If you read out article Understanding the Basics of Online Baccarat, you'll know all you need to know in order to launch this fascinating game online and enjoy a few rounds. But is that enough to make you win? Truth be told, Baccarat is less manageable by betting strategies such as you'd use, for example, in Blackjack. That's largely due to the fact Baccarat plays with simpler mechanics and offers fewer wagering options, meaning there's not so much room for improving your odds. However, we can give you a few pointers to ensure you’ll have more fun and potentially walk away a little better off.
Understand Odds and Payouts
There are three standard bets you can place at Baccarat: the Player, the Banker, and a Tie. The first two pay even money, though Banker has a 5% percent commission taken from each win. Tie pays the most, normally 8:1 or even 9:1 as is the case at Springbok. Seeing these payouts might tempt you to try your luck with the third. But wait!
House Edge at Baccarat is very low on two of the available bets: Player comes with an edge of 1.24% and Banker with 1.06%. But house edge on a Tie is significantly higher, normally over 14%. This means that, in the long term, you'll lose 1.06 units on 100 units wagered on Banker, 1.24 units on every 100 wagered on Player, and more than 14 out of 100 on a Tie. Anyone who knows anything about Baccarat will tell you to stay away from Tie bets and we heartily agree. Try it occasionally if you must, or if feeling exceptionally lucky at a certain moment in time, but by no means stick to it for more than a few hands.
Bet on the Banker
If the above didn't make it clear why Banker is your best bet, let's elaborate. The Banker wins 50.68% of the time, vs the Player bet which will win 48.15% of the time. True, there's that annoying commission which decreases your win, but even so the house edge remains very low. Let's have a look at how this works if you're betting R100. Since Banker bet pays even money, you'll win R95 once the commission has been deducted. If you combine R0.95 won per R1 with the odds of winning of 50.68%, this would translate to 48.15% chance you'd win vs 49.32% chance of losing – giving you house edge of only 1.17.
Now, the common practice is not to break a run, meaning if you bet on the Banker and it keeps delivering, don't start betting on the Player. One method you can use is to stick with Banker bet until it loses. Give it one miss (Player wins), do another Banker bet, and should it lose again, start wagering on the Player. This strategy advises that Tie outcomes are simply ignored during the process; should the two bets Tie, pretend like it never happened and continue noting outcomes as of next round.
Manage Your Bankroll
Chances are you've heard this one before, but in Baccarat it really is exceptionally important. The game, especially when played online, is very fast. You'll feel forced to make quick decisions and might forget to keep an eye on your balance. Set your budget before going in, stay focused while you play, and quit in time – either when hitting your loss limit, or following a generous winning streak. Yes, sometimes it's advisable to leave the table even after you've won. Eventually the good times will end, and should you still feel reluctant to walk away, at least stash a portion of the amount won into your pocket, rather than leaving it on the table.
Stay Clear of Systems
Internet is full of „proven“ systems promising to make you a winner – eventually. There's no proof they work even with table games which are far less matter of luck, so it's very unlikely they'll help you when playing Baccarat. If you do use them and win, it'll be despite and not thanks to the system. You can try them out for fun, of course, but be careful; progressive systems have a way of going through your entire bankroll before you realise what's going on.