No matter how many times I conduct causal polls in casinos around the United States, there is one trend that keeps popping up. Actually, there are a number of trends, but for the purposes of this article I will restrict my focus to just one. Specifically, I am talking about the way stateside gamblers think of the game of Baccarat. You’d be amazed how much uniformity there is on this matter.
By and large, the average American gambler does not feel a tremendous amount of comfort playing or even talking about Baccarat. For a host of societal reasons, this game have never taken root in our nation the way it has in many places overseas. I am less concerned with finding the reasons for this trend than in addressing it head-on. Because there is no reason whatsoever that more players should not devote a fair amount of time to this excellent game.
Contrary to what seems to be a widespread public opinion, Baccarat really is a pretty simple game to play, and doesn’t require a great degree of skill or decision making once the deal commences. The key to the game is to understand how to proceed in choosing between three possible bets. Let’s look at each of these:
Player Bet: here you are betting that the deal to the player box will win.
Banker Bet: here you are betting that the deal to the banker box will win. Tie Bet: here you are betting that the player and banker hands tie.
Given this structure, it is not surprising that good Baccarat playing strategy is also pretty straightforward. Which is funny when you see so many players sitting at the table taking detailed notes!
There is no mystery here. It is common for players to record the outcomes of prior Baccarat deals on a scorecard. Players look for patterns in the game and bet based accordingly. Casinos do not discourage the use of these scorecards. This strategy does not assist much in helping the player improve their chances of winning. The outcome of prior hands in baccarat will not help in determining the outcome of future hands. While card counting will definitely improve returns in Blackjack, it will do nothing for you in baccarat betting. So much for that old myth!
Sound Baccarat strategy is all about choosing the low house edge bet. You do not need an advanced degree in calculus to be able to tackle this challenge, either. A bit of study will allow you to maximize the returns you should bet on every hand. This is the most reliable approach, though it may lack some of the zest and thrills you associate with your other favorite gambling diversions.
If you want to mix things up a bit, it wouldn’t hurt to place the odd player bet. That way, a new degree of unpredictability will be added to the gaming experience. The important thing is to just go ahead and give Baccarat a shot.