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Mini-Baccarat

19 May 2022

CINDY: My play of mini-baccarat has had a lot of ups and downs. Yet, it is one of the easiest games to play. It’s flipping a coin with an added option.

ABBY: A bad option too.

CINDY: That's the “tie” bet that has an outrageous house edge of 14 percent. The other two bets, the real coin you might say, has the “player” bet coming in at a 1.24 percent house edge, while the second and even better bet is the “bank” which comes in with a 1.06 percent house edge – one of the lowest house edges in all the casino.

ABBY: Make those edges into money and your expectation is to lose $1.24 per 100 wagered on the player and $1.06 per $100 wagered on the bank. And that tie bet will cost you $14 per $100 wagered. That is worse than most slot machines.

CINDY: While this is a card game, there are no ways to influence it as you can in blackjack with basic strategy and in Pai Gow Poker with proper strategy The hands must be played by certain rules and those rules have nothing to do with what the player wants. It is the card-game version of flipping a coin. Up the coin goes, down it comes, it lands and it is either heads or tails. In this case it is heads (bank), tails (player) or tie (very, very bad bet and one that no one should make).

ABBY: The hitting and standing rules of the game can be obtuse…

CINDY: To say the least.

ABBY: But it is the dealer who says out loud what is to happen next. Hit, stand, and such. Sometimes there is a sign on the table that has the strategy for the play of the hands but very few players read the sign and very few players care about the sign. At least when I’ve played that’s what I’ve witnessed.

CINDY: After a while of playing the game, you will know the strategy but again that won’t mean anything for the process of the game.

ABBY: Can you use card counting at the game to tell you when to bet more money as you can do if you are a card counter in blackjack.

CINDY: No. All attempts at creating a card-counting system have failed. Mini-baccarat and traditional baccarat are not susceptible to card counting of any kind. There is no casino heat at the game. You just play it. Make your decisions and bet those decisions and, I guess, pray.

ABBY: There is a way to bet that is the best. It is obviously the best. Bet bank on every hand. The house edge is low and it is a good bet. It is better than the best bets at craps and roulette.

CINDY: Two last things. When the bank wins the house takes a five percent commission from the winning bet. That’s because the bank bet actually wins more than 50 percent of the hands. If the house didn’t take the commission the casino would actually lose money. The second thing is that the game is extremely fast. It could be the fastest game in the casino. That speed can make up for the low house edge and still give the casinos a great profit.

ABBY: We would hate to take away a great profit from the casinos.

CINDY: You might want to sit out half the hands. That could keep the game in a normal framework.

ABBY: Good idea!
Royal Flushes

Abby Royal is a lawyer and Cindy Royal is a school administrator. Together, they are the Royal Flushes. The sisters play weekly or bi-weekly in such venues as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos throughout the country. They also enjoy the casinos on cruise ships. They know their stuff and have some great stories about their exploits.
Royal Flushes
Abby Royal is a lawyer and Cindy Royal is a school administrator. Together, they are the Royal Flushes. The sisters play weekly or bi-weekly in such venues as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Pennsylvania and Indian casinos throughout the country. They also enjoy the casinos on cruise ships. They know their stuff and have some great stories about their exploits.