There are two good reasons for playing baccarat. Baccarat has a low house edge and it is easy for a gambler to play. Two hands are dealt; one is the banker’s and the other the player’s. The object of the game is to get as close to nine as possible; closest of the two hands wins. Aces count as one, picture cards count ten, and when the count goes over ten, the first digit is ignored. So if the two cards are a six and a nine, it is scored as five. The rules for drawing a third card to either hand are very complicated, however the dealer knows them thoroughly. The player can bet on the banker’s (dealer’s) hand, the player’s hand, or bet on a tie. The rules favor the banker winning, so if a player bets on the banker hand and wins, the casino charges a five percent commission.
While some find baccarat boring, it could be a very restful interlude after (for example) a strenuous card counting session at the blackjack tables, or playing multiple tables of poker online for a couple of hours.
There are a few things to consider playing baccarat, such as: What system will you use? How big a bankroll should you risk? How long should you stay at a table?
Three betting systems commonly used are Martingale, Paroli, and Fibonacci. In the Martingale system you double any losing bet. So if you bet $1 and lose, your next bet is $2. If you lose that one, bet $4, and so on. When you eventually win, all your losses are covered and you will be $1 ahead. There will be times when you win the first $1 bet (roughly half the time) and so theoretically, you can’t lose using this system. The problem is that baccarat is streaky. You may end up losing eight bets in a row, in which case your ninth bet would be $256 (if your first bet was $1). If you won that bet, you would have won $1 on the series. It doesn’t make much sense to bet $256 to win $1. The other problem is the house has maximum bet limits to prevent you from betting enough to cover your losses. If you use a Martingale system, limit the series to four or five bets. If you’re winning, use shorter series, and don’t stay too long at the table.
The Paroli system is almost a reverse Martingale. Here you double your bet when you win. If you lose, start back at the beginning. Like Martingale, a long streak of losses may use up all your money. Decide ahead of time how many winning bets you’ll take before starting over. For example, you may decide to start the series over again after three wins in a row. The system is very profitable when you have a winning streak, and if you hit a losing streak, you only lose the minimum bet each time. Keep your series short. Long streaks of wins are few and far between.
The Fibonacci series of numbers is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, etc. Each number (after the first two) is generated by adding the two previous numbers. Your first bet would be one unit (ignore the zero). If you lose, go to the next number in the series for the size of your bet. When you win, it gets a little tricky. Don’t go back to one unit, instead cross off the amount you won and the previous number and use the next series number down as the size of your next bet. For example, if you bet 21 units and win, cross off the 21 and the 13. Your next bet is 8 units. If you win again, cross off the 8 and the 5. Your next bet is 3 units. Your money will last a little longer with this system than Martingale.