Whether you play it at home on your laptop or at an online casino, baccarat is an exciting and elegant game. It exudes sophistication, conjuring images of men in tuxedos and women in frocks laying down chips on the table as they watch the dealer distribute cards. But don’t let the mystique of baccarat fool you; it’s easy to understand and very rewarding.
The aim is to bet on the Player, Banker or Tie hand that will have a total closest to nine (nine being the best score). Cards are dealt from a six- or eight-deck shoe, with all tens, jacks and queens equaling one point. The ace and the king equal two points. All other cards are worth their face value. The hand with the total closest to nine wins the round.
Once all bets have been placed, the croupier deals two cards each to the ‘Banker’ and the ‘Player’ hands. Sometimes a third card may be drawn for either or both of the hands. If the first two cards are a natural—an 8 or a 9—the winning bet is paid out immediately. If they are not, a ‘Tie’ bet pays out 95% of the stake, while a ‘Winner’ bet wins 45% of the time (the difference in payouts being due to a 5% commission on winning Banker bets).
If neither hand has a natural, further cards will be drawn until one does. The Banker hand will win 45.8% of the time, the Player hand will win 44.6% and ties will occur 9.6% of the time. The tie bet is often overlooked by players as it offers a low payout of only 9.5 to 1.
A player’s choice of wager can make or break the game. If you are new to baccarat, it is important to learn the game’s rules and practice strategies before playing for real money. You should also know that, unlike roulette or blackjack, baccarat is a game of chance and there is no strategy that will guarantee you wins. However, there are a few basic tips that can help you improve your odds of winning.
1) Stick to a bankroll and set spending limits. Using a betting system like the martingale can help you manage your bankroll and avoid going bust. The martingale system works well for games that pay even money, such as baccarat, and can be adjusted to fit the game you’re playing.
2) Keep track of your winning streaks and losses. When you lose, try to reduce your wager size and increase it when you win. This way, you won’t risk losing everything you have earned.
3) Don’t chase your losses. This is a common mistake that many gamblers make, and it can be especially dangerous for a game such as baccarat, where the house edge is relatively high. Keeping your losses small will allow you to play for longer and improve your chances of winning.
Play baccarat with the Martingale betting system at Bovada. You can practice the game for free before you play for real money.