Avoid tie bets
With everything above in mind, one friendly piece of advice is to always avoid tie bets. As casino games go, baccarat is among the safer kind. However, tie bets are extremely risky, and they are far more likely to empty your wallet than to bring gains.
Their payouts are the biggest, that much is true, given that they pay 8:1. However, statistically, it is extremely unlikely that you will win if you go after tie bets. The house has an advantage for this type of vager, and if you were interested, the advantage is as much as 14.36%. In other words, if you entered 100 bets and each time you wager only $1, statistically, you would lose $14.36, and that’s the best-case scenario. That’s a lot of money to just give to the casino simply because you overestimated your luck, especially since the whole point of betting is to fill your wallet, and not empty it.
It is far better to bet on Banker hand which pays 1:1where the house has the 1.06% advantage. That means that you would lose $1 if you make 100 bets where you bet $1 each time. True, there is the 5% commission that you have to pay to the house if you bet on the Banker’s hand and win, but if that is a problem for you, it is still better to try your luck by betting on the Player’s hand, where the house advantage is only slightly higher — 1.24%. This is still very low compared to 14.36% of the tie bet.
With all that said, take this as your first lesson on baccarat strategy — never bet on the end result being a tie when playing baccarat.
Bet with the Banker
Next, let’s talk about the simplest and yet one of the most effective strategies for winning at baccarat, and that is betting with the Banker. This is also one of the most recommended strategies that most people familiar with the game and the strategies involved with it are likely to suggest.
It is safe to say that this is 100% true, as it all comes down to basic math. As we mentioned earlier, the odds of winning are the highest for betting with the banker, as the theoretical house edge for it is 1.06%. This means that the payout percentage for you would be 98.94%.
So, if you make 100 bets, each worth $1, you will, theoretically, earn $98.94 back. This is all pure statistics and math, of course, and luck still plays a major factor, as it all comes down to the cards. Sometimes, you can win 9 times out of 10, or even 10/10 if you are particularly lucky, and sometimes you might still lose more than you win. No strategy can affect the cards and the total score that you might have once it is all said and done, and the cards are dealt.
However, the return to player (RTP) of a Banker bet is higher than RTP for betting on the Player hand, even if only by a little. The tie, of course, is the worst option, as we discussed earlier, so we do once again recommend avoiding it.
However, there is another reason why you should bet with the Banker, that goes beyond the RTP or the house edge. Once again, the reason lies with the math.
Let’s assume that the casino is using eight 52-card decks. Tie bets will play at 8:1, which is a pretty massive, but rare occurrence. On the other hand, Banker bets pay evens (minus that 5% commission that you leave to the house). And, of course, there is the clean-cut 1:1 payoff for player bets.
So, the math says that the Player hand will win 44.63% of the time, lose 45.87% of the time, and see a tie 9.51% of the time. Those player losses of 45.87% are the Banker wins, meaning that the Banker bet will win 45.87% of the time, lose 44.63% of the time (which is when the Player wins), and the remaining 9.51% are, once again, ties.
Even if we remove the cases when the end result is a tie, we are left with the Banker winning 50.68% of the time, while the Player hand wins 49.32% of the time. In other words, the Banker has over a 50% chance of winning each hand. The Player hand is not far behind, and your reward for taking the risk is that you get to keep the 5% that you would have to pay in commission if you choose the Banker. But, even if you pay 5%, you still keep the majority of your winnings, if the Banker’s hand ends up victorious, as opposed to not winning anything if you go with the Player’s hand and end up losing.
As you can see, it all comes down to pure numbers, and you can always trust that the math does not lie. Once again, betting on the Player’s hand is almost just as good — better even, in terms of the money that you are going to win. However, the Banker’s odds are still slightly higher, and you would be surprised how often that ends up being enough to make a difference.
In the end, it is your choice, but if you want the safest bet, we advise you to go with the Banker. Yes, there is a small sacrifice to pay, but the majority of the winnings are still yours, so that’s something to think about if you find yourself at the baccarat table.