When it comes to chance and suspense, not a lot of card games can compete with Baccarat, a game so cool that ever James Bond plays it. If this is what you are after and if at least a part of your thrill comes from not knowing or not being able to predict the results, then Baccarat will definitely be your cup of tea.
Precisely because of its unpredictable nature, many players believe that the only way to play Baccarat is to go with the flow and pray for luck to be on your side. Although this is an undisputed truth for Punto Banco, increasingly popular online Baccarat variants such as Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque can take you a long way if you employ a few basic strategies; ultimately, using tactics will not change the course of the game, however, it will significantly prolong your gameplay, preserve your budget and possibly even give you an advantage that more laid back players lack.
Basic Rules of Baccarat
Online variants of Baccarat are played with 8 card decks placed in a shoe; the game starts when the dealer places two cards onto the Player and Banker betting area, after burning/removing a specific number of cards. How many cards will be eliminated before the hands are dealt is determined by the denomination of first card drawn from the shoe.
There are also side bets called Tie and, in some cases, Player Pair and Banker Pair. The players win if they manage to guess which hand (Player or Banker) will be closer to the total of 9. Unlike Blackjack that has a similar structure, players cannot bust in Baccarat and the total is calculated as an added value of the two cards with the first digit removed. For example, all face cards have a value of 10; a hand with a face card and 5 will have the total value of 5 (10+5=15, bringing the hand total to 5, with first digit removed).
When the hand total is 8 or 9, the only option is to stand, while totals of 5 and less are followed by a hit. The banker’s next move will depend on the player’s third card and their own total.
Knowing Your Odds
Probably the first thing most people will warn you about while learning how to play Baccarat is the Tie bet. Despite having a potentially great turnover, staying clear from the Tie temptation is the rule number one in any successful Baccarat strategy as this side bet comes with only 0.9% chance of winning.
One extra perk that every online casino offers nowadays is the game history with several different scoring boards, allowing you to monitor the statistics of the game. The players may at first be confused by these and ignore them altogether, but learning to read boards can give you a clearer image of the game structure and statistics.
Betting Systems and Strategy
The most popular betting strategies used in Baccarat (as well as in other games of chance) are Fibonacci and Paroli. Make no mistake – these are not the strategies that can help you predict the outcome of the game (such as card counting and shuffle tracking in Blackjack) The negative and positive progressive betting tactics are designed to control your budget, maximize the winning potential and help you come back in the game after a lost bet. If you opt for Fibonacci, every stake you place should be followed up with the bet increase in the amount of the last two previous bets. This means that if your last two bets were $1 each, the next bet should be $2 and the one after that $3. The system works great with the fast flow of Baccarat games.
Implementing reversed Fibonacci to your Baccarat game will serve as a damage control – using this method “backwards”, the player will decrease the betting amount after every loss by going two steps back.
The other popular type of betting tactics is Paroli, a strategy that employs the positive betting system by increasing the wager for three consecutive times after every win. Before the first winning hand, the players need to stick to the flat method of betting, where the stakes remain the same until you end up with the wining hand; once that happens, the stake should be immediately increased. Paroli is based on the winning and losing streaks concept, minimizing the damage every time the luck turns its back on you.
Whichever strategy you opt for, it is extremely important to know your way around the game and be comfortable with your budget – never invest more than you can bear to part with and try to be consistent with the betting method. Remember, Baccarat it all about chance – the sooner you realize that, the sooner you will be able to just relax and enjoy it
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