so be sure to have funds remaining before you leave). Winning bets on the player pay 1 to 1. Winning bets for tie usually pay 8 to 1 but sometimes 9 to 1. (This is a bad bet as ties occur less than 1 ever 10 hands. Avoid betting on a tie. However odds are substantially better for 9 to1 versus 8 to 1)

Played correctly, baccarat offers relatively good odds, aside from the tie bed of course.

Baccarat Strategy

As with all games Baccarat has some common misconceptions. One of which is similar to a misconception of roulette. The past is not an indicator of future events. Keeping track of past results on a chart is a waste of paper and an insult to the tree that gave its life for our stationary needs.

The most common and probably most successful strategy is the 1-3-2-6 method. This method is employed to maximize winnings and minimizing risk.

Begin by betting 1 unit. If you win, add one more to the two on the table for a total of 3 on the second bet. If you win you will have six on the table, remove four so you have 2 on the third bet. If you win the third bet, add two to the four on the table for a total of 6 on the fourth bet.

If you lose on the first bet, you take a loss of 1. A win on the first bet followed by loss on the second creates a loss of 2. Wins on the first two with a lost on the third gives you a profit of 2. And wins on the first 3 with a loss on the fourth mean you break even. Winning all four bets leaves you with 12, a profit of 10. This means you can lose the second bet 5 times for every successful streak of 4 bets and still break even.