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A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Baccarat

If you have always wanted to take a seat at a Baccarat table but are not sure how the game works thenget to grips with all the basics by reading our beginner’s guide.

Baccarat has long been seen as a game for the gambling elite. However, these days anyone can enjoy thegame without needing to be a high roller. You will find regularBaccarat games and Live Dealer Baccarat games at Casino Las Vegas with table limits designed to accommodateall types of budgets.

If you are new to Baccarat then read on to learn all you need to know.

The Basic Baccarat Rules Baccarat is not a very complicated game, and it does not take very longto understand the basic rules and terminology. The aim of the game is very simple; all you have to dois build a hand that is as close to nine as possible.There are just three bets you can place.

You canbet on the Player’s Hand (that is you), the Banker’s Hand (the dealer), or a Tie. If you place abet that matches the outcome of a round then you win.After placing your bets, you and the Banker aredealt two cards each. There are some circumstances where you may receive a third, but we will come tothat later. In Baccarat, the Face cards and Tens are all worth 0 and the other cards are worth theirface value. When you add up the value of your cards you only pay attention to the final digit, for exampleif you have a 7 and an 8 then your hand is worth 5 not 15. At the end of a round, the hand that is closestto 9 wins.

Drawing A Third CardThe circumstances in which a third card is drawn can at first appear a little bit confusing. However,when playing online you will automatically be dealt this card if necessary, so if you do not fully understandthe rules it is not the end of the world. Furthermore, the rules are not that complicated.

  • If the Player or the Banker has a total of 8 or 9 then they always stand.
  • If the Player has a total of 6 or 7 then they stand.
  • If the Player stands, the Banker will draw a card if they have a total of 5 or less.
  • If the Player has a total of 5 or less then the player draws a third card.
If the player has drawn a third card then the banker draws a third card in the following situations:
  • If the Banker has a total of 0, 1 or 2.
  • If the Banker has a total of 3 then they will draw if the Player’s third card was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, or 0 (not 8).
  • If the Banker has a total of 4 they will draw if the Player’s third card was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7.
  • If the Banker has a total of 5 they will draw if the Player’s third card was 4, 5, 6 or 7.
  • If the Banker has a total of 6 they will draw if the Player’s third card was 6 or 7.
  • If the Banker has a total of 7 they will always stand.
Some Basic TipsThere are not many betting options in Baccarat, and it basically seems like youhave a 50/50 chance when you bet on the Player or Banker.

However, there are actually advantages anddisadvantages to each type of bet.According to the game’s statistics, the Banker’s hand will actuallywin slightly more often than the Player’s hand.

This is due to the rules concerning the third card.Due to the slight statistical advantage that the rules give the Banker’s hand, they will win slightlymore often than the Player will.This does not mean that you should never bet on the Player. First off,if you bet on the Player then you will keep all of your winnings as in most games of Baccarat you paya 5% commission if you bet on the Banker and win.

As a result, winning a bet on the Player produces biggerreturns. This becomes important when looking at basic Baccarat strategies (which we will shortly cometo).Just as the Player and Banker bets have their own advantages and disadvantages, so does the Tie bet.The major advantage of betting on a Tie is that it offers much larger payouts. The majority of Baccaratgames will payout at 8:1 for a Tie.

The major disadvantage to betting on a Tie is that statistically lessthan 10% of hands will result in a Tie. This means that if you bet on a Tie for one hundred hands, youare statistically likely to win just ten of them. If you were betting £20 a time it means that you wouldlose £1,800 and win £1,600, leaving you down £200 for the session.However, this is not really howstatistics work. You could play one hundred hands with Tie bets and win 90 of them. Therefore, as longas you are managing your bankroll sensibly, there is nothing wrong with placing the occasional Tie bet.

A Basic Baccarat StrategyAs discussed above, the Banker bet has a slight statistical advantage.Because of this, it is a good idea to start a game by betting on the Banker. If the Banker wins thenyou should stick with the same bet and keep placing it in subsequent rounds.

At some point the Bankerwill lose, at this point you may be tempted to switch to the Player bet. However, this is a bad idea.Bet on the Banker for one more round and if the Player wins that round then switch to the Player bet,otherwise stick with the Banker bet.

If the round ends in a Tie then continue betting on the Banker.Furthermore, if you are successfully betting on the Banker and a Tie occurs, then ignore it and keepbetting on the Banker as if nothing had happened. If you are betting on the Player and you lose a handthen you should immediately switch to the Banker bet.As with any other casino game, the essential thingis that you manage your bankroll sensibly.

If you know that you want to play 100 rounds, then be surethat you are betting an amount that you can afford to lose 100 times over, whether this is £0.10 a handor £1,000 a hand. It is unlikely that you will lose 100 consecutive rounds, but it does not mean thatyou should not plan for it.

Baccarat Betting Strategy If you start looking online, you will find that there are many advancedBaccarat strategies, some of which are better than others. The strategies try to tip the odds in yourfavour, but mathematically this is very hard to do. Nonetheless, once you are comfortable with the basicsof the game there are some advanced strategies that you can use.One of the more popular Baccarat strategiesis known as the 1-3-2-4 strategy. It is very easy to follow and the name refers to the size of the betsyou place.You start by placing a bet of 1, if you win then you progress to the next number in the sequence(2).

If you lose then you go back to the start. If you make it to the end of the sequence and win allfour bets then you will have made a nice profit and you start again.The great thing about this systemis that as long as you win the first two bets (1 and 3), then you are guaranteed a profit, even if youlose the third bet. Thanks to this, you should come out of a gaming session either having won a greatdeal, or having lost very little.

Baccarat Scoreboards One area ofBaccarat that can often intimidate newcomers to the game is the different scoreboards that are used.The scoreboards are used to keep track of the past results so that players can try to predict futurehands and use the information to spot trends and patterns that they can then incorporate into their bettingstrategies.

Baccarat scoreboards are often called ‘Road Maps’ and at first glance they can truly lookcomplicated and puzzling. There are a number of different kinds, each has its own name and uses a slightlydifferent display. They do not take long to understand, so it is worth looking through them, as you willcome across them very regularly.Here is an explanation of some of the most common Road Maps.

Bead Plate If you are playing Baccarat at a land casino then you will often find that the tablesprovide you with the standard Beat Plate scoreboard. It can also be found in a number of online versionsof Baccarat.

The scorecard is exactly what its name suggests, a simple grid that is filled with differentcoloured beads, or dots, to record the result of each hand. If the Banker wins it is marked with Red,Players wins are marked with blue, and Ties are marked with Green.The Beat Plate is also able to recordthe results of the Perfect Pairs side bet (if the game that you are playing offers it).

If the Playeror the Banker were dealt a pair on the initial deal then a Player’s pair is marked with a small bluedot in the lower right hand corner of the grid position for that hand, while a Banker’s pair is markedwith a red dot in the upper left hand corner.Most Beat Plates have a standard layout of six rows andat least twelve columns, so they can record the results of at least sixty hands. The hands are recordedstarting in the top left hand corner and will move down each column one place at a time. When the bottomof a column is reached then the record starts again at the top of the next column to the right.

Big RoadThe purpose of the Bead Plate is to display the results of each individual hand. The Big Road scoreboardhas been designed for a slightly different purpose, to help you spot trends. It does this by emphasisingconsecutive wins for the two main bets (Player and Banker). The Big Road looks a bit like an invertedbar char with alternating columns containing blue dots (representing Player wins) and red dots (representingBanker wins).

A new column is started each time the winning bet changes between Player and Banker. Consecutivewins are recorded by adding a mark to the most recent column.For example, if the Player wins the firsthand of a new shoe then a blue mark is placed in the top of the first column. If the Player then winsthe second hand, a second blue mark is added to the first column.

If the Banker then wins the third handthen a new column is begun with a red mark.If a round ends in a Tie then it is recorded slightly differently.Rather than start a new column, the red or blue mark that recorded the last Player or Banker win is struckthrough with a green line.

This is because tie wins are very rare, and the chance of consecutive Tiewins is very small.As with the Bead Plate, on a standard Big Road scoreboard the columns are all sixrows deep. If a bet wins more than six times in a row then it is carried over onto the next column andthis is called a ‘Dragon Tail’.As with the Bead Plate, pairs are recorded with dots on the edge ofeach mark, red for a Banker pair and blue for a Player pair.

Big Eye BoyThe Big Eye Boy is another system for recording the behaviour of the shoe. If requires taking the datafrom other outcome orientated scoreboards and then interpreting it in particular ways. The aim of theBig Eye Boy is to give players insights into whether the deck is producing results that change with eachhand, or whether there are streaks and repetitive patterns.Because of this, the Big Eye Boy is used inconjunction with the Big Road scoreboard.

A mark is placed on the Big Eye Boy every time that a new columnbegins on the Big Road. The two scoreboards have very similar layouts and they will usually use the samecolours.

However, on the Big Eye Boy scorecard red and blue do not correspond to Banker and Player, ratherred represents consistent repetition and blue represents the opposite.The idea is that you can use theBig Road scoreboard together with the Big Eye Boy scoreboard to decide what bet you should place next.

If the last few records on the Big Eye Boy are showing a lot of red then players will often opt to followthe pattern that can be seen on the Big Road. For example, if the results of the last six hands wereBanker, Banker, Player, Player, Banker, Banker, then the Big Eye Boy will show that and most playerswill then bet on Player in the hope that the same pattern will continue.

Small RoadThe Small Road is very similar to the Big Eye Boy. However, it skips the previous column on the Big Roadand does not start until one hand after the first mark in the third column on the Big Road.

Cockroach PigThe Cockroach Pig is a similar concept to the Small Road. However, it skips the previous two columnson the Big Road and it does not start until one hand after the first mark in the fourth column on theBig Road. It is also different in that it uses diagonal lines rather dots or beads.Using Baccarat Scoreboards to Place BetMany Baccarat players follow these scoreboards very carefullyand there is a lot of superstition surrounding them. However, while they do provide a great deal of statisticalinformation, Baccarat is ultimately a game of chance and the scoreboards are unlikely to make a greatdifference to your winnings. Having said that, if you manage your bankroll carefully, they can be a funway to follow the game and see if you are lucky enough to hit a winning streak.

Final Thoughts It is always important to remember that Baccarat is ultimatelya game of chance and that the outcome of one hand has no bearing on the outcome of the next. However,this does not mean that it can’t provide hours of fun, and there are of course strategies to help youmanage your bankroll and come out on top.Here we have gone through the basics of Baccarat strategy.

Whynot give it a try, and once you have a feel for it you can begin to develop your own strategies, or pursuefurther reading on the subject.

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