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A little baccarat strategy

17 November 2018

The game of baccarat can trace its origins back to the latter part of the 1400s during the reign of Charles VIII, King of France. It became very popular in French in the 1830s and is still extremely popular in European and South American casinos today.

It’s the simplest table game in the casino to learn and play. It's so simple because the player has only three choices and all have to do with the betting; no other playing skill is required.

There are two versions of the game: the American and the European. The game you see in America is a variant of the French game chemin de fer, which itself is a modification of the original European game of baccarat - also known in Britain as punto banco. In the American game, all the players are playing and betting against the house. In the European version, one player may act as the banker and also finances the game. All other players play against him.

The game has a strict set of rules that are enforced by the dealer. All the rules for standing, hitting and drawing are already established and are carried out by the dealer. The player doesn’t even have to know the specific rules to play and win at baccarat.

Mini-baccarat has become popular and is found on the main gaming area, in lieu of the high roller salon. Mini-baccarat is also a low stakes version, but is played at a higher rate of speed than its big brother. It’s played on a half round table, similar in size of a blackjack table, but with only 6-7 positions.
Playing strategy
Strictly speaking, there is no playing strategy that will affect the outcome of any hand or round. There are, however, some betting strategies that can result in a winning session for an alert player. So, when you play baccarat, consider these strategies:

1) Because the banker hand has a slight edge over the player hand, consider bettering on the banker hand most of the time.

2) Streaks can be important in any card game, but especially in baccarat. Good tracking can help identify short-term streaks, so pay attention and be alert when they appear.

3) The tie bet has the highest house edge; therefore, you should normally avoid it. However, occasionally a run of ties will appear, and when it does, you should consider the high 8-to-1 payout that this bet awards.

4) You should start your game by making bets at the table minimum. This will give you some time to track results, so that you are better able to judge the flow of the game before making any large wagers.

5) You can count cards in baccarat, just as you can in blackjack. However, because there are eight decks in play and any real advantage will be near the end of the shoe, many experts believe that card counting will not help very much in baccarat.

6) In the end, consider the game to be one of chance, even though it can be a game of skill. A little bit of luck, along with some streaks, can result in a winning session over a short period of time.

[Editor's Note: One cannot predict streaks in advance. They happen in the past and are not indicative of what is coming up.]



BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW

• In many Western World casinos, the number 13 position at baccarat table will not be listed. It is considered unlucky; therefore, seating numbers will skip from #12 to #14.

• When baccarat was first introduced to Las Vegas in 1959, at the Sands casino, real cash only was used and there was a $20 minimum at the table.

• Baccarat game rules are the same no matter what casino offers it. That is not the same for other table games, like blackjack or craps, which can vary from casino to casino.

• Australian TV magnate Kerry Packer once won 20 consecutive hands of baccarat in 20 minutes at the Mirage, while playing $250,000 per hand.

• When the Venetian Macao opened in the summer of 2007, it boasted the most table games of any casino in the world with 870. Baccarat was the major table game for this eastern oasis, but craps was present with one table.

• Early accounts of baccarat claim that it was based on an old Etruscan ritual of the nine gods, who prayed to a blonde virgin on their tiptoes waiting for her to throw a nine-sided die. The result of the die decided her fate. If an eight or a nine was thrown, she would become the priestess; if she threw a six or seven, she would be banned from any further religious activities; if she threw any number less than six, she would walk into the sea.

• Baccarat (bah-cah-rah) is the French pronunciation of the Italian word for zero. The name refers to the value of all face cards in the game; zero.

• In the early days of baccarat in Las Vegas, players were allowed to shuffle the 8 decks of cards at the table.
Recent Articles
Best of John Marchel
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

KISS Guide to Gambling

> More Books By John Marchel