For a game so steeped in an aura of glamour and mystery, the odds against you in Punto Banco / Baccarat are really simple to understand.
Unlike games such as Roulette, Blackjack, Sic Bo etc, there are only three bets and three results - so only three probabilities, three payouts and therefore three house edges for you to be concerned with when looking for a winning Baccarat strategy.
If you're not familiar with the game, check out our guide to Baccarat.
The first thing to look at when understanding Punto Banco / Baccarat is the probability of each bet coming up (remember, a probability of 0 means it's impossible, 1 means that it's 100% likely.)
What you'll notice from the table above is that the Banker bet has a slightly higher probability than the Player - in other words, Baccarat is NOT an even-chance game.
If we now look at the payouts for each of these bets, we'll get an idea of where the casino makes its money!
|Banker||95% of stake||1.06|
|Player||100% of stake||1.24|
|Tie||8 x stake||14.44|
You can see that the Banker bet - the one most likely to win - pays out less than the Player bet.
This is because the payout on Banker includes the deduction of the vigorish - the 0.5% commission the house takes when this bet wins. The vigorish is what prevents the banker bet being more than a 50% chance and is where the house finds its edge.
betfair Casino's Zero Lounge offers a Baccarat where the commission is only 2.75%, resulting in a house edge of 0 and a payout of 100% - the highest casino payout anywhere.
With no house edge, Zero Lounge Baccarat has the best casino odds of any game, but getting this payout requires what betfair call an 'optimal player strategy'. We've analysed the game and come up with exactly that.
Check out our optimal Zero Lounge Baccarat strategy.
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Baccarat is one of the simplest card games, with a limited set of rules and betting choices.
But many players are intimidated by Baccarat / Punto Banco because in real casinos it's played in separate rooms that cater to high rollers. This gives the game an aura of 'class' which makes it seem out of reach to ordinary players.
Online, there's no separation, so everyone can enjoy this fantastic game.
To help take you from novice through to a High Rolling Macau-standard Baccarat player, we've put together a comprehensive guide, that tells you everything you need to know:
Basic rules and tips for playing Baccarat. An explanation of the board layout, and the three main betting options - Player, Banker and Tie.
We also explain the third card rule - how and when each hand is dealt an extra card.
Finding a winning Baccarat strategy lies in understanding the rule that if the hands are tied, your bet is returned to you. Because of this, in any calculation of the Baccarat house edge, the Tie bet can be effectively disregarded.
We explain why a very common Baccarat strategy doesn't work, and suggest an alternative that give you a much better chance to win.
Once you're familiar with our recommended Baccarat strategy, you can put it through its paces on our FREE Baccarat game, courtesy of Bovada casino, which you can play without registering or downloading.
You'll get 1000 play money credits and as long as you want to practice the 1-3-2-4 - or maybe devise a strategy of your own!
Once you've familiarised yourself with the rules of Baccarat on the free play Practice game, why not try playing with real Live Dealers? It's the most authentic casino experience you can get, without leaving your home!
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