Online Baccarat Strategy

Published: March 9, 2012

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People who have seen land casino baccarat games in James Bond movies may think that online baccarat would be a complicated game. However, this is far from the truth. Baccarat shown in James Bond movies is indeed a complicated game. It is based on a variant known as Chemin de Fer in which players in turn take the role of bankers. This is obviously not possible in online casinos. Online baccarat is based on another land casino baccarat variant called Punto Banco, which is one of the simplest gambling games.

In online baccarat the casino plays out a hand between a designated Player position and a designated Banker position. The actual online player has three betting options. He can bet on the Player, the Banker or a tie or a combination of these. The online baccarat strategy calls for the player to place bets that give him the greatest chance of meeting his objectives. The player even need not know the rules governing the dealing of the cards and deciding the outcome of the game as far as implementing optimum baccarat strategy is concerned. Though, it is always better if he is aware of the issues.

Most online baccarat games are played with eight standard decks and the house edges quoted in the discussion pertain to this situation. The banker bet wins if the Banker hand has the higher hand value. The bet pays 1 to 1, but a 5% commission is deducted from the payout. Therefore the effective payout is 0.95 to 1. The house edge on the banker bet is 1.06%. The player bet wins if the Player hand has the higher hand value. This bet also pays 1 to 1. The house edge on the player bet is 1.24%. Though the payout is higher for the player bet it has a larger house edge because the probability of the Player winning is lower. The tie bet in online baccarat wins if the Player hand and the Banker hand have the same hand value. In most online casinos the tie bet pays out at 8 to 1. The house edge on the tie bet with this payout is 14.36%. Some online casinos offer baccarat games in which the tie bet pays out at 9 to 1. With this payout the house edge falls to 4.84%.

The online baccarat strategy deals with the tie bet separately and the player and banker bets together. The 14.36% house edge for the tie bet with the 8 to 1 payout is ridiculous and should not even be considered. The 4.84% house edge for the tie bet with the 9 to 1 payout is comparable with that of online slots. Hence it is not out of bounds. But online slots offer very high payouts for the 5% house edge and this makes the risk worthwhile. In conclusion the tie bet with the 9 to 1 payout is also not worth the risk. Placing bets on both the Banker and the Player is obviously a losing proposition. And since one has to be chosen, the choice has to fall on the bet with the lower house edge. Therefore the optimum online baccarat strategy is to bet on the Banker each time and all the time and nothing else. This is a boring proposition but the correct one.


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