Baccarat Tips

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Published: 27/04/2012

There are plenty of versions of Baccarat to choose from, including the original game of Chemin de Fer played in France, Monte Carlo’s famed Baccarat en Banque and South America’s popular Punto Banco. No matter what name it goes by, Baccarat is undeniably one of the finest table games in any casino, with a low House advantage and few decisions to make.

Baccarat wins can be massive at the “Big Tables” inside private rooms. Those who prefer to minimise risk may prefer the low-stakes Mini-Baccarat tables in casino pit areas. Online versions provide easy access, while land-based games offer the heights of excitement. In all cases, the following tips can help players get the most out of time spent at the Baccarat table.

Study the Rules – Memorising the rules of Baccarat play for each form of game is not a necessity, but studying up on at least one popular version is a must. That’s because it can greatly aid in choosing which hand to bet on and how much to wager. Knowing the game well also makes it more enjoyable to play. For beginners, carrying a “Play Table” card may be useful as a reference to the Player Rules and Banker Rules for drawing and standing in the game.

Practice to Make Perfect – Sitting at home with a single deck of cards, it is easy to deal out two cards at a time as a way of practising how to count the point values of each hand. Then, by dealing out two hands, one each for the Banker and Player, it is possible to decide when a third card can be drawn or not. A few runs through a 52-card deck helps improve confidence regarding the drawing rules. Free software programs and “play for fun” web sites are also available to practise before sitting down at a real table.

Pick a Good Place – Never play Baccarat at a casino unless it feels comfortable. Some may seem too formal. Other may be too casual. Find a table that has familiar rules and the pace of play seems appropriate—neither too fast nor too slow. Avoid tables offering lots of side bets or ignore them. Don’t sit down simply because a seat is open. Also, keep in mind that tables using fewer than eight decks in play tend to offer better odds on the Banker hand.

Be a Spectator – Baccarat is a gambling game, but it is also a spectator event. Casinos used to charge admission to let onlookers into the room where high stakes games were in progress. Nowadays, it costs nothing to stand near a table and watch a number of hands. This helps a new player get used to the pace of the game. Study the mannerisms and behaviors of the players. Observation helps build confidence, too.

Manage the Bankroll – Set a maximum amount that can be risked (a bankroll) before heading off to play. Never exceed that amount. Don’t be tempted to go to the ATM for more funds. Wager only with money that can be lost. And avoid “chasing the dragon”—trying to recover losses by wagering more and more.

Back the Banker – The House edge favours the Banker hand by a slight margin, making it the safest bet in Baccarat. Go with it. Even after the 5% commission for the House is deducted, Baccarat still tilts toward the Banker hand over the long term. Bet judiciously on the Player hand and always avoid betting on the Tie.

Trust in Luck – Don’t underestimate the importance of luck in Baccarat. When everything is heading in the right direction, wagers should be increased. If the deals take a turn south, reduce the size of bets or perhaps consider taking a short break. Like all table games, Baccarat is subject to winning and losing streaks. When one is identified, get on it or get off it—don’t bet against it.

Quit While Ahead – Every successful Baccarat player knows this—the only way to guarantee a profit is to stop playing while winning. Overstaying causes more losses than bad luck. Small wins are often the only wins possible. Sometimes, it just isn’t a good day to play. There is no shame in quitting. Don’t let losses accumulate. It helps some players to set limits prior to play. These can come in the form of a profit objective for wins or a stop point for losses. Never wager a bankroll down to zero.

Published on: 27/04/2012

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